We are currently at a crossroad when it comes to toys.
Today, parents are much more likely to give their kids mobile devices instead of letting them explore the surrounding world. This is a serious issue as it can affect their development. In fact, lots of parents are disinterested in their child’s development and are prepared to take the easy way out.
Needless to say, infants need a hands-on approach. You need to work with them all the time and this is the only way for them to properly develop senses, brain and motoric functions.
Toys play a great part of this whole story. Of course, there are certain toys which are completely redundant and even counterproductive (such as electronic devices) and will do more harm than benefit. This is why you need to differentiate between them and understand what type of a function each toy performs and when to give it to a child.
Here are some of the most important developmental toys and how they can help your baby.
The most important function of any toy is forcing a child to move around, use its muscles and interact with its environment. The worst thing is for a child to be constantly entertained not having any desire to move around.
Even though parents may think that toys are crucial for the newborns, it isn’t actually so. Small babies cannot recognize colors until 3rd month. Instead, they are attracted to complex patterns and moving objects. In that sense a balloon can be as entertaining as some complex toy.
All you need during this initial period is an activity mat where you can position baby each day. Surrounding baby with various items can be also beneficial as it will force it to move around but the best thing you can do is communicate with them.
From 3rd to 6th month
During this period babies are still developing for the most parent and cannot differentiate much between toys. However, it’s important to introduce as many colorful items as possible as well as various patterns.
Your baby will slowly start exploring its environment and especially its body so don’t be surprised if they spend what seems like hours looking at their feet or hands.
A mobile can be very beneficial during this period especially if a baby spends lots of time in its crib. You may also consider rattles and music toys. Grabbing toys are especially great as they allow baby to develop their motoric functions.
From 6th to 12th month
At this point baby will start crawling around but will be much more demanding in terms of toys. Old basic toys will not be enough and you will be forced to provide some better and more quality entertainment.
You might consider getting some picture books and you can start reading to your little one. Various plush toys can also be great as well as toys with buttons that create sounds and colors.
Again, the most important thing is for you to take an active role in baby’s development and ideally, they should start walking when they reach 12 months. Similarly, they should start communicating with you either verbally or non-verbally and reacting to your behavior.
From 12 months
When baby reaches 12 months they will likely start walking around. Make sure to isolate the room but also provide enough space so that they can move around. Walking aids are great at this point as baby should move as much as possible.
You can also start buying more complex toys such as cups and cubes that will allow baby to learn more about dimensions allowing them to develop their brain.
From 2 second year on
While you may think that the worst is over and that your baby has developed just fine, it’s still necessary to provide quality toys that will keep your infant engaged until they start attending preschool and kindergarten.
Role playing sets are great; kitchen items, doctor’s kit and everything else can help develop imagination. Toddlers will also want to be more creative so you might consider getting some crayons. At this point, your child needs to learn more about responsibilities so it would be good if you bought them a reborn baby doll. A great place to start, which offers cheap prices and free shipping, is Reborn Dolls for Sale.
Needless to say, boys are crazy about cars during this time so this is something you might consider as well.
With these basic tips your baby will start developing just fine.
Always remember that human interaction is perhaps the best thing you can provide for your child. So, make sure to do your part as well!