There is no feeling in the world like bringing home your newborn baby; intense joy and love is matched only by the intense worry that you’re providing the best environment for your precious bundle. Providing a nurturing and stimulating environment is the key to unlocking your child’s greatest potential. Here at P’kolino we’ve compiled a list of toys and furnishings appropriate for your baby at every stage of child development, to guide you a little bit through the process :).
Birth to 4 months
The world is uncharted territory to a newborn; everything is new, fuzzy, and a bit strange. Gentle stimulation and regular interaction help your newborn begin to make sense of their new world.
- Infants can only see objects up to 10 inches away and can’t make out subtle colors or patterns yet. Brightly colored mobiles with simple patterns are great to help with eye movement and focus
- Babies are naturally curious about their environment and how it works. Simple toys that incorporate discovery and cause-and-effect are perfect development tools
- Play with your baby and show them how they can interact with toys like infant playmats, bouncers, and handheld toys like rattles and soothers
By now your baby can recognize mom and dad, may have established eating and sleeping patterns, and is regularly engaged with their environment.
- Babies can sit up in bouncy seats and rock and crawl on play mats or in playpens. They will reach for things and can understand object permanence
- Babies are concentrating on gross and fine motor skills at this point. Encourage crawling to objects, stacking toys, and toys that react to baby’s actions (push, pull, twist, grab)
- Shape sorters and blocks are great for encouraging fine motor skills
- Toys that encourage crawling and standing will help babies improve strength and coordination
10 months to 1 year
Babies are fully engaged with their world now. Your burgeoning toddler can respond to simple instructions, stand assisted by furniture, and understand familiar phrases and songs.
- Toys that encourage standing and cruising help strengthen muscles for walking. Ride-on toys and roll-away toys are great to introduce at this age
- Early role play games can be enjoyed like stackable cups or play phones
- Babies will enjoy toys that incorporate surprises like characters that bounce up with the push of a button or balls that roll through tubes
Your toddler is becoming a confident walker and regular talker. Toddlers can entertain themselves for small stretches at this age and are determined to explore and discover.
- Advanced ride-on and push along toys improve walking skills and motor coordination. Toy vacuums and ride-on cars or trains help strengthen muscles and are great role play toys for early imagination
- Children are ready to sit and listen to and look at books, as they see them as more than toys to chew. Their vocabulary is growing daily at this age
- Children at this stage are also ready for more complex building toys
18 months to 2 years
Walking is well established by now, and toddlers will begin to run and become active climbers.Their vocabulary is up to 200 words and they are fully capable of expressing more complex emotions like frustration and jealousy :s ;).
- Toddler sized table and chairs provide a comfortable place to play and relax
- Art sets are great at this age to develop fine motor skills like holding markers and drawing, and are wonderful for encouraging creative expression.
- Role play games are well received at this age as imaginations begin to soar. Play kitchens and dress-up clothes are great cognitive developers at this age.
- Beginning sports toys can help with coordination and cooperative play too.
As you can see, there is so much babies and toddlers can do, enjoy and learn as the grow, and usually it’s a lot more than we give them credit for! It’s just a matter of giving them the opportunities and tools to unlock their amazing potential.