Toys for Babies Development
If you have a basic understanding of normal babies development, it is much easier to buy toys which stimulate their learning. Developmental baby toys, sometimes referred to as educational baby toys, are different for each age group. Some of the information on this page will overlap a little with the information on the Newborn Gifts pages, however this page is more specifically targeted to developmental potential rather than just appropriateness of a toy. Basically you can choose between babies development of coordination or communication and listening.
Many children diagnosed with ADHD and other learning and attention disorders actually improve when a little work is done with them to improve their balance and coordination and these are all wonderful skills that can be fostered in early development making learning much easier.
For example if a baby learns to coordinate their arms and legs in crawling and play they are much more likely to be able to easily sit still in a classroom and so therefore it makes for an easier learning environment. Play with balls and other hand eye coordination games such as puzzles is also an important movement skill to help writing letters and number become an easy skill to learn rather than using a pencil being cumbersome and tiring.
With communication and listening it is essential for babies development to incorporate some use of sound. Things like sing along music and nursery rhymes, books and toys which help teach children about their world help to create those initial building blocks which will be the foundation for a happy school life in years to come.
Giving a developmental baby toy as a gift is one which will always be appreciated by parents.
Developmental Baby Toys for Coordination
Choosing a developmental baby toy for coordination means choosing something which makes the child move and learn how to use each part of the body. Babies development move through different stages as they grow, first gross motor control - moving the arms and legs; then fine motor control - moving the fingers and toes; they begin to co-ordinate their hands and eyes; and also become aware of themselves in space and that they can move themselves around, culminating in crawling and walking. To choose the right toy for a certain age group you must first know what part of their nervous system is developing.
Check out the following links to help you choose the most appropriate toy for co-ordination for different stages of babies development:
0-3 Month Olds
3-6 Month Olds
6-9 Month Olds
9-12 Month Olds
Educational Baby Toys for Communication
Flash Cards - These are useful from any 4 months onwards, and what better gift could you give a parent than something which enables them to understand what their baby needs and wants!
Every baby needs to be introduced to colors, shapes, letters and animals at some point, and this can be done very early on.
are a great way of doing this, but there are many other toys that also encourage learning these basics during babies development. If you don't wish to buy a toy though, you could also consider some nursery decorations.
For newborns another great gift, which doesn't so much educate the baby, but the parents is the
Dunstan Baby Language
pack. It teaches the parents to recognize what the baby is crying about so they are more easily able to tend to their newborns needs.
Color - Basically any toy with strong contrasting colors, or a large rainbow painted on them will be great for learning colors. To really learn a good variety of colors from the one gift a book is easily the best choice.
Shapes - In terms of toys, the shape sorters are by far the best, they encourage the hand eye co-ordination as well as the shape recognition. These aren't all that useful for the young babies though! Generally you would look at one of these gifts for a 9-12 month old. For the younger babies and newborns a book is usually best.
Letters - Nursery decorations are a great way of introducing letters. Other great toys for the older child include peg puzzles and playmats. Again for the younger babies a book is the best option here.
Animals - These are easy to find for all age groups as soft toys. For the 9-12 month olds you can even get plastic or wooden animals provided they are too big to be swallowed. Again books are great for introducing animals to the newborns and young babies, and most playmats will have animals depicted on them, but there are many other developmental baby toys that also encourage learning these basics. If you don't wish to buy a toy though, you could also consider some nursery decorations.
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Toys Which Improve Babies Development