What Are the Best Educational Toys for Babies?
While it’s true that babies are not capable of doing so much but that should not be the reason for not letting them play with educational toys at an early age. As a matter of fact, it is never too early to provide babies with early learning toys.
Learning resources such as toys, experiences and fun activities help infants reach new milestones in their lives. Most especially if these will bring about transformations and help develop the baby.
With so many toys available on the market, choosing the right toys for your baby can be a bit difficult. Fortunately, most toy makers make it easy for parents to make decisions by labeling their toys appropriately. As parents, we want nothing but the best for our babies and we want to maximise their learning potential as much as possible. However, our kids safety should always be our priority. That said, toys with lots of bits and pieces and detachable parts should be avoided because they are potential choking hazards. As babies are still too young to play with puzzles, building blocks and the like, it is recommended to buy age-appropriate toys. These toys are helpful and categorized according to the baby’s age.
Newborn to 12 Months Babies
Babies at this age do not do much except for latching on, sleeping and excreting bodily waste. However, they need the time and space to stretch out and strengthen their body like tummy time. This is one part of the early development for babies: the need to wiggle out and ‘expand’. As newborn babies can only do limited movements with their body, they are attracted to sounds, black and white objects of high contrast and your face.
During the first month, a baby’s muscle is not toned and strong but as he/she grows, it will start to tone and strengthen. Tummy time is also vital at this stage which is ideal as the baby can stretch out of the fetal position and great for introducing educational toys. These toys can help solidify their sensory senses.
And as they progress to 6 months, he/she may be able to raise his/her shoulders and chest. Or roll a few times on his/her own. As a prep time for sitting position and crawling, he/she will begin to press up. At this stage also, the visual sensory is stronger.
Beginning at 9 months, babies will start to grasp things and objects using their thumb and index finger (known as the pincer grasp). This month is also the stage where babies have already memory recall. he/she will be able to understand simple instructions.
At 12 months, the baby could already be walking. He/she may already grasp on toys that they can push and pull. They may also be riding on toys and may be attracted to blocks.
Here are the best educational toys for babies:
- Auditory toys - These toys help develop a baby’s sense of hearing. It is actually the hearing that is the first to mature. Toys that have emit music and sound will help babies to stimulate their auditory senses. These toys are even calming for a fussy baby. Even without a toy, your voice can be an excellent substitute. Do this by singing or talking to your child.
- Soft Dolls - Soft dolls are also newborn-safe and ideal. Rubens Barn Newborn for example are suitable for babies because they are made from safe materials. The soft dolls are perfect to stimulate the child's tactile sensory.
- Rattles - Rattles are perfect toys for babies because of the solid and vibrant colors that will capture his attention. The sound that it will emit is also great for the hearing.
- Teether - Teethers are perfect since babies will love to learn to grasp and ease their sore gums. Wooden teethers are fantastic as they are safe and colorful.
- Activity Cube - This educational toy is perfect for babies because it has everything that will help stimulate the senses. The bold and vibrant color will solidify a baby’s visual.
- Activity Table - This is perfect as an educational toy because of the variety of things that babies can do. There’s a sorting game, push buttons, musical keys and many more.
- Push/Pull Toys - A duck with a string and wheels or a vehicle toy is perfect in stimulating the child’s gross motor skills.
- Ride on Toys - These toys will help babies strengthen their leg muscles, gross motor skills and explore independence.
- Building Blocks - Chunky building blocks are perfect for babies as they can exercise their ability to grasp things and improve their fine motor skills.
- Activity Walker - This educational toy is also wonderful because of the many activities that babies can do while pushing and pulling along.
There is no right age to start introducing toys to babies. Even from birth, toys can already help a child’s sensory system to be stimulated. The need to monitor our baby at all times is a must in order to provide him/her with the right learning material.
RELATED: What Are the Best Educational Toys for Toddlers?