Play is probably one of the best teaching method that you can use for your little ones. It does not only promote mental growth but as well as social and emotional development. It will not only strengthen your bond with them but will also allow you to introduce learning little by little.
I remember when my daughter was just a few months old I tried my best to get the best baby learning toys for her. Of course, with all the tempting products out in the market, it was such a hard decision for me to choose. In addition, I had to keep in mind that these particular toys are not cheap at all. So each decision that I will make must be logical and would assure long use.
That’s why I really took my time in researching and studying what particular type of toy is best for my baby according to her age. This was truly a lifesaver for me because I got to pick the right toys that can greatly help stimulate her learning and senses.
I know that you are thinking the same as me every time you stand in front of a baby store and starring for God knows how long at the wide array of toys available. Don’t get too overwhelmed by it though. You can get the right toy for your baby as long as you know what they need.
The infancy stage mostly revolve around tactile and oral satisfaction. This means that your baby, during this phase of their first year loves to hold things and put it in their mouths. With this in mind, you need to think of the possible baby learning toys that is appropriate for them.
Another thing to consider is that this is the time that they are staring to practice the use of their other sense. These senses include their hearing and visual stimulation. Basically, what you need to look for is a toy that can stimulate your baby’s primary senses namely their sense of touch, sight and hearing.
One of the toys that I decided to buy was a colorful teether/rattle all in one. It also has several shapes in lit that act like small jigsaw puzzles that my daughter can tinker and play with. It was an answered prayer to my worried self. Yes, it cost a little bit more than what I budgeted for, but she enjoyed it so much that it became her favorite thing up until she reached her first birthday.
Another learning toy that I decided to buy was jungle gym. The jungle gym is like a large, cushioned rug that has a variety of colorful tinker toys on top of it. The best thing about this product is that it exercises your baby’s motor skills. At the same time, the colors of the toy and the sound that they hear as they play with it allows to stimulate their sense of sight and hearing.
Mobiles found on to of cribs is one of the first toys that you have probably thought of buying and it is a good choice indeed. It does not only promote visual and hearing stimulation but it also encourages your little ones to stretch out and grab the hovering toys above them. It is also a great sleepy time companion because of the lullabies it produces.
Rattles are a must for newborns. It helps them with their gripping reflex and at the same time their visual, tactile and auditory senses. It can also double up as a teether as well.
These are soft and are to use for your little ones. Use these toys to tell stories with, play “peek-a-boo” or even make it your baby’s comfort item. Just makes sure to wash them frequently for your baby’s safety and health.
Now when your baby starts to grow into the latter parts of their first year, is when it gets a little trickier in choosing the right baby learning toys for them. They will more or less show interests in what they want to play with.
My little one had an obsession with stacking cups when she reached her eight month. She would giggle and squeal in excitement every time I stack the cups up in front of her. When she was able to grab each cup she starts to do it on her own. Amazingly, she had easily mastered it with just a few tries. The she would do it over and over again for the entire day.
Musical toys are also a good addition to your babies’ toys. It can go from drums that they can hit to make sounds or a piano with different sounds and colors. It also helps to give them some musical toys that teaches them numbers, alphabets colors and even animals and the sounds that they make.
There are a lot of walking toys that kids can use nowadays. Some even has popping balls enclosed in a globe that “pops every time the push the walker. These toys will encourage your little ones to walk with support and soon enough on their own.
Tinker toys are those that requires logical thinking and imagination form your little ones. It can be a puzzle or a “match the shape into the right hole” type of toy.
Toys are not the only learning tool that you can use for your baby. There are many other activities that you can do to help them develop their cognitive and fine motor skills. These are also the cheaper and more “mommy-baby bonding” type of teaching that you can give to your child.
One good example is audio stimulation. It can done by playing nursery rhymes or even make your own personal baby concert for just your little bundle of joy. Make sure that you create movements that your little ones can follow with ease. It also helps if you play around with the pitches of the song. You will be rewarded with smiles and giggles if you are able to get their attention with your performance.
Another choice is to play educational videos but make sure that it is limited to a certain acceptable time-frame. You can play songs and rhymes that teaches the ABC, number, colors and shapes. But if you are not a fan of screen time, you can go old school and use educational books instead.
There are many options when it comes to learning toys and methods but what you need to remember is that nothing can replace YOU. You are their best teacher, and trust me when I say that they learn more quickly if you take your time with them and teach them or play with them. Make these milestone moments memorable by bonding with your child while you play and educate them.
Of course before you would go to an all-out gift buying frenzy, you first need to know what you should check before purchasing it. It’s not enough that you pick what you think is appropriate. You need to examine it closely first. Here are tips on things to check before buying:
This is the most important factor that you must consider before buying a toy for a child. They tend to bite, lick and nibble on toys whenever they play with it. So it must be free from any chemicals and toxins.
Each toy has an “age appropriate” range labeled on its box or container. This can be your guide to know whether the toy that you will buy is suitable for your child’s age.
Childs play always involves throwing, smashing, hitting and kicking of the toy that they play with. So make sure that the toy you will buy can endure such activities. There is nothing worse than paying for something that gets broken with just one to two uses.
Kids love to chew and put their toys in their mouths. Sometimes, learning toys has detachable features. Make sure that each detachable part of the toy is big enough so your child will not swallow it. A smart tip that I can give you to know if the parts are big enough is if the toy won’t fit through a tissue paper carton roll.
Children can be picky, especially with the toys that they play with. So closely observe what activities catches your baby’s interest and those that they enjoy. It can be stacking cups, musical toys and the likes.
Pick toys that are colorful, movable and those that create funny sounds when used. These functions can help stimulate your child’s sense of sight, hearing and touch. In addition, movable toys can help them physically get stronger and ready for crawling and walking.
Now that you have all the need to know details for the right learning toy to buy, all you need to do is to carefully study and examine each and every toy candidate. Keep your toys safe and educational for your baby and at the same time, be resilient enough to last for years of use.
First time mom to a beautiful three year old daughter. I am very open to new, fun ideas and ways on how to take care of my child. I also believe that "kids are way smarter than what we give them credit for."