Your baby has come to this world and very soon will begin to explore the world around him. One of the best ways to let babies have fun and at the same time learn the various developmental aspects appropriate for their age is to give them fun toys that will enjoy playing with.
Toys not only provide great entertainment for babies, but also facilitate their mental growth and encourage development of motor skills. Age appropriate toys can also foster your baby’s social, emotional and problem solving skills. By actively engaging in making your baby play with his toys, you are also building a strong connect between you and your baby.
The right toys can help your baby achieve developmental milestones such as rolling over, crawling, walking, talking, etc. This article has detailed information on how to select age appropriate toys for babies from birth to 2 years. Read on to find interesting insights on how to buy toys that are best suited for your baby’s age.
When buying a toy for your baby it is important to read the manufacturer’s recommendation sighting the appropriate age at which the toy can be given to the baby. Buying a toy not appropriate for your baby’s age will make it too challenging for him to play with it. More importantly, if the toy is not age appropriate it can pose safety hazards in form of small parts that cause a choking hazard. Also, refrain from buying cheap plastic with sharp edges. Not only are such toys dangerous for babies, but the plastic can prove toxic. Always buy good quality toys from trusted stores when shopping for babies.
As a new born till the age of 3 months, your baby will be fascinated with sounds and sights. It may be a little too early for her to start grasping objects and play with them. Bright contrasting colors and soft music will captivate your baby the most during this period. Recognizing this, you must select and buy appropriate toys. A musical mobile that has dangling colorful toys and contrasting bright colored patterns on it will be ideal for a new-born baby. This will encourage your baby to focus on objects and he/she may even try batting at the toys of her preference. Besides the soft music of the mobile can soothe her and fascinate her. You can also buy soft books with colorful, bold and contrasting images. Lie down beside your baby and flip the pages so that she enjoys the colors and images.
As your baby completes 3 months of age, there will be many new things she would want to explore. Your baby may have learnt to grasp objects and reach out to objects. This is fun and exciting time to introduce new toys to your baby. An activity mat is ideal for a baby between 3-6 months of age. The bright colors of the activity mat and the various dangling toys on it can entertain your baby. Your baby will enjoy batting at the toys, trying to pull them, etc. If the activity mat has music and lights attached to it, this will be ideal as your baby will enjoy the colorful lights and have fun with the music. You can also give your baby an unbreakable mirror with smooth edges at this age. Your baby will enjoy looking at herself in the mirror and may even smile at herself.
As your baby completes 6 months of age, he/she will be much more mobile. He/she may be sitting up and even attempting to crawl or scoot. Her play will be much more energetic – she would have learnt to hold objects and pass it from one hand to the other. This is also a perfect time to play games with your baby that will actively involve you too. Since your baby now recognizes you, he/she will appreciate simple games such as hide-n-seek, etc. At this age, give your baby an activity board that has varied toys attached to it.
Ideally this board should have toys that teach your baby about “cause-and-effect”. For instance, the board must have toys that when rolled or rattled will make some sounds. This will enable the baby to know that her actions are having an effect and will encourage her to play more. Also, this is the time when most babies are teething. Give your baby colorful teethers that he/she can chew on. A developmental toy that encourages crawling such as moving puppy can help your baby crawl quickly.
Once your baby is about 9 months old he/she will be most likely crawling and practicing to walk. Give your baby some push toys that will help him learn to walk. This is also a wonderful time to play interactive games with your baby. Talk to him and watch him respond to you in his own way. You can also buy your baby a telephone toy as babies love to imitate what parents do. You can watch your little one babble on his own toy telephone!
Once your baby has crossed his/her first birthday there are whole lot of new toys you can introduce him/her to. These include building blocks and sorting toys. These toys will enable develop and sharpen your baby’s problem-solving and memory skills. He/she will enjoy building walls using colorful bricks and see them tumble. This is also the right time to introduce your child to book reading. By the time your baby is about 18 months, buy educational books that have colorful images denoting alphabets, numbers and animals.
Show these images to your baby and read out aloud the alphabet, number or animal-name. This is a fun way to introduce your baby to the world of education. When your baby reaches two years give her a box of crayons and a coloring book. Teach her to hold the crayons and do the coloring. This is a fun way to introduce your child to the world of books. Buy simple puzzles that will encourage your baby to learn new things such as names of animals, fruits, etc.