Light and sound toys! Rubber toys! Plastic toys! Wooden toys! The list was endless; and so was my confusion. I was at the end of my wits trying to figure out what will best work with my child! Like many new parents, I too made the mistake of buying too many toys for my daughter. But then I started observing my daughter's play time and learnt that babies actually don't need as many toys as we think they do. They need a few, but the right ones as per age and interest. Before you run out of space, stacking your child's toys, here's a list of some essential toys that will help your child play, learn and be happy too. This list is purely based on my personal experience and fellow mommies' recommendations.
Toys You Must Pick For Your Little One
Here are some toys you can arrange for your little one:
1. Baby Play Gym
This tops my list of recommended toys as it's a perfect toy to keep a baby engaged and entertained for hours. It comes with removable and dangling toys, plastic mirrors, rattle and peek-a-boo animals which help in hand-eye coordination. It also helps in strengthening baby's muscles and lets the little one explore his/her first colourful world. In short, it's a cushioned, attractive and stimulating place for the little ones, where they can lie, sit and play for long.
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2. A Ball
A ball is very simple toy yet so stimulating. It has something to offer for every age group right from an infant to an adult! Only the type of ball changes as the child grows. For example, for infants, you could look for colourful sensory balls, cloth balls or rattle balls, for toddlers there are kick balls or rolling balls and so on. Rolling a ball back and forth with babies is known to help in their motor skills as well.
3. Soft Blocks
These are one of the best toys a baby can have in his/her toy collection. It's easy to grasp, safe to lob, great to stack, usually made of cloth and foam in bright colours. My 22-month-old daughter still loves playing with them, especially stacking them up and then knocking the tower down. Go buy one if you don't have yet.
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4. A Book
Yes, not a toy and when do babies read? True, but who said they can't understand if you show and tell or read to them from a book. Grab a picture book or any other board books, cloth books etc if you fear your baby tearing it. Even your family's photo album could be the first book you read with your child. A book is always known to be the best tool to develop early language skills. We started with a picture board book and it's still my daughter's favourite book.
5. Ring Stacker
This is another simple toy which offers so many activities alone. It consists of colourful rings and a stand to stack those rings in the decreasing order of sizes. A ring stacker helps in recognizing colour and size, enhances stacking and sorting skills and improves hand-eye coordination.
6. Bath Toys
Often taken for granted, but it's important to make bath time your child's playtime. Usually, babies love to play with water, my daughter for sure does. But she adores it more when she gets her bath toys in the tub. Bath toys are generally made of rubber and very light on the pocket. If a baby doesn't like taking a bath, these bath toys can easily make his/her bath time fun.
You could add a couple of more based on your baby's interest like a rattle or other wooden musical toys which your baby can sit up and make noise with (helps them learn cause and effect).
Another good idea is to rent toys from a reliable toy rental service. For example, in and around Mumbai, there's an online service named My Khilona, which has great reviews. Such a service is a boon in a couple of ways - you will never need a lot of storage space, your child will be constantly entertained through new toys every week and you will not need to step out of home to get any toy!
Play for children is serious work! Let them do it with these 'ample' toys!
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