Playing is the most essential part in the babies childhood years so what you gave to your child during playtime might influence to the decisions when they gets older. Toys categorized just in two divisions, educational and non-educational. It is critical as parents to select toy items that are harmless and at the same time educate them.
Playing for babies is not just the act of just playing but a way of learning using their five senses and developing it. They are quick to learn as fast as they can walk in a year after crawling, their brains develop almost 50% in full of that adult intelligence. Therefore we must underestimate their brains as just absorbing what we can teach them. Nowadays, so many types of milks and formulas can speed up their brain development.
In the market, there are so many toys that you can choose. If you carry with you the baby, the tendency is they will select on what gets into their attention. To avoid this, from spending much and for carefully evaluating what is the best toy for your child try to create a checklist to help you decide.
Initially before you buy a toy, consider the age bracket of the child if belong to birth-6 months (Sensory and motor development), 6-12 months (Interactive play), 12-18 months (goal-oriented play), 18-24 months (problem-solving play) and 24-36 months (the age of mastery). As parents, we must respond efficiently to their needs in order to adapt to their learning and development periods.
During the sensory and motor development, babies are still developing their eyes and hands. They respond mostly to colors and the movements of their hands. We can observe babies playing with their hands and just looking intently to colors if they see one. To stimulate and help them develop their vision, give them toys that have vivid colors. They are also responding using their mouth as their motor skill. Give them teeters that they can play in their mouth. Using sound and textures as well as safe not hard toys. Toys during this stage must be cushioned or soft textured. Babies during this stage are prone to throwing their toys, be sure that if toys fall on them it will not suffocate or cause injury.
For interactive play, the babies are just being entertained but must respond to create interaction. In this stage, they began to crawl in the bed and begin to emit sound. They discover the interaction between adults and they respond through smiling and clapping their hands. Toys that will be given should respond to them as well. For example, if they shake a certain toy they will realize that it creates sound. The toys should not only have colors but interactive. For example, baby pushes a simple button the toy will emit sound. Since they are in crawling stage, make a simple course where they can adventure and crawl safely. Teach them how to hug by providing stuff toys that will encourage them how to hug. Soon if you ask them to embrace you, they will instantly know what you mean.
During the goal-oriented play, babies will begin walking. Their muscles will improve for walking. Toddlers will have the orientation to follow what adults do. In this stage you are giving them activities that has aim. The best toys for them are building blocks, we can attribute to the toy Lego as a goal oriented play. Toys that will ask them to start a puzzle and finish it. You can also give them colored books that will encourage them to draw out the dots until they create an image. Read also storybooks during at night and teach them simple songs or make them listen to educational music.
The stage of problem-solving play, the toddlers learns how to speak and use their imagination. This is the time that we ask them what they can see in the sky. They can match objects like fitting a certain shape into a large box. Teach them simple steps in dancing and in singing. This is the perfect time to teach them alphabet song and make them remember some vowels sounds. Teach them different shapes and numbers. At this age, they are fond with superheroes and by providing them costumes they can use their imagination effectively. They are also fond of playhouses and rocking horses. Encourage them to have activities using motor skills in advanced stage.
The age of mastery, toddlers are now using their imagination into application. Provide them coloring materials such as brush and watercolor. Teach them how to use them. Who knows your child is gifted in painting. Other thing is providing them as microphone toy so that they can improve through their voice. This is the play where you can integrate simple math, alphabet, shapes and colors. Give them simple vocabulary lessons with association to pictures. For boys, you can use automobile toys and train stations or miniatures of a community. While for girls, you can give them dolls that has accessories, toys that are associated with jobs. You can also provide them with rocking horses and slow moving bicycles or automobiles.
Refrain from giving toys that may give bad influence to their development. One example for these are toy guns. These are not educational and at the same time give bad implications to the consciousness of the child.
Beyond all these, be sure that the quality time and supervising them all the way, as they grow up are given to them. Parent's attention cannot replace all the toys, it is best to have connection and bonding moments with them. Parents are still the best teachers for babies.