Blocks and Duplo
Toy blocks and other construction toys might not be as flashy as battery-powered robots or video games. But as developmental psychologist Rachel Keen notes, parents and teachers "need to design environments that encourage and enhance problem solving from a young age" (Keen 2011). Construction toys seem ideally suited to do that, and they may also help children develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination,spatial skills, a capacity for creative, divergent thinking, social skills, and language skills. Moreover, kids can integrate their own constructions into pretend play scenarios. There is also evidence that complex block-play is linked with advanced math skills in later life.