Via Mother Earth News, here are plans for 6 different toys for tots (32 months and less) along with developmental reasons for them. Some are incredibly simple, like this ‘tracking toy:’

trackingtoys.jpg

All include explanations linking your creation to the baby’s development. For the toy above:

1 1/2 to 3 months
The first three month’s of your child’s life involve critical brain development in visual recognition. Tracking tools help children this age learn to use both eyes to follow movement, which will help them become better readers, among other things.

A little more interesting (and a lot cheaper) than another stuffed animal!