In our article, The Different Types & Stages of Play, we highlight the importance of parental involvement in a child’s play and what fathers can expect over the years.
As Maria Montessori said, “Play is the work of the child”, so never discount its seriousness.
Dads love buying their children toys, so take a moment to understand where your baby is developmentally. Playing with age-appropriate toys will help in bringing them closer to their milestones.
We understand that not all families can afford to buy expensive toys, but if you are spending the money it’s important to do it right. Alternatively, if you are gifted toys, you will be able to use them correctly.
Here is everything you need to know about the first year of toys (newborn to 12 months):
- The first year of your baby’s life is about using their five senses (sight, sound, smell, taste and touch) to explore the world around them.
- Toys will probably end up in their mouth more than you’d like, but this is their way of making sense of things. They will drop, shake and bang their toys.
- Since their sight is blurry and developing, they will need bright, bold patterned items. Black and white toys are great in the first three months but aren’t a necessity as long as their colors are in high-contrast with each other.
- Four month old’s can grasp objects and by 6-7 month,s they can transfer things from hand to hand. By 9 months, their pincer grasp has developed (using the index finger and thumb, or the index and middle fingers opposing the thumb, to pick up small objects)
- For the first three months, you are your baby’s favorite toy. They need to interact with your face and voice to learn about language, social relations, and cause-and-effect.
The best toys you can buy for this age group (newborn to 12 months):
- Crib/Nursery Mobiles (Remove once baby can sit up or grasp at it)
- Unbreakable Mirrors
- An Activity Mat (never let your baby sleep on an activity mat)
- Push & Pull Toys
- Ring Stack
- Cloth or Hardback books
- Bath Toys
- Soft, washable stuffed animals or dolls with a smiling face and with no loosely sewn parts (but never in the crib when alone or during sleep time)
- Toys made of plastic or with lead-based paint
- Small objects or toys with small parts
- Toys with strings/cords or ones with sharp edges
Always consult with a qualified medical professional or childcare expert when taking important decisions regarding your child and their health.