Play is so crucial to the development of a child and finding the right baby toy is just as important. Toys help in the social, mental, and even motor development of a young child. They’re not just for entertainment or for keeping your baby preoccupied. That’s why the kind of toys you choose would greatly impact them.
But it’s also important to remember to actually play with your child and not just leave them with their toys. Depending on their age and the phases they’re going through, here are some development-boosting games to play with your baby. When taking your baby outside, here are some of the best baby carriers that you can use to ensure his safety and your comfort.
So how do you know which toys to pick for your little one? Our list is made up of the most diverse options with great educational advantage for your child.
Our Pick: Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy
Number one on our list is the Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy. This is a musical toy that features 7 classical melodies for babies. It has a colorful caterpillar handle that’s easy to grasp with small hands so your baby can take it along anywhere. This toy promotes auditory development and music appreciation. There are also colorful lights that dance on the screen to every song.
Each song runs for about 20 minutes, keeping your baby entertained and engaged. Older babies will appreciate this toy, from about 5 to 6 months and up.
Runner Up: Nuby Octopus Hoopla
Second on our list is the Nuby Octopus Hoopla. The set includes one colorful purple octopus with tentacles and 3 rings to toss around the tentacles. Included rings are also colorful and have nice playful designs. Its fun colors and shapes will stimulate your baby’s senses. The toy floats in water to make bath time or pool time more fun. It’s great for your child’s hand to eye coordination.
This baby toy is recommended for babies 18 months old and above. It’s BPA free so it’s safe for your child even if he puts it in his mouth. This is great for encouraging fun and creative play for babies.
The Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Rock-a-Stack is also a great option. It introduces the concept of stacking and relative sizes in objects. The set includes five colorful rings that your child can grasp and stack. It helps your baby learn to differentiate among colors and sizes of rings. The top ring has a shiny reflective surface and its inside has swirling and rattling beads which make sounds so it’s more entertaining.
The base has a rocker design so it gently moves while your child is trying to stack the rings, making it more fun and challenging. Its rings are colorful and shiny.
If your little one is starting to learn how to hold and connect things, the Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks is a good choice. Your baby can sort and stack the blocks to learn how to identify and match different shapes. It has 10 colorful blocks that are easy to grasp with tiny hands and he can store them inside the bucket. The lid has five different shapes to help build identification skills.
The bucket has a carry handle so your child can take it along to have fun anywhere. This baby toy is a great interactive aid which you and your baby can play together.
Another great alternative is the Fisher-Price Rattle and Rock Maracas Musical Toy. This will help your baby develop some basic skills. The colorful rattle beads, sounds, and soft pom-pom texture will help stimulate their senses. He will also develop motor skills while shaking the maracas. This will interest your child to grab, shake and drop the rattle. This is a pair of two colorful maracas with fun designs.
It’s just the right size for tiny little hands. The baby toy will strengthen your child’s sensory and gross motor skills. It’s fun to play with at home or when you are traveling.
An affordable but also fun and great quality toy is the Sassy Developmental Bumpy Ball. This toy offers a variety of textures to help develop his tactile sensitivity as he matures. It will also help in his cognitive development. The toy has multiple textures and materials to engage your baby and teach him about variety. Its chunky sized bumps encourage him to reach, grasp and transfer the toy from one hand to the other.
It makes gentle rattling sounds to create neural connections in your baby’s brain. The bright colors and bold patterns are visually appropriate for your child’s developing vision.
How to Choose the Best Baby Toy
While baby toys should be fun, they should also be age appropriate and help stimulate your child’s mind. Most of all, they should be safe. If you’re giving him electronics, make sure to be reminded of these reasons to limit the use of electronic toys.
Creativity and Spontaneity
Simple toys are really the best toys for the development of your child. It’s great if the toy has many features like different textures and sounds but they should be simple enough to encourage him to be creative. This will enhance his imagination as he plays.
Music and Sounds
Babies love toys that make sounds and music. This greatly enhances the stimulation in their brains. Choose toys that make different sounds so your child will be curious and try to do things on his own to hear those different sounds. This will also help him in distinguishing differences.
The baby toy should offer different textures to help with your child’s tactile development. Let him experience touching soft and rough surfaces.
Different Shapes and Sizes
You should also give your baby toys that let him distinguish between different shapes and sizes. This will help him develop his motor and cognitive skills.
Your baby’s vision is also developing so it’s important to choose a baby toy that is visually stimulating as well. Choose patterns and designs that are fun and colorful to keep your child interested.
You also have the option to pick electronic toys but it’s important to remember to put a limit on these as too much electronics can also be harmful to babies.