When most people think about purchasing toys, they think about buying them for older children — kids who can play independently and entertain themselves.
But toys are important for babies, too. Extensive research by child development experts and pediatricians has found that an enriched play environment is critical to a baby's development and allows parents to teach them skills they will use later in life. Learn more about the four ways babies benefit from toys that are developmentally friendly.
1. Toys for babies help them develop stronger muscles
Open-ended playtime and interacting with toys are how children, including babies, acquire basic skills. Parents, grandparents and friends may be hesitant to give you toys for your baby since an infant doesn't seem to be “doing much” yet — but that couldn't be further from the truth.
Activity mats are one example of a great playtime tool for your baby — activity mats create a clean, comfortable space for your baby to have tummy time, which helps them develop stronger shoulder muscles, and many choices are awash with colors and shapes that help catch their eye and offer visual stimulation. Note, though, that most babies don't start seeing color until they're 3 months old.
2. Baby toys help them develop social skills
Providing your baby opportunities to interact with you and others is important throughout their first year — babies like to look, smile and laugh. Many babies will enjoy simple games and songs such as peek-a-boo and itsy-bitsy spider.
3. Baby toys allow for age-appropriate experimentation
For babies 4 to 10 months old, having an opportunity to touch, bang, mouth, throw and push objects is fascinating. When you purchase a subscription box from Skip and Play, you can find several age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate toys designed to encourage learning and experimentation.
A teething ring, for instance, is going to feel soft and pliable in their hands and can help baby's sore gums during teething times. Linkable plastic rings and lightweight crinkle toys help infants learn how to grasp things.
Older babies between 4 and 7 months who are learning to sit independently can benefit from toys such as stackable cups, which help them practice hand-eye coordination.
4. Toys that make sounds help infants develop acute hearing
Hearing is one of the first senses to develop in infants, so rattles and toys that make music are favorites of many infants. Spinning mobiles with colorful characters that make music can help soothe baby to sleep, while other noises can be fun and surprising.
Order a Toy Subscription Box for the Babies or Kids in Your Life from Skip and Play
Whether you're a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or family friend, a monthly toy box from Skip and Play can provide award-winning toys that are age-appropriate and fun. The toys we send support children's physical, cognitive and socio-emotional development. Toys from Skip and Play help children from 0 to 5 years reach their developmental milestones, so they can learn, grow and thrive. Browse our subscription plans today and enrich the development of the special children in your life.