From birth, baby has all his senses on the alert. Studies have shown that newborns recognize their mother’s face from their third day of life! That is why each toy will not only allow baby to have fun, but also to stimulate and develop all their abilities every day, intellectually, physically, emotionally … Thanks to play, your child wakes up! But it’s not simple: each age group has specific toys. Here is a little guide.
Infant toys from 1 to 6 months, for an ideal awakening
The music Box
From birth, the newborn is sensitive to music. It has even been proven that hearing is the most developed sense in the fetus: this is why many mothers play music to their babies, even while they are still in their womb. So do not deprive yourself of playing baby songs, for example to fall asleep. One piece of advice: we’ll go back to hard rock, choose a sweet melodyto put him to sleep without frightening or exciting him.
An essential accessory to hang above the cradle, the mobile not only helps baby fall asleep, but it awakens all of his senses thanks to its movement, its different shapes, colors, the sounds it produces … Hang it upabove his bed or changing table. Position it taking into account what your baby can see when lying on their back.
Soft objects are ideal for infants 1 to 6 months old: they can be bitten and abused in complete peace of mind and they are perfect when, around 6 months, the first teeth arrive! Indeed, they relieve baby during the famous teething, which are usually painful. One of the great successes as a birth gift and for the baby’s first months: the famous Sophie la girafe® from the company Vulli®! The same goes for teething rings, whose soft texture is perfect for teething, relaxing, and awakening baby’s senses.
The table of discoveries
This is a real awakening board which not only entertains baby, but stimulates his senses: by turning a small cylinder, a wheel, by pressing a button or by advancing small animals along a line … It moves, it makes noise, baby loves it ! Fixed in the park, in the car or in bed, it must be simple so that the child can handle the different activities.
When can baby start playing with a rattle?
It is from three months, when baby begins to use his hands gently, and to be able to grab small objects, that we can give him a bell rattle. The rattle stimulates manipulation : it must be light, colorful and your toddler must be able to shake it without risk. Around one year, your baby may lose interest in it and turn to other more elaborate toys.
What toys for a 6 month, 8 month or 1 year old baby?
The shape sorter
The shape sorter is one of the great classics of early learning toys. It is given to babies from six months, with the aim ofrefine your dexterity with the blocks and shapes that are easy to fit. It will also allow your child to initiate learning shapes and colors.
The ball or the ball
By playing with a ball or ball, your baby will be able to develop his motor skills. In addition to being entertaining, the balls stimulate the motor aspect. Your child will have fun pushing them and then trying to grab them by crawling. Think about sensory balls, a real treat for baby’s touch, thanks to the many textures, shapes, aspects, colors available …
It’s the age to push your musical sensitivity a little further! As soon as he is seated, you can introduce him to percussion musical instruments to help him develop hearing sensitivity : castanets, tambourines, tom-toms. You can make him touch the instruments, mimic a few gestures to show how to play them …
From 6 months, all water games are fun for babies. It is indeed time for experiments : filling, pouring, pouring… so many activities that require concentration and develop understanding. You can give him cups, which he will fill and pour into the bath, plastic animals … Be careful, however. not to give him bath toys that are too small, that he could put to his mouth, creating a risk of suffocation. Be sure to respect the recommended age indicated on the packaging.
Plasticine and drawing
Give him large colored pencils, plasticine, a wall chart and sheets of paper that he can model, draw, color as he wishes. These artistic activities, extremely important for awakening, will allow him to leave free rein to his imagination, to develop his creativity and fine motor skills.
From 12 to 24 months: which game according to which age?
Pushing and carrying toys
From one year, baby needs to develop gross motor skills (ability to produce arm, leg or body movements with some control). This is why you can give him objects which roll or which are in motion such as a wheelbarrow, a cart, a stroller… Also try the swing, with great care! Everything suits him to satisfy his need for gross motor skills.
Toys with simple mechanisms
Spinning tops, string puppets, plastic telephones… Toys with simple mechanisms delight both parents and children. Make sure that each piece is well attached, and that the objects are not too small. Anything smaller than the hole in a toilet paper roll should be kept out of reach of a baby.
Who doesn’t know the timeless sandbox? In this square filled with sand, baby will be able to play build, explore, using shovels, rakes, buckets, or even sieves … so many accessories that will make him work on his handling, his dexterity, and especially his imagination and creativity!
The first constructions
Infant construction toys, like the LEGO® DUPLO®, also help develop creativity and manipulation. The wooden or plastic cubes are much appreciated as well.
What toys at the beach?
Even better than a sandbox, the beach, and its real sand … it’s the perfect place for baby’s games! From 18 months, the latter will be able to build pies and sandcastles using the different accessories : sandbox, bucket, beach cart, sieve, rake, mussels … Always watch baby during his games at the beach, or accompany him, it’s even better!
Toys from 24 to 36 months: your baby explores and imitates
Now is the time to give your child a pretty doll, if they want to. The child “speak” to her baby and reproduces situations experienced or heard. He thus identifies with adults, in reproducing some of their behaviors (scolding the doll, congratulating it, giving it food and drink, cuddling it …). It’s a great way to develop your learning.
Imitation games allow toddlers to“behave like the grown-ups”. Dinette, stroller, pram, workbench for the little handyman or the little handyman, doctor’s case, cash register … The toy shelves are filled with imitation games, the choice is yours! Remember to leave clichés, because imitation toys are often very gendered.
Miniature universes and small figurines
Thanks to the miniature universes, your child will develop his imagination and creativity: he will be able to stage characters, invent stories. Garage, small cars, farms, dollhouses … You will have the choice between many universes! feel free to offer him various universes, without necessarily directing your daughter to the dolls and your boys to the toy cars. Warning, the parts must be big enough to facilitate handling.
To play doctor, transform into a fairy, mistress or firefighter… The range is wide! You will find a host of children’s costumes in costume stores, or even supermarkets. Dressing up as someone else is great for awakening; it is to transform your appearance, to confront your image, to control it. And above all, dream!
After his first year, baby develops all his abilities every second. It is very important to integrate early learning games into your daily routine. Playing is a pleasure, but allows you to appeal to all of your senses: visual and auditory attention … You can start offering him simple lotto and domino games, or even give it his first puzzles…
The awakening mat, from what age?
The play mat is fabulous for baby: it allows him to have fun, discover, explore …. This interactive mat is composed, in the same way as the discovery board, objects and accessories that will awaken all his senses : small hanging animals, buttons to be pressed, mobiles to move, which make music … And above all, an incredible number of textures and colors for baby! It also allows you to start crawling, moving, walking …
While it is quite possible to leave baby on an awakening mat from birth, initially, it is not essential. Indeed, the first few weeks, he will need a lot of sleep to adapt to his new environment, and it should not be over-stimulated.
This is from one month of life it is advisable to put baby on an awakening mat. It will then be necessary to favor flexible, pleasant, thick materials.
Warning ! The play mat is no reason to leave baby alone, unattended. You must always stay close to him. Take the opportunity to play with him, your interventions and your exchange will awaken him even more!
Toys and dangers: some precautions to take
Like anything in the hands of a little one, toys can be dangerous. Some recommendations are to be applied for a safe game:
- For children under 36 months, avoid toys with small parts (puzzle, dice, miniature toys, figurines …) because of the risk of suffocation;
- Buy or get your toys according to the recommended age group on the box ;
- Regularly check all toys from which some small parts or parts could come loose: dolls, soft toys, pacifier or pram chains …