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0-12 Months: Top 10 Educational Toys
Babies Learn Through Play!
From the moment they open their eyes for the first time, babies are learning. You may think that this little newborn doesn't get anything. You are so wrong! She/he is learning from touching you, smelling you, hearing your voice, looking into your face, even from breastfeeding.
One of the first things your baby will learn is to associate the feel of your touch, the sound of your voice, and the sight of your face with getting his or her needs for comfort and food met. You can encourage your newborn to learn by stimulating your newborn's senses in positive ways - with smiles, smoothing sounds, and gentle caresses.
Once your baby turns 3 months and finds out that hands are used for holding things, or move things with hands and legs, real learning through play begins.
This is my babygirl's list of her favorite toys in first year!
How toys are ranked?
As I said in the title, this is all about my babygirl's favorite toys in her first year of life. Maybe these will not be every baby's favorite but from talking with other fresh parents, the most of their babies also love these toys. My babygirl started to interact with toys when she was 10 weeks old. Until then her favorite toy was looking into my face and watching the expressions I make.
Most of the educational baby books will tell you that you should buy colorful or black and white mobile and put it on your baby's cradle. This didn't work for my baby. She wasn't interested at all. But it doesn't mean you baby will not love it.
Toys are not rated in standard way - first is the best, instead they are ranked by the time (period of growth) they were interesting to my child.
#1: Hand Rattle - Babies loves things that make sounds!
First toy that she didn't instantly put aside, was ring rattle with textile petals. She loved that she can move center piece and that petals are of different textures and stuffed with materials that makes sounds. And, naturally - she loved to put it into mouth!
Important to know:
- Petals may be removed for cleaning purposes.
- Center peace made of solid wood.
- Made in Germany.
#2: Hanging rattle - Going on a trip or visiting? You need a toy that can be hang on a car seat!
We had several rattles with clips that could be hanged on car seat or push-chair when traveling by car or going for a walk with push-chair. Believe me, you'll need something like this - especially if you are driving and baby is on backseat all alone! This one occupied her attention for longest:
The back of the toy is made of black and white fabric opposite to front that is bright colored. It has the crinkly sound babies love. Each of the "feathers" has a different interest point - a squeaker, a soft bulb, a mirror, and satin touch ribbons. The peacock is light enough - and the feather panels thin enough - for little hands to grab, tug and pick up without easily dropping.
#3: Baby gym - Time to find out what legs are for!
So, when my babygirl turned 3,5 months she started grabbing her legs. Than I bought baby gym and let her catch toys with her hands and swing it with her legs. She adored it! She could play by herself for half an hour and sometimes almost for an hour. All I had to do is change toys that are hanged, so she always have something new to explore. I used other toys I had that could be hanged.
#4: Baby bouncer - Where ever you go, baby goes with you!
Even to toilette! :-))
From my own experience, this was one of the most useful things I bought for my daughter! When I put her inside, she was right next to me and safe. Why I have put it between toys? Because it has an arc where you can hang toys. So she is not bored. Also, my babygirl used to take a nap in it during day.
#5: Books early start!!! - Cloth books - It's important to introduce books to baby early and they will love it for life!
I bought her first book when she was 5 months old. At start she was surprised - what's that?!? But, since I got a book with little words featuring animals, I made up songs to get her interested for each picture. In three moths we came to an hour of story telling before sleeping time! She loves this!
It's made of textile and it has rattle! What more you want?!? They have beautiful, bright colors that attract babies and rattles with bids. Also goes to baby's mouth when ever possible! They are portable and you can bring them everywhere!
#6: Mirror! - This one rules!
From the time that my girl started to look around, she was astonished and amazed with her own face. She didn't get that it's her in the mirror, but she loved this baby that was looking at her, smiling or making faces. And sticking tongue! She always wants to hug herself! It's kind of funny! :-))
#7: Buckets - Classics never get old!
One of classic toys even I played with as a child. But it still works. At beginning she was busy taking it out. Now she is starting to put them back. Not yet in right order, but she'll learn from trying!
Perfect toy to see little engineering minds being nurtured as they nest, stack - knock over towers! Learning includes the sorting shapes to help them work on problem solving too! And it's great for bath time!
#8: Classical rainbow stacker - Another classic toy and all time favorite!
At start my babygirl was busy with taking rings of, now she is trying to learn to put them back. And she is pretty consistent in trying! This is toy that can occupy babies attention for long periods of time and one with which babies love to play each single day!
This stacking toys are great because they don't get boring for long period of time what makes them very cheap! Even children at 3-4 years loves to play with them!
#9: Foam floor puzzles - You'll maybe wonder why...
Because: it's not only a mat for floor, it's also a baby toy! At start my baby only set on it. Now she is taking it apart. And how: she doesn't push the middle to slip out but she folds it in half so that letter or number pops out!!! :-))) In a year or even sooner, she'll try to put it back!
#10: More books! - Never enough of these!!!
I put book also on 10-th place since this is how much my babygirl loves them! Apart from soft textile books I put on #5, there are also other king of books she loves: peekaboo, flip and find and bath books. Not many words but with colorful pictures!
Books are always best solution if you don't know what to buy as a gift for someones birthday, babyshower or new mother. Kids will love them if you make some interesting story followed with lots of different sounds you make while reading. Or singing about characters inside book!
Babies have a lot to say... even before they can speak.
Listen to what they have to say with the Original Baby Signs Program!
Wouldn't you just love to know what your baby is trying to tell you? And she's trying. Only in different language than one we are using!
What Baby SignsÂ® Program offers:
Over two decades of research by Drs. Acredolo and Goodwyn, much of it funded by the National Institutes of Health, has shown that using the Baby SignsÂ® Program provides many benefits for children and their parents. Using the Baby SignsÂ® Program . . .
* Reduces tears, tantrums and frustration
* Makes learning to talk easier
* Boosts self-esteem and self-confidence
* Stimulates intellectual development
* Strengthens the parent-child bond
I would recommend everybody to try it specially since there is 30 day return policy (of course, products must contain all of their original components and must be undamaged).
Toys safety tips!
* Read and follow the age label, warnings, safety messages and assembly instructions for the toy
* Look for sturdy, well-made toys
* Remember that toys for older children may not be safe for younger children
* Children under three years of age tend to put things in their mouths - small toys, small balls or small loose toy parts are choking hazards for these children
* find more at Toy Safety Tips (Pamphlet).
What's your baby's, grandchild, nephew or niece dearest toy? Keep in mind we are talking about babies under 1 year old!