With so many toys on the market it can be overwhelming to know what toys make the best first toys. New parents tend to go overboard because they want their baby to have the best of everything. Something you may want to consider is over stimulating them. Most importantly, you want to make sure the toys are age appropriate.
In the early months babies are drawn to things that are bright or high in contrast. They haven’t developed motor skills yet so they absorb everything through sight, making a crib mobile a great first toy. Also musical toys are great early on as many of them flash bright colors to go along with the music.
By 8-10 weeks rattles, soft plush toys (no beading, all stitching), and soft balls can be great. Just remember that whatever they get ahold of is going to end up in their mouths at some point.
By the age of 5 months a cloth mats with interactive elements are a great toy. It allows them to gain strength in their arms and legs to help them get ready to crawl.
Teething toys become a lifesaver around 6 months. They begin exploring everything by sticking it in their mouths. Cutting teeth is another reason they are vital at this stage in their development.
When they have control over their heads walkers can be a lot of fun. At the same point exersaucers and jumpers is fun and offer a lot of interaction with toys that aren’t going to get away from them. These are all great exercise for them as well.
When they are starting to sit up on their own push toys are great. It teaches them cause and effect as they push and pull on them. Balls and nesting (stacking) toys are wonderful as well at this stage.
Be sure to remember in your toy buying that they will all end up in the mouth. Make sure that there aren’t any choking hazards with the toys. There are 200,000 toy related injuries and around 15 deaths every year.
By the age of one year push toys are a must have. They are learning to walk and explore and a push toy can make their unstable walking a little easier. This I s also a great age for shape sorting toys. It aids in their hand eye coordination. To aid with language development a toy phone is perfect.
Around the age of two babies like to have more active play that allows them to test their skills such as jumping, throwing, and climbing. Play gym in the backyard is highly beneficial at this age. It allows them to test their abilities while having fun. Balls, puzzles, and make believe props are also great tools for their development.
Around the age of three, toddlers like interactive play with other children. They also enjoy pretending to be grown up at this stage. Dress up clothes are great for their imagination and development. Tricycles and bicycles are also a great form of exercise at this age.
There are many toys that help your child develop in a healthy way. Many toys are both educational and fun. So get out there and have a little fun with your little one.