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How To Choose Toys That Will Develop Your Baby

Toys are a great way to encourage early years development. But where do you start? With so many options of baby toys available it can be overwhelming for parents to choose the most appropriate toys for their little ones. Our guide looks at six types of baby toys that stimulate senses, encourage exploration and supports cognitive (mental reasoning) and motor (physical) skills.

  • Sensory toys
  • Stacking and sorting toys
  • Musical toys
  • Cause and effect toys
  • Soft toys
  • Activity gyms and playmats

These toys will provide endless hours of entertainment and growth for your child. It doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact there are a lot of everyday items in your home that can be used to promote development.

Sensory Baby Toys

These toys engage a baby’s senses of touch, sight, sound, smell and sometimes taste. Sensory toys often feature different textures, bright colours, gentle sounds, and interactive elements. Examples include soft fabric books, rattles, textured balls, and toys with squeakers or crinkle sounds. Sensory toys are excellent for stimulating early sensory exploration and enhancing cognitive development.

There are also many everyday items you can use, for example, crisp bags or empty and partially filled containers for sounds. Soft blankets, towels, rugs, clothing for texture and colours. Bright coloured fruit for smell and taste. Those luscious bright red strawberries or yellow bananas are sure to catch your baby’s eye, touch, smell and taste buds!

Stacking and sorting toys

Shape sorters, colourful rings, blocks, or cups that can be stacked or nested together help babies develop hand-eye co-ordination, fine motor skills and problem solving abilities. As babies manipulate and arrange these toys, they learn about size, shape, and spatial relationships. Start with simple shape sorters and gradually introduce more complex shapes as your baby grows.

Musical toys for baby

The world of sound and rhythm comes alive with musical toys. Like adults some babies respond better to sound. Musical toys encourage sensory exploration, listening, and even early language skills. Shakers, drums, and xylophones allow babies to experiment with different sounds and volumes, fostering their musical abilities and creativity. Singing along with your baby while playing these instruments can also enhance bonding and communication – it’s also great fun!

Create your own with different Tupperware containers filled with different sized grains, such as dried peas or rice. Pasta in different shapes and sizes create a variety of sounds.

Cause and effect toys

These toys help babies understand the concept that their actions can produce specific outcomes. Toys that involve pressing buttons, turning knobs, or pulling levers to trigger lights, sounds, or movements are examples of cause-and-effect toys. They can be used to promote cognitive development, problem-solving skills, and hand-eye coordination. Pop up toys, activity centres and toys with buttons that product different sounds or movement are so engaging for little ones, and provide an easy way to develop them.

Soft toys

Soft toys can be your baby’s best friend, offering comfort when they sleep and play. They provide emotional support and encourage imaginative play. Even as adults we can have a fond memories of a favourite childhood cuddly toy. Be sure to choose these toys carefully from reputable brands. Soft toys must be safe, hypoallergenic, and easy to clean. Animal-shaped plush toys or character-themed dolls are great for story telling and can inspire creativity.

Activity gyms and playmats

Activity gyms and playmats provide a safe and stimulating environment for babies. Various attachments such as hanging toys, mirrors, textured surfaces, and interactive elements encourage exploration and develop their motor skills. Activity gyms promote tummy time, reaching, grasping, and hand-eye coordination, while playmats offer a soft, comfortable space for babies to roll, crawl and play.

By providing your baby with a diverse range of toys, you can create an engaging and stimulating environment that promotes their growth and happiness. And if you need baby clothes for play dates you can find premium baby clothes to rent from Qookeee.