Submitted by: Rachel Nunez
Kids toys are perfect source of entertainment. They can serve as a diversion for kids. When babies cry, we usually grab something that could direct their focus on that specific thing and eventually they stop to cry. They come in different sizes, shapes and colors. The bigger and the brighter it is, the more it becomes enticing to their eyes. Sometimes, as their cognitive development advances, toy selection varies according to preference. Like a 7-year old pretending to be a doctor would definitely prefer plastic stethoscope or a first aid kit as a toy to enforce his role playing.
But what does a toy serve for an infant who is mostly engaged in a solitary play? Babies’ ages 0-12 months do not have playmates and they do not chose who they want to play with. Infants on this stage, work with their senses, basing on what appeals to their eyes and what they can touch. This stage is one of the most critical stages because it marks the beginning of the development of their motor responses.
Not only toys at this age would serve as a diversion, a parent should consider the need of the baby by screening a plaything that could enhance their motor skills and provide additional stimulation. For example, it is normal for a 1 month old baby to regard an object in the midline of their vision; so a perfect toy for this age is actually a mobile over their crib. This way it can aid on the focus of the infant and it is perfect for visual stimulation. This kind of play is most helpful especially for babies that are crossed-eyed. Another example, since hearing is one of the sources of pleasure for this age group, anything that can produce sound is stimulating for them.
Rattles are good instruments and it can also aid in developing their grasp. And of course, you can also add music to the crib mobile. For babies between 5-6 months, eruption of the teeth begins and since this is really painful to the baby, you actually aid in relieving the pain by giving them nice colorful teething rings to help them cushion their gums and counter the pressure they are feeling.
Kids toys are really purposeful. But anything that we give to our kids should be safe as well. So as a parent, when shopping for toys, we need to be extra careful on what we select. It is critical to look at if toys are poisonous or if it has small parts that could snap off since babies love putting something into their mouth (especially 5-6 month old babies wherein they start teething). This could endanger the baby with aspiration. For babies that are learning to roll over, a playpen can be set up. This can give protection that is why it should be well cushioned. If they have discovered a new skill, they can further enhance their abilities while keeping them from harm
Infants are most dependent of all the age group. Despite their cute little frames and innocent smiles, they need to be well assisted in their needs. Toys are important for babies and they go hand in hand with constant interaction with the parent. Babies need security and affection. With the proper guidance on how to care for our little ones, we can aid them to thrive. Therefore parents should always learn to check on the safety of their kids. Tons of books out there contain helpful information on rearing kids. Even with toy selection, we can show our care and the importance of nurturing.
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