The Earlier, the Better! Early Childhood Development Toys for the Brain and Beyond

A baby crawling alongside favorite toys.

At Hearthsong, we know that imagination and play matter from Day One. From birth, babies will be captivated by the world. In their toddler years, the exploration continues. With guidance from their parents, they'll be ready to take on the world, too! 

Play is the way for babies and toddlers to learn and explore the world, so finding the right early childhood development toys is a top priority for any new parent. 

Our collection of toys for ages 0 to 2 and 3 to 5 provide a vast range of options for any child's interests. 

Why Is Early Childhood Development Important?

A parent playing blocks with two children.

Baby and toddler brains are ready to learn anytime, anywhere! Healthy brain development is essential for boosting your child into their best selves. 

Whether reading, talking, or playing with your child, any one-on-one quality time stimulates cognitive skills. 

While babies don't immediately use their imaginations, it comes faster than you would think! At 8 months old, babies will begin to mimic your actions using their imagination, from copying your phone use to the sounds you make.

Play and exploration is not just encouraged, but necessary for proper early childhood development. By finding toys for early childhood development, you're setting your baby up for success! Pair toys with quality time with your child to foster a safe learning environment. 

Early Childhood Development Toys for Babies and Beyond

A child happily stacking blocks into a tower.

Hearthsong has the right toys to spur effective early childhood development…while being loads of fun for everyone! 


From ages 6 months to 11 months, tummy time is an essential for strengthening arm, neck, and shoulder muscles in babies. 

Without strong muscles, babies are at risk of developing a neck muscle imbalance called torticollis. Babies left on their backs for many hours may develop plagiocephaly, known better as “flat head syndrome.”

In addition to developing motor skills and preventing flat spots, tummy time is the first step to encouraging babies to sit up and crawl. 

Tummy time is recommended twice or three times a day for 3 to 5 minutes at a time

While tummy time can be done with a blanket, we've found another way to elevate your baby's experience.

Practical and adorable, the Crawligator is perfect for encouraging great habits and building motor skills. The Crawligator encourages their interest in tummy time by helping them navigate and push across the floor. It also activates the muscles kids need to crawl and walk earlier. Keep it at home or use it on the go! 

Children with special needs and developmental delays can also benefit from the easy-to-use design. There's a reason it's a favorite among pediatric therapists!

Wee Gallery Counting Adventure Bundle

Even before children have the ability to count, it's important for parents to demonstrate counting through play. Having a counting role model and the right tools to do it will help your child thrive! 

Children start to count around the age of two and develop the skill for the next several years. As “pre-counters”, children will count without order, skipping numbers. “Chanters” will announce numbers in a sequence, but may skip numbers. “Reciters” can count in correct order. 

Counting can be demonstrated by reading books with numbers and pictures of objects to count, counting objects such as crackers, or simply counting on your fingers

Designed for newborns up to age three, Wee Gallery's Counting Adventure Bundle is the perfect counting starter set! This set includes the Bamboo Numbers Set and the Nature Number Cards

The beautifully-illustrated, nature-inspired cards are designed to teach numbers in a fun and logical way. Use as flash cards, as well as a matching game that matches the number with the quantity.

The Bamboo Numbers Set has nine sustainable bamboo numbers for hands-on exploration. 

(Psst…Use them together for double the learning opportunities!)

Hearthsong 5-Piece Wooden Stackable Nesting Blocks Play Set

Stacking and block toys are highly beneficial for cognitive development in babies and toddlers alike! 

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) identifies several amazing skill-building opportunities with stacking and clock toys:

  • Counting
  • Problem-Solving
  • Self-Esteem
  • Social and Emotional Skills
  • Fine and Gross Motor Skills

Designed for children ages two to five, Hearthsong's 5-Piece Wooden Stackable Nesting Blocks come in two modern designs: a rainbow cottage or a serene mountainscape. 

Children can explore and make imaginative scenarios, like stacking other toys on top of or beneath the blocks. The toys can also stand on their own for plenty of play-tential! 

Which Early Childhood Development Toys Are Your Faves?

Did you snag one of these picks or something else from Hearthsong? Tag us on social media with @hearthsong_toys (or send a messenger pigeon). 

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