The world is an arena for exploration for your tiny curious babies. They would love to grab everything that comes in their way to learn more about that object and its surroundings.
As much as the parents would love to allow their children to explore every single item in the house, it is not safe for them. But thanks to the unlimited toys in the market that allow your little ones to entertain themselves, sharpen their intelligence and imagination, and engage their senses.
For many parents, toys are just a source of entertainment for their kids and nothing else. Due to this reason, they do not pay much attention to what they are buying for their kids. Usually, a child is provided with rattles and stuffed animals, etc. to play and entertain himself.
However, many different toys in the market are not only entertaining for your baby but will also benefit him - both physically and mentally.
Read the following points that highlight the importance of toys for the development of your baby.
Importance Of Toys For The Development Of Your Baby
1. Sparks Creativity And Imagination
When a baby plays with toys his imagination is widened and he thinks about playing with the toys in different ways. You must have observed that a baby would mix and match his toys and entertain himself. This helps them to sharpen their creativity and think of multiple ways to use their toys.
If a toddler is given the toys such as a doll, pretend animals, and cars, etc. he will create scenarios in his mind and develop a story to play along with. This boosts their imagination and allows them to get creative without any restrictions.
2. Helps The Child To Learn Cause And Effect
Before even your child is enrolled into the school, he learns a little bit of the science during his playtime with toys. He understands the basics of cause and effect. For instance, when your child builds a tower by using blocks he will learn how the blocks will fall if not placed properly, or how to make it stable.
Similarly, if your child has a rattle he will learn that it will only make noise when it is shaken.
If a child is provided with a different variety of toys he will also get access to different textures, shapes, and sizes, etc.
3. Refines Motor Skills
Motor skills refer to the movement of body muscles. Toys are an excellent way to help your baby to strengthen his motor skills, especially his fine motor skills.
When a baby picks up his toys or moves them, he uses his arm muscles and learns how to control the toy. He also learns how much pressure to exert, when to push or pull, etc.
If you have a toddler you can also provide him with smaller toys that would require him to use his fingers, for instance, beads, marbles, etc. It will refine his fine motor skills and he will have a better grip over smaller objects such as buttons, zips, pencil, etc.
Fine motor skills make it easier for a child to learn how to hold a pencil and write.
4. Develops Language Skills
A playtime with colorful and educational toys provide the perfect opportunity for the parents to talk to their child and help them with their speech development.
Babies get excited when they see something interesting or enjoyable. If they have not learned to speak, they will use their expressions, playful coos, and body language to express their excitement.
If you respond to your baby and talk to him about the toys or how he is playing, it will have a positive impact on his language development. Play with them and watch their excitement rocketing to the sky.
5. Keeps The Baby Happy
Don’t you just love it when you entertain yourself by watching your favorite movie or reading your favorite book? Entertaining yourself refreshes your mind and keeps you in a happy mood.
The same thing happens with the baby. When they play with their toys it makes them happy and releases their stress. Do we even need to emphasize how important a happy baby is to keep you peaceful?
Playtime is an excellent way to make your fussy babies calm.
We know what is going inside your mind. You want to set up playtime for your little one and provide him plenty of toys so that he entertains himself. Sure go ahead! But before that take a few minutes to have a look at the following list that contains must-have toys for your growing baby.
Eight Must-Have Types Of Toys For Your Growing Baby
1. Floor Mirrors
Looking at a mirror and seeing their reflection is an exciting thing for babies. They can continue to play with the mirror without getting bored.
By looking at the mirror babies learn about themselves and their facial features. Parents can easily make their babies learn the parts of bodies by pointing out their eyes, nose, ears, etc. on their reflection in the mirror.
Moreover, babies are fascinated to see their reflections and think of it as some other baby. They try to talk to them and love it when they see their actions being reflected in the mirror.
Do not hand out the normal mirror to your child. It can easily break and hurt your baby. Certain mirrors are designed for babies. They are safe and unbreakable. Get one of these mirrors for your babies.
These mirrors can also be used during tummy time and for high chair activities.
2. Activity Gym Or Tummy Time Mat
Since your infant cannot hold his toys or play with them, the best toy for his age is an activity gym or a tummy time mat.
Activity gyms are designed in vibrant colors that make it attractive for the little one to feast their eyes upon it. Moreover, the mobile hangings of the bars of the activity gyms encourage the baby to raise his arm and touch the toys. This strengthens his arms, shoulders, and chest muscles which help him to learn how to crawl.
Tummy mats on the other hand are ideal for your baby to entertain himself while on his tummy. The colorful patterns and shapes encourage him to lift his head and support his upper tummy while he is on his tummy.
Your baby will love to make some noise and engage his auditory senses. Moreover, he will also learn how to hold the maracas firmly by rolling his fingers over the handles.
There are numerous games that you can play with your little one by using maracas. There are many different types of rattles and maracas available in the market.
Make sure to purchase the one that is light yet unbreakable. Investing in heavy toys might make it difficult for your baby to lift them. They also pose a risk of injury if the baby is unable to hold the toy.
4. Water Mats
Water mats can be your perfect investment to allow your baby to spend more time on his tummy. The colorful mat can easily be inflated and then filled with water to provide a fun and sensory experience together.
The moving water in the mat can keep your little one engaged for hours. Some water mats have small cutouts of sea animals such as fish, crabs, octopus, etc. in vibrant colors. The cutouts float inside the mat and they move when your baby touches the surface of the mats.
When you buy the water mat make sure it is made from waterproof material to avoid getting the floor and baby wet.
5. Multi-Sensory Learning Cube
This is one of the best baby toys available in the market. The colorful cube engages the different senses of your baby. It has different textures on each side which allows the tactile sense of your baby to be engaged and differentiate between the rough and smooth textures.
These cubes also have small rattles attached that create noise when your baby shakes them. You can use this cube to call your baby towards you. Simply shake the cube and direct your baby to come to you. You’ll be surprised with the speed they come to you.
Apart from involving the auditory and tactile senses of the baby, the colorful picture of animals and flowers can also engage his visual sense and boost his imagination.
Learning cube is the best baby learning toy. It involves the majority of the sense of your baby and keeps him occupied in his little world.
6. Soothing Teething Toys
The teething phase of the babies is a memorable time for parents. The babies become fussy and give a tough time to their parents. Their swollen and tender gums make them uncomfortable. For some babies, their swollen gums are quite painful and they cry their eyes out due to the unbearable pain.
But thanks to the teething toys. It will not only keep your babies entertained but also numb their teething pain.
Teething toys are refrigerated and then given to the babies to chew upon it to soothe their gums and pain. The majority of the parents make the mistake of freezing these toys to provide more comfort to their babies. Extreme temperatures can adversely affect your babies’ tiny teeth and gums. Refrain to freeze the teething toy. Refrigerate it and then give the cool teething toy to the babies.
If you put the teething toy in the freezer, make sure to take it out after a few minutes.
7. Board Books
Your growing baby would love to have a reading session on his own. There are thousands of books available in the market in different sizes. Some are small and can be handled by your baby alone, while some books are quite large and need to be handled by an adult for the baby.
The colorful pictures, the texture of the board, well-illustrated characters, etc. will incite the imagination of your baby and he will try to create a story on his own.
To make it more effective, you can read out the story to your child and keep the characters of the story in front of him. For instance, for the story of goldilocks and the three bears, you can use three bears and a doll to narrate the story.
8. Beach Balls
The favorite toy of all the sporty children. Not only does this colorful inflatable ball keep your baby busy, but it can also help them to crawl and stand too.
If the baby’s arms are placed on the ball, his muscles will be strengthened which will help him to crawl and learn how to stand.
Moreover, playing with the ball increases the hand-eye coordination and increases the attention of the baby.
The best part? These are inexpensive and safe for your baby. Even if your baby gets hit by this ball, it’s not going to hurt him.
Toy Safety Tips
Keep in mind the following safety tips to make the playtime safe and effective for your babies.
1. Read The Manual
The manual that comes along with the toys is not to be discarded before reading them. If you have bought a toy for a child that operates with a battery or needs assembling, then make sure to read it properly and follow the instructions given in the manual.
You don’t want your baby to fall ill by playing with dirty toys, do you? Cleanliness is very important to keep your baby healthy.
Keep the toys clean by wiping them with a damp cloth or cleaning wipes. If possible wash the stuffed and teething toys to ensure that bacteria and germs are away from your baby.
3. Age-Appropriate Toys
Always check the age limit before you buy the toys. Buying advanced toys for your child will not only cost you money but might even prove to be useless for your little one.
For instance, if you buy a remote control car for your infant it would be useless for him. Moreover, refrain from buying toys that have small parts such as a screw, knob, beads, or marbles. These small items pose a choking hazard for your baby and hence should be avoided.
Similarly, to not purchase the toys that have long ribbons or can be worn around the neck of your child. These types of toys pose a strangulation risk.
4. Safety Helmet
If you buy a toy for your toddler that has wheels in it such as a skateboard, bicycle, or tricycles then make sure to buy a helmet too for safety.
Head injuries can prove to be fatal for your little one. Better keep them safe than being sorry.
5. Secure The Batteries
Always secure the batteries firmly before giving the battery-operated toys to your little one. To make it more secure use masking tape to conceal the area where the batteries are inserted.
6. Sharp Or Broken Edges
Before keeping the toys into the basket, make it a habit to check if the toy is broken or has any sharp edges.
Your baby’s skin is sensitive; it can easily get a wound from the broken pieces of the toys. Also, if your little one takes it near his eye it can cause an eye injury.
7. Supervise Them
Never leave your children unattended while they are playing. Keep them near you so that you can supervise them if anything goes wrong or if they need help.
Toys can do much more for your children than just entertaining them. Invest in toys that will keep your babies engaged, happy, involve their senses, and improve their concentration.
What other toys do you think are must-haves for the babies? And which toys should be avoided for the babies? Share your responses in the comments below.