These 10 Toys Can Give Your Baby A Huge Step Up In Learning And One Company Has You Covered For All Of Them
This story was produced in partnership with Lovevery.
Its true that babies spend most of their time eating and napping, but dont let the simple baby lifestyle fool you theres actually a ton of neurological activity going on behind the scenes that has lifelong implications, and a lot of how they develop comes down to the way they play .
Seriously, at birth, the 100 billion nerve cells in the brain are mostly unlinked. And in the first three years of life, babies develop a network connecting them that establishes the baseline for their intelligence throughout life. Child development experts have found that the more you expose babies to how the world works in those early years, the richer their neural networks become.
Not that you needed more stress in your life, but it seems that baby toys arent just cute stuff for parents . Which poses the question: Which toys will actually help your baby get the learning they need in that first year? Heres our list of the top 10 things to buy for that play to learn lifestyle .
1. Black and White Cards
2. A Really Good Rattle
3. A Hand-to-Hand Transfer Disc
4. A Ball
6. The Object Permanence Box
7. The Magic Tissue Box
8. An Activity Gym
9. First Book
10. A Simple Doll
The Best Toys For Older Babies
Toys that encourage your baby to explore and gain mobility are ideal for this age. And yes, at this age, you can expect the toys to get noisier, but the sensory stimuli are very important at this age.
Some of the best toys for older babies include:
- Blocks or stacking cups
- Push walkers
- Toy musical instruments
And even with all the bells and whistles that some toys have, your role in playing has not diminished, and your little one will have a blast playing with you or alongside another child.
So, when do babies start playing with toys? In short, they might not start playing independently until 4 months and older, but as you can see, every age has its own set of toys that are safe, fun, and even educational. From the newborn phase to the early toddler months, you can always find toys and books that your little one can enjoy.
Wee Gallery Organic Cotton Crinkle Toy 14
Great for scrunching
Age suitability: From birth | Batteries: None
What it is: A big cotton leaf printed with high-contract black and white patterning and filled with crinkle paper.
Why we love it: We love its generous size and the lovely crinkling sounds it makes when you touch and scrunch it. Our smallest baby testers were mesmerised by the monochrome patterns, while the older babies enjoyed the crinkly sensory play that comes with grabbing and waving and holding it.
About the author
Helen Brown is Deputy Editor of MadeForMums, the author of Parenting for Dummies and the Head Tester for our MadeForMums Toy Awards. She has written about parenting for Mumsnet, Pregnancy & Birth, Prima Baby, Boots Parenting Club and She Magazine and shes also been Consumer Editor of Mother & Baby. She has 3 boys and a heavy-duty washing machine.
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In No Particular Order
These are the best toys for babies . This list is not just for babies! Because these toys grow with your child, many of these items are loved by children years older.
Busy Toddler is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Many of the following links are to products on Amazon. Read more about these links in my disclosure policy.
The Importance Of Play And Toys For Puppies
You might think that the only cause for buying your puppy toys is to keep them away from your shoes , but theres much more to it. While the fun definitely makes up for a big part of playtime, play and toys actually have a far greater significance for dogs than pure entertainment. For puppies, playing helps them develop important life skills and socialize, as well as serve as a great learning opportunity about boundaries and which behaviors and actions are OK and which are not.
Even when they are just a few weeks old, puppies start playing with their mom and littermates, and it helps build their confidence and gain social skills. It doesnt take long before puppies start expressing interest in playing with toys, and most start really enjoying it when theyre about a month old. Toys that they can nibble on, balls they can learn to bring back to you, and different simple yet entertaining games and toys are a good choice for a young puppy. Now is the time to teach them how to play fetch or to gently correct them if they are too aggressive in their play since theyll be soaking up everything like little sponges. As they grow bigger, they will be able to have fun with puzzles and interactive toys that will challenge their minds and help them develop logical skills and occupy their mischievous selves at the same time.
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How To Play With A Newborn
During the first few months, your newborns biggest source of entertainment is the people around them. At this age, you play a major role in your babys playtime. The sound of your voice and your face close by capture your babys attention more than any other stimuli in the room. When your baby hears your singing or talking, dont be surprised if they turn their head to try to find you if youre not within immediate sight. Since your babys vision might still be somewhat blurry during those first days, your face will be the first they recognize.
Sophie La Girafe Teether 1499
Great for sore gums
Age suitability: From birth | Batteries: None
Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2021
What it is: A soft, lightweight, 100% natural-rubber 17cm-high giraffe teething toy that you can grab, wave, squeak and chew.
Why we love it: Sophies design has remained unchanged since 1961 and thats simply because you dont mess with a toy thats entranced babies for generations and consistently soothed their sore gums. We love that Sophie is so easy to hold, and her squeaks, contrasting colour and spots make her endlessly fascinating to very little ones. Emma, mum of our baby tester David, 7 months, said, He loves Sophie! He gets very excited when he sees her and loves to hear her squeak. When it comes to teething, I would pay a lot of money for a product that works. And this product works! David is able to hold it and chew on it and it seems to give him relief.
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Manhattan Toy Baby Whoozit 1099
Great for little fingers to explore
Age suitability: From birth | Batteries: None
What it is: A 7-legged 13cm x 8cm x 25cm beanbag friend with a squeaky red nose and a big smiley face.
Why we love it: Its small enough to tuck into your changing bag but the Whoozits BIG on baby entertainment with loads of differently patterned and textured fabrics to see, touch and feel, and a little mirror hidden behind his nose. Our 5-month-old tester Olivers mum loves the dangling legs with different shapes on the end, and the little Velcro strap that lets you attach the toy to your babys car seat or pushchair.
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What Is An Appropriate Toy For A Newborn
Good toys for young infants:
Things they can reach for, hold, suck on, shake, make noise withrattles, large rings, squeeze toys, teething toys, soft dolls, textured balls, and vinyl and board books. Things to listen tobooks with nursery rhymes and poems, and recordings of lullabies and simple songs.
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How Can I Help My Newborn Learn
As you care for your newborn, talk, smile, and interact with your baby. Pay attention and respond to your baby’s cues. For example, watch how your baby moves or starts to coo back when you speak. Take turns “talking” to each other. This is how your baby learns to communicate.
In the first few weeks, you may want to introduce some simple, age-appropriate toys that appeal to the senses of sight, hearing, and touch, such as:
Seek Out Toys That Encourage Your Child To Be Active
Toddlers are doing all kinds of physical tricks as they are stronger and more confident with their bodies. Your job is to be an appreciative audience for your little ones newest playground achievement! Look for toys that help your child practice current physical skills and develop new ones.
- Examples: Balls of different shapes and sizes, tricycles or three-wheeled scooters , plastic bowling sets, child-size basketball hoop, pull-toys , wagon to fill and pull, gardening tools to dig and rake with, moving boxes to make tunnels to crawl through
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Asleep Active Or Alert
During the first month of life, your newborn will spend much of the day sleeping or seeming drowsy. Over the next several weeks to months, your baby will be awake and alert for longer periods of time. You’ll learn to recognize when your baby ready to learn and play:
- A baby who is quiet and alert will be attentive and responsive and interested in surroundings.
- A baby who is awake but active or fussing is less able to focus on you. The baby may seem upset or cry when you try to get his or her attention. These are signs that your baby may be getting hungry, tired, or overstimulated.
Playmats Or Play Gyms
First babies might just watch hanging toys or rattles with their eyes. They may see their toy move and be interested in where it is moving to, following it carefully with their eyes side-to-side. You may see them move their arms and bat at the dangling toys. Your little baby needs tummy time and play gyms are perfect for that.
Tummy time helps babies to build strength in their muscles in their neck and arms. They will use this control later on for other motor skills like crawling and even talking. The best tummy time toys often include small curved pillows for babies to be placed under their arms while they are on their belly to make it more comfortable.
Not all babies like tummy time at first. Do not be afraid and be the toy! Lie down on your belly, opposite your baby and sing songs or talk to them. There is nothing more motivating than seeing a family member’s face and hearing your voice while you encourage them.
The Spruce / Leticia Almeida
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Best Toys For Newborn Babies Development
Your newborn might look super-relaxed in his swing or bouncer, but its important to work in opportunities for movement throughout his day. While its easy to assume that our squishy newborns just need a cozy spot to lounge and watch the world go by, what they really need is time and space to wiggle, stretch and strengthen their bodies in order to master those mini-milestones of early development, Coley says.
One of the biggest developmental milestones for a newborn in the first month is stretching out of the curled-up fetal position they grew so used to in the womb. Babys muscles are loose and floppy in this first month but will develop more muscle tone in the second month, Coley says. While his movements are largely dominated by infant reflexes at this point, many of those are setting baby up for tummy time success.
How To Tell If Your Baby Likes A Toy
Many parents will tell you their babies came into the world with a distinct personality. It’s true. Babies and young children aren’t a blank slate, like many people once believed.
They have preferences for certain objects and activities, and you can see it very early on, even in infancy.
Whenever you introduce a new toy or activity, carefully watch the way your baby responds to it. By tuning in to your baby’s reactions, you’ll develop a sense for the things that your baby, as an individual, enjoys.
At this age, if your baby likes a toy, they will focus on it and reach for it.
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What Is A Tummy Time Pillow
This Activity Pillow is designed for practicing tummy time. Simply pop your baby on their tummy and let them use it as a soft support to roll about on. Tummy time helps your little one develop strong neck, arm, core and leg muscles and develops co-ordination so theyll be ready for crawling and walking.
Toys For Babys First Year
July 9, 2012 by christiekiley
Is it not completely overwhelming how many toys are available for little babies?! How is a parent to know which ones are good and which ones are a waste of money? Yes, every baby has different likes and dislikes, so just because your little one goes ga-ga over a certain toy doesnt mean mine necessarily will. But isnt there a way to narrow down the choices?
As a mom who is nearing the end of babys first year and as an occupational therapist who is always looking for toys that will promote childrens overall development , I decided to take a look at todays popular toys and create a list for you.
Here were my criteria in making this list:1. The toy must serve at least two different purposes. Toys are expensive and we want to get the most bang for our buck, right?2. The toy must be relevant for at least 3 months of babys life. Babies go through phases in what catches their attention, so we want toys that will outlive those fleeting interests.3. The list as a whole must cover all major developmental skills babies are expected to acquire in the first year of life. As a bonus, the list should also include some toys that can be used even after their first birthday. Hows that for money-saving?
Alright, here we go!
1. Baby gym
Developmental skills encouraged: tummy play, rolling, midline play on back or in sitting, reaching, grasping, hand-eye coordination, depth perceptionApproximate age relevant: 0-12 months
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Why Do You Need 8
While it’s normal for your 8-month-old to want to be engaging with you most of the day, it’s also normal for you to need a break. Between the demands of breastfeeding, juggling sleep schedules, and providing for the day-to-day care needs of your infant, it can get a little overwhelming, and supplying your baby with toys gives them a chance to explore the world on their own in a safe way, as well as giving you the opportunity for a few minutes to yourself.
Having toys for an 8-month-old around can help them develop their senses, motor skills, and ability to interact with others, as well as entertain themselves alone.