Walking into a toy store can bring forth feelings of childhood nostalgia for some parents, but bank account anxiety for others. Since toys are increasingly becoming more expensive, knowing the right toys for your child’s age and development is crucial. The next developmental series will discuss appropriate and productive toys for your child without breaking the bank. This week we will focus on ages 0-6 months.
Much of babies’ interactions and play are parent-based. Parents guide the child’s attention to something entertaining in order to receive a positive response. The child is observing and trying to make sense of their environment. Toys should be eye catching and amusing. Links of toy examples are provided below, but any variation of the toy would be fine!
* Nursery mobile: When a child is laying in a chair or crib, a nursery mobile spins above his/her head. Nursery mobiles can increase attention spans and vision focus.
* Ring stack: Ring stacks are a great way for children to observe how things fit together. At first, your child might watch it light up or play music. Then they will explore by taking off the rings and chewing on them. Eventually, your child will practice fine motor skills by stacking the rings themselves.
* Musical toys: Music awareness aids in developing auditory perception skills.
* Colorful texture balls: Infants tend to put everything in their mouths while exploring. These colorful balls are safe to put in their mouths while exploring new textures. During tummy time, put the balls within reach of the child, but far enough for them to start to reach.
Although toys are exciting, they can also be expensive. Here is a list of everyday objects that can be beneficial for this age group!
* Mirrors: Babies love mirrors. Facial expressions and body movements in a mirror can captivate them. As the child develops, they will understand they are the baby in the mirror, leading to self-awareness.
* Music: Music is a great tool to interact with your child. It can aid in communication, calm your child down, and even change their mood. Singing to your child is a great way to bond. Create your own instruments by filling a water bottle with rice and beans, or drumming on pots and pans.
* Homemade mobiles: As mentioned above, mobiles are great for increasing attention span, but they can become expensive. Make your own by attaching pom poms, pictures, or colorful fabric to a string. Then tie the end of the string to a clothes hanger. Make sure the mobile is out of the child’s reach and securely hung.
This series should be used as a suggestive guide when considering toys for your children. Toys should be used as an extra facilitator, but caregiver communication and interaction is the most efficient tool for child development.
2016 Moms' Picks: Best baby toys. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2016, from http://www.babycenter.com/best-baby-toys
Activities for Baby Using Household Items. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2016, from https://pathways.org/blog/activities-for-baby-using-everyday-household-items/
Smart Toys for Every Age. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2016, from http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/smart-toys.html?WT.ac=en-p-play-center-b#