The smarT Head Start
Give your child a smarT head start with these professional insights on healthy child development and practical advice to keep them active, engaged, and happy.
Child development10 Best Indoor Toys for Kids: Fostering Development for All AgesWhen stuck inside, the right toys can make rainy days shine for kids while promoting healthy development. As children grow, their skills and interests change. According to a study, finding the right toys that align with their stage can nurture cognitive, physical, emotional, and social growth. This guide covers top-rated indoor toys for babies through 10-year-olds. Let’s explore how these toys encourage learning through play. Our Top Picks for the Best Indoor Toys for Kids Best Overall Indoor Toy for Kids - SmarTrike 3-in-1 Activity CenterBest Indoor Climbing Toy for Toddlers - Little Tikes 7′ Climb ‘N Slide TrampolineBest Indoor Toy for Three-Year-Olds - Skywalker Trampolines Springless Mini Trampoline with Enclosure NetBest Energy Burning Toy for Toddlers - SmarTrike 2-in-1 Indoor TrampolineBest Indoor Toy for Four-Year-Olds - Upper Bounce Mini TrampolineBest Foldable Indoor Toy for Kids - Little Tikes Easy Store 3’ TrampolineBest Indoor Basketball Toy for Kids - Skywalker Trampolines 8-Foot Trampoline with Safety EnclosureBest Indoor Toy for Seven-Year-Olds - Doufit Oval Indoor/Outdoor TrampolineBest Indoor Sports Toy for Kids - Jump Power Rectangle Indoor/Outdoor Trampoline & Safety Net Swing ComboBest Active Toy for 10-Year-Olds - Skywalker Trampolines – Rectangle Jump-N-Dunk Trampoline with Enclosure 1. Best Overall Indoor Toy for Kids The 3-in-1 Activity Center: Trampoline & Ball Pit stands out as an excellent indoor toy because it allows children to engage in sensory play as early as 10 months old. As your child grows older, this activity centre can be transformed into a trampoline with a handle, providing a secure environment for physical development when they reach 12 months of age. At 24 months and beyond, the handle can be folded down to allow your child to focus on bouncing. ProsEnables early sensory play10 months to 24+ monthsUsable regardless of outdoor conditionsEnsures physical developmentConsNeeds supervision for younger kidsOccupies indoor space 2. Best Indoor Climbing Toy for Toddlers The 7-foot Climb 'N Slide Trampoline from Little Trikes, one of the leading indoor climbing toys for kids, is an excellent tool for encouraging physical growth in toddlers. This trampoline promotes both physical and cognitive development with features like a slide and trampoline. Moreover, children aged 3-10 years can use it, making it a long-lasting investment that can be shared among multiple kids, saving the need to purchase extra toys. Additionally, two zipper enclosures ensure safe play, while pad protectors cover the safety springs. ProsEncourages physical growth in toddlersEnhances both fine and gross motor skillsLong-lasting investmentEnsures safe play ConsNot sun-resistantDegrading pads and foamFragile netting 3. Best Indoor Toy for Three-Year-Olds Looking for the perfect indoor toy for your three-year-old? Look no further than the Skywalker Trampolines Springless Mini Trampoline with Enclosure Net. Jumping on the Skywalker trampoline promotes gross motor skills, and the jump mat even has numbers and animals printed on it, making it a great tool for teaching recognition. ProsPromotes gross motor skills Jump mat features numbers and animalsEnclosure netTested for both safety and durability.Long-lasting investmentConsIndoor use primarilyLimited size for older kidsMuted color palette 4. Best Energy Burning Toy for Toddlers The SmarTrike 2-in-1 Indoor Trampoline is one of the best indoor toys for active toddlers. Starting as early as 12 months, this trampoline stands out among indoor energy-burning toys for toddlers. Its padded frame encourages toddlers to develop balance and gross motor skills while bouncing independently in a safe and fun environment. For toddlers with a lot of energy who are always on the move, the SmarTrike provides an excellent outlet for them to channel their energy, ensuring they remain active and engaged even when indoors. ProsDevelopment of balance and gross motor skillsQuick and easy assembly Compact folding makes it easy to storeNo springs ensure added safetyPadded frame provides extra protectionConsRequires indoor space for setup and useNot suitable for older kids 5. Best Indoor Toy for Four-Year-Olds The Upper Bounce Mini Trampoline stands out as one of the best indoor toys for four-year-olds. It's designed to cater to the advanced motor skills of 4-year-olds, allowing them to jump and play with more freedom. The adjustable height handlebar ensures that the trampoline grows with your child, providing a comfortable and safe jumping experience. ProsDesigned specifically for 4-year-olds.Adjustable height handlebarFolds in half Sturdy construction ensures durability and safetyConsRequires assemblyPotential wear and tear Specific weight capacity 6. Best Foldable Indoor Toy for Kids The Little Tikes Easy Store 3' trampoline is convenient and foldable, which makes it perfect for an indoor energy-burning toy for toddlers. It's easy to set up and store away, and it's specially designed for indoor home use. This is great for energetic toddlers who need to release some energy before bedtime, and it can be easily stowed away when not in use. ProsExcellent energy burner Foam grip on the safety barDesigned for safe indoor useEasy storage Durable construction for prolonged useConsRequires a designated space for setupPotential wear and tear with regular useLimited to indoor use only 7. Best Indoor Basketball Toy for Kids For parents searching for indoor toys for five-year-olds, this trampoline stands out. The Skywalker Trampolines 8-Foot Trampoline with Safety Enclosure is an excellent indoor basketball toy that offers both safety and durability. It has a no-gap enclosure, which eliminates dangerous gaps where fingers could be caught. ProsIdeal for indoor basketballEnhances hand-eye coordinationSafe no-gap enclosure designRust-resistant materialsIncreased frame stabilityConsLimited to 175 lbs user weightPotential wear over timeLimited warranty duration 8. Best Indoor Toy for Seven-Year-Olds The Doufit Oval Indoor/Outdoor Trampoline is a standout among indoor active toys for seven-year-olds. As kids grow, their energy and need for movement only increase, making this trampoline a perfect choice. The handlebar ensures safety, while the jumping activity helps improve balance, coordination, and stamina. ProsSupports duo jumpingEnhances balance and coordinationSafe handlebar designIdeal for indoor recessConsRequires partial disassembly to move between roomsRequires ample spaceLimited weight capacity 9. Best Indoor Sports Toy for Kids The Jump Power Rectangle Indoor/Outdoor Trampoline & Safety Net Swing Combo is an excellent product in the world of indoor sports toys. This product combines the excitement of a trampoline and a swing in one. This indoor sports solution offers fun and safety, including jumping and swinging, with a spring safety pad and rust resistance. ProsTrampoline and swing comboEnhances gross motor skillsSafe spring pad includedRust-resistant designVersatile indoor sports optionConsRequires spacious setupAssembly might be complexLimited to 80 lbs user weight 10. Best Active Toy for Ten-Year-Olds The Skywalker Trampolines – Rectangle Jump-N-Dunk Trampoline with Enclosure is a top-tier choice among indoor active toys for ten-year-olds. The no-gap enclosure ensures a safe jumping experience by eliminating dangerous gaps. Its rust-resistant frame and increased stability make it a reliable choice. Furthermore, the rectangle trampoline's springs work independently, providing a more controlled and responsive bounce. ProsNo-gap enclosure for safetyRust-resistant frameIndependent spring mechanismDurable and stable designConsRequires ample spacePotential wear with timeAssembly might be complex Maximizing Indoor Play for Holistic Development The SmarTrike 3-in-1 Activity Center and 2-in-1 Indoor Trampoline stand out as exceptional choices for indoor toys. Beyond mere entertainment, these toys play a pivotal role in fostering a child's gross motor skills, enhancing physical strength, and building self-confidence. By integrating such toys into a child's playtime, parents can ensure a holistic development that seamlessly blends fun with learning.
Child developmentTrikes for Toddlers: How Trikes Assist Motor Skill DevelopmentAs parents, we naturally want to support our toddler's motor skill development. Trikes, or three-wheeled bicycles, offer a comfortable riding position by seating riders lower than conventional bicycles, and they can help in teaching essential skills such as steering and pedalling. But are trikes easy to ride? Absolutely—they are perfect for kids who are just learning to ride because they are stable and easy to control. Children can start riding pedal bikes, including trikes, from age 2. Motor development, which encompasses the physical growth and strengthening of a child's bones, muscles, and ability to move, plays a vital role in a child's overall well-being. What Are Gross Motor Skills in Child Development? Gross motor skills begin developing in infancy and continue to improve throughout childhood. They involve large body movements and the ability to control them, requiring the use of the large muscles in the arms, legs, and torso. The importance of gross motor skills cannot be overstated, as they serve as a foundation for fine motor skills such as writing. Difficulty with gross motor skills can impact a child's life in various ways, including their performance in school and overall quality of life. Benefits of Trikes to Motor Skill Development Motor development in early childhood is crucial to a child's overall growth, encompassing the physical strengthening of bones, muscles, and the ability to move. When do gross motor skills develop? Children begin developing gross motor skills as small babies, with these skills evolving from birth to 5 years, and gross motor skills developing before fine motor skills. Some examples of gross motor skills include: BalanceSittingRunningJumpingPushing and pullingCoordination Trikes, three-wheeled bicycles that sit lower than standard bikes and offer a more comfortable riding position, may be extremely beneficial in acquiring these abilities. They're ideal for children who are just starting to ride since they are small and light and can help youngsters improve their balance, coordination, and leg strength, which are all necessary for other physical activities such as running and jumping. Additionally, pushing and pulling a tricycle engages both arms, helping develop upper body strength and coordination. By encouraging your child to ride a tricycle, you can support the development of key gross motor skills that will benefit them for years to come. Better Balance Riding a trike improves balance, which is critical for gross motor skills development. As you watch your child ride their trike, you will notice their confidence build as they become more skilled at navigating their environment. They will not only improve their balance, but they will also build their muscles as they pedal, steer, and navigate past obstacles. Your youngster will also enjoy riding their tricycle as they explore their environment and enjoy the freedom of mobility that it provides. There is no better way to improve gross motor skills than through play, and tricycling is a fun exercise that the entire family can enjoy. Improved Coordination Coordination, the ability to use multiple body parts for a particular action (like steering and pedalling), is another area where trikes help children develop. Trikes assist children in developing bilateral coordination—the ability to use both sides of the body together in a coordinated way. Bilateral coordination is important because many movements and actions require the use of both sides of the body, such as walking, catching balls, and playing. Riding a tricycle helps develop hand-eye coordination and arm-leg coordination, as children need to pedal while holding onto the handlebars with both hands. Increased Strength Children can enhance their general strength and stamina by riding a tricycle regularly. This is especially beneficial to kids who have low muscle tone or weak muscles. Riding a trike can also help toddlers improve their posture by strengthening the muscles in their trunk and back, allowing them to sit up straight and maintain good posture throughout the day. Riding a trike is also an excellent way to encourage youngsters to be active and interested in physical play. It can help them gain confidence in their talents and feel more at ease when confronted with physical obstacles. Empower Your Child's Motor Skills with Trikes Supporting and helping your child improve their motor skills is one of the greatest gifts you can give them, and trikes can play a crucial role in this journey. Consider exploring Smartrike’s stroller trikes, like the 5-in-1 STR3 Folding Stroller Trike, which promote activity and exploration from an early age, supporting your child's motor skill development and independence.
Child development4 Ways Riding a Bike Positively Impacts Your Child's DevelopmentCycling is a fun and engaging activity that not only keeps children active but also provides numerous physical and mental health benefits. Experts recommend that children engage in physical activity every day for optimal growth and development. In this article, we'll explore four ways riding a bike can have a positive impact on your child's development. 4 Benefits of Cycling for Children It increases fitness levelsIt strengthens bones and musclesIt builds confidenceIt improves social skills 1. It Increases Fitness Levels Cycling is an enjoyable way to increase fitness levels in children. In fact, regular cycling can significantly improve cardiovascular fitness. As they pedal, the child's heart rate increases, benefiting cardiovascular muscles and setting the foundation for a healthy, active lifestyle. Cycling also helps improve stamina, motor skills, coordination, and balance, making it a comprehensive activity for overall physical development. 2. It Strengthens Bones and Muscles Cycling supports the development of strong bones, which is crucial since our skeleton is not fully grown until around the age of 20. It also aids in joint mobility and improves postural balance, contributing to your child's overall physical health. Research has shown that weight-bearing exercises like cycling can help increase bone density in children, reducing the risk of osteoporosis later in life. In addition to the skeletal benefits, cycling helps build muscle. While it primarily targets leg muscles, cycling also strengthens the entire body. As a result, children who cycle regularly experience increased muscle tone and endurance, further promoting their physical development. 3. It Builds Confidence Cycling not only boosts children's physical abilities but also enhances their self-confidence as they begin to move independently. As they master the skill of cycling, their self-esteem grows, and they become more self-reliant. Confidence also allows children to learn and grow by: Helping them get to know the world around them: As they cycle, children become more familiar with their surroundings and gain a better understanding of their environment.Making them more comfortable: Confidence gained through cycling leads to a greater sense of comfort in various situations.Making them happier: As children become more confident, they experience increased happiness and overall well-being. 4. It Improves Social Skills Learning how to ride a bike serves as an excellent bonding activity for parents and children, allowing them to spend quality time together while getting exercise. Furthermore, cycling encourages children to interact with one another, providing opportunities for them to get to know other kids while engaging in a fun, active pursuit. This shared experience helps them develop essential social skills and form lasting friendships. » Can you help your baby's development? Parents play an important role How to Prepare Your Child for Riding a Bike Even before your toddler can walk properly, they can start using a stroller trike. Introducing a stroller trike to your young child helps prepare them for riding a bike and enjoying all its benefits. It improves their fitness levels, coordination, and muscle strength while providing a fun and exciting activity that helps them explore their environment. Establishing good habits, such as an active and healthy lifestyle, at a young age can last a lifetime. Choose the right size bike or stroller trike: Make sure the bike or trike is appropriate for your child's age, height, and skill level. A well-fitted bike will help your child feel more comfortable and confident while riding. The 5-in-1 STR3 Folding Stroller Trike is perfect for physical engagement and visual stimulation, designed for children as young as 10 months. It features a comfortable padded seat, a sun canopy for UV protection, and an adjustable parent handle for added control. It also comes with safety features and supports child development and movement. It boasts a compact folding design for easy storage and transportation, a 5-point safety harness, and a detachable safety bar to keep your child secure as they grow and develop their cycling skills. Cycling into a Brighter Future Cycling offers numerous physical, mental, and social benefits that can positively impact your child's overall development. By introducing your child to cycling through a stroller trike, you'll help them build a strong foundation for a lifetime of healthy habits and enjoyment of the outdoors. By investing in your child's early cycling experiences, you'll nurture their growth and development while fostering a love for an active and healthy lifestyle.
Child development8 Benefits of Riding a Tricycle for Physical and Cognitive DevelopmentRiding a tricycle is more than just a delightful pastime for children; it's a pivotal experience in their physical and cognitive journey. Exploring the physical development associated with riding tricycles, it becomes clear that it offers numerous health benefits, motivating kids to be active and enhancing their overall well-being. Parents often wonder about the appropriate age for a toddler to start riding a tricycle. Most children are able to start around age 3, so they can experience the advantages of riding a tricycle. Tricycles contribute to early childhood development, helping children grasp basic road safety traffic rules and understand their surroundings. Such activities are vital for a child's physical growth and holistic development. 8 Benefits of Riding a Tricycle for Physical and Cognitive Development Enhance gross motor skillsDevelop leg and core strengthEncourage spatial awarenessDevelop problem-solving skillsImprove attention and focusEncourage decision-makingIncrease self-confidenceDevelop imagination and play 1. Enhance Gross Motor Skills In the world of physical activities for kids, riding a tricycle is a significant experience. It aids children in honing their gross motor skills, such as balance, coordination, and muscle strength, as they adeptly pedal, steer, and navigate. Such development serves as a precursor to more intricate physical activities like cycling, running, and engaging in sports. The act of tricycling demands the synchronised effort of various leg muscles, teaching children the art of multitasking for a desired result. Beyond just skill acquisition, it instils confidence in their gross motor abilities, paving the way for proficiency in diverse activities beyond just tricycling. » Want to learn more about enhancing motor skills? Discover their development here. 2. Develop Leg and Core Strength Beyond just skill acquisition, it instils confidence in their gross motor abilities, paving the way for proficiency in diverse activities beyond just tricycling. Understanding why physical development is important for preschoolers sheds light on the significance of activities like tricycle riding. As part of the broader spectrum of preschoolers' physical development, tricycle riding offers multifaceted benefits. The act of pushing pedals promotes physical development in preschoolers and enhances lower body strength and endurance by strengthening the leg muscles, such as: QuadricepsHamstringsCalves Concurrently, the balance and pedalling motions engage the core muscles, leading to a more robust and stable core. This repetitive movement not only meets the physical demands of tricycle riding but also lays a foundation for overall body strength. Such muscle development is especially crucial for young toddlers as they hone their walking and running abilities. 3. Encourage Spatial Awareness Tricycles play a significant role in enhancing children's spatial awareness and their understanding of movement within their surroundings. As they navigate on tricycles, children are prompted to be more conscious of their body's position relative to their environment, given the less precise control compared to walking or running. This experience helps them refine their spatial perception skills, from estimating distances and avoiding collisions to mastering turns. Riding a tricycle also introduces them to concepts of speed and acceleration. They quickly realise that a tricycle takes longer to decelerate than their own pace of walking or running. This understanding prompts them to anticipate actions, such as pressing the brake well in advance of an obstacle, ensuring safer navigation and fostering a deeper connection with the physical world around them. 4. Develop Problem-Solving Skills In the context of toddler cognitive development activities, tricycle riding is ideal. Tricycles challenge children to negotiate various obstacles, turns, and terrains, fostering critical thinking and real-time problem-solving. While on a tricycle, children become acutely aware of their surroundings and how different objects might interact with their ride. Given that a tricycle is more prone to collisions than a child on foot, kids learn to meticulously gauge their approach to obstacles, determining the right moment to decelerate to prevent bumps. They also develop an understanding of moving obstacles and the varying friction offered by surfaces like grass, enabling them to choose the most suitable paths for their journey. This hands-on experience not only refines their motor skills but also sharpens their cognitive abilities, preparing them for more complex challenges ahead. » Want to know more about motor skills? Discover the difference between fine and gross motor skills 5. Improve Attention and Focus In the journey of the cognitive development of preschoolers, tricycle riding demands sustained attention and concentration, serving as a practical exercise to bolster a child's focus and attention span. As kids chart their paths, anticipate turns, and swiftly respond to looming obstacles, they inadvertently hone their ability to maintain concentration over extended periods. This sharpened attention span transcends the tricycle, proving beneficial in other learning scenarios and daily tasks. For instance, a child who's adept at making quick decisions on a tricycle might find it easier to concentrate during a fast-paced game or even when tasked with assembling a complex puzzle, as compared to peers who engage solely in slower-paced activities like building with toys. 6. Encourage Decision-Making Navigating on a tricycle offers invaluable lessons in the realm of decision-making for young minds. For instance, when approaching a junction on their tricycle, a child might need to decide whether to turn left, where there's a smoother path, or right, where there's a tempting puddle to splash through. Such moments require them to: Assess optionsPonder the outcomes Select the most suitable course of action This continuous process of choosing routes, modulating speed, and making instantaneous decisions sharpen their decision-making skills. 7. Increase Self-Confidence Mastering the art of tricycle riding plays a pivotal role in shaping a child's self-confidence and fostering a positive self-image. As children navigate the intricacies of balance, perfect their turns, and eventually ride with minimal assistance, they experience a profound sense of accomplishment. This journey of overcoming challenges and acquiring new skills, such as tricycle riding, significantly bolsters their self-perception. 8. Develop Imagination and Play Tricycle rides provide a platform for children to unleash their imaginations. As they cruise along, they often craft scenarios, tales, and adventures, transforming a simple ride into an epic journey. Engaging with their tricycle, a child might envision being on a thrilling chase, eluding imaginary villains, or teaming up with peers to embark on collaborative imaginative games. Such expressive play, rooted in the simple act of tricycle riding, allows children to delve into diverse roles and situations, enriching their imaginative prowess. » Find out the reasons physical activity is important for child development The Multifaceted Benefits of Tricycles The merits of tricycle riding for children's development are undeniable. Beyond the evident physical advantages, such as muscle strengthening and honing both gross and fine motor skills, tricycles play a major role in nurturing psychological attributes. They foster increased self-confidence and heightened self-awareness in children. For parents keen on providing their children with such enriching experiences, browsing SmarTrike's collection of classic trikes is a commendable step. Specifically, the 4-in-1 Breeze Plus Toddler Tricycle stands out as an exemplary tool to catalyse many developmental milestones in children. Embarking on this tricycle journey promises not only delightful memories but also a holistic developmental foundation for your child's bright future.
Child developmentThe Power of Outdoor Play: How Summer Adventures Boost Child DevelopmentChildren have an amazing chance to learn and grow while playing. Through play, they'll have fun and acquire important skills that shape their future. Play lays the foundation for their cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being. Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development explains that children go through four stages of play. Through these stages, children learn about the environment and gain important cognitive abilities, which range from simple single-player play to more complex interactive play. Play also allows children to interact with others, practice communication, and develop key social skills such as sharing, rotation, and cooperation. During summer playtime, these skills can be developed successfully. » Do you have a baby? Learn how to support them during infant developmental stages 4 Stages of Play in Child Development 1. Functional Play in Child Development During this stage, children engage in activities that involve exploring objects and using them as intended. For instance, they might pretend to cook with toy kitchen tools or move a toy car across the floor. This type of play helps children develop skills, such as: Object permanence and how items exist even when not seenLanguage, like items' representations through wordsCoordination, which improves physical developmentThinking, which helps with general cognitive skills 2. Constructive Play in Child Development Constructive play often begins around the age of 2. At this stage, children learn to employ the things they have discovered during functional play for a defined purpose. Constructive play aids in the formation of new skills and children's physical and cognitive development. Summer activities that can foster constructive play involve: Building towers and cities out of blocks on the playground, which promotes spatial reasoning and problem-solving.Playing with sand to build sandcastles highlights gross motor skills.Drawing murals with chalk on the sidewalk encourages creativity. Parallel play in child development is when children play side-by-side but not with each other. This highlights early social skills and inspires future cooperative play. Children can develop independence, explore their interests, and learn from their peers, promoting social awareness and communication skills. During parallel play, kids still pay attention to others. For example, if one child sees another building a sandcastle on the beach, they might begin to do the same by copying actions. 3. Dramatic Play in Child Development Dramatic play, often known as pretend or fantasy play, usually happens between the ages of 2 and 3 when children begin to use their developing cognitive skills. Dramatic play involves acting out various roles, such as playing house, feeding and cradling a doll, pretending to chat on a phone, or conversing with their plushies. Kids build an environment with objects, immersing themselves in imaginary scenarios. Social play during early child development helps children learn how to engage effectively with others. This helps develop social skills like: NegotiatingEmpathyIdea sharingExpressing feelingsMaking compromisesCooperating with others Outdoor summer activities that promote social play, such as meeting with others on the playground or in the park, allow children to participate in dramatic play together, fostering social development and creating memorable shared experiences. 4. Games With Rules in Child Development Parents can encourage their children to play with others by providing age-appropriate toys and activities that promote following rules. These games teach youngsters: The value of fairnessTaking turnsCooperationRespecting the boundaries of othersIntegritySportsmanship Fostering open-ended play, in which children are free to explore and make their own rules within certain boundaries, can also help to develop interpersonal interactions and problem-solving skills. Parents can engage their children in conversation by asking thought-provoking questions such as "What would happen if you...?" or "What could you do next?" This encourages their imagination, critical thinking, and cooperation as they collaborate with others. Physical Play in Child Development Summer is the perfect time for kids to get active and engage in physical play that helps contribute to their physical development. This can include strengthening their muscles and bones. Some summer activities kids can surely enjoy this summer are: Hiking: This can be done on nature trails or in local parks and helps children immerse in nature's beauty. Plus, they can learn the names of what they see.Hula hooping: This is a fun and healthy exercise that doesn't require expensive or complicated equipment. Children can rock their hips to the music, improving coordination and motor skills.Riding a stroller trike: Riding a stroller trike is a safe and comfortable activity for children. It can help kids develop a sense of direction, coordination, and balance. It also allows children to enjoy the view, explore, and be physically active all at once. » Discover why physical activity is important for child development Improve Child Development With Summer Strolling Summer adventures and outdoor play have an enormous effect on child development. Tools like the SmarTrike x Kelly Anna stroller trike can help aid that development in a fun and engaging way. It provides convenience and comfort with features such as parent steering mode, a baby leg rest, and a sun canopy for those particularly hot summer days. While your child keeps active with various activities, they're also sharpening their motor skills, experiencing autonomous exploration, and improving sensory and cognitive development. For balanced growth, ensure your child also tries play styles that support social skills.
Child developmentImportance of Fine Motor Skills in Child DevelopmentWhen your baby first grips your finger, they are embarking on a life-long journey of mastering fine motor skills. These are the skills that will enable them to feed themselves, write, manipulate objects, and ultimately foster their independence. In fact, children spend a staggering 30%-60% of their day utilizing their fine motor skills. Let's dive deeper into these vital skills, their developmental milestones, and how you can help your child progress on this path to autonomy. Fine Motor Skills Developmental Milestones To track how your child is developing fine motor skills, you can use specific milestones as benchmarks for a child's developmental stage. When Do Fine Motor Skills Develop?Fine motor skills begin developing from infancy. An early example of this is when a baby instinctively grasps a parent's finger. Over time, as the child grows and their coordination improves, they start reaching out to hold onto and play with toys. Let's take a look at the milestones of motor skills development: 0-6 Months 0-6 months is the beginning of a baby's fine motor development journey. During these first few months, your baby develops the palmer grasp, a reflexive grasp allowing them to hold onto objects, and it's a natural response to palm stimulation. This reflex diminishes around six months as babies gain more control over their hands and fingers. 6-12 Months Infants' fine motor development progresses significantly during the 6-12 months stage. Babies begin to display a refined grasp, whereby they coordinate their fingers and thumb for grip and manipulate objects. This is known as the pincer grasp. The pincer grasp allows infants to manipulate, hold and explore small objects such as finger foods and small toys. This milestone brings on a newfound level of independence as infants begin to gain better control over their fingers, helping them to self-feed, pick up objects and develop hand-eye coordination. 1-2 Years During the 1-to-2-year stage, children develop their fine motor skills. Overall, they will display increased manual dexterity. They are drawn to creative activities, and their fine motor skills allow them to grasp onto pens and crayons to experiment with scribbling. Their self-feeding skills will have improved due to the development of their small finger muscles. Toddlers will begin to utilise a spoon or fork to scoop and pierce their food, before bringing it to their mouths. 2-3 Years At ages 2-3, children display precise, coordinated movements with their hands and fingers. They can hold crayons more accurately, their drawings become more recognizable, and they start engaging in advanced self-care tasks such as brushing their teeth, combing their hair, and dressing with minimal assistance. Children of this age will engage in more complex activities such as puzzles and shape sorters. » Learn the difference between fine and gross motor skills Fine Motor Activities for Child Development Promoting fine motor development doesn't have to be a tedious task. Here are some engaging activities that can be beneficial for developing fine motor skills. Paper Tearing: The process of tearing paper is a fantastic way to develop fine motor skills, as it requires precise hand movement and strength. You can also teach children to crumple up paper and throw them into a basket. Sensory Finger Painting: This fun activity strengthens infant muscles and develops sensory awareness, allowing infants to explore different textures.Sponge Painting: Show infants how to smear and stamp paint onto paper using sponges. This develops their palmer grasp as they hold, squeeze, and manipulate the sponge.Painting with a Brush: Manipulating a paintbrush across the paper strengthens children's grip and improves hand-eye coordination and finger dexterity.Q-Tip Painting: Painting with a small tool like a Q-tip develops the pincer grasp, a foundation for our writing ability.Steering: Incorporating steering into play can greatly aid in the development of fine motor skills. Turning the steering wheel or trike handles involves moving elbows and shoulders, which in turn supports fine motor skill development. Why Are Fine Motor Skills Important?Fine motor skills are essential for a child's growth and development. They not only help strengthen their muscles and coordination but also foster independence. Mastery of fine motor skills enables children to perform a variety of tasks, from brushing their teeth and dressing independently to writing, drawing, and even playing musical instruments. » Learn why physical activity is important for child development Stepping Stones to Independence Fine motor skills development, underpinned by core trunk control and shoulder strength, is critical in helping children reach their respective developmental milestones. To effectively aid this process, a versatile tool like the SmarTrike x Kelly Anna stroller trike can play a significant role. Designed for children aged 6+ months, this stroller trike enhances motor skill development through parent or child steering mode and an adjustable baby leg rest. So while your child enjoys the ride, they're also building a strong foundation for fine motor skills. Keep incorporating varied activities in your child's routine to ensure continuous and balanced growth.
Child developmentFine vs Gross Motor Skills: Help Your Toddler Develop ProperlyFrom their very first grip of your finger to their initial unsteady steps, your baby's motor skill journey is nothing short of miraculous. As they grow and explore their surroundings, they unlock a world of new skills, each one a building block for the next. These motor skills, a blend of muscle action and motor control, form the foundation of your child's physical and cognitive development. They pave the way for self-confidence, balance, and hand-eye coordination, essentials in your child's journey of discovery. Let's embark on an exciting journey of discovery into the fascinating world of motor development in infants, where you'll learn about fine and gross motor skills and which fun activities can support your little one's progress. Development of Fine Motor Skills As children grow, they learn to control their bodies and develop muscle coordination, gradually mastering more precise movements known as fine motor skills. Between 3 and 6 months old, babies usually start to use their hands (though not necessarily their thumbs) to briefly hold toys. Thus, the process of baby motor skills development typically begins with the unfolding of fine motor skills. Generally, between 3 and 7 months old, babies start showing signs of these skills, like touching fingers together, reaching with both hands, or grasping small toys using both hands. Did you know?Your baby's motor skill development begins while they're still in the womb. From around 9 weeks, babies start to move their arms and legs, marking the beginning of their motor development journey. While children grow at different rates, knowing the approximate timeline for specific milestones can help you gauge whether your child's development is on track. Examples of fine motor skills include: Using pencilsOpening and closing zippersPlaying with Lego bricksDoing up buttonsThreading beadsOpening lunch boxes Fine Motor Skills Activities for Toddlers Help your toddler develop with these fun activities that build fine motor skills: Play-dough: Encourage your child to squeeze, stretch, and roll "snakes" with the dough. This activity enhances their finger and hand strength and coordination.Gardening: Digging and gardening provide an excellent opportunity for your toddler to work on their fine motor skills. Simple tasks like transferring seedlings into a garden or carrying a smaller plant to a new hole can make a big difference.Painting: This activity improves hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity. It also helps your child learn how to hold a brush and use it as a tool.Finger Foods: Offering your toddler finger foods and encouraging them to use a spoon or fork for eating can strengthen fine motor skills.Construction Toys: Playing with blocks or construction toys with interlocking parts can develop fine motor skills, as two hands are needed to put them together and take them apart again.Puzzles: A great tool to build hand-eye coordination and grow logic and spatial skills while being an entertaining and educational activity.Thread or Lace Items: Start with larger items like cut-up toilet roll holders or pool noodles and work your way down to smaller items like beads. This activity can help improve your child's focus and precision.Soap Crayons: A terrific way of combining splashy bath-time fun with fine motor skills development. » Learn more about how to support your infant's development Development of Gross Motor Skills Before fine motor skills take hold, babies start developing gross motor skills. These are larger movements your baby makes, like waving their arms or kicking their legs. Gross motor milestones occur in a predictable pattern—children improve upper body control before they master lower body control. Each new skill your baby acquires builds upon a previous one, creating a fascinating baby motor skills timeline. Examples of gross motor skills include: SittingCrawlingStandingWalkingKicking a ballClimbing stairs Gross Motor Skills Activities for Toddlers Help your toddler develop with these fun activities that build gross motor skills: Hopscotch: A simple way to practise balance, coordination, and jumping. You can easily draw a hopscotch grid or set one up with painter’s tape.Dancing: This activity builds balance and coordination, helping children become more aware of rhythm and movement.Stroller Trike: A stroller trike requires the use of larger muscle groups in the body to steer and pedal.Walk on Different Surfaces: Encourage your toddler to walk on varying surfaces, such as grass, sand, and wood chips. This will help them learn how to adjust their balance.Everyday Tasks: Get your toddler involved in everyday tasks like gardening or hanging clothes on the line.Park or Playground Visits: Regular visits to the park or playground can encourage your toddler to be adventurous.Ball Games: Throwing a large ball to your toddler and having them throw it back can improve hand-eye coordination and motor control. » Wondering which stroller to get for your baby? Read our guide on stroller types Aiding Your Toddler's Journey of Discovery Remember, every child's development is a unique adventure filled with triumphs and challenges. As your little one explores their world, they'll naturally develop motor skills. You can play an active role in this journey with the right activities and tools, like the SmarTrike x Kelly Anna stroller trike. This stroller trike grows with your child from 6 to 36 months, encouraging activity and aiding motor skill development. It’s an exciting, fun-filled way to nurture your child's physical and cognitive growth. If you ever have concerns about your child's motor development, don't hesitate to consult a health visitor. Your child’s journey is yours, too. Let's make every step count!
Child developmentAmazing Milestones: 3 Skills Your 14-Month-Old Baby Is MasteringAs your baby grows into a toddler, their development becomes more noticeable. By 14 months old, your child is considered a toddler and will likely display distinct personality traits. You may notice flashes of independence, stubbornness, and sudden assertiveness. So, what should a 14-month-old be doing? Your child is probably developing rapidly at this age, mastering new skills and exploring the world around them. The average weight for a 14-month-old is 20.7 pounds for girls and 22.3 pounds for boys. However, it's important to note that each child develops at their own pace, and some may be slightly ahead or behind these averages. While most 14-month-olds are developing typically, there are some red flags to watch out for. These could include a lack of interest in people, difficulty with simple gestures like waving, and an inability to stand with support. If you have concerns about your child's development, it's always best to consult your paediatrician. They can offer guidance and reassurance tailored to your child's unique needs. 3 Skills a 14-Month-Old Is Mastering Language ComprehensionSelf-FeedingWalking 1. Language Comprehension Language comprehension is crucial for a 14-month-old's growth. Most children say their first words between the ages of 10 and 14 months. At 14 months, your child may be able to utter up to six words, and they may understand far more than they can express. They will most likely be able to say "mama" and "dada," and they may try to name a sibling, a toy, or a pet. Every day, they discover the meaning of new words, which is an exciting moment for both parents and children. To enhance language development, it's essential to actively engage with your child. Engage in conversations with them to help build their vocabulary. Ask them questions, comment on what they're doing, and narrate your daily activities to expose them to new words and phrases. You can also foster communication and language abilities through reading books, singing songs, and playing games. 2. Self-Feeding At 14 months old, your child will be able to feed themselves with a spoon or their fingers and drink from a cup. Self-feeding is an important developmental skill for your child as it helps them develop independence and fine motor skills. To avoid accidents, invest in unbreakable dishes and cups as children start to self-feed. Establishing an eating routine is one strategy to support self-feeding. Set regular meal and snack times so your child knows what to expect and when. This will also help them develop good eating habits as they grow. Give your child plenty of opportunities to practise. Let them experiment with new textures and flavours, and don't worry if they make a mess. Another excellent method to encourage self-feeding is to provide finger foods. Cut soft fruits and vegetables into bite-sized pieces that your child can pick up and eat on their own. This will help improve their pincer grasp and hand-eye coordination. Lastly, demonstrate proper eating techniques to your child. Show them how to use utensils and encourage them to do the same. The ultimate goals are to ensure that children receive adequate nutrition, eat safely, and gain confidence in their eating abilities. With these tips and plenty of practice, your child will become a self-feeding pro in no time. 3. Walking At this age, your child is likely standing on their own and taking a few shaky steps without help. So don't be alarmed if their movements are still unsteady and they walk with their toes pointed outward. It's all part of the learning process. It's wonderful to see your child's gross motor skills improve, and walking is an important ability that will enable them to explore their environment and gain independence. Keep in mind that every child develops at their own pace, so there's no need to worry if your child hasn't taken their first steps yet. With a bit of patience and encouragement, they will get there! To support your child in practising walking, create a safe and open environment for them to explore. It's crucial to provide a secure setting where they can develop their confidence and coordination without the risk of injury. Before you know it, they might be racing around and investigating their surroundings! Nurturing Your Child's Growth Supporting your child's physical development, such as walking and other gross motor skills, is essential for their overall growth. One enjoyable way to encourage these skills is by introducing versatile ride-on toys, like the SmarTrike x Kelly Anna stroller trike. Designed for children between 6 months and 36 months, it fosters activity, outdoor play, and the development of motor skills. Because it's so adjustable, the SmarTrike x Kelly Anna stroller trike can grow with your child, making it a practical option for parents. Furthermore, it provides a safe and comfortable experience with a cushioned seat and adjustable canopy, enhancing your child's outdoor adventures. It allows children aged around 14 months to explore and experience the outdoors in a secure and enjoyable manner while supporting their growth and development.
Child developmentGross Motor Skills in Child Development: Age 6 Months - 3 YearsGross motor skills are essential for everyday physical activities, from a baby's earliest movements to a young child's coordination of whole-body movements. Children's gross motor skills include activities such as sitting, crawling, running, jumping, and throwing. This blog will focus specifically on the development of gross motor skills in children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years. Best for the Development of Babies Aged 6 months to 1 year - SmarTrike x Kelly Anna STR7 Stroller TrikeBest for the Development of Babies Aged 1 to 2 years - STR5 Folding Pushchair TrikeBest for the Development of Babies Aged 2 to 3 years - STR3 Folding Pushchair Trike 6 Months–1 Year Between the ages of 6 months and 1 year, infants typically develop a range of gross motor skills. While some babies may learn quicker than others and progress can start and stop, babies may gain skills, including: Turning their headsRolling over on their ownReaching for their feetSitting unassistedPulling on furniture in order to stand upStanding with support Visual stimulation is essential for babies as it promotes brain development and enhances their learning and focus through engagement with diverse patterns. Providing opportunities for your child to engage in activities that stimulate their senses can help support their overall development, including the development of their motor skills. One way to provide such stimulation is through the use of a toy or activity that is both engaging and safe for your child. For instance, the SmarTrike x Kelly Anna STR7 Stroller Trike is a great option that you can use as soon as your baby is six months old. It allows children to keep their feet on the pedals and move the handlebar without actually steering or controlling the wheels, ensuring that parents have full control until they decide that the baby is ready to steer. This not only provides visual stimulation to babies but also helps develop their motor skills while keeping them safe. As such, it can be an excellent tool for supporting your child's overall physical development. 1–2 Years Between the ages of 1 and 2 years, children experience rapid physical development. As they grow, they become increasingly capable of performing various activities, including: Taking steps without supportCrawling up the stairs and creeping back downSquatting down to pick something upSeating themselves on small chairsPulling a toy behind them while walkingAttempting to run At this stage, children are becoming increasingly interested in their environment and are eager to explore. Taking your little one out on walks with a stroller can be a great way to help them observe and learn more about the world around them. The STR5 Folding Pushchair Trike is a fantastic tool for promoting your child's development while having fun, and it's suitable for children aged 9 months or older. This stroller trike allows your baby to keep their feet on the pedals and handlebar without actually having to steer or control the wheels, while you have full control as a parent until your little one is ready to take the wheel. The STR5 Folding Pushchair Trike can help your child learn motor skills, and develop their coordination and sense of direction, all while enjoying a safe ride. Once your child is independent enough, you can give them the control to steer the trike, which can further enhance their development and provide them with a sense of independence. 2–3 Years Between the ages of 2 and 3 years, children display an enhanced capacity to move around and engage with their environment. At this stage, they usually can: Stand on tiptoesJump from the bottom step,Ride a tricycleCatch a large ball with arms straight outKick a ball forwardBriefly stand on one foot Beyond physical growth, children at this age will have improved verbal skills. Kids will be able to vocally convey their demands and requirements. They will have a greater grasp of the world around them and will be able to convey their ideas and feelings through language. For parents of young children, providing resources that promote exploration and development can be crucial in helping babies from 10 months old to early toddlerhood reach their developmental milestones. A pushchair trike, like the STR3 model, can be an excellent option for promoting motor, physical, and cognitive development in children at this stage. This pushchair trike allows children to move the handlebar with their feet on the pedals, without needing to steer or control the wheels, which can help stimulate their development. Additionally, the STR3 Folding Pushchair Trike provides a safe and reliable means for children to explore their independence, while parental control is available for parents who want to retain control. By providing your child with resources that foster their physical and cognitive growth, you can help them achieve their fullest potential. Supporting Your Child's Gross Motor Development As a parent, it is important to understand the importance of gross motor skills in your child's development and to ensure that they have the necessary resources to reach each milestone. By familiarizing yourself with each age group's gross motor milestones, you can help your child reach their fullest potential and foster their physical growth. It's also important to remember that each child develops at their own pace, so it's important to be patient and understanding of their progress. With the right resources and support, you can help your child reach their maximum potential.