Child experts are agreed on one thing: toys play a hugely important role in babies' development. It goes beyond just having fun – all that playing, laughing, stacking and banging is in fact building imaginations, stimulating senses and developing co-ordination. Note to self: keep your camera nearby to capture the giggles!
From an early age your little bundle will be following moving objects with their eyes and ears; at month two baby will start to grab and around month three babies will start to enjoy tummy time – pushing up on strengthening little arms. From month four babies' hand-eye coordination really starts to improve as they want to touch, hold and shake everything around them (including your hair!) Reward every effort with a beaming smile and encouraging words of praise.
Perfect toys for newborns include:
Little hands are getting more dextrous, little minds more inquisitive, little legs more mobile. Your baby will love to play hide and seek, and will start choosing favourite toys to play with. Around this time babies start 'passing and posting' objects – the early development of taking turns (just keep an eye on your DVD player!) With the onset of teething you'll also notice that anything and everything seems to find its way into baby's mouth to chomp on.
Ideal toys for this age group include:
Little legs are go! Your miniature explorer is officially a toddler – a bundle of energy and curiosity - enjoying newfound freedom. Toddlers begin to talk and express themselves, as well as becoming much more active as they learn to run, jump and climb. Their curiosity will know no bounds, so choose toys to extend their physical abilities and feed their imagination.
Encourage miniature explorers with the following toys:
From 2-4 years, teaching and learning go hand-in-hand; by introducing fun educational games with numbers and letters you're paving the way for the transition to big school. Don't forget the creative play too – what 3 year old doesn't love getting down and dirty with paints and modeling clay?
Perfect toys for your pre-schooler:
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