Choosing the Right Baby Toy

Baby toys for this stage of learning are an important part of stimulating a healthy development. Babies discover the
environment through the senses of sight, touch, sound, taste and smell. Understanding the basic characteristics of child
development and safety issues will enable you to make an informed choice when purchasing toys for your baby.

Baby toys should be developmentally and age appropriate. They should be safe, fun and motivating. During the first few
months of development, babies are unable to grasp objects with their hands, but enjoy exploring with their eyes and ears.
Baby toys that make noise or feature black-and-white or brightly colored images are especially appealing. Once the baby can
reach for objects, they enjoy toys that are textured and safe for mouthing. Remember, to avoid dangerous entanglement, toys
never should be hung or attached to a crib, playpen, stroller, infant seat or around a child's neck with elastic, string or ribbon.

Choose toys that:

•        have pieces that are too large to swallow
•        are lightweight for handling and grasping
•        have no sharp edges or points
•        are brightly colored
•        are non-toxic

Baby toys Promote Independence

At this level, babies develop the motor skills that enable them to play with toys in new and exciting ways. When they can sit
up, they enjoy toys they can manipulate bang, drop, stack up, put in and take out, and open and shut. Once they can crawl,
"cruise" (walk while holding furniture) and walk, they enjoy things that move along with them. Baby toys that show cause
and effect are also exciting at this age.

Safety guidelines for baby toys:

• Children in this age group put everything in their mouths.

• Choose baby toys that have no removable parts, and no buttons.

• Baby toys must be smoothly finished, well rounded and fully washable.

• Look for sturdy construction. Babies will pull, twist and throw toys.

• Crib toys and pull toys should not have strings, straps or cords longer than 15 centimeters (6 inches) to avoid the risk of

• Crib gyms (baby toys which are suspended across the cot) should always be removed when the baby can push up on their
hands, or is five months of age, whichever comes first.

• Never let your baby play with balloons or balloon parts.

• Read toy labels and minimum age recommendations on the package.

• Discard all plastic packaging immediately.

• Supervise your baby at play.

Age Appropriate Toys for Babies:

Babies enjoy looking at colorful toys, pictures and listening to soothing music. Baby toys should be visually stimulating with
different colors. Newborns prefer black and white, while primary colors appeal to babies 3 to 6 months of age.

• Mobiles and musical toys
• Rattles
• Bright pictures
• Soft squeezable toys and balls
• Unbreakable mirrors
• Baby swings
• Talking and singing to your baby
• Pleasant facial expressions

Four to seven months:

At this stage, babies show an interest in holding, touching and mouthing objects. Baby toys should encourage exploration
through different shapes, textures, sounds, colors and weights. Choose small lightweight stuffed toys with additions (for
example long bunny ears) for easy grasping.

• Rattles and musical toys
• Teething rings
• Soft cloth or vinyl baby books
• Toys with holes for easy gripping
• Interlocking plastic rings
• Stuffed toys
• Baby gyms
• Activity quilts
• Jolly jumper
• Exer-saucer

Eight to twelve months:

By eight months babies are interested in exploring their surroundings. Baby toys that produce a movement or noise when an
action is applied to it are popular. Encourage eye-hand coordination and imitation with stacking toys, nesting cups, and shape
sorting play.

• Baby musical instruments i.e. piano or guitar
• Pop up toys
• Containers to empty and fill, such as cups and pails
• Stackable toys
• Bath toys
• Push/pull toys
• Baby books made of cardboard
• Large stuffed animals

One year old

Babies of this age become more involved in active play that includes crawling, walking, and running. Provide toys that can be
used for these activities. Baby toys for this age group should include manipulation of parts like a shape sorter as well as cause
and effect with buttons, dials and knobs. Encourage independent mobility and other gross motor skills with balls of different
colors and sizes. Encourage eye hand coordination with fat crayons and coloring books.

• Building blocks
• Pretend play i.e. tools, dolls
• Big balls for throwing and kicking
• Push/pull toys
• Wagons
• Large picture books
• Drawing and coloring books
• “Peek a boo” game
Baby Toys Shopping Tips
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