What Are The Best Toys for Infants?

Baby Building Blocks with Mother
Getty Images/ Blend Images - JGI/Tom Grill

Babies are learning new skills every day, as they are soon quickly motivated to interact with people and their environment. The best toys for infants help babies learn to develop attention, hand-eye coordination, motor skills for rolling and crawling. Many baby toys excite babies and encourage them to babble and speak their first words. Parents do a lot of research on the best baby toys in order to find ways to offer their children ways to learn during playtime.

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    The best play gyms, activity gyms and play mats encourage babies to reach up and play with toys that are dangling over their head. Many of these rattles and teethers include stimulating and eye-catching mirrors and music. This particular toy has themed toys that are also all musical instruments.

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    The first way that a baby plays, is through exploration. They use their senses to learn, which means they like using their hands, mouths, and feet to explore. Rattles and teethers have many textures and materials that appeal to baby's different senses.

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    Do not forget about all of the learning that can happen when parents are supervising their babies playing in the bathtub at night. Children can build their hand strength by squeezing water out of their toys. Many bath toys stack on top of each other, stick to the side of the tub and help babies develop cause and effect skills during play.

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    Babies like to stack toys on top of each other. Many like taking round rings with an opening and placing them on a stacking post. Stacking and nesting toys teach babies how to problem solve using trial and error. They also learn about size differences as they place the biggest toys first, followed by the smallest.

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    Large, soft, fabric blocks are easy for a baby to hold with 2 hands. Babies will practice holding a block 1 hand, or transfer it from one hand to the other. As a child develops their motor skills for sitting and playing, parents will start to see babies try and stack blocks on top of another, until they can build a small tower. Blocks come in all sizes and materials. 

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    Cradles can be a lifesaver for new parents with fussy babies. As baby swings side to side or back and forth, they can also look up and watch  moving toys while they listen to environmental sounds and lullabies.

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    There are many plush, soft, stuffed animal toys that provide learning opportunities. These toys include many learning games to teach little children about colors, vocabulary words and animals. These toys sing songs and lullabies. Many learning plush toys, like My Pal Scout and Violet, can even be personalized to say and spell the child's name.  

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    Babies learn to problem solve by cause and effect. This means, when they push a button, pull a string, or touch a certain area of a toy, they will get a response or reaction. They might see flashing lights or hear songs or sounds. 

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    Babies are fascinated with toys, especially balls. They love to push and throw balls across the room. Many toys include openings for children to drop toys through openings.  Push the red button on this toy and watch the ball launch from one opening to another.

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    There is nothing cuter than a little baby wiggling and bouncing and to the sounds of music. Not only do they enjoy dancing, but they also like to push buttons and shake toys to make their own musical sounds with musical instruments

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    Believe it or not, babies can learn to talk if they hear their parents, grandparents, caregivers, and siblings sing songs and read to them. They also learn to turn the pages of the book and use their index finger to lift flaps and point to pictures. Cloth books are easily washed and laundered.

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    Exersaucers and jumpers encourage babies to take weight through their feet in a standing position while they play. For babies that are the recommended age range, who can not climb out, they give baby a contained place to play. However, developmentally, parents should be mindful of the time babies spend in exersaucers and always balance their playtime with floor time so baby can learn other developmental skills, too.

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    For more mobile babies who can crawl and pull to a standing position, usually around 10 months of age, they will love standing at an activity table and activating the buttons, pushing levers and hearing different songs and sounds. 

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    Crib mobiles have been entertaining babies for decades. Attach a mobile to the side of a crib and baby will be amused watching the toys spin around above them as they lie on their back. For babies who are learning to fall asleep, the mobile is detachable. The sound unit plays songs, lullabies, reggae music and offers white noise to help baby sleep.

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    It is very important for babies to learn to sleep on a routine. This gives babies the rest they need to develop new skills. Sleep toys and sound machines are plush toys, many of which can attach to the crib. These toys play lullabies and environmental sounds, letting baby know it's time to rest and sleep.

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    Babies can touch and kick spinning rattles with their hands, and their feet, any time they are in their baby carriers and strollers. Take along toy can be rotated, to provide a different experience, so baby can decide to explore the toys with their hands or feet.