Whether you are a first-time parent or “old hat”, like me, choosing great baby toys can be pretty hard. After all, your baby can’t yet express his preference for certain types of toys, colors, or characters. Plus, what makes him happy at two in the afternoon may invoke a screaming fit at four o’clock! So what is the key to a great selection of toys for your baby?
The answer is VARIETY!
Babies interact with the world using all five senses, not just their eyes. This is even more true for young infants than it is for older children and adults. Young babies cannot fully focus their eyes yet, and infants have trouble distinguishing some colors from others. (This is why first toys are often red, black, and white – the first colors a baby can see.) However, they are learning to explore their surroundings by much more than sight. A great baby toy can stimulate his sense of touch by using different textures, or it can help him learn sounds by offering music or sounds like crinkling paper or a bell. These are the easiest senses to work with in a baby – smell and taste come later, because you can’t ask a baby to smell a scratch-and-sniff book, and toys shouldn’t go in his mouth anyway!
The most important aspect of any baby toy is the chance it gives you and your baby to communicate with each other. After all, your baby wants your attention and love more than any toy on the planet, so choose toys that give you and your baby a lot of together time. Some examples are books and puppets for younger babies, and balls and shape sorters for older babies.