There will come a point where your baby will start looking beyond plastic keys and rattles and instead find pleasure in toys that are slightly more complex. This demonstrates that your baby is entering a new stage of cognitive development, and as such it is the perfect time to introduce to them learning toys. This will typically happen at around the 6-9 month old mark, so knowing when to prepare for this new stage isn’t totally uncertain, but what determining what kinds of toys are suitable for your child can be a whole other story. In this article, we give you the low-down when it comes to learning toys for your baby so you can give them what they need to thrive.
Getting started with learning toys
The shift from dependent newborn to curious explorer is one that often sneaks up on parents, but it’s still one you can prepare for to a degree – when your baby starts crawling around by themselves, there’s a key sign that big changes are happening. Unknown by many parents, however, is that there are several unique categories of learning toys that your baby can engage with. As learning toys are gender-neutral, these categories demonstrate identical toys for those looking to buy gifts for girls or boys. One of these is object permanence, one that you should be already somewhat familiar with through fun games of peek-a-boo. At this stage a baby will start learning that despite an object disappearing from view, it still exists – this is why babies have so much fun seeing your face come and go during peek-a-boo! Other great toys that you can incorporate into your child’s learning include colourful books with fun flaps to explore and stacking cups that can serve to hide fun objects within.
More fun learning toys
After you’ve introduced some object permanence toys into your baby’s repertoire, you might want to think about introducing some toys that your baby can play with while sitting up (another one of their newfound skills!). One great way to incorporate toys you already have for your baby is to use plastic links to hang them off. This way your baby will have the opportunity to learn how to reach out and play with them at different heights for a lot of fun and variety. Just make sure you don’t hang toys in awkward spots or too high as it might lead to baby having a bit too much trouble – start low and work your way up. As mentioned earlier, books as a whole are an excellent way for your baby to actively involve themselves in interacting with their toys. They are now at an age where they can hold the object and manipulate it themselves, but at this stage not any regular book will do – you’ll need to invest in some highly durable books due to a baby’s book playtime may not necessarily be gentle!
Figuring out what works for your baby
Learning toys can be a lot of fun for both you and your baby – finding out what they enjoy can be a lot of fun, so make sure to offer a wide variety of fun and interesting toys for them to engage with. Just make sure that you don’t get too excited and cycle the toys too often – this way you guarantee that your baby has had enough time to explore the toy properly.