One of the questions all parents ask throughout their child’s earliest months is, ‘Which toys should I get for my child?’. While we believe that no toy is necessary, we also appreciate how much toys can inspire renewed enthusiasm for playing together.
We often hear parents asking, “Which toys should I get for my child?” This question re-emerges every time we witness our child doing something new and unexpected.
Although we believe that no toy is necessary – educational development will happen with nothing more than you, your child, and household objects – it’s also true that new toys can help to encourage new abilities and interests in your child and can re-energize you both as you play together. The main goal is for you and your child to enjoy doing something together - anytime you’re both having fun, it’s great for their development. So when you think about toys, think about which ones you will like as well!
We asked our experts which toys they recommend for ages 0 to 6 months. Here are their suggestions.
During these early months, when your child is so small, it’s often hard to imagine how you can play together. Toys that promote visual tracking, locating sound, tummy time, and exploring faces are best for these teeny-tiny ones. Here's what our experts suggest.
Gopika, Speech-Language Pathologist, says: From the moment they are born, babies are primed to focus on faces. Looking in a mirror together helps your baby learn how to focus, track images, and try out different facial expressions (remember, she won’t realize that face is her own until later down the road).
Rainbow Key Ring
Briana, Occupational Therapist, says: This key ring has bright colors with high contrast, making it great for visual stimulation. It’s easy to hold onto as your child begins to develop grasping, manipulation and coordination skills as she interacts with her new world. If your child’s teeth begin to come in early, the key ring may become a handy teething device too.
Gopika, Speech-Language Pathologist, says: Play mats are great for cognitive, visual, physical, and auditory development and they allow your child to to use hands and feet to explore. Don’t forget they’re also a great place to do tummy time! You can remove the hanging toys and place them in front of your child while they’re on the mat on their belly.
As your baby’s curiosity grows, you'll see her become more engaged with toys. During this stage, toys that promote grasp, transferring objects from hand to hand, exploring sounds and peek-a-boo-style interactions are perfect. Here's what our experts say are great go-tos.
Finger Puppet Board Books
Kate, Child Psychologist, says: Reading is always a great way to engage with your child. For this age, look for finger puppet board books as they are short enough to hold your child’s interest. The finger puppet allows for exploring textures and creates an opportunity to play peek-a-boo and other games while reading.
Classic Toys Trio
Briana, Occupational Therapist, says: These classics are great and can be used in so many different ways over the next 12 months as your child’s skills develop. For now, she can explore the different colors and textures of the pieces, experiment with reaching, holding and banging them together, and very likely will use them as teethers! These toys help with hand-eye coordination, color and shape matching, fine motor development and problem solving.
Gopika, Speech-Language Pathologist, says: Making noise and listening to music is a great way to engage your 4-6 month old. These shakers will allow your child to feel a sense of accomplishment as she develops more control of her body. Put on music with a strong beat and help her shake to the beat! She’ll learn about cause and effect relationships as she notices that she make the sound reoccur.
Looking for Toy Recommendations for Older Kids?
Playfully’s experts have shared their favorite picks for kids aged 7-12 months. Stay tuned for future posts.
This article is part of a series in collaboration with Playfully.
Playfully makes it easier for busy parents to set their children up for a lifetime of success. By partnering with child development experts and distilling their knowledge into personalized, bite-sized, actionable chunks, Playfully helps you support your child’s growth and development through play and makes sure you have FUN while doing so.