Top 7 Brain Development Games for Toddlers

In this article, we will explore and learn about brain development process in children from birth to preschool. we will see how parents can help their children grow and how to choose the right brain development games for toddlers

The importance of early childhood experiences for brain development

At birth, the average baby’s brain is about a quarter of the size of the average adult brain. Incredibly, it doubles in size in the first year. It keeps growing to about 80% of adult size by age 3 and 90% – nearly full grown – by age 5.

The brain is the command center of the human body. A newborn baby has all of the brain cells (neurons) they’ll have for the rest of their life, but it’s the connections between these cells that really make the brain work. Brain connections enable us to move, think, communicate and do just about everything. The early childhood years are crucial for making these connections. At least one million new neural connections (synapses) are made every second, more than at any other time in life.

Different areas of the brain are responsible for different abilities, like movement, language and emotion, and develop at different rates. Brain development builds on itself, as connections eventually link with each other in more complex ways. This enables the child to move and speak and think in more complex ways.

The early years are the best opportunity for a child’s brain to develop the connections they need to be healthy, capable, successful adults. The connections needed for many important, higher-level abilities like motivation, self-regulation, problem solving and communication are formed in these early years – or not formed. It’s much harder for these essential brain connections to be formed later in life.


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How Do Toddlers’ Brains Work?

We know that connections form between brain cells (neurons) with every interaction we have with a toddler. Dendrites connect the neurons and help neurons communicate with each other. To make the brain as efficient as possible, “pruning” of the connections later occurs. Connections that are not used are pruned out, while those that have been used repeatedly stay. These connections are like a maze of inter-connected roads and pathways. The paths that are used more frequently become well-established. Those that aren’t used are like a faded, overgrown path. The repetitive activities that toddlers seem to love such as reading a short book multiple times or singing a song over and over are critical for healthy development of the brain.

Understanding development and toys

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Playing brain development games for toddlers is the mechanism by which children learn – how they experience their world, practice new skills, and internalize new ideas – and is therefore the essential “work of children”. Through this
continuous and expanding process, early skills give rise to new ones and new experiences are integrated with previous ones. Through play, children learn about the world and engage in activities that encourage their cognitive, emotional, and social development. For example, when a child bangs on a drum, she learns she can create a sound. Through play, she learns the important concept of cause and effect.

What to Look for in brain development games for toddlers


The good news with toddlers is that they are naturally curious, so they can find interest in just about any toy. Also, little ones this age just love to play in general, and since there are so many opportunities to learn through play, that leaves a huge selection of educational toys to choose from. toys that facilitate problem solving, like shape sorters are really good options for toddlers because of their natural interest in exploring the world around them. 

Similarly, Interactive toys that allow toddlers to understand context are great for development. We suggest looking for toys that “teach natural associations” such as “a horse in a barn” or “a fish with ocean friends.” Chances are high that a toddler will love an age-appropriate toy like this no matter what it is, but by the time they’re 2 and on their way to 3 years old, toddlers will start to show more specific interests, so if you know your tot favors farm animals over ocean creatures, then you’ll get more engagement if you lean into those interests. 


Development is still a major consideration when shopping for toys for toddlers because they’re still working on mastering many skills. “Play helps with every facet of development,” says Dr. Casares, “[including] gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, and social-emotional” skills. In order to find the best toys for toddlers, it helps to keep some common milestones in mind when you’re shopping.

  • Cognitive development: The Kidzlane Egg Toy for Kids and Toddlers is an educational toy for 1- and 2-year-olds that encourages problem-solving. 
  • Fine motor skillsSpike the Hedgehog is designed to help toddlers strengthen their fine motor skills, like grasping.
  • Language development: Naming objects is a milestone for toddlers between 1 and 2 years old, and learnworx Flashcards for Toddlers are great for helping little ones learn and identify new objects and expand their vocabulary.3

Entertainment Value

While toddlers have a wide range of interests, their attention spans are typically pretty short, so looking for toys that are entertaining and engaging is essential. Since “it’s important to provide a wide range of activities” for toddlers, according to Dr. Casares, a brain development games for toddlers that can be played with in multiple ways is more likely to keep a toddler’s attention.

Additionally, she suggests looking for toys that offer some kind of sensory or imaginative play, because they’re not only entertaining for toddlers but also really great for supporting their development.

Which toys are the best for toddlers brain development?

We have tested, reviewed and order the best toddler brain development toys online for you to make the best choice for your toddler.



Water Drawing Mat


Motor and Sensory Toys

Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog
Learning Resources



Wooden Kids Baby Activity Cube 



Hammering Pounding Toys



Color Matching Egg Set



Learning Friends 100 Words Book


Flash Cards

Toddler Flash Cards

#1 Betheaces Water Drawing Mat


As any parent will tell you, any toddler art activity that doesn’t involve mess is a sure winner. With the Aqua Doodle Magic Drawing Mat, there is no mess, no toxic ingredients, and no ink. The magical pen transforms water into mess-free color and disappears after a few minutes so the fun doesn’t have to end,

The AquaDoodle also includes six drawing templates, three pens, and four shape stencils. The mat itself has a bright and colorful border and is large enough to be shared and played with outdoors (but it also folds up and is easy to take with you).

Reusable Doodle Drawing Mat: Made of high-quality polyester, no Ink, no mess, non-toxic, no pollution. The back of the mat is made of water-resistant nylon. Safe enough for kids. Fill the pen with clean water and draw on the mat. The marks will magically disappear after 3-10 minutes (depending on the temperature and airflow), kids can draw on the mat again and again. 

    Product Highlights

    Never make a mess, clean, and safe for babies and children. Don’t need extra cleaning. The back of the mat is water-resistant nylon material, no worry about wetting the floor. Environmental Protection, no ink, no paint. Birthday Christmas Gift: Not only a toy but also a communicative link between you and baby. Let your kids doodle freely with their friends and parents to share their happiness. Inspire your kid’s creativity and imagination, exercise hand-eye coordination & color perception ability. The best choice for kids Birthday gift stocking stuffers or Christmas gift.

    #2 Learning Resources Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog

    Motor and Sensory Toys

    Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog is without a doubt one of the best Brain Development Games for Toddlers.

    This Hedgehog lost his quills and only your little ones can help him get them back! Spike is a fine motor skills toy that helps kids build hand muscles and fine motor skills development as they replace the chunky, peg-shaped “quills” within the holes that dot the smiling hedgehog’s back. The learning doesn’t end there—spike’s colorful quills also lend themselves well to lessons in counting, sorting, and color identification skills. Kids can arrange quills by warm or cool colors, work on sequences and patterns by alternating colors, or count the quills with numbers printed on this fine motor toy for Toddlers. Once playtime is over, the Hedgehog is a snap to clean up—each piece is made of plastic that can be easily wiped clean, and the quills stow snugly inside the Hedgehog body.

    Product Highlights

    When they play with Spike, kids build the grip strength, coordination, and other essential fine motor skills they need to succeed in school and beyond!

    In addition to building fine motor skills, Spike’s colorful quills help kids strengthen their color, sorting and counting skills every time they play!

    Once playtime is over, each plastic quill can be easily wiped clean stored snugly inside Spike.

    When they play with this fun hands-on toy, kids develop the fine motor skills needed to write, dress themselves, and more!

    Kids build early problem-solving skills when they compare, contrast, and investigate this toy’s fun sorting and patterning play!

    There’s a rainbow of new skills waiting with this toy that help kids recognize and name colors from warm reds to cool blues!

    #3 Toyventive Wooden Kids Baby Activity Cube


    ToyVentive toys are designed to create moments of learning, inspiration, and connection between children and their grown-ups.

    Do you remember when toys brought you hours of imagination and play? Maybe you had a parent or grandparent who spent time with you as a toddler, showing you colors, numbers, and shapes on your own toys. Helping guide you to understand the world around you.

    No screens, no flashing lights, no overstimulation – just simple bonding and learning through play. This belief in the power of play is at the heart of every ToyVentive toy.

    The Play & Learn Activity Cube is one of the best brain development games for toddlers for 6 to 12 month old’s and is also designed to be a learning toy for toddlers 1-3.

    Combines 5 different activities in 1. Your child can count the beads, turn the clock hands, sort the shapes, turn the gears and so much more! This wooden toy for toddlers will keep them busy for hours and develop his or her mind, senses and coordination.

    Product Highlights

    The activity cube for babies and toddlers promotes counting and math skills, while also developing color, pattern and shape recognition, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and problem solving abilities. The play cube is a great educational toy for 1 year olds and was developed with a Montessori approach.

    We highly recommend it for your toddler, especially for its multifunctionality, safety, educational value and durability.

    #4 Rolimate Hammering Pounding Toys


    Rolimate is a toy company that dedicated to 0 to 12-years-old toy’s design, development, production and sales. The company’s toys, there are about a dozen major series, respectively classificate according to age, gender, different function, indoor and outdoor, scene etc, the design of every single product and each component abided ”accompany children grow and improve its intellectual development, safe environmental protection” concept.

    Rolimate hammering & pounding toy has a 8 notes xylophone, and it could emit various tones, so the xylophone will stimulate the development of toddler’s hearing. The shape sorter with different colors design can teach the baby to recognize various shapes and colors.

    Rolimate toddler toy is made of natural wood and stained with non-toxic water-based paint and have been fully tested to pass the highest standards of the US

    Product Highlights

    Rolimate hammering & pounding toy is an excellent 4 in 1 product to help you children develop, learn and having fun all together. 

    It has a 8 notes xylophone that emit various tones which can be part of your toddler’s hearing development. 

    The shape sorter with different colors design can teach the baby to recognize various shapes and color. 

    The pounding colorful balls can exercise children’s tactile development

    The patterns and numbers on wooden blocks can inspire 1-3 year old boys and girls imagination and creativity.

    We love it mostly for its multifunctionality and naturalism, this is why it is totally one of the best brain development games for toddlers

    #5 Kidzlane Color Matching Egg Set

    Best in Matching

    Make the most of your child’s priceless first years by giving them the toys that will develop their brain and set the foundation for future learning in a fun, engaging way.
    Enter the Kidzlane Count & Match Egg Set, an educational powerhouse packed with features!
    This set contains 12 uniquely colored eggs that split in two, revealing a unique color, number, and combination of pegs ‘n holes.
    With an easy-to-hold, smooth shape perfectly sized for little kids, these adorable eggs are sure to hook your tot’s attention as they try to take ’em apart and put ’em back together!
    This set is completed by a bright yellow plastic case, so that it’s easy to carry and store the eggs.

    The Kidzlane Count ‘n Match Egg Set includes many different features that will appeal to little children’s natural curiosity. Can I open the egg? What’s inside? How can I put it back together?
    Watch them figure out the answer to these questions, while they build valuable basic skills such as sorting, counting, color coordinating and matching.
    Having a play-date over? The Count & Match Egg Set is sure to be a winner! Keep them occupied with enough pieces to go around for everyone.

    Or, incorporate the eggs with food pretend play for a fun learning experience in the play kitchen!

    Product Highlights

    The Color Matching Egg Set by Kidzlane is a great option for matching and recognition of color, shapes and numbers.

    The set includes 12 charming eggs in a carton will help preschoolers learn to count, sort, and match! Each plastic egg contains a different color and number, with corresponding pegs and holes.

    This toy was built to last. And when it’s time to end play and pack away, you’ll find the sturdy plastic case super convenient for quick ‘n easy storage.

    #6 LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book


    Vocabulary skills allow children to express themselves clearly and comprehend what they hear and read. Learning Friends 100 Words Book teaches words in familiar categories to highlight word relationships and includes fun fact and Spanish modes to add layers of learning that go beyond a typical first words book.” Carolyn James, PhD, LeapFrog Literacy Expert

    Join animal friends Turtle, Tiger and Monkey as they explore new vocabulary in the Learning Friends 100 Words Book. Explore the colorful pages and touch each picture to hear the animals say toddler-appropriate words along with exciting facts and sound effects. Immerse your child in bilingual play by sliding the language switch to hear the words, songs and instructions in Spanish. Touch the pictures to hear silly sound effects in Fun Sounds mode or press the light-up star button to hear two learning songs. Discover new vocabulary with cute learning friends! Intended for ages 18+ months. Requires 2 AA batteries. Batteries included for demo purposes only. New batteries recommended for regular use.

    Product Highlights

    Meet learning friends Turtle, Tiger and Monkey who will introduce more than 100 age-appropriate words chosen by learning experts

    Word categories include: pets, animals, food, mealtime, colors, activities, opposites, outside and more

    Touching the words on the pages plays the words, sound effects and fun facts; hear the Learning Friends theme song and My Favorite Word by pressing the light-up star button

    Words, songs and instructions can be heard in both English and Spanish for a full bilingual experience. totally one of the best brain development games for toddlers out there.

    #7 Learnworx Toddler Flash Cards

    Flash Cards

    As parents ourselves, we enjoy seeing our children learn and we love to see our children interacting with others.

    At the core of our company ethos we believe that learning should be fun both for parent and child. Whether that is through singing, games, visual learning, numeracy, spelling or other mediums.

    All learnworx products are designed to teach in a fun and friendly way. 

    The Learnworx ‘Learn with me’ flashcards set includes 101 double sided cards.

    On the front of each card is an object, On the reverse of each card is the same object, repeated multiple times, with a question or engaging game.

    Product Highlights

    Children start to learn from the moment they are born. They recognize people, places, animals, colors, tastes, sounds, smells and more. A key part of a child’s education is through engagement. Engaging with parents, siblings and others. this one of the best and popular brain development games for toddlers will make your family time even more fun.

    Children can say what they see and the adults can help them with their pronunciation, improving language skills. As their skill and memory increases, so does their confidence – helping them to become the next little leaders of the future.

    All children develop at different speeds and learn differently. Visual learning or spatial learning style, is a way of learning in which information is associated with images.

    The association of colorful illustrations plus reinforcement of hearing the word spoken allowed helps children to learn and remember words in their formative years.


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