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The Downside of Stage-Based Play

The Downside of Stage-Based Play

The Downside of Stage-Based Play

Parents often look to developmental milestones as a guideline for their child’s growth and progress. However, it's crucial to understand that these milestones are not a one-size-fits-all measure. The CDC defines developmental milestones as "things most children can do by a certain age," with an emphasis on "most"​​. This means that while many children may reach these benchmarks, not all will do so at the same time or in the same way.

The Reality of Developmental Variability

Every child is unique, with their own pace of development influenced by a myriad of factors, including genetics, environment, and individual personality. For example, one child may walk at nine months, while another might not take their first steps until fifteen months. Both scenarios are perfectly normal and healthy. Emphasizing rigid timelines can create unnecessary stress for parents and caregivers.

The Limitations of Stage-Based Play Kits

Stage-based play kits are designed to align with specific developmental stages. While these can be helpful for some, they may not suit every child’s unique pace and interests. We believe that toys should meet children where they are, not where they are expected to be. 

Inclusivity and Adaptability in Play

At Solobo, we prioritize inclusivity and adaptability. Our toys are designed to be versatile, catering to a wide range of developmental stages and abilities. This ensures that all children can benefit from our products, regardless of their individual developmental timeline.

Why Flexibility Matters

  1. Encourages Individual Growth: Toys that adapt to a child's current abilities encourage confidence and independence. Children can explore at their own pace without feeling pressured to meet specific milestones.

  2. Supports Diverse Needs: Not all children develop skills in a linear fashion. Some may excel in motor skills while others might advance more rapidly in language or social skills. Flexible toys support varied growth patterns.

  3. Reduces Parental Stress: When parents understand that variability in development is normal, they can focus more on supporting their child's unique needs rather than worrying about fitting into a specific timeline.

Embracing Each Child's Unique Journey

Instead of focusing on stage-based play, our approach at Solobo is to create products that encourage exploration and learning in an inclusive environment. For instance, our Emotions Coin Drop is designed to help children understand and articulate their feelings, catering to emotional development at any stage. Similarly, our Uppercase Alphabet Puzzle aids in fine motor skills and cognitive development for ages 3 and up.


Developmental milestones provide a helpful framework, but they are not definitive measures of a child’s progress. It’s important to recognize that each child is on a unique journey, and their developmental timeline may not align perfectly with established milestones. At Solobo, we celebrate this individuality by offering toys that are adaptable and inclusive, ensuring every child can enjoy and benefit from our products.

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