After learning about general tips for choosing smart toys for your kids, we focus on toys for your baby.
- The best toys for your baby are those that stimulate his five senses – his sight, hearing, touch and smell. Give him toys that give experiences of colors, textures, sound and smell. This helps his senses develop and become keen and accurate.
- A newborn’s vision is limited (he can’t see beyond 15 inches), that is why he responds best to black-and-white or brightly colored objects and graphics.
- Toys that make noises and react to your baby’s actions give him a sense of control and develops his manipulation skills and coordination. An example is a rattle or a squeaking toy that makes a sound when he moves or squeezes it.
- Your baby loves to put object in his mouth because he uses his mouth to “feel” things. Make sure all his toys are clean. He also needs teething toys made of soft material that helps strengthen the teeth. (Frozen teething rings soothe painful teething)
- Other toys for your infant need not be expensive and can be simple, as follows:
For babies 1 to 6 months:
- You – make sounds by clapping your hands and snapping your fingers, sing to him and rock him, making funny faces. You are his best toy ever.
- Small, bright colored toys hanging across his crib
- Small mirror – for him to visually focus and track himself (although he won’t recognize himself until he’s around 15 months old). Make sure that the mirror is safe and won’t injure.
- A drawing of a face – babies instinctively love human faces more than any other visual object
- A mobile with colorful objects that stimulate vision
- Gentle music from a CD or a tape
- A bright-colored ball, a hankie, a ribbon, etc. – which you can hold in front of your baby so he can track it with his eye. You can also encourage him to reach for it when he is about 8 to 10 weeks old.
- Activity centers or baby gyms that encourage reaching and grasping in the later months.
- Soft tubular pillow or tummy bolster that you can roll under his arms and chest while he lies on his tummy. This strengthens his neck, arm and back muscles and gives him a new position to view the world.
- Bright-colored blocks
- Safe household objects that your 3 to 6 month-old baby can explore with his touch like spoons, cups, bowls, etc.
For babies 6 to 12 months old:
- Plastic or rubber animals or dolls that can be washed.
- Push or pull toys that allow your baby to create movement.
- Big plastic blocks.
- Musical toys or toys that generate sounds when pressed.
- Empty cardboard boxes for crawling games.
- Big lego toys.
- Shape sorters or nesting cups that teaches your child about sizes and the concept of object permanence.
- Stuffed animals
See also the list of best educational toys and gift ideas for children
How to choose toys to make kids smarter
How to choose toys to make your toddler smart
How to choose toys to make your preschooler smart
How to choose toys to make your school kid smart.