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The toys we play with define our childhood, a period of discovery and baby-led exploration. From the time a baby's eyes are set on a twinkling rattle to when they spend hours on a block toy, building worlds in the span of one afternoon is when they make leaps and bounds in development.
The most precious of those countless toys on the market are educational toys, which engage a baby's ever-growing mind and heart. And so, it becomes vital for you to choose the right educational toys that help with development, considering the appropriate age.
With so many different types, designs, and options to choose from, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a new toy for your baby. But with the abundance of information on the importance of toys in child development, it's worth taking the time to find a toy that will fulfil your baby's developmental needs while keeping them entertained.
While a newborn cannot actively play with a toy right from the very start, they can still interact with the rattle that you enthusiastically shake in their faces. With eyes fixated on the colourful wooden rattle, your baby just crossed their first development milestone with your help!
As you surf through the endless list of best baby toys for a newborn's development, primarily a simple wooden rattle would suffice. Eye-tracking and the stimulation of their auditory senses are already more than enough for your babies, who have no use for the battery-operated car that someone bought on a whim.
When your child responds to your smile with one of their own, starts swinging at the mobile hanging at the top of the crib, they exercise their hand muscles and hand-curl as they bring the non-toxic toys to their mouth. Around four months of age, the importance of toys in an infant's life is to support them on their developmental journey without distracting them from the ‘work’ at hand, as the Montessori method emphasises. During this vital time in their lives, the age-appropriate toys for 4-month-old include everything they can grasp, kick, pull, and squeeze, all of which are provided with mobiles and rattles.
At six months, babies can sit up straight and start weaning. Start the journey of the same with a non-toxic wooden teether to soothe their developing gums. As they curl their hands around the teether and bring it to their mouths, gnawing away the ache, babies stimulate fine motor skills like hand-eye coordination. The age-appropriate toys for six-month-olds provide the best tactile stimulation with their sensory stimulant mouths.
Your baby is probably nine months old by the time their soft toy graduates to become their favourite companion. They’ve just started sitting without support, and at this prime time, an egg shaker would make the optimal gift to stretch their hand muscles and stimulate their auditory senses. While the soft toy will provide your baby with the emotional stability they need, the shakers will stimulate their auditory senses and urge them to crawl.
Hand them a pull-along toy when they stand without support for their one year around the sun. Motherese is an amazing concept and should be a staple in your home. Explain the actions, people, and alphabet out loud to your little one. Use bright, clear, non-toxic flashcards to introduce your baby to the elements of the world at large and expand their early vocabulary.
Kids learn the most while imitating. Act out their daily actions with their favourite soft toy to boost their cognitive growth while encouraging pretend play. Age-appropriate toys enable babies to comprehend the actions of their daily routine while creating a blanket of security around them. At eighteen months, let them explore peg puzzles, stackers, and books to grow in that sense of wonder, stimulating their imagination while learning cause and effect and problem-solving skills.
Terrible two’s, not so much. Engage your baby in activities and educational toys that support them in cultivating the skills they require to communicate their feelings better. Make good use of activity kits, building blocks, and other collaborative activities that will assist in forging a bond with your toddler while strengthening their emotional self-regulation, language, and motor skills.
For educational toys for babies, the options are practically endless! So, with the importance of age-appropriate toys in mind, BabyG has put together a glossary of the best toys for your child’s development, which will help you narrow down your choices and find the ones that are right for your baby.
Babies can only see so much clearer when they are born. Over the first six months of life, a baby's sight gradually improves. To build on this rapid growth in their vision, the high-contrast baby mobile is a great medium. When set at an optimum height, these age-appropriate toys for 3-month-olds help the newborn focus on high-contrast objects since their attention span is only limited.
Made with anti-bacterial wood, the mobile assists your baby in developing their concentration and perception of movements, shapes, and colours. As they grow, such toys for babies 0–3 months will work great to exercise their hand and limb muscles while trying to reach out to the toy.
Age: 1 Months +
A soft toy is a baby’s best friend and makes the best baby toys for newborns. From eating dinners together to practising brushing teeth, Miss English Rose sees it through. Soft toys are excellent companions to provide a sense of security for your infant. They are also a great source of tactile and fine motor stimulation.
The crochet doll is made with 100% cotton thread, so it is safe when infants first start exploring the toy with their tiny hands and mouths. Handmade by local women in rural parts of Punjab with love, the adorable doll has perfectly sized hands and limbs, ideal for your infant to curl their fingers around and pull them close.
Age: 1 Months +
Mirror Play is a fun activity to engage your baby in. It not only helps build self-awareness but is also a fantastic toy to explore during tummy time. Along with the constructive use of motherese and the Montessori Baby Mirror-Mickey, your baby will develop their visual senses and language skills.
Go ahead and describe to your infant the person in the mirror and how that person is them. Gradually, of course.
Age: 3 Months +
Teethers are a saviour when you have a fussy baby on your hands. This Duck Rattle Cum Teether is designed with beechwood and non-toxic cotton yarn crochet. Such age-appropriate toys provide your baby with a safe and soothing experience for their sore gums.
Being an open-ended toy, your infant can teethe while practising their fine motor skills like hand-eye coordination while stimulating their auditory senses with the crotched rattle.
Age: 3 Months +
As your baby develops, shakers are one of the best age-appropriate toys for a 3-month-old that you will want in your baby’s nursery. Made in India by skilled artisans, the wooden egg shaker is filled with organic beans that stimulate your little one's auditory and tactile senses.
Bring it out on a trip to the mall or when the baby sits upright to urge them to grab the shaker and develop their visual and auditory acuity.
Age: 3 Months +
One stack after another of the Magical Unicorn Rainbow Ring Stacker acquaints your baby with the world of colours as they practise their motor skills. Such bright and eco-friendly toys allow them to explore spatial elements while learning the basics of shape-sorting and counting.
Since the rings are non-toxic wood, it is perfectly safe for your child to curl their fingers around and attempt to pile them up.
Age: 9 Months +
Puzzles are amazing developmental toys for your baby to interact with. Every pincer grasp they practise with the peg puzzle forms the basis for their future education. This Wild Animals peg puzzle not only brushes up their problem-solving skills but also introduces cool concepts like same, different, in and out.
Considering the importance of toys in a child's life, make sure to make the most of such puzzles that provide a great bonding opportunity for adults. And as you do, explain the animals, colours, and shapes to your little one with the use of motherese.
Age: 18 Months +
Get started on that early STEM education with these Beech Wood Building Blocks and 53 Flashcards. At their core, blocks function as open-ended toys, which leaves a variety of possibilities that your baby can experiment with as they explore. Boosting their creativity and imagination, every block they pick up strengthens their fine motor skills, like pincer grasp and hand-eye coordination.
This set of safe but simple activities also includes flashcards that introduce your baby to mathematical concepts like addition, substation, multiplication, and division.
Age: 24 Months +
No two kids are the same, and it's essential to cater to their unique developmental needs. The right age-appropriate toys for a baby's development can help your little one learn and grow.
Once you understand them, you're good to go. And if you need help, BabyG is here for you. Happy Parenting!