While every baby develops at their own pace, you can encourage growth, create a closer bond, and help them get them in touch with their environment through these fun activities and toys.
Age 0-6 months
Remove overhead toys, which over-stimulate new-borns, and position other toys on the edge of the mat to encourage tummy time and outstretched hands.
This can become a soothing companion. Bonus points: Get a baby-proof mirror and show your baby her reflection, then your own, then a stuffed animal’s. This helps with visual, social and emotional development.
Toys that make sounds
Hearing is one of the earliest senses to mature. Playgro’s Jungle Squeaker soft toy is the best of both worlds – soft and noisy.
This will help baby practice grasping. Try the easy-to-grasp Clicks rattle.
Age 6-12 months
Though gum pain may start sooner, teeth start coming out at around 6 months. Playgro’s Triangle Teether is BPA-free and simultaneously helps develop motor skills.
Whether cloth or board, choose the indestructible type. Regularly read to your baby, pointing to the pictures, to develop language and listening skills.
These are great for hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Make a game of it by taking turns to stack and then knocking the tower over. Clicks Stacking Cups can even be used at bath time.
Indestructible household items
Your baby loves exploring now. Let her play with “real” household items like cereal boxes or egg cartons in the kitchen, or plastic containers in the bathroom so she can discover her world.
Hide toys under a blanket, leaving parts of them uncovered. Ask baby "where is it?" and watch her grab or dig for the toys. This teaches the concept of object permanence – that things don’t disappear when you’re not looking.
Age 1-2 years
Push- and pull toys
Pulling around a toy on a string or pushing a cart is not only fun but teaches cause and effect. Playgro’s Pull Along Elephant helps develop motor skills.
This encourages an unsteady, newly-walking little one to explore her environment independently.
While toddlers love building things only to knock it down, it actually helps develop their spatial awareness and mathematical ability.
Whether finger painting or drawing with large crayons, making art is always a hit. Make sure the materials are non-toxic.
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