Learning to use my toys

These activities are suitable for children aged 8-18 months and align with stage 2 of the Developmental Journal Babies Visual Impairment (DJVI).

On this page

Safety first

What you'll need

Wooden blocks, spoons, pots, pans, light or musical toys


The concept of cause and effect is key to motivating and developing your child's interaction with objects, people and the world around them. Many early years toys help teach this using a button to make the toy light up, play music, or move. Toys do not have to be fancy or expensive; the action only needs to have a positive outcome. Here are a few examples you may find helpful:

  • Clapping hands
  • Hitting a balloon
  • Banging a saucepan with a spoon
  • Banging wooden blocks together
  • Pressing a button on a light-up or musical toy
  • Turning over a rainmaker stick
  • Toddlers xylophone
  • Jack-in-a-box
  • Water wheel in the bath
  • Musical keyboard


Spend time with your child, showing them what they need to do for the toy to work. They may need to put their hand on yours so they can feel the action you are applying.

Try to start with large objects, with simple actions like pushing a button or banging two things together. As your child's skills develop, you can begin to introduce more complex movements, such as pulling, pushing, twisting, turning or hammering.

If using light-up toys, it might be a good idea to darken the room or use a 'dark den' (indoor tent made from blackout material). Try to concentrate on one toy at a time; too many may distract your child and make it difficult for them to focus.

Please supervise your child at all times while completing any of these activities.

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