The Best Toys to Teach Your Baby
When we had our first baby, like every other first-time parent-to-be, we wanted the best of everything forher. Donâ€™t we all? Embarrassing to say, we bought them all; every last â€œcoolâ€ toy that was featured in every single parenting magazine.
As you can imagine, we amassed a huge collection of toys with all the bells and whistles pretty quickly. Itâ€™s quite embarrassing to think about now.
In fact, I was such a helicopter mom that people felt that they had to get their gifts pre-approved for birthdays and Christmas. This was nothing I ever stated. I never held a press conference and issued a decree, but people knew it was better to ask.
Each holiday, my daughters got the hottest â€œeducationalâ€ toy on the market. How a Tickle Me Elmo is educational, I donâ€™t know. For the life of me, I canâ€™t understand how I rationalized this. I blame the baby brain. It was, however, fun to watch the girls laugh at it, well, once they got past the sheer horror and fright of Elmo on the floor cackling.
So, I am here to stop you from buying all those useless toys. Unless, of course, you are a millionaire and you have nothing else better to do with your money, then go ahead with your bad self.
My first recommendation is that you think simple. The baby doesnâ€™t care about all of those bells and whistles, though they may look really cool to you, your child couldn’t care less.
At 0-3 months, a mirror is a wonderful toy for your baby. I wouldnâ€™t recommend a glass mirror, but there are several baby toys made with simple lightweight, reflective surfaces. Your child will be instantly drawn to the beautiful reflection in the mirror of herself. This is a great visual stimulation toy.
At 6 months old, try toys such as: soft balls, crinkle toys, stuffed toys and plush toys. These are engaging, teach spatial skills and offer a low danger warning.
At 9 months old, try stacking, sorting, and nesting toys. Also, children seem to be fascinated by human food. Duplo bricks, baby dolls and toys that require your child to crawl through tunnels are all great at this age. These toys encourage your baby to look, listen and touch.
At 12 months, try blocks, puppets, large wooden puzzle pieces, wagons, music, finger paint, crayons, toy kitchens and dolls with changeable clothes.
These toys may seem simple, there are no bells and whistles, but they teach your child about textures, differences. These toys teach our children the basics like building and putting things together. They teach nurturing, dexterity and agility.
These toys encourage your childâ€™s imagination and creativity. They may seem like they are so basic that they are obsolete, but you are taking for granted that they will arm your child with the tools to move forward on the most basic levels. We are not born knowing how to engage, to build and to know the difference between different materials. These are all things we learn along the way.
What was your babyâ€™s favorite toy ?
Photo Source: Pink Sherbet Photography