Babies learn via play, and developmental toys can be a great asset to that process (and lots of fun). The first few months with a new baby appear to revolve around three things: nappies, eating, and sleep (or lack thereof). But, you probably already know that playtime is crucial to your child's growth and development. There is no disputing the role that play has in a child's development across the board, from mental and physical development to emotional and social well being.
Infants and children of all ages can benefit from learning via play. Help your baby’s (rapidly growing!) physical development, mental growth, emotional understanding, social competence, and linguistic prowess by joining in on the fun. And it need not get convoluted. Spending time on the floor playing and reading with your baby every day, especially in the first few months, can have a profound effect on both of you. Read on for our comprehensive guide to the best developmental toys for Newborns.
Which Toys Help Infants Learn and Grow the Most?
When shopping for a new baby, it's best to stay with uncomplicated, non-hazardous toys that may be used in a variety of ways. In the first six months of your baby's life, you can aid in their growth by providing them with things like rattles and other grabbing toys, balls, activity gyms, and board books.
We have put together our favourite toys that will help your baby develop and hopefully make you both smile.
Best Toys For Tummy Time
Playing on their tummy each day can help your baby develop strong neck, arm and core muscles.
Available in three different designs, these soft and padded mats are perfect for tummy time. They offer a variety of textures and sounds to explore. We love that this also makes a great travel companion as it will neatly fold for storage or popping in a suitcase.
This playmat is full of activities for your baby to explore and even comes with it’s own removable tummy time pillow. This activity centre is completely versatile and you can adapt it as your baby gets older. It is suitable from birth but will last them until they are about 12 months and offers a wide variety of play opportunities. For very young babies, we love the mirror and crinkly area. The clever electronic bird also allows you to record your own voice or favourite sounds.
The Little Dutch Activity Triangle is a beautifully designed product which parents and babies alike love. The subtle colour pallet and beautiful design means that it will look at home in any lounge or nursery. It is packed with interactive features designed to support your baby’s imagination and senses.
Best Developmental Toys That Promote Hand-Eye Coordination
Black and white toys help to develop your baby’s vision. Toys which are easy to grab with encourage them to reach for things and support the development of depth perception.
We love this black and white activity gym which is full of items for your baby to grab for. The silken ribbons alongside the plush cloud and crinkly leaf will encourage your baby to grab and grasp. Teamed with the removable black and white soft book the Tiny Love Black and White Gymini Gym will give you baby a vast number of play opportunities to develop their hand-eye coordination.
This range of teethers is designed with your young baby’s small hand in mind. They are just the right size for them to grab on to. As a teether, they are safe to go in your baby’s mouth (cold water sterilise them first). The designs are beautiful and have a variety of textures on them for your little one to explore. They are made from rubber and are PVC, BVA, Phthalates and Nitrosamine free to give you peace of mind.
The Little Dutch Roller Rattles are perfect developmental toys for those wanting to encourage hand eye coordination. It is light weight, small, colourful and has the added bonus of being a rattle. In addition it is a very cost effective option and designed specifically for little hands to grasp.
The Best Stroller Toys
For amusement on the go, you can hook these toys to strollers, pushchairs and prams.
This popular option consists of 6 differently activated toys which will keep your baby occupied whilst on-the-go. Designed to enhance your baby’s hand-eye coordination, the Tiny Love option is great for sensory exploration as well as cause and effect learning.
A firm favourite amongst Beatrix Potter fans, the jiggle attachable is available as Peter Rabbit as well as Flopsy Bunny. It is easy to attach to either a pram, pushchair, stroller or even a car seat. Little ones will love grasping the bunny and pulling it towards them. It then jiggles upwards and is bound to cause giggles with your little one.
Best Soft Books
Baby's first books should be safe to chew and easily cleaned in the washing machine. Let’s face it babies put everything in their mouths. These books help lay the foundations for your baby’s love of books and reading.
This range of fabric books are perfect for your little one to begin to love books. They can safely chew them to their hearts content and are full of different textures and activities for your little one to explore such as mirrors, crinkly textures and squeaky sound effects. This is a perfect sensory developmental toys especially for hand-eye coordination. We love the fact that they are completely washable too!
Who says you can’t read in the bath…or them paddling pool? You can with the Little Dutch Bath Book range which are designed to enhance the developmental learning of your baby. Waterproof and complete with a squeaky sound, these portable books enhance any bathtime for baby whilst providing the basics for a lovely bedtime story.
We have looked at our absolute favourite toys designed carefully with your young baby in mind. All of the above will help your baby learn through play. They are high quality, educational and beautiful toys to have in any household. Above all, have fun with your baby in these early months as they all pass far too quickly.
To find out more about your babies developmental stages, click here to read our guide to Your Baby's Developmental Milestones 0-6 Moths