Finding stimulating games and activities that can include the whole family is a treasure in itself. Babies surprisingly are more observant and alert than we give them credit. Moving a baby’s arms and legs as if he is “playing pull-ups” with his arms or “riding a bicycle” with his legs seems elementary but it is actually making him aware he has arms and legs. When he begins to reach for objects, baby floor gyms are a great way to entertain and give him physical exercise at the same time. Here are a few favorite suggestions for developmentally-appropriate toys that you can play with your infant – just in time for the holiday!
- Soothing Sound Sheep is great for bed or naptime to provide baby with white noise to encourage sleep (www.sleepysoft.com – $19.99)
- Sassy Ring Links Rattle Developmental Toy to encourage fine motor (www.amazon.com – $2.49)
- Infantino Activity Triangle to increase early problem solving (www.infantino.com – $14.99)
- Melissa & Doug Deluxe Three Little Pigs Play Set Soft Baby Toy for sensory development (www.bigsmiletoys.com – $26.95)
- Sassy Crib and Floor Mirror for early self-identification (www.walmart.com – $16.99)
At this stage, your baby is learning that things move, objects have names, things make sounds, items have different textures and tastes and that when you touch something, something happens (cause and effect). Make sure you are giving your baby the best start by providing stimulating toys. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend screen time for children under two years of age.
If you need more stimulating ideas, refer to My Baby Compass, Birth to Two for more ideas.
– Kathy Gruhn, MA CCC-SLP, author of My Baby Compass series