The growth and development of your child are incredibly important, so if it’s possible to make that type of learning fun, then it’s so much the better! There are numerous baby toys out there, all designed to help your little one grow and develop in the proper ways and at a variety of price points and sizes for babies of all age ranges. Some are small enough to fit into a diaper bag, while others are larger and need to stay home. All of these toys have one thing in common, though – they can make learning fun!
So, let’s dive into some fun baby toy options for your precious little one, so they can start learning while they grow.
Grasping toys are designed to allow your child to do exactly what the title implies – grasp objects. They often have handles (some are textured) on either side, although some consist of multiple thin bars all wrapped together, allowing the baby to grasp and turn the toy. These toys allow your baby to explore what it's like to use their hands and touch things, which helps their fine motor skills develop.
When choosing a grasping toy, make sure to look for the following:
When your little one is teething, there's nothing quite like a teething toy that soothes. Although these toys are designed for a specific purpose – soothing their gums and making the process of breaking a tooth through them less miserable – they also help your baby's development. How? The sensations produced by placing one of these rings in their mouth help prepare them for the food they'll be eating later on. In addition, the cool feeling of the ring and any ridged or bumpy surfaces create tactile sensations when babies hold them in their hands.
Some suggestions for choosing a teething ring include:
Play mats are incredibly fun. They lay flat on the floor and contain numerous things to keep your baby entertained for quite some time. Since you have to conduct supervised tummy time with your baby every day in order to help strengthen their muscles and get them used to the position, why not place them on a play mat and do two things at once?
A good play mat is more than just something that lies on the floor and provides a soft place for your baby to lay. Instead, these toys consist of plenty of activities, from rings to pull on to mirrors to look at. Because of this, they help your child's development in more ways than one.
Here are a few things to look for in a play mat:
There's nothing more classic than a baby rattle. Who doesn't have at least one on their shower registry or received one for a gift, despite listing it on there? A rattle is something that is guaranteed to keep baby busy for a while, without making all of the noise of an electronic toy (more on those shortly) that will make mom or dad nuts. These rattles come in an array of different styles and sizes, and the noise, colors, and movements provoked by them will help your child with their development.
In order to choose the best rattle for your little one, consider the following:
We've already mentioned just how important it is for your baby to experience different textures. Buying toys that are designed for this very purpose is one way to help give them a tactile experience that helps them develop in the right manner. A texture toy can be anything from a puffy, padded baby book that has felt, fake fur, and slightly rough patches on its pages to a larger board filled with fun things for your baby to touch and play with.
Wondering how to choose a texture toy? Here are a few ideas:
Now, here are some toys that can really help your child's development, even though you might complain about them. While the movement toys aren't really the problem – the noise-making ones tend to be. These particular toys are electronic, need batteries to operate, and often make a ruckus. However, your child will likely enjoy them and actually learn from them, simply because they make noise (but those sounds often grate on a parent's nerves).
The other type of toys mentioned here, the movement ones, usually consist of wheels or a series of things that move, such as small rings on a rod set into a frame, similar to an abacus. These toys move around on demand, and your child will delight in pushing them, moving their parts, and enjoying the tactile sensations that are built into them.
How should you choose these toys? Keep these things in mind:
If a single toy can help your child's development, then a variety is always better. When buying toys for your little one, think of their purpose. Do you think that they'll help your child with fine or large motor skills? If it fits into one of the categories on this list, then yes, it definitely will. All of them will positively affect your child's development.
Also, since each toy serves a different purpose, it's always a good idea to have more than one type on hand, in order to ensure their development is well-rounded. Plus, let’s be honest, babies get bored! So, a variety of toys will keep them entertained, learning, and developing!