Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide for Babies

Babies develop rapidly and enjoy toys that allow for movement and sensory exploration. Babies learn about their bodies and their environment by exploring with their eyes, hands, feet, and mouth. Brightly colored toys, with high contrast and a variety of textures, are engaging for babies and encourage exploration.

Below are some of my favorite toys for babies to help promote development.

Rings, rings, rings
Rings are such a simple toy, but provide a great amount of entertainment for babies. Rings are great for grasping, exploring with their hands, and bringing their hands to their mouth. Most rings are textured, which allows for tactile sensory exploration as well.

Musical Table
Musical tables, such as this one by Leap Frog, are great for pulling to stand and cruising. The toys on top of the table are also great for fine motor development and learning about cause and effect

Baby Einstein Baby Neptune Ocean Orchestra Musical Toy
This toy is very engaging with its lights and music, and is a great way for babies to learn cause and effect. The buttons are very easy to activate, so it is good for infants with limited motor control. The lights and music are also great for children with limited vision. The engaging lights and music make this a great toy for keeping your baby entertained during tummy time. Another bonus for the parents: the classical music this toy plays is somewhat pleasant to listen to over and over.

Infantino Noodle Teether
This teether is easy to grasp and the legs are great for soothing sore gums. It also has a nice, loud rattle, which makes it great for grasping and exploring with the hands. SHOPPING TIP: I frequently see this rattle in the baby food aisle of grocery store. That's where I found mine and I was able to find a more gender-neutral color :)

Manhattan Toy Whoozit
This toy has bright colors and high contrast for visual stimulation and lots of legs for grasping. There are hidden noisemakers, including rattles, crinkled paper and squeakers, as well as a variety of textured fabrics to keep little hands busy. It also comes in a smaller, travel size version, called the Baby Whoozit.

Bright Starts Little Lights and Music Toy
This is a great toy for exploring and grasping with both hands. Each handle has a different texture and can be squeezed, which activates the lights and music.


 I hope you find this list helpful. Please check back tomorrow for a gift guide for toddlers!

What are your favorite toys for promoting infant development? 

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