Stimulating the Minds of Infants by Using the Best Games and Toys

All children start life with the inherent ability to absorb information (like a sponge soaks in water). If we do not stimulate these children from a very early age (once their eyes are in focus, and they begin interacting with the parent) we have potentially lost an ‘Einstein’. Not only do we need to feed the cognitive skills of the brain, but we also need to help them develop their motor skills by giving them with bright objects or toys that makes them to try to do certain things. This improves their hand/eye coordination.

From birth to twelve months old

This part of the babies early life (lets say its a boy) is occupied with recognizing the features and voices of his parents. He can already grasp and hold onto small items, like a rattle or bottle etc. In just a few months he can understand the concept of the game ‘peek a boo’, and will laugh and smile every time that he sees his parent playing this game with him. By six months he can hold his own head, roll over onto his tummy (or his back), and reach out for items placed closeby him.

Now, some examples of various toys available for this age group –

  • Sponge balls (very easy to wash) – any bright colors, not too small (too small would be a swallowing hazard), just large enough to fit his little hands.
  • Blocks (both plastic and wooden ones are fine) – all colors (the brighter the better), shapes and sizes (check what paint is on the wooden blocks, as everything a child grabs gets chewed).
  • Pots, pans, wooden spoons and pot lids – he will just love the noise these items make, and trying to fit a lid onto a pot will take a lot of practice attempts – but believe me he will get it right (some babies get very frustrated with this and tend to throw a tantrum).
  • Anything musical – babies love sound, and there are hundreds of different toys out there that are suitable for this age group – find one that suits you and the baby (a xylophone is pretty cool).
  • Boxes (preferably plastic – Tupperware works well) – put some of them in front of him (with his blocks and balls) and watch him spend a long time putting odd items into them, and then removing them. You can find a toy that does exactly this. It has different shape holes around the sides, and the block parts are shaped to fit into a unique hole.
  • Flash cards – made from wood or plastic (laminated paper is not a option as your child could cut his mouth/lips), with pictures of animals (and shapes) in bright colors. These can be used just as play toys, or a parent could spend a hour or two with the child teaching him words, colors and shapes. It is really amazing how simple interaction such as this improves the child’s memory.

As a parent, I find that spending those few precious minutes playing with my children, and watching them develop at their own pace, the most rewarding part of my usually busy day.

Authors Bio: Nicola is a full time author, and writes articles on a range of interesting topics. You can visit her Little Tikes toy site, where you will find some excellent bargains on little tikes kitchen and little tikes playhouse toys, which are great for small kids.

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