If you take a look at children in today’s generation, you will be surprised to see how smart they are. At the age of three to four, they can do things that might be attempted by a kid of say 7 to 8 years.
The IQ level of kids now is amazing. Since your child is getting smarter, it is also important for you to be upgraded. Kids always love when their parents play with them.
If your kid is a preschooler, here are some interesting games that you can try for your little champion. The games below are sure to help in the overall development of your child.
• Reading alphabets
Whether you are playing games with your kids online or offline, you can let your toddler learn alphabets and letters easily while playing games. If you go to a kids’ store, you can find colorful blocks or wooden trays of English alphabets that will make the learning process of the kid happy and interesting. Many fun online games to help them learn their alphabets are also available.
• Understanding colors
This is probably the easiest thing that the kid learns. You can take balls of different colors and spread them in the room. Now ask your kid to bring different colored balls to you. Just see how the little one runs in the room and comes to you with the colored ball. How proud would you feel when the kid selects the right colored ball!
• Identifying body parts
One of the most common questions that kids are asked during preschool interviews are to identify their body parts like eyes, ears, nose, and hands and so on. Arrange an interesting game at home and let your child learn about the important body parts. Online games are also available that helps the child in understanding his body parts.
• Knowledge on numbers
Teaching kids numbers can be real fun. Bring things that interest them like toys, chocolates and other stuff. Ask them the numbers. Numbers can be taught easily while playing. Also let them identify the numeric. So, next time they see 2 written, they know it is two.
• Songs and rhymes
Any child loves songs and rhymes. You can sing some toddler songs to them or recite rhymes. You will see how much the kid enjoys these games. Once you complete, ask your little one to repeat them. They will repeat the song or rhyme and feel immensely happy when you appreciate them for doing so. There are many videos and singalong CDs available online from where they can learn a lot of fun songs and rhymes.
• Creating art
Fun activities like finger painting, sketching with crayons and creating their own original works of art can be an amazing way to keep your little preschooler busy for hours. Just make safe all their art supplies are safe and that you supervise their efforts. Don’t forget to give them a corner of your home to showcase their artworks. That will make them so happy.
Try and make your kids play physical games as much as possible as it makes them healthy and also lets them experience their world in a real way. We hope these tips will keep you busy entertaining your preschooler for hours on end.
Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Kids and toys seem to be inseparable from one another. If you enter a kid’s room, you will find all kinds of toys here and there. It is sheer joy to note the happiness on your kid’s face when you bring a new toy for them.
However, it is also important to note that if the right kinds of toys are not chosen, they might cause injuries to the child. In some unfortunate events, toys have also caused death in children.
Here are some safety rules that you must follow while purchasing toys for your little one:
- Purchase toys that are made of natural and non-toxic materials. This is highly applicable for kids who are 1 year old or younger. At this age, children have the tendency of touching everything and then putting it directly in their mouth.
- Buy toys according to age recommendations. This will help you in buying the toy that will be suitable for your kid’s age and his skill level.
- For very young kids, choose to buy toys that are large in size. This is so that, in case they put the toy in their mouth, there are no chances of getting choked by the same. Good toy shops have testers that help test if the toy is safe for the child.
- Do not give small kids things like coins, marbles, small balls and other small objects as these can be swallowed easily and can cause immediate choking. These might get stuck in the windpipe leading to difficulty in breathing and might cause death if right action is not taken at proper time.
- Before handing over the toy to the child, check the same minutely for sharp edges or small loose parts. The child might get hurt from the sharp edges. Also if parts of toys like eyes, buttons, wheels etc are loose tighten them first. See that there are no loose ends on the toy.
- If toys are battery operated ones, see that the case of the battery is closed tightly with screws. Do not give battery operated toys to small children. Children have a tendency of opening the case and taking out the battery. Sometimes there might be leakage from the battery and opening the case might cause serious problems.
- It is also recommended that you avoid toys that have cords and strings attached to them as they might cause strangling.
So, next time before buying a toy for your little one, keep these simple things in mind for their safety and help your child enjoy their time playing with their toys.
Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Though you may miss your European backpacking days or Caribbean cruising days, vacationing with kids can be different but fun.
With all the additional gear to pack and extra safety factors to consider, there may be times when you wished you’d just stayed home.
There may be times when you might have to deal with kids getting on your nerves with their cranky behavior and tantrums.
Read on for a short guide with some tips to help you reduce the stress and keep the fun alive on the vacation for everyone.
1. Allow Them to Pack By Themselves: Let the children do their own packing. Give them a little direction by giving them a packing list with instructions. By letting them do so, they would feel more involved and would look forward to the vacation.
2. Do Things that Kids Enjoy: While you may not enjoy a hotel with water slides and other rides, chances are your kids would. As such, hotels would keep the engaged and happy with something enjoyable to do. Surely, your little one would not enjoy being tagged around at museums. Do what they like and what they enjoy. Try making the vacation educational (to some extent), yet fun.
3. Maintain a Routine: Children love routine and tend to get cranky when it is interrupted. Try to organize your travel at times that will not disrupt their sleep or other usual routines. Also, consider vacationing somewhere close to hime. A child really does not care whether it is a beach in Goa or Pattaya. For them it is just a beach.
4. Dining Out: With young kids, you might want to consider saying a no to formal restaurants. However, if you do plan to indulge, ensure your child has a fun time so that they are content and less likely to be cranky in a formal setting.
5. Illness and Emergencies: Always carry a first aid kit and basic medication that your little one might possibly need in times of emergencies. You never know if essential medicines are available where you are going.
6. Keep them Entertained: If you plan to do a road trip or take a long flight, consider carrying some toys or gadgets the kids would enjoy playing with. A Sony PSP or card games like Uno, that they can play on the flight, might be ideal.
7. Expect the Unexpected: To cater to unexpected illness or mood swings, always consider putting in a free day into your itinerary, just in case you miss out on some sightseeing or shopping. Try to go with the flow and treat it like an adventure to be conquered.
8. Slow Down the Pace: Do not pressure your child to do too many things in too little time. Consider visiting few sights to make them more enjoyable and less stressed. Also, take a few breaks every now and then.
9. Alone Time: If you would like some alone time with your spouse, you might want to consider arranging for some babysitting facilities with the hotel. This will allow you to spend some quality time with your partner, while your children are kept busy elsewhere and taken proper care of.
Now that you have these tips for your vacation, do share where you are planning to go this summer. Bon voyage.
Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
It’s not uncommon for some kids to develop speech a little late than average. However, as a concerned parent, there is a lot that you can do to move them along the path of learning. Here are some toys that can encourage your little one to start babbling their first words.
Which little one doesn’t love imitating it’s parents talking on their cellphones. Get your child a little toy phone and they will begin to imitate you talking too. The Littles My First Mobile is a great option for tiny hands.
Toys that encourage pretend play can encourage the child to act out different roles, either by itself or with parents or other kids. This not only enhances social interaction but also the development of interactions that encourage speaking. A Sweetheart playhouse can provide hours of exciting pretend play options for your kids and their friends.
Baby Dolls are the best way to give kids a company of their own size and stature. There are so many ways that a kid can interact with a lie size baby doll – feed it, bathe it, dress it, etc. They may even start interacting and imitating parents as they become the care taker of the doll!
Singing with your baby is one of the most enjoyable ways to teach them language. So if you want your baby to learn new words in a fun way, this Disney Pre-School Sing Along CD may be just the thing for you.
It is also believed that the best of toys aren’t toys at all! Run along with your kid, sing with them, speak and cuddle and engage their curiosity. Speak to them in full sentences and soon they will start responding back.
Whether it is the head start you are looking to give your kid or working on developmental delays, toys focusing on hand eye coordination and other motor skills can introduce a combined share or fun and learning.
Toys for developing hand eye coordination have been used from time immemorial. The best we remember are the tinker toys. However, today, we have lot many alternatives, including puzzles, video games and interactive jigsaws.
It is curiosity and the urge to be appreciated that makes kids piece together puzzles. They can be used in a fun way to help their motor skills too.
Construction toys, such as the ones made by Lego, have always been favorite educational gifts from parents. Even today, they are available in several forms.
Construction sets can contain spools, bricks, flags, end caps and everything else that can help the child come up with a single building or a whole empire with guards! Just make sure you buy toys appropriate for your child’s age to minimize the danger of choking on tiny blocks.
Pull Along Toys
Pull-along toys allow for building great hand eye coordination and have been a traditional pick for developing motor skills. A little pull along doggie could be your child’s very first companion, while little girls might prefer a Musical Princess Cozy Coupe.
If your child is old enough to operate the mouse, video games like the Toy Story 3 and Super Mario can be amazing tools to help their motor skills. They foster great hand eye coordination and the graphics ensure that they remain interested and try hard to make it to the last level.
Gaming has become more portable than ever. There are several game apps designed for kids of different ages that seek to improve their hand eye coordination. These are perhaps the easiest options and help to keep kids engaged beneficially.
Other than these there are several crib toys that can be operated on the floor, like this adorable Angry Birds punching bag. If your baby is just leaning to stand up, these toys will help them get their balance and eventually walk straight to these interesting and curious toys. The only thing you need to do is encourage learning and exploring. It is curiosity that makes a kid grow us well.
Hand eye coordination is essential for a child to be self dependent faster. You would definitely want them to learn to manage their potty functions, reach out to things, eat by themselves and other things. Research well and give a more educational edge to toys than just fun and excitement.
Open-ended toys tend to provide more creative play opportunities as they provide ample scope for experimentation. Other toys like pretend role-play also encourage children to use their imagination and think creatively.
Learn more about the toys that you might want to invest in to develop your child’s creativity.
It is amazing how the creativity grows from year after year with stacking cups and blocks. While in the first year, your child’s block tower might not have any meaning, in the coming years, it may be a farm on one day or a school on another.
Kids use their imagination and create typical set-ups with their stacking toys. In addition to creativity, at a younger age, children learn how to stack or sort them (as per size, dimensions or color), teaching them necessary motor skills.
Art And Craft Activities
Art and craft activities allow the child to develop a range of skills, as there is so much more room for imagination. Simply supply your child with age-appropriate material and see what they make out of it.
For infants, consider making homemade edible playdoh or allow them to finger paint with colorful yoghurt. Older kids can create their masterpieces with playdoh and finger painting kits available in the market.
Role-play activities or pretend toys like plastic foods or vehicles or figurines will allow your child to make up stories and creative settings to include their pretend toys.
For example, with the help of a kitchen set and some pretend food, the child can have his or her own restaurant or picnic. Alternatively, your little one who loves her dolls can hold a tea party for her doll friends, ensuring a lot of creative touch in the play.
To conclude, no matter what toys you choose, it is important to foster the child’s creative development by being an active participant in their playtime activities by helping them develop new settings and scenarios with their toys.
Being able to respond and interact with the five basic senses is an important part of a child’s development. As they grow up by observing their surrounding, they are better able to distinguish between good from bad smells, sights, sounds and other sensations.
It is curiosity that helps them interact and understand everything they come across. More importantly, they get to understand themselves better. Curiosity is learning and when buying gifts and toys for your kids, keep this in mind.
• Games and toys are the best way to encourage a kid take an interest in play and understand their surroundings. While kids are more inquisitive about their own belongings – toys, books and other objects – this is also the best way to foster curiosity. Bring home toys that move, make sound, spray water and interact. They will love it and try to understand and imitate.
• Exploring the natural surroundings is a good way to encourage curiosity. Gift your kids toys that have to be used outdoors such as tricycles, trains, remote controlled helicopters and similar things that will make them get out there.
• Building blocks and the urge to create things also helps the development of curiosity. Toys should encourage your little one’s mind to ask questions and understand how things happen. Picture books might be a good option in this category.
New experiences and experiments are at the heart of every kid’s imagination. These are the growing years when they should be allowed to quench their sense of curiosity to the fullest. This is when they ask questions and get to know more about the world.
It is advisable for parents to spend sufficient time with kids such that they have a trustworthy companion they can ask questions and get reliable answers from. Provide them with toys of different colors, different shapes and interesting textures. You might also start introducing them to different smells, flavors and touch sensations.
Toys that stimulate curiosity can include anything like books, building blocks, word search games, sports kits, plane maps, globes, finger painting sets, playdoh, painting supplies. All science inventions start from solving the simple mysteries of real life. It makes children better receptors and improves their mental and physical growth.
You should never do anything to suppress the curiosity of a child. It the garden seems like a dangerous place, accompany them, but never tell them not to go there. Watch them grow knowledgeable and it will change their world and yours too!
Children learn new skills almost every day through interactive play and this is why it is important to encourage them to imagine different experiences and scenarios with toys, gadgets and outfits.
Most of the toys that develop imagination require the child to role-play and act out various scenes. By doing so, they are enhancing social skills and decision-making skills.
We tend to undervalue the importance of imaginative play in the development of children’s imagination. Kids tend to learn many practical skills with the help of such activities.
Read on to learn about some easily available toys that will help develop your child’s imagination through play and fun.
Open-Ended Toys: Blocks, Tents or Play-Doh
These toys include games like blocks and stacking toys, which can make up a castle one day, or a barnyard on another. Alternatively, a tent today may become a wild animal den and sometimes a secret reading nook.
Such toys allow the child to do most of the play, as they do not provide any sounds, instructions or actions for them. They allow you to think outside the block box, as there really is no limit to what you both can do together.
Consider playdoh or wet sand which also have unlimited potential when given to children. Most children love the sensory experience of rolling, squishing and manipulating playdoh or clay. Allow them to craft simple things they are familiar with like a ball or stick or their favorite food.
Open-Ended Activities: Painting Supplies
Painting or art and craft can be experimental. Encourage free or finger painting by giving them the supplies and let them run their imagination to make a tower, a happy family or their favorite meal.
Stock up on empty boxes and allow them to decorate them using some of the various art and craft kits that are available at stores.
Stuffed Animals, Dolls or Puppets
Teddy bears are just not for cuddling. Encourage your little one to feed their stuffed animal with a toy spoon or give it its medicine, hold a tea party for several teddy bears and dolls or create a mock school for them.
Puppets can be used in the same way as above. Encourage them to direct their own puppet shows and hold shows for the family.
Dress Up Games
You do not have to go to an expensive costume store to get your child a new play outfit every now and then. Simply look around for old purses, clothes and other accessories that could be used to create the costume. You can also buy a set of baby costumes or a Disney costume for an older child.
Let your kids exercise their imaginations to assemble their outfits. For example, a white coat with some accessories can make your little one a play doctor. No matter how much they might loathe visiting the doctor, they would love to become one and to be the one in control.
So what tips did you use to help your child practice imaginative play? Do share with us in the comments below.
This is the phase when they have has grown from their sleeping days and are equally being guided into the experiences of fear, frustrations, sadness, tear, tantrums and extreme emotions.
The world is a more recognizable place now and can be experienced better with mobility and speech. A personality will start to show up and games and toys that require dexterity and problem solving capabilities will be more in use.
At this stage, you might want to keep away toys that might frustrate your baby’s abilities. Here are some toys that are suitable for toddlers from 1 to 2 years old.
Pull along toys
Toddlers in this age group are confident about their stride and want to explore place and show parents interesting discoveries. This is a new world that they are getting fast acquainted with and need a companion to interact with as they go along.
Pull along toys that make a noise or flap feet can be worthy friends. How about a Max Pull Along Dog that shakes his head, wags his tail and barks as he follows your baby around? A good pull-along toy can teach cause and effect, develop your toddler’s imagination and encourage social interaction.
Toddlers love to take care of their doll companions. It not only increases their power of interaction, but lets them practice normal social skills in tandem. The Chicco My First Doll Good Night is a soft and light doll that develops co-ordination and fantasy skills in your toddler. And you can enjoy watching your little one cuddle, hug and play with its first doll.
Kids at this age love to be involved in an activity that involves a little bit of a challenge. The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Toolbench is full of delightful surprises that make learning more fun with every tap, pound, pull or slide.
Lights dance and charming characters pop up when baby taps colorful shapes and learns to count. It can help your baby learn the A-B-Cs, count to 10 and learn about colours and shapes.
What was your toddler’s favourite toy? How did you keep them occupied when they were this age? Do share your tips in the comments below.
Mommies, ready for a fun week ahead with your little one? Come on, as much as your little darling makes you tear out your hair, accept the truth that your baby also makes you go back to those fun playful days of your own childhood, isn’t it? There is absolutely so much you can do with your little one, playing and doing things together and bonding!
You do spend a lot of time with your little one, but other than diapers and feeds and schoolwork, are you really spending that fun time together? Why not book a full hour of one-on-one fun with your little one? If your baby is too young to speak, pick her up in your arms and talk to her with lots and lots of smiles. Hear the giggles and gurgles, make some of your own and be a baby with baby!
Massage time is essential time for baby’s growth and development, and massage time can be an important connect time too. Remove all the noise from the room and make it your and baby’s special time; as the little one enjoys your caring fingers shaping and strengthening those little baby arms and legs, sing a rhyme or play a lullaby or share a story. You’ll be amazed at how soon your little one learns these stories and rhymes!
Time for a bath? Of course there are a lot of bath toys that your baby loves, but what about baby’s best friend jumping in to play with water as well! YOU Mamma! Splash spray and squirt…have fun, play with water with your baby as you clean up your little one, and have some cuddly moments as baby comes wrapped in a towel right in your arms!
Bath over its time for a sleep? As the baby mobile or the rhyme-toy plays a lullaby, sing to your baby, look into those little bright eyes and bring in the sleep fairy…your baby will love the bed-time ritual, we promise!
Create..take a few old paper sheets and use all kinds of colours you can. Baby crayons are quite a fun way to colour up the day! And sometimes, it’s okay to let your little one get a little dirty, of course under constant adult supervision.
Mumsies, while you’re trying to get back into your relationship as a couple, one of the first steps to start the balancing of roles of mother and partner is to help your little one sleep in the baby room, or nursery.
1. Begin by doing up the room in bright and cheerful colours, something that will instantly appeal to the little one and add a fun element to the room. Use stickers, wall decals and wallpaper to do it up in style.
2. All babies love soft toys, so why not do something creative in the nursery with soft toys? Deck up the shelves, or place them around the floor for baby to want to play with.
3. A colourful and soft play mat will be a sure hit – babies can crawl, sit and play on it, even doze off to sleep! So get one now!
4. Bright and cheery curtains in baby’s favourite characters will prove quite a hit.
5. Why not get a display shelf that allows you to showcase baby’s favourite items?
6. Brighten up the room with some fun lights.
We know that as a working mum, you may not always be around your little one. While a mother is a baby’s first teacher, for times when you’re not by your little one’s side, it’s a good idea to leave an educational toy with your baby, one that will not only be fun, but also help baby learn and explore!
One of the most basic, as well as important, tool to ‘educate’ your child and encourage them to observe, question and understand is TOYS. Your baby’s first joy will be a special toy, and what better way to use learning toys that will not only be fun, but also help them learn as they play! Today, toys are much more than just a play thing. They aid your child’s growth and development, stimulate interest and open a world of ideas and possibilities.
So be sure to pick what’s right for your little one.
Eye-Hand Coordination:Rattles, beaded toys, clip-on toys, balls, bending and twisting toys are all great to help your baby through the first learning stages of eye-hand coordination. More toys here
Colours And Shapes:Your little one will not be able to identify colours for the first two months, but after that, it’s going to be a riot of colours and shapes every where the little eyes see. Mobile toys, play gym toys, toys with bright colours and patterns, blocks, rattles with different shape and colour attachments are all a great way to introduce your little darling to the world of colours, shapes and patterns. More Toys Here
Movement: Toys with wheels, dangling toys, balls in different shapes and sizes, wind chimes and skiddy toys are great fun and will help your little one understand and grasp the concept of movement. More Toys Here
Motor & Cognitive Skills: Toys that require stacking and building aid in the development of your child’s reasoning skills, and the concept of maths and numbers. They also help develop hand and finger muscles, thus assisting your child’s motor skills. More Toys Here
Outdoor toys: These are especially good for increasing your child’s physical activities and stamina, and help establish a sense of movement and direction. More Toys Here
Perceptual Skills: Musical toys not only assist your little one in learning music and rhythmic skills, they also encourage sensory tendencies in your baby, thus giving them a creative way of self-expression. More Toys Here
Emotional & Imaginative: Dolls, cartoon toys and puppets can open a world of imagination for your little ones, as they create and enact their own stories and plays. Not only this, toys such as these end up being your child’s comfort toy, with a strong emotional bond being formed. More Toys Here
Educational toys: These can be a fun way of learning. In addition, educational toys also help develop your child’s social skills like sharing, boost creativity and encourage curiosity and exploration. More Toys Here
Social Skills: Multi-player games, especially board games (and there are a host of board games for small babies), can help your child develop social skills, assist in public speaking, leadership qualities and the ability to manage a team. These are not only fun and interesting for your little one, but can also be a source of entertainment to the entire family. More Toys Here
On-screen games: Used in moderation, these are good for developing hand-eye coordination. They also enable your child’s developmental skills like problem-solving, imagination and decision-making. More Toys Here
Love playing with your little one but want to get the entire family involved? We give you a list of the top 10 board games that the entire family can play, with some cheating when your little one is involved if the game is not entirely age-ready for your kid. Get one home and enjoy!
- UNO: This is one of the most popular games that families love to play. Not a typical card game, this one will let your little one grasp the concept of colour and numbers, till the time they actually learn to play. Ideal for 2 and above.
- Life: A fun kid/family game that tells your child about the importance of decision-making in life. Questions likes, will you study, will you go to college, what will happen if you do or don’t will take players through different modes in the game. A fun way to show your kids the way of life. Ideal for 4 and above.
- Puzzle Games: There are many board puzzles that will let your child develop vocabulary, memory skills and creative thinking. Ideal for 2 and above.
- Tell-A-Story Game: Get a story-jigsaw game that will let your child build a story, step-by-step. Ideal for age 3 and above.
- Scrabble: Your little one won’t learn all spellings at one go, but this is a fun way to introduce spellings to your little one and help them learn as they grow. Ideal age 4 and above.
- Find The Difference: This is a fun board game that will sharpen your child’s observing skills and let them spot the difference between two similar pictures. Ideal age 3 and above.
- Baby Animals: This fun board game will teach your baby the names of animals and their babies. Ideal age 3 and above.
- Memory Game: A stack of thick cards that come with picture pairs. Playing will sharpen your child’s memory and observation powers. Ideal age 3 and above.
- Monopoly: Your child won’t immediately learn the tricks and tips of this one, but an early introduction to Monopoly will give your little one a lesson in the importance of money and decisions. Get one in a kid edition. Ideal for 4 and above.
- Family Game Stack: Get one of those family game packs that come with the classic games like Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, Candy Land and some more.
Planning that big trip with your little one? Well, having a baby in the car will be quite a lot of fun, we can assure you that, but as with a little one, there will be many instances when your baby may be uncomfortable, bored, or plain cranky, and these are the times you need to be prepared for, to make the trip fun and memorable. Here are the top ten toys you can easily carry along while traveling by road/air with your little one. Read on:
- The first thing to keep in mind is to carry toys that you know baby already loves and spends a lot of time with, especially those with which baby has an emotional attachment
- Carry a comfort toy. If your baby has a toy which is a sleep toy, ex. a sleep-time teddy, make sure you carry that along
- Get some new toys to surprise baby and make them excited
- If traveling by car, carry lots of buckle-up toys, ones that you can attach to baby’s car seat, or at the hold-rail of the car door
- A doodle-draw pad is something that most babies and even toddlers love. Get one that is small and portable, and can easily fit in the baby bag. This is an ideal toy for road/air travel
- Rattles for your little baby.
- Carry a few board books / voice books/musical books that your little one as well as toddler can read along easily.
- Travel jigsaw puzzles are ideal for babies of all ages. Get one that is appropriate for your little one. For younger babies, get ones with fewer pieces and ones that are easy to grasp. For toddlers and a little older babies, get ones that come in different fun and educational modes.
- Sticker activity books are great for a little older babies
- Carry along a small battery-operated toy, like a toy phone, educational laptop, or some fun toy that lights up and has features like sound, rhymes, voice alphabets and all. This is an ideal toy to carry in the car, but may not be suitable if traveling by air, as you will need to remove the batteries before boarding.
Toys are going to be your little one’s companion for a very long time. Not only will they fill your darling with smiles and fun, a good toy will also aid your baby’s development and growth, as well as help in achieving various milestones and skill sets. So it’s really important that you pay close attention to what toys you’re buying for your baby, and know the key points to keep a look out for when shopping for toys.
One of the first things to keep in mind is to make sure the brand you buy from is a reputed one. If the brand has had a ‘toy safety recall’, definitely stay away from the same.
Any toy with small buttons or ribbons poses a potential safety/choking hazard. Even if you think your little one can’t take out the ribbon or any other such small part of toy, there are chances that the same might come out on its own and may find its way inside baby’s mouth.
Small babies, especially infants, will put everything in their mouth, so make sure the toys are not such that might leave colour easily.
Toys with sharp or uneven edges are a hazard as they can hurt your baby.
Read the label carefully and make sure the product you buy for your baby is completely free of any toxic elements, especially lead.
Things like toy magnets, spikey playthings, any product with buttons, bows and anything that might come off is a choking hazard.
If you are giving your little one soft toys to play with, make sure you clean them at regular intervals, as they attract a lot of dust.
For any doll or toy with hair that you buy, make sure you remove the toy’s hair, as it could lead to sucking/chewing and choking.
Remember, anything that you buy for your little one will definitely make their way into baby’s mouth. So read all labels carefully and make sure you buy only age-appropriate products.
A good toy should excite and encourage your child at every age. Whether it’s a rattle or a complex board game, if it can’t challenge a growing mind, it’s really no use. FirstCry recommends choosing toys according to the age of your little one. We’ve come up with a list that will help you make an informed choice.
0-6 months: For the first two months, your baby will hardly need any toy. Once they enter the third month, give them toys that will help them see bright colours, hear some music/sound, suck, grasp, shake.
6-12 months: As your babies begin to crawl and explore the world around, give them toys that will help them explore, observe and use hand and leg movements. Let your child play with toys that let them put things in and out, make them understand concepts like up down, big small, let them stack and build.
Ideal toys for this age group are:
- Blocks – big blocks, colour blocks, shape blocks, soft blocks
- Pull Along toys – vehicles, wooden toys, rolling toys,
- Musical Toys – Drums, rattles, chimes
- Books – Picture books, Musical books, Bathing time books, large books
1-2 years: Your baby will now crawl, walk and run! So it’s only natural that their toys too need to keep up with this little bundle of energy. Your baby is also ready to co-ordinate well now, so it is advisable to buy toys that will help them with proper co-ordination.
2-3 years: You will need toys that will enhance their creativity. Since they can identify words, animals or characters now, but things that will interest them
- Books – Picture books, Musical books, large books
- Sorting toys : These are typically where the child can sort and build a character
- Educational DVDs
Remember, toys are never a replacement for the quality time you spend with your little one, so make sure you do a lot of that!
Yes, we never run out of our love for toys, do we? So whether it was our childhood when we went crazy about our favourite ones, or now, as parents, when we visit the toy store and can’t help look around with awe and excitement.
The markets today are flooded with toys of all shapes and sizes, with different budget brackets, with varying pros and cons. But here are a few things we should keep in mind while choosing the right toy for your little one in any age. Read on:
Fun Factor: Well, there may be many kinds of toys available in the market, toys that help in your little one’s educational and other development, but if it’s not fun and fails to engage your baby’s interest, chances are, it may be ignored and soon forgotten. Make sure the toy has enough fun-factor to be your child’s favourite toy for a good amount of time.
Age Appropriate: That beautiful doll may be just perfect for your little doll, or that block set may be wonderful for your boy, but if it does not match the age that’s specified on the box, stay away till your kid reaches the age. Many toys come with small parts that pose big choking hazards and are best kept away from little ones.
Buy What Is Needed: There will be many occasions when you are tempted to pick up that toy, and your baby too will ask for toys each time you visit the toy store/mall. But in the end, you’re the best judge to understand what is needed and what is not. If your baby already has an excess of toys, there is really no sense in picking up a similar toy that may soon be sent to the pile. Instead, get something different.
Stimulate and Engage: Your child’s toy is not just a toy; it’s a tool that will help your child’s growth and development, helping them achieve milestones, develop skills and increase their curiosity, engaging them, letting them explore and create, honing their creativity and helping them take decisions and responsibilities.
Learn To Say No: Toys that encourage violence and can harm others are a strict NO. Your child’s friend may have a similar toy, but that is no reason to get one too. Babies and children can’t resist toys, but as a grown-up and as a parent, you’re the one who should learn to say a firm NO and stick to it.
Branding: Yes, it’s important that you check the brand before giving it to a baby. This does not mean that toys of a smaller brand are not always good, but it’s always safe to make sure the brand is a reputed one, and that the products under the brand have not gone for a product-recall.
Light and Easy To Play With: Your little one may have taken a liking to a certain toy, but if it’s heavy and difficult to play with, try and avoid. A heavy toy may hurt a child, and those that are too complicated and difficult to play with may soon lose interest with your baby.
Decide For Yourself: Sales, advertisements and friends may make your little one want a specific toy, but don’t be fooled with what the brands are saying. You are the best judge of what is good for your baby and what to stay away from, so make sure you check for yourself first.
Age is a factor mostly taken into consideration to buy toys for babies and kids. A young baby would not enjoy a much sophisticated toy like blocks and a toddler would not enjoy having a rattle or a musical toy. From soft toys, role play toys and electronic toys to puzzles and board games, there are many varieties in the market. The toys must be capable of helping the baby acquire new developmental milestones and must not hamper his development at any stag
Here are some toys that you can buy for your little one!
Musical toy varieties focus on babies of particular age groups. These are good to develop your child’s sensitivity towards music and sounds. While the ones designed for newborns and infants below 6 months put them to sleep, the ones for toddlers entertain them during playing hours.
Expert Tip: A warning about these toys is to check the sound before buying one. Sharp sounds can damage a baby’s ear.
Perfect for your teething baby, teethers are perfect to chew on. They soothe the delicate swollen gums and can settle your baby without the need of a soothing gel or a firm massage.
Cuddling and Sensory Toys
Buy a few soft toys for your baby to play with and a couple of bigger ones for him to cuddle and sleep. For playing, get the ones that give a squeak or tweet when pressed. This will help him learn the capabilities of his hands.
Push and Pull Toys
Push toys can teach your baby balancing techniques. Do not be surprised if you see your baby leaning on it and practicing his first steps of walking. Push toys will give him adequate balance while he cruises.
Expert Tip: Once the cruisers advance their walking skills, you can offer pull toys. They can now easily move forward and look back at the same time without losing balance.
Blocks and Shape Sorters
While blocks let them learn the art of stacking, shape sorters help them learn the difference between shapes. Get them stack three to four toys in the beginning and eventually progress to bigger number of blocks. He will surely enjoy the crash of the blocks and stacking them back. Shape sorters might turn frustrating to the babies at times when they are really confused about why a round block would not fit into a square opening. With practice, your baby would know the exact placements of the shapes. These are ideal for babies 12 months and up.
Rattles are great fun for the babies with their bright colors and percussive sounds. This interesting piece of toy gives your baby fun with seeing and hearing at the same time. Once your baby is capable of grasping things, he will shake it himself. Most infant toys these days have rounded edges these days to prevent injuries and bruises while shaking.
Expert Tip: For extra safety, ensure that you buy the ones that have no sharp edges. These are ideal for babies upto six months of age.
These are great attention seekers of newborns and those below two months of age. You get a plenty of varieties in contrasting colors and designs. Mobiles that play music are fun. Buy mobiles after testing the music. Go for the ones that have lullaby-like cool and soothing music that can settle your baby. You can attach the mobile to the crib or cot rail towards the right side of the baby.
Expert Tip: Do not hang it to the left or overhead. Babies of this age look to the right most of the time. Keep it away from the baby’s reach.
Offering lifelike houses for your child’s favorite dolls, a complete range of house sets are available including bedrooms, kitchens, playhouse etc. These are ideal for girls above two years. You could complement the dollhouses with more dolls and accessories. This is sure to enhance their imagination and socialization skills.
The steady walkers would love to have a couple of these vehicles that help them motor around the home or lawn. Its electronic versions are expensive and demand your child moving on his own without needing a supporter. Try to go for the versions that can be manually operated. These are affordable and offer your baby the fun of getting around in the vehicle under your power and supervision.
Bouncing seats are good for babies who have gained neck support and can sit up without discomfort. These offer fabric seats well cushioned for your baby’s comfort. You can strap your baby for safety and bounce him gently. Some come with melodies and soft vibrations to soothe your baby. Some have loop links to hang your baby’s favorite toys.
Vtech Spin n Learn Butterfly
3 Months+, Letters, Numbers, Sounds, Music!
Help your little one ‘fly high’ with learning using the VTech Spin & Learn Butterfly . Stick the butterfly down to a smooth surface using the suction cup and let the fun begin. As Baby explores the Spin and Learn Butterfly, Baby is rewarded with dancing lights and fun melodies.
Baby can press the chunky light-up buttons and spin the soft fabric wings. Bop the butterfly’s head to hear fun phrases, songs, 1-2-3 and a-b-c. Baby can even get creative by jamming in sound effects with the variety of melodies. VTech Spin & Learn Butterfly is a great learning aid for Baby, a wonderful way to develop key motor skills.
Key Features :
- Become a high flyer with this electronic boppable butterfly!
- Suction cup sticks to surfaces such as high chairs, ensuring that
- early learning is never out of reach
- Spin the wings, press the buttons or bop the head
- Learn abc, 123 and hear fun phrases and nursery rhymes
- Light up buttons flash to captivate attention
- Volume control switch allows for quieter playtime
- Manufacturer’s recommended age 3 – 24 months