I know that reading to my 11-month-old baby is important for her development, but what other baby toys or activities can help foster early child development? Answer:
Reading books is a great way to help your baby work on her cognitive skills and set the stage for literacy. You'll find that lots of other baby games and baby activities can help her grow and develop, too. Try these suggestions to focus on different sensory skills and promote safe, active play:
- Sight: Seek out baby toys that are visually stimulating and appealing to your baby. Try looking for objects with vivid colors and simple designs that are easy to play with. Babies enjoy looking at themselves during this time, so pictures of faces or unbreakable mirrors make great baby toys as well.
- Hearing: Your baby hears very well, and simple baby toys that make noise may appeal to her. Books with crinkly pages or toys that she can jangle are good choices.
- Touch: Your baby is exploring the world through touch, so why not introduce her to new and exciting textures? You can find toys, books, and even simple household objects that offer different tactile sensations, from smooth and silky to furry and fuzzy.
Keep these other tips in mind when choosing baby toys:
Pick active toys Try finding objects your baby can reach for, hold, suck, and use to make noises.
Put safety first When it comes to your baby, you can never be too careful. At this stage she is likely to test everything with her mouth, so baby toys should not be small enough to swallow or have small pieces that could come off. Double-check that the toys don’t have sharp edges, and won’t easily break or splinter. Also opt for playthings that are painted with nontoxic, lead-free paint, and those that can be easily cleaned.
Follow her development As your baby ages, the toys and games that pique her interest and promote her development will change. Follow her lead as she heads off into the brave new world of toddler fun and games.