Today’s parents are eagerly introducing learning at a young age because they understand the significance of education, and its association with success in all other areas of life. Purchasing educational toys for infants has become an ever more popular choice for parents who wish to supply their babies with the added tools that will give them a head start.
Research suggests that providing infants with suitable cognitive stimulus at an early age can help thwart many learning difficulties later. Providing your baby with the appropriate stimulation will not only protect against those potential learning problems, but also help prepare them for the more complex activities that they will face as pre-schoolers and beyond.
Though your baby’s motor skills and mobility may be limited, he/she is actually learning at an extraordinary pace. But because their sensory skills aren’t fully developed yet, infants learn physically, through touch, sight and sound, and need toys that strengthen those senses.
From a very young age infants will respond to bright, contrasting colors and simple patterns. Additionally, toys at this stage should be lightweight, easy to grasp, make pleasant sounds and provide a variety of textures for the baby to touch.
As always, when selecting toys for a child of any age, be sure to follow the toy manufacturers guidelines for age and safety specifications.
Here are just a few suggestions;
1. Very young babies prefer objects that move slowly and/or have a soothing sound. Crib mobiles fascinate newborns; just make sure it’s within the baby’s range of vision.
2. Babies will find unbreakable crib mirrors fascinating, and will stare at their own reflections intently.
3. From birth to six months of age, infants have very limited motor skills. Rattles, teething rings, cloth books and soft blocks will stimulate and motivate babies at this age.
4. Babies between six and nine months of age are old enough to benefit from toys like activity centers, stacking rings and building blocks.
5. Don’t be reluctant to introduce books at any age. Babies will concentrate on your voice as you read. They also enjoy looking at faces, and will respond to books with colorful pictures of people, particularly pictures of other babies.