Development Skills

The first years of a baby's life are a period of rapid development. Child development experts generally categorise four key areas of development: fine motor skills, gross motor skills, cognitive and communication. We have simplified these into Making, Moving, Learning and Speaking and every ToucanLearn activity is graded with one of these as the key focus. This let's you concentrate on specific areas of development if you so wish.

Sign up free NOW!

Back to Learning


ToucanLearn activities are designed to promote four key areas of early development.

Making: Fine Motor Skills

Sticking and gluing, painting and creating

For the first year, your child uses hands as a means to explore a brand new world. As the ability to hold things improves, using crayons, tearing paper, cutting with child scissors and painting with brushes becomes an exciting way to create new things.

Using hands to make things depends on physical and neurological development, but also effective stimulation.

ToucanLearn suggests a wide range of crafts, models and homemade gifts to enjoy and in doing so encourages development of fine motor skills. Motivating your child to make things themselves and be proud of their achievements is so valuable as they experiment with new materials and gain the confidence to try new things.

Moving: Gross Motor Skills

Crawling and sprawling, dancing and prancing, jumping and jiving

Babies gain control of their bodies from the head down. They hold up their head first. They take control of their middle and hold their chest off the floor next. By about six months they take control of their hands and can reach and pick up using fingers.

The stimulation provided to them, and their own physical changes and weight gain, then allows them to build on these basic milestones until they are standing and walking and running on their own. With better vision, increased height and strength, and more confidence they can negotiate obstacles, run and pedal, throw and catch and generally move about with seemingly boundless energy.

ToucanLearn offers Moving Activities that aim to encourage confident and safe movement from birth. Simple, fun activities for babies, moving and dancing tasks for toddlers and clever games for pre-schoolers all offer a stimulating progression through the years.

Thinking: Cognitive Development

Learning is fun; have fun through learning

Babies are constantly learning. From birth they can only explore visually, but once they can grasp and reach things, they have access to a whole world of stimulation. Feeding this inquisitiveness at an early age, and providing activities to make them think for themselves, sets them up for later development.

Toddlers and children have an immense capacity to grasp new ideas. ToucanLearn shows you how the simplest of games can be a learning experience and yet brilliant fun! Incorporating learning activities into your day is an effective way to teach your child and make learning a fun part of every day life.

The appropriate level of Learning Activity for your child is specifically based on the feedback you have given for your child. With lots of encouragement and praise your child will come to understand concepts by approaching them in different and fun ways.

Speaking: Language, Communication and Literacy

Babbling, chatting, laughing and singing

Before uttering their first words, your baby has already been though various milestones which contribute to their ability to talk. Until 6 months, communications is non-verbal. Crying, smiling and laughing tell us how they feel. This develops into random cooing and eventually babbling in response to talking.

Once the first word is established, toddlers learn and use new words at an astonishing rate. By 16 months they have about 6 words, by 36 months their words number over 1000. They begin to use short sentences. They begin to use prepositions and adjectives. They sometimes say funny things or make up their own words... which is all part of the learning to speak process.

ToucanLearn provides a source of activities to encourage speaking and vocabulary development.