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It’s That Time of Year…Toys, Toys, Toys
Tis’ the season! As we approach the holidays, I want to spend some time helping you choose age-appropriate toys that will not only have educational benefits for your infant, toddler or preschooler, but pique your child’s curiosity and creativity. So, let’s have fun unwrapping the packages!
Today, let’s begin with baby toys. It’s important to remember how baby learns best. By using all of his senses (taste, touch, seeing, hearing and smelling), your baby is making sense of the world around him. In the beginning your baby learns through his senses of sight and sound. As he begins to reach and move, he learns through touching, smelling and tasting. When you pair your baby’s sensations with language, he is able to remember words and sounds better.
While there are some great websites to which you can refer for educational toys for your baby, like www.discoverytoysinc.com and www.habatoys.com, here is a specific list of toys that are ideal for your little one:
- Hug & Hide Owl Activity Toy: A mirror, teether feet and hands, and additional manipulatives help engage all of your baby’s senses. ($18 – www.skiphop.com)
- Stars Your Senses Development Activity Gym: This activity gym includes high-contrast colors and patterns that will catch your baby’s attention. ($60 – www.brightstarts.com)
- Lamaze First Mirror: This clever toy can be strapped to the crib or propped on the floor to encourage baby’s “tummy time.” ($25 – www.learningcurve.com)
- Magic Astro Bouncer: This bouncer has gentle vibrations, speakers for an Ipod, and toys to keep your little one busy. ($200 – www.mamasandpapas.com)
- Pinwheel Stroll Along: This toy attaches to a stroller or carrier and entertains baby while you are on the go. ($10 – www.earlyyears.com)
Nibbles the Vegetarian: This organic, cotton rattle is from Zubella. ($15 – www.shopkitson.com)
- Sweet Chocolate Musical Giraffe: This giraffe’s moving head will entrance your bundle of joy. ($19 – www.marymeyer.com)
- Peek-A-Boo Roller Baby: Colorful tabs move in and out of this rubberized toy to surprise your little one. ($10 – www.plantoys.com)
- Learn & Groove Play Drum: – Your child can bang away on this light-up drum while he learns his colors and numbers, both in Spanish and English. ($20 – www.leapfrog.com)
Lil’ Zoomers Spinnin Sounds Speedway: This swirling race track will hold your 6 month-old’s attention. ($30 – www.fisher-price.com)
- Stacker: These easy-to-grab stacking cups are recycled milk containers that will keep your 6 month-old busy with their various colors and sizes ($14 – www.greentoys.com)
If you’d like more ideas or would like to better understand the progression of toys for your little ones, refer to My Baby Compass, Birth to Two.
– Kathy Gruhn, MA CCC-SLP, author of My Baby Compass series
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