A baby does not need much to be happy, but you can help him to be curious, competent and smarter.
While expecting my first baby boy, I had made a long list of toys that I thought must wait at home when he arrived. From everything I read, I was sure that from the first dayat home I need to start rattling and rustling, hang colorful mobiles and scatter on the playmat a variety of wheezing and rolling stuff so that he would not be bored for a moment.
I soon realized that it will take a little while before he will be interested in all this. Soon after I realized that he was actually more into wrappings and cloths buttons rather than into the toys themselves.
After I have specialized with three babies, I know that books, music and songs, talk, loving touch, human faces and closeness to animals are the things that every baby really needs. But there are also some toys that accompany the development of my treasures, step-by-step.
Here is the list of 10 developmental toys that will make your kids happier and smarter:
From about two weeks old, the baby begins to focus the gaze and then it is important to show him moving objects to help him improve tracking and focus. Many babies calm down when they watch a moving toy.
From the age of about 3 months the baby will start reaching out, and around the age of 4 months will begin to catch and bring the hands to the midline of the body. An arch with soft hanging toys, and suitable for the stroller, baby car seat, and bed, will accompany the baby until the age of at least half a year.
From the age of a month and a half, you should put your baby on the floor, so that he or she can develop the sense of orientation in space. From the age of two months, he will begin to practice recognizing the limits of his body, and slowly will begin to move and flip over.
A playmat is one of the products that will accompany the baby for the longest time in relation to infant toys. I like especially the playmat of Bright Starts 5-in-1 Play Activity Gym because it is multi-use, quite big, can be fenced and relatively protected from big-small siblings. It is also suitable for the outside, easily cleaned in the washing machine, and becomes a ball pit when the baby sits down.
At about 3 months of age the baby begins to realize that these things that are al the time moving just in front of him are connected directly to him. These socks and bracelets are suitable for the age of 3-5 months. The rustle and the figures that are passing in front of his eyes encouraging him to repeat the action, and leading him from random movement to creating a connection between his movement, sound, and his body movement.
Around the age of 3 months, the baby starts to put his hands in his mouth and learns to examine the world with his mouth. From about the age of 4 months, everything goes in here – the hands, the mother’s hair, the father’s shoes, the tail of the pet, and whatever happens on his way.
With a special structure and soft material that also rustles in motion, provide your baby with an interesting sensory experience – touching, holding, hearing and of course the oral experience he needs.
A mirror is another great way for your baby to explore and practice visual tracking. Your baby will try to reach out and touch the “baby” in the mirror, and eventually, he will discover that he is actually seeing his own face. Recognizing their reflection in the mirror is an important developmental stage.
You can also use the mirror to help develop your baby’s vocabulary. Point to the different parts of the face and name them.
The moment the baby is able to hold an object with both hands, around the age of 5 months, he likes to examine his surroundings and feel it in a variety of ways. Any object that moves between his hands and fingers and provides him with an interest will occupy him and develop his motor, sensory and cognitive abilities.
Manhattan Toy Grape Beads are being moved by the baby’s fingers while playing. It is a toy that challenges the baby and develops motor skills and curiosity. Also, I really love wooden toys.
From the age of 6 months the range of movement of the baby increases, and so his ability to move in space. Any ball will encourage him to move, but this specific ball is especially cute. It is soft, full of ribbons all over it that most babies just love, adorned with cute figures, and makes sounds that attract the baby to follow it.
Playing with dolls contributes to the understanding of the structure of our bodies, the recognition of the names of the organs and their location. It also gives the experience of touch and contact such as a hug, a kiss, and caress. Another very important developmental milestone is the role-playing game – dressing, bathing, feeding and more.
From about the age of 10 months, the baby is able to express feelings in a nonverbal way, and it is best to offer him a doll to strengthen these abilities. It is also worthwhile to offer dolls for boys, because the game develops empathy and the ability of the baby to express emotion in general.
Getting closer to the 1-year-old mark, your kiddo will have his first attempts at walking. This VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker is just great to encourage him doing so. But even before the first steps, this toy is just great. It’s interactive, combining learning, developing motor skills, creativity and great fun for the baby. It has music playing piano keys, colorful spinning rollers, shape sorters, buttons that light-up, and more.