Toys for Babies and Toddlers
With so many toys to choose from, buying the right ones can be confusing. Playing is an essential part of a baby's growth process and toys can help the baby further explore and learn about his or her environment. As a baby's mind grows, they start to learn to use their senses more and more. The right toys can help them use their senses to discover the world around them as well as help them develop essential skills and their natural abilities. When buying toys, you should always try to be age appropriate. Something too complicated for an infant will be useless. On the other hand, something too simple for a toddler may result with a bored kid.
Buying for their Age
At this age babies are trying to figure out their senses. Toys that stimulate senses are perfect at this stage. Musical and light up toys help develop and understand eyes and ears and are especially good in the first few months when the baby can't really grasp or hold on to anything yet. Be sure to select toys that are brightly colored and/or have high contrasts to help the baby distinguish between the colors. When purchasing musical toys, go for more soothing sounds. Sharp sounds can be painful for a baby's sensitive ears and can really get on a parent's nerves. When the baby starts learning to grasp objects, toys that are soft with rich textures are the best. Babies tend to like to squeeze or taste toys once they can hold them in their hands. Make sure that they can be put in the baby's mouth and have no small pieces that can be pulled off and are a potential choking hazard.
More For New Borns:
3 Months to 1 Year
At this point a baby is learning how to move around more. They can now sit up, crawl or even start walking and can start playing with toys in a variety of new ways. They can start to use more interactive toys that will help them start to move. Look for more complex, durable toys that will help them further explore their environment. If they are just sitting up stacking toys or toys with buttons to press are fun. Babies who are crawling or walking need toys that will move along with them, so push along toys are great. They are further developing all of their locomotive skills and need toys that will facillitate that.
More For 6 Months to a Year
1 to 2 Years
Your baby is now much more mobile and more curious about his or her surroundings. They are more energic and eager to discover, so they need toys that will keep them interested and entertained. Walks outside or playing in the yard are great for expending energy and exploring nature. They are working on their fine motor skills, so toys that help develop problem solving skills such as puzzles or stacking toys are great at this age.
More For 1 to 2 Years Old
Preparing for Preschool
At this stage, children are becoming much more independent and eager to try new things. They understand more about the world around them. Toys that help develop creativity or encourage them to use their imagination are great. At this point children have also started to notice what adults do and tend to want to mimick them. Toys that imitate adult activities such as cooking or taking care of an animal are very popular at this age. Additionally problem solving toys and toys that help develop hand-eye coordination are also good.