During the very first years of their lives, children develop both mentally and physically very fast. You notice often that suddenly your little miracle is demonstrating a new skill.
In many ways, toys contribute to their development. Through play, children of any age—even infants—can learn about themselves and the world around them. And you can join in on the fun, too: playing with your baby can help them achieve important physical milestones, develop their (quickly growing!) brains, teach them about emotions and social skills and encourage language development.
We would like to give you some tips about the right toys for each step in early childhood. The tips are not only useful to know for parents, they can also give you an idea for a suitable birthday or Christmas present for a baby.
0 – 3 months
During the first three months, babies mainly lie on their backs with bent arms and legs. They are not capable yet to make conscious movements, but thanks to their gripping reflex, they can take things from you, for example a small soft toy. In general, toys with contrasting colours like in Little Dutch Rainbow Toy, are wonderful items for babies to look at and develop their vision. Also Baby Gyms are highly recommended already in those early days.
Try this: Holding a soft toy in front of your 2-month-old baby during tummy time is a great way to help with head, neck, core and visual development.
3 – 6 months
This is a wonderful time where you see the baby is changing and growing every day. There is a lot to be discovered for babies at this age – the sounds, shapes and different materials. Your baby´s movements are becoming more specific and babies are able to lie on their tummies for a while (tummy time, yay!) They will have lots of fun with an activity mat. Baby’s attention is more and more drawn to sounds.
Try this: A quick, simple game of peekaboo with your 5-month-old baby can start to teach complex concepts such as object permanence and social development. Perfect “tool” for that is multifunctional Fridulin´s Muslin Blanket.
6 – 12 months
The motor skills of babies aged 6 months and over are developing really fast. They become more and more aware of their own body and what it can do. Children of this age will roll over, start to crawl, stand up or perhaps even walk! Toys that attract the attention in this life stage are toys with different colours and structures. An activity cube for example, is a toy that offer lots of things to explore.
1 – 2 years
When they’ve reached the first-year mark, most children are able to walk by themselves, although they may need some help from time to time. To stimulate the development of balance, a Wooden Block Trolley is perfect. At this age, children are capable of making simple stacking towers, encourage the ability to stack with different stacking toys, it is crucial for a healthy fine motor development. Playing with blocks in different shapes improves their eye-hand coordination. Items like the block train or the Pounding Bench are perfect during this time.
When choosing toys for your new baby, stick with safe, simple objects that encourage exploration and open-ended play. And don´t forget that a Comforter or little Lovey Blanket is a toy that every baby loves to take to La-La-Land with them and continue their little games there.