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High Contrast Black And White Baby Toys Are Best

Updated on March 8, 2014

Your Baby Prefers These Toys Over Colorful Ones

In my Child Psychology class my teacher pointed out that babies preferred high contrast colors over all others (particularly black, white, and red). I found this very intriguing. I went on to have my first son, and because of my new found knowledge, I was able to provide him with lots of toys that met his visual needs. His first crib mobile was black and white, and I would have to concur with the studies, as he was really captivated by it. Below you will find more information on this, as well as a nice selection of black and white baby toys, books, and mobiles to choose from.

So Why Wouldn't Babies Prefer More Cheerful Or Brighter Colors?

  • The simplicity of black and white baby toys keeps them from becoming over stimulated.
  • Too many colors and patterns can crowd the babies mind, making it hard for them to focus.
  • Baby's eyes are not as well developed as ours, especially when they are a newborn.
  • Studies have shown that black and white baby toys, and high contrast shapes or patterns, actually help with infant brain development.
  • Newborns can only see about a foot from their face clearly, and cannot differentiate between all colors.
  • Because their visual perception development is still a work in progress, the simple black and white is easiest to perceive. This means they will likely hold a bigger interest in high contrast toys until they are as old as 9 months old.
  • Not only are black, white, and red toys visually stimulating to babies- but so are simple shapes and patterns. Many prefer circles, but stripes and other patterns are mesmerizing to look at as well.

High Contrast Baby Toys

Here are some of my favorite toys for infant visual stimulation. I especially like the Wimmer Ferguson toy line. His toys not only focus on high contrast colors, but also other developmental needs as well.

Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Wimmer Learn and Play Activity Chime Ball
Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Wimmer Learn and Play Activity Chime Ball

Wimmer Ferguson makes great developmental baby toys, like this fun ball with high contrast images. It also has ribbons, and makes a nice chime sound. I love this!

 
Brilliant Beginnings Gift Set
Brilliant Beginnings Gift Set

Several different black, white, and red baby toys. My son loves balls, and the booties actually rattle! The book is cloth, which I find younger babies prefer more. The little plush panda is also a rattle. There are a lot of different sounds and textures for the baby to enjoy as well!

 
Black, White & Red Infant Stim Flash Cards for Baby
Black, White & Red Infant Stim Flash Cards for Baby

This is a great way to work on your baby's developmental needs. High contrast colors stimulate the baby's brain development, nervous system development, attention span and more. What better way to help your baby learn, and have fun playing with them at the same time! These are laminated too, so they will last through a drooling mouth and even the curious of teethers.

 

What's Your Opinion?

Now that you know, would you prefer getting these types of toys for young babies?

See results

Check Out This High Contrast Video With Your Baby

This is a stimulating video for your baby that features black and white patterns, shapes, and moving objects. I've used videos like these with my son for a while now and he really enjoys looking at them. He won't watch television or cartoons, but he sure does enjoy these videos! Baby View also has an app, the free version is called Baby View Lite. I installed it on my phone and he really likes watching it. His favorite is the floating sailboats that are black and white.

Black and White Baby Books

Reading to your baby is a great bonding experience, and a very rewarding activity as well. Below you will find several books that incorporate the use of high contrast colors (black and white mostly), to help stimulate your baby's mind. Also, because of their preference for these shades, your baby will more likely stay engaged while being read to.

Look, Look!
Look, Look!

This is a really great deal for less than 4.00! I love the reviews on it. Sounds like everyone's babies really love this one! With over 225 reviews, it's holding a nice 4.7 out of 5 stars. The author of this book has been a elementary school teacher for over 30 years too! I can't wait until my payday, looks like I'm going shopping!

 
Lamaze Discovering Shapes Activity Puzzle & Crib Gallery
Lamaze Discovering Shapes Activity Puzzle & Crib Gallery

This is really neat because it has a colorful side for when they are older as well as a black and white side for high contrast stimulation. It is not only a book, but it can hang safely in the crib and turns into a puzzle as well. I read the reviews on it and it has great reviews. This is something I would like to get for my son when he is born for sure! I love toys that grow with your child.

 
Black & White
Black & White

Again, this has rave reviews. I like the simple pictures of every day things that your baby can more easily recognize.

 
Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson See and Say Board Book
Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson See and Say Board Book

I love this one because it also has a mirror in it. Speaking from experience, mirrors are really interesting to babies!

 
Spots and Dots (Art-Baby)
Spots and Dots (Art-Baby)

This is a great one because not only does it incorporate black and white, but it also has simple patterns that babies love as well.

 

Black and White Crib Mobiles

One place your baby will spend a lot of time looking around, is in their crib. That is why a black and white mobile would be perfect for your baby's needs. My son had one, and it definitely kept him entertained when he was younger.

Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim-Mobile for Cribs (Discontinued by manufacturer)
Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim-Mobile for Cribs (Discontinued by manufacturer)

This is an award winning mobile, that comes with several interchangeable cards full of high contrast graphics and visual stimulation. So many great reviews of this, and it has even won awards. This seems to be the best mobile I've found!

 
Trend Lab Dr. Seuss Mobile, Cat In The Hat
Trend Lab Dr. Seuss Mobile, Cat In The Hat

Who doesn't love Dr. Seuss? This high contrast mobile with a pop of red would make a great choice!

 
Musical Infant Stimulation - Black, White & Red Mobile
Musical Infant Stimulation - Black, White & Red Mobile

This one also plays music, which is really nice. It comes with additional cards to change it up as well.

 

Would you give up bright colored baby toys to get something more visually appealing for your baby?

I prefer bright happy colors, so that is what I'll buy for my babies

I prefer bright happy colors, so that is what I'll buy for my babies

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    • MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 3 years ago from Washington State

      Yet, I have noticed that the primary colors I love to have a lot of contrast. Now I know why they are so attracted to red! Great information to share!

    I would rather get high contrast toys, since that is what my baby prefers.

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      • GrammieOlivia 3 years ago

        I must have a baby's mind, I still like high contrast things, red, white and black rock! Although truth be known, this reminded me of a lens I did about black and white and black and blue!....lol

      Really Want To Get Baby's Attention?

      Try wearing black and white shirts, stripes, or bold patterns!

      Here is a great resource for more information on high contrast research in infants, you should definitely check out:

      http://www.huggamind.com/highcontrast.php

      This site has more detailed information on why babies prefer black an white, and several studies behind it.

      I hope you enjoyed this article and found some helpful information, or great new toys. - Please leave your comments below!

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          Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

          @MJ Martin: Thank you, I'm glad you learned something new! I too didn't know this for the longest time and when I found out, I was quite surprised!

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          MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 3 years ago from Washington State

          Now, the bold patterns are the love of my life, I hated wearing black and white, just part of my jobs. Glad to know it was a good attention getter for my babies. Didn't know that before, great lens of learning and love the toys!

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          Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

          @esmonaco: So am I, so many great things I have learned as well. I'm glad you liked my Lens Thank you!

        • esmonaco profile image

          Eugene Samuel Monaco 3 years ago from Lakewood New York

          I always learn new things here on squidoo, Thanksgiving me some more knowledge that I would never have had. Very Nice!!!!

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          Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

          @rita-ray-44: Thanks!

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          rita-ray-44 3 years ago

          very interesting lens! loved it! great job!

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          Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

          @WriterJanis2: Thanks, I really love them and want to let everyone else know about them because a lot of moms don't know!

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          WriterJanis2 3 years ago

          You're absolutely correct with this. I had these kind of toys when my kids were babies.

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          Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

          @Merrci: Thanks Merrci, I'm glad you liked it. I find this particular subject quite interesting as well :-)

        • Merrci profile image

          Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

          How interesting DaisyDixon. That is great information to have (and to share). It make sense too when you explain it. Very good lens!

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          Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

          @Coffee-Break: Thanks, I too was surprised when I first learned about this as well :-) ~Daisy

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          Dorian Bodnariuc 3 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario Canada

          Excellent information Renee, I didn't know what colors prefer babies. I always thought that they prefer bright colors in many shades and tones.

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          Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

          @SteveKaye: Actually I find that very interesting :-) I am an amateur photographer and I do enjoy nature photography as well. I've never gotten as nice pictures of birds as you, but I sure have fun taking their pictures.

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          SteveKaye 3 years ago

          This works with adults, too. One caution however, some birds are frighted by white. So wearing earth tones is best for bird walks. (I figured someone might want to know this.)