Today's favorite product is a wooden Pop Up Toy.
I absolutely love this toy for its simplicity. There are four cylinders that have hidden springs on the bottom so your preemie can push each one down and then watch it pop back up again. I was amazed at how much time my son spent playing with this toy. Beyond the concept of cause and effect, it is also a great toy for teaching colors.
Ways to encourage development with this toy:
1) Cause and Effect - show your preemie how to push the cylinder down and then have him/her watch as it pops back up again. Help your preemie the first few times and then let him/her do it on his/her own once the concept is understood.
2) Fine motor skills - Once your preemie has figured out how to push the cylinder down, encourage him/her to use just one finger to push the cylinder. This will help him/her learn how to point and to isolate one finger to do something.
3) Colors - As your preemie gets older and starts to notice colors, this can be a great first toy for teaching different colors. Point out and talk about each color. Say a color and then push down the matching cylinder. As your preemie starts to get the concept you can ask him/her to do the same.