Toys That Support Cognitive Development

Written by raina ando, m. a.
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Toys That Support Cognitive Development
Chess develops complex thinking skills, increases IQ and problem-solving abilities. (chess board image by timur1970 from

A child's brain is like a sponge, ready to soak up whatever touches it. For this reason, you should surround children with positive, educational experiences. Toys that develop cognitive skills include role-playing activities, like playing house or being superheroes. Building toys, like blocks or Legos are also good for cognitive development. Exploration toys, like magnifying glasses and games with rules also enhance cognitive development in children.


Toys used for building allow kids to create something out of their imaginations. Legos are useful toys for developing problem-solving skills as well. Legos are fun for boys and girls from the ages of three and up. The interaction with peers that often occurs when building with Legos increases learning more than playing with Legos individually. Legos also build frustration tolerance, as kids must learn to overcome failure.

Toys That Support Cognitive Development
Legos (Eine Wand in einem Legogeschäft image by omoritz from

Musical Instruments

Increased verbal abilities and visual skills, such as pattern recognition, are unexpected benefits of learning to play an instrument. According to "ScienceDaily," a Harvard study found that children who study musical instruments for at least three years outperform children with no instrumental training, not only in auditory discrimination and finger dexterity but also on tests measuring verbal ability and visual pattern completion.

Toys That Support Cognitive Development
Children are drawn to musical instruments and often begin to sing spontaneously. (guitar image by Sebastian from

Role-Play Toys

Not only do role-playing toys encourage cognitive development, but they also enhance social and emotional development as well. Playing house or pretending to be a superhero are just some of the infinite possibilities. Kids can dress up in costumes or wear a mask to enhance the imaginative play. A magic wand, a firefighter's helmet and a doll house are other examples of role-playing toys. Kids love to try on new identities, which allow them to develop the skills needed for perspective taking, which usually occurs in late childhood or adolescence, according to Piaget's theory of cognitive development. The ability to view an issue from the perspective of another is quite a milestone in child development.

Toys That Support Cognitive Development
She plays different roles and learns perspective taking, an advanced cognitive concept. (toys image by Mykola Velychko from

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