8 simple toys to stimulate baby’s brain
Your baby’s brain is developing every day. These simple playtime tips and high-quality toys will help you stimulate their development while having tons of fun.
The moment you first gaze into your newborn’s eyes is a life-altering experience. The little human you spent nine months growing and imagining is finally here – and you just want to stare at them day and night, cover them in kisses and babble nonsensical baby talk. Well, guess what? That’s all they want too, so go ahead and engage in it with reckless abandon.
In the first few months of life, making eye contact and smiling at your baby is important to help them feel safe and secure and promote bonding. You can also talk to them, sing songs and lullabies, tell them stories and read books to them. These simple activities will help develop their language and communication skills from an early age.
Tummy time is another great way to interact with your baby while helping them develop the neck, head and upper-body strength they’ll need to sit, crawl and walk as they get older. Place your baby on their tummy on the floor several times a day. Newborns may only be able to do tummy time for one or two minutes before they get tired, but they’ll eventually build up to 15 minutes or longer. Dangle toys in front of their eyes and move them from side to side to encourage head lifting and movement. Once your baby can support their weight on their forearms and lift their head, you can turn pages in a book to develop their eye strength and interest in reading.
By the time your little one is four or five months old, you’ll be able to talk to them and play with them more interactively. Describe what you’re doing as you go about your day (“Mommy is doing the dishes now”) and respond to their cooing (“Yes, that’s right, that’s the cat”), or lie on the floor with them and build a tower of soft blocks. Any time you spend playing and interacting with your baby helps them feel securely attached to you and loved.
At six months, your tot will likely be able to sit up with support, reach for toys and shake them, babble simple sounds such as ‘dada’ and ‘baba’, and express emotions by laughing, squealing, frowning and grunting. They’ll love to play with toys that have interesting colors, patterns, textures and sounds.
Five simple toys that will stimulate your baby’s development
The best toys for babies don’t feature loud songs and flashing lights. They’re surprisingly simple because research has shown that basic toys that can be used in many ways (grasping, shaking, banging, chewing, stacking, filling and dumping) encourage cognitive development and creativity. Here are six of our favorites.
Wee Gallery’s Baby’s First Soft Book is filled with large, black-and-white illustrations of animals that even newborns can enjoy with their limited eyesight. Printed on non-toxic cloth, it’s perfect for little hands to grip and explore.
Keep your little one stimulated and entertained while you’re on the go with Wee Gallery’s I See Stroller Cards. The five beautifully illustrated cards feature everyday objects printed on sturdy cardboard for durability.
Not only will your wee one love reaching for, flipping, squishing and throwing Globe Totters’ New York City Block, they’ll also discover NYC’s most famous landmarks through its eye-catching illustrations. And it’s handmade from 100% organic cotton and 100% biodegradable eco-fill to boot.
Oli and Carol’s Geometric Figures are fashioned from non-toxic, eco-friendly 100% natural latex. The five brightly colored shapes will introduce your tot to colors, shapes and textures, and develop their hand-eye coordination.
The Wee Gallery Woodland Activity Pad keeps your baby stimulated with a variety of sensory stimulation from high contrast graphics and hidden items including crinkly features, a rattle, a squeak and a maple wood teething ring hidden behind the bear.
Green Toys’ Stacking Cups offer dozens of possibilities for bath and play time. Scoop and pour water, build towers by turning upside down, or just sort sizes to nest.
This beautiful GOTS Certified Organic Playmat by Babee & Me brings tummy time and playtime to a whole new level. Not only does it feature stunning artwork, but it’s ethically made in India to GOTS standards and free from harmful chemicals.
Wonderful for stimulating sight, sound and touch, Cheengoo’s adorable veggie rattle set is hand-crocheted using luxuriously soft yarn derived from the pulp of the organically grown and sustainably harvested bamboo trees.