When it comes to toys, those with contrasting colours, interesting textures and stimulating sounds make great features for your little one to learn through play. If you’re scratching your head trying to figure out what playthings to get for bubba, follow our by-age guide to the best ones out there.
0 to 6 months
* Even as a newborn, your little one is ready to play. he can’t see very far, but he’ll fix his eyes on objects about 20cm to 30cm away. Get toys with bold contrasting patterns in red, white and black, for him.
* Your baby may also enjoy gazing at a cot mobile since it’ll provide visual stimulation as it moves. Look for one that plays gentle music which will calm and relax him. As he gets older, he’ll probably move his hands and legs in an attempt to touch it.
* By about 3 months, your baby will be able to grab little items for a few seconds. Get him a rattle or a squeaky toy. When he shakes or squeezes it, it’ll make a sound, which will help him realise what his hands can do.
* Look for toys that have a range of different textures. he’ll be amused by noisy, crinkly items, as well as those with rough or furry surfaces. Help him distinguish between hard toys and soft ones. Bathtime is also great for play as he’ll try to grab toys that will float and bob around in the water.
6 to 12 months
* Now that your munchkin about to sit up and move around, you can get him a wider variety of toys. He’ll enjoy toys that demonstrate cause and effect ― such as those that let you push a button to release a pop-up object.
* Musical toys are great for this age. As his memory is growing, hearing his toy radio play that familiar Twinkle Twinkle Little Star will make him laugh.
* Pull-along toys or those that move when you push them can encourage crawling and even walking. If your baby is already pulling himself up or cruising, you might want to get a push walker, so he can start taking his first steps.
* He now realises he can do quite a lot on his own. Stacking toys, shape sorters and building blocks help him develop his hand-eye coordination, while a simple pail and shovel at your next beach outing will give him a wonderful sensory experience.
Click to discover more toys for your mini-me as she hits the 1 year mark!
12 to 18 months
* These days, junior loves activities where he can make things happen. Play at this age involves a lot of cause-and-effect tests ― “What if I push this button here?”, for instance.
* Since he’s now on the move, he’ll love ride-on toys. There are many varieties ― from fire trucks to Barbie convertibles ― but avoid the motorised ones as they take the fun out for junior of moving them on his own.
* Puzzles are also a good idea at this age as these help your sweetie hone his fine motor skills. Get those with big knobs and bright pictures to pique his interest.
* Anything your tot can fill to the brim or transfer to different containers will thrill him, too. Offering him a cup in the tub, or fill beans in a pan will also boost his fine motor skills.
* As her imagination and creativity are growing by leaps and bounds, get her a little art set. Crayons or watercolours are a wonderful way to teach colours and how to mix them to produce more shades.
* Your little lady is now obsessed with doing “grown-up thing”. Role-playing toys will stimulate her imagination and help her learn about the grown-up world. Kitchen sets or musical instruments are fantastic ideas.
* Toddlers are obsessed with being like mummy or daddy, so a baby doll is an ideal toy to bring out her nurturing side. She’ll pretend to feed, change and rock it to sleep. It’s a great way to introduce a new sibling to her as well.
* Your mini-explorer will adore anything that’ll take her outdoors. A balance bike is a good way to train her motor skills and boost her ability to balance, while kites will provide hours of family fun.
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