Baby is growing every day, not just physically, but also emotionally, so it only makes sense that you’d want his toys to support his emotional and intellectual growth. After all, playing is basically Baby’s job these days. The good news, though, is that with his brain working overtime all the time, most play-activities he does have an element of learning to them. Everything about the world was new to him until very recently, so even now, almost every activity gives him new information about the world. Still, it’s true that there are some toys that are particularly good for helping to encourage Baby towards physical and cognitive developmental milestones.
Some toys are classics for a reason, and right now, Baby is at just the right age to be totally delighted by the chance to send a block tower of your construction flying all over the room. They type of block doesn’t really matter for this activity, although there are a wide range of options, from soft, light blocks that are designed to be particularly safe for young children, hardy wooden blocks that will stand the test of time, and textured ones that can double as something for Baby to gnaw on during teething.
What matters is that they stack easily – today it may be you stacking blocks so he can learn about gravity and cause and effect as he demolishes your tower, but before long, he will be developing his coordination by building his own creations.
Cloth books or textured board books
Baby may not be much of a bookworm yet, but give him a fun, interactive enough cloth book or board book, one that’s written in the language he likes best right now – new and interesting textures and high-pitched noises – and even the least enthusiastic little reader can be won over. This is important, because it helps Baby start to build positive associations with reading, which is a great first step towards a lifetime of enjoying books.
It’s not just early training for Baby’s future soccer career – teaching him to pass a ball back and forth with you helps him lay the mental groundwork for the back and forth of conversation, and for cooperating and playing with classmates a few years down the road, not to mention the small motor development.