Choosing age appropriate toys for your baby, or gifts for someone else’s, can be quite the dilemma. The best baby toys are usually determined by developmental needs and most often the toys are recommended in categories from birth to 6 months, followed by toys for 6 to 12 months.
Toys for babies are not just for fun, (that will happen anyway) they are about physical and mental development and our job as parents, or gift givers, is about choosing the right toy at the right time. Giving your baby age appropriate toys will help them to develop faster and fuller. Play time is about stimulating activities that will expand creativity as well as physical and cognitive growth. Sights, sounds, shapes and colors are all new and magic to your baby.
Understanding that up to 50% of a person’s adult intelligence is learned and developed in the first four years of life is the reason that parents strive so hard to get it right. By providing a wide range of experiences that incorporate sight, sound, taste and smell you will have done your job well. A wide variety of colorful and fun learning toys doesn’t hurt the cause either.
From birth To 6 Months, stimulation is the key.
- Activity centers that encourage your baby to reach and grasp
- Exposing babies to texture and sound items like rattlers and chewy teethers
- Soft and pleasing music to stimulate, or any pleasing sounds
- Colorful mobiles for the crib
Usually after 6 months it’s time to play “peek-a-boo” and to introduce soft and cuddly things like stuffed toys and favorite blankets. Because most babies will start to crawl during this stage, it is time to get them some push and pull toys which will improve muscle development, balance and encourage movement.
Anything that encourages motion is a good choice. If the toy incorporates some music and sound, that’s even better. This is a good age to start reading to your child using colorful and fun storybooks. They will provide hours of entertainment for you and the baby.
Shape sorters and building blocks are the “go to toy” now and for the next couple of years. A simple set of building blocks has the ability to grow with your baby as they develop and play with them in more creative and advanced ways.
Here Are Some Great Toy Choices For A Babies First Year
Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy
This colorful and easy to grasp music melody maker is for 6 months and up. It includes seven baby friendly classical melodies and has volume control. Your little one will want to take this colorful toy wherever they go.Fisher-Price W1392 Poppity Pop Musical Dino
The poppity pop musical dino combines colorful balls, silly sound effects and some fun tunes. It’s an action packed interactive toy for ages 6 months to 4 years. Balls pop out of the Dino and encourage your baby to crawl after it and build muscle, balance and cause and react activity.Fisher-Price Musical Mobile, Rainforest Peek-a-Boo Leaves
Perfect first gift for baby. Combines music and motion or a night light. Soft soothing music while a smiling dragonfly plays peek-a-boo. Babies get all the good stuff, it’s not fair. Comes with a remote to turn off and on, and also a timer for the music.Sassy Floor Mirror, Blue
Safe for baby mirrors are popular for the reason that babies are fascinated by them. They help with vision, touch and manipulation skills. This one offers textures and fun characters of ladybug and bee.Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Activity Toy
Perfect teething toy that is safe and BPA free. This is an award winning toy and is visually appealing to babies. Great and useful for birth to 24 months.Infantino Spiral Activity Toy, Blue
This toy can be used on strollers, cribs and car seats. It includes a peek-n-see mirror, clacker rings, textured fabrics and more. Great for motor skills because it is designed for batting and grabbing.VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker (Frustration Free Packaging)
This is a best seller for a reason. It is a multi-function learning toy that is not only interactive and fun but it is a sit to stand learning walker too. Lots of color and interactive activities featuring piano keys and over 70 sing-a-longs. Pretend telephone for role play and plenty of tasks to improve motor skills. This is a toy that will last and grow with your child. It is recommended for 9 months to 3 years of age.Lamaze Cloth Book, Peek-A-Boo Forest
This is a soft and interactive storybook. Each page has its own fun peek-a-boo flap for lots of laughs. This colorful and fun book is designed with little fingers in mind to make navigation easy.Playskool Busy Poppin’ Pals Toy
This is a toy that helps to build fine motor skills and coordination. The lever, beeper, key and switches are built to make it easy for little hands to operate. The built in handle makes it a great portable toy. Recommended for 9 months and up this will help with animal recognition and learning.Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Love to Play Puppy
No doubt about it. This Play Puppy is destined to be a favorite. This cuddly puppy will introduce your child to numbers,letters and colors as well as sing-a-longs to ten all time classic tunes. The puppies heart also lights up. This could be your best gift of all time.