It is believed that toys intended for children's development must be educational. The child should be able to collect, correlate, do something according to a model, etc. Thus, toys that do not imply such a goal (ordinary cars, dolls, balls and bears) do not seem to fit into the category of developing ones.
Many toys have appeared on sale that are positioned as educational. These are "play development centers" with various sound and light effects, famous Nikitin and Zaitsev cubes, Montessori manuals, various cards, frames and inserts, as well as all kinds of creative kits, unusual constructors and even technically equipped rattles. On the label, as a rule, the word "developing" itself is present and the age for which this toy is designed is indicated.
But age recommendations on packages are often frighteningly similar - from 3 years old. And it can be very difficult to understand when a toy is really needed. Therefore, the questions arise: why does the potential of a toy sometimes dry up so quickly? And why does the baby not support the initiative of adults to develop it?
At an early age, and in preschool too, the emphasis on bright alphabet instead of dolls and cars leads the child into a sphere completely alien to his needs. Probably, many have noticed that most often the meaning of the letters-icons simply does not reach the baby and remains unclaimed.
Of course, at a certain stage, mastering the language of written and digital communication is necessary. But the more attention we pay to the formation of a child's own play baggage and creative abilities, the more chances that when getting acquainted with the languages of the adult world, they will be really in demand. After all, first of all, the child must learn to create and express the results of his creativity with his own sign systems.
Therefore, under early development it would be more correct to understand the timely development of objective and playful activity. By contacting with the world of things and phenomena, the world of people and relationships, the child develops his own inner world - desires, tastes, interests, opportunities and impossibilities. The child will learn immeasurably more from this seemingly chaotic empirical experience than from all the finest exercises put together. This will become the most valuable baggage that the child himself wants and can systematize, will strive to apply it, and consciously, using creative imagination and intuition.
The developmental effect of a toy is primarily determined by the nature of the game, free from directives. The main function of any toy is to activate free independent children's activity.
As for didactic toys, most of them cannot organically fit into the space of free play. A didactic toy presupposes a certain framework, a "gate," rather narrow, into which the child must fall in the process of action. The will of the method of action laid down in the manual begins to dominate the child's imagination and will, that is, in reality, it is the will of an adult who leads the child to this algorithm. Objects that involve narrowly stereotyped actions can become material for training, but not games. And if at an early age this practice is useful, then later it hinders development.