Baby is growing every day, not just physically, but also emotionally, so it only makes sense that you’d want their toys to support their emotional and intellectual growth. After all, playing is basically Baby’s job these days. The good news, though, is that with their brain working overtime all the time, most play-activities they do have an element of learning to them. Everything about the world was new to them until very recently, so even now, almost every activity gives them 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 they can learn about gravity and cause and effect as they demolish your tower, but before long, they will be developing their coordination by building their own creations.
Cloth books or textured board books
Baby may not be much of a bookworm yet, but give them a fun, interactive enough cloth book or board book, one that’s written in the language they like 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 them to pass a ball back and forth with you helps them 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.