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How to Choose Baby Educational Toys
2012-02-18 08:54:44

How to Choose Baby Educational Toys

Look for textured baby toys. Babies love to feel (and chew on!) different textures. Reach 'touch and feel' board books and identify textures as they feel them. Use soft cloth blocks and wooden blocks so babies can experience both. Taggies is a company that produces multiple toys with smooth satin tags for babies to explore.

Use toys with strong graphics. Black and white give the best contrast. Color is great too, but infants respond better to simple black and white. Publishers offer board books with black and white pictures inside. There are also fabric blocks for babies to play with. When selecting a crib mobile, look for strong contrast in the graphics and avoid pale pastels. The sharper the contrast, the more educational and interesting the toy will be for a baby.

Give opportunities to practice the pincer grasp. Picking objects up with the thumb and index finger is a major developmental milestone in the first six months of a baby's life. Look for toys that provide lots of finger action. Cheerios are often used to develop pincer grasp, but also look for silicone balls with fringe--the fringe stretches when pulled on and it's soft texture will intrigue babies for long periods of time.

Make noise. Drums, tambourines and xylophones are great first instruments that will provide enjoyment for several years and allows babies to learn about cause and effect. Singing songs to a baby is also a great 'baby educational toys', as is listening to music. Crinkle books are another favorite of infants everywhere.

Go places. Once babies are about 2 months old, their vision is developed enough that taking in the world around them is an education in of itself. Go to the zoo. To the store. To the park. Get out of the house and go places. Narrate events and name objects as you go.

Swing, bounce, and spin. Movement helps develop a baby's inner ear which, in turn fosters the sense of balance needed to walk later on. Some studies have found that spinning can even increase IQ.

Look in the mirror. Mirrors are excellent infant educational toys. Many daycare centers have mirrors at bouncy seat level so babies can check themselves out as they bounce. If possible, install mirrors at home at baby's eye level and have the bouncy seat face the mirror. Some infant swings come with mirrors. There are also books with mirrors, unbreakable crib mirrors, and rattles with mirrors. Babies and toddlers love to watch themselves and mirrors teach body awareness.

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