Buying toys for your children that help them to advance mentally is the greatest gift that you can give them at this tender age. The best time to introduce children to the fun world of learning is when they're infants. If you are not sure exactly how to buy developmental infant toys for your children, then here are a few tips:
- Research your toys. Try doing an online search for different types of educational toys. The best thing would be to find the companies that make these types of toys. Check out companies like Leapfrog, Imaginarium, Baby Einstein and Sesame Street.
- Choose brightly colored toys. Toys that have bright, contrasting colors and lots of patterns are great for visual stimulation.
- Try toys with sound and motion. Toys that have lots of music and motion help to stimulate several different senses simultaneously within an infant. Try looking at several different types of play gyms and musical blocks, which are always very popular among infants. Another enduring and educationally stimulating kind of infant toy is the toy that makes animal sounds.
- Find shape sorting toys. These types of toys can enhance motor skills and hand-eye coordination, as well as shape recognition and an understanding of cause and effect. One example of this type of toy would be Imaginarium's shape sorting cube. It has different brightly colored shapes, such as a triangle or circle, that have to be matched to the corresponding shape in order to fit back into the cube.
- Soft books are highly recommended. These books will promote exploration, self-discovery, curiosity, interaction and visual recognition. A book can introduce infants to vivid worlds of animals, bugs, stars, family, home and adventure galore. Most stores have a huge variety of infant books from which to choose.
- Test your toys before you buy. Before you buy any toy, it's best to let your child hold it and see what she does with it. Predicting what toys will appeal to an infant is extremely tricky, which is why you're generally safer buying the toys in a store as opposed to online. Some toys may unexpectedly fail to pique her interest while others captivate her. Keep in mind that what your friend's child may like, yours may reject.
- Talk to other moms of infants. There are probably dozens of moms in your area who have experience in purchasing educational toys. Try talking to friends and family members. You can also try visiting a local mom's group in your area. They will be able to tell you what toys worked best for them, and where to shop.
- Read the box. Quite often, parents forget to actually read the box. Most toys that help to enhance a certain skill in infants will indicate that on the box.
- Toys that have any type of picture on them are very beneficial to your child. For example some toys have pictures of the alphabet, or pictures of animals. This will help your infant to recognize and identify these objects.
Infants will slowly learn to control their actions and eventually, usually by the time they reach the age of one, they will begin expressing some emotion on their own. You should keep in mind that each infant is different, but they do have similar patterns of development. So do not be alarmed if your baby does not respond as quickly as another child to a certain toy. Every child's brain is open to learning and enriching influences, but some in different ways than others. All babies require normal visual input on a daily basis, such as seeing numbers and letters. As long as you interact with him using these types of toys, you can be assured that he will grow happy and healthy.
If you are not sure what store in your area sells these types of toys, try using your search engine or consulting the yellow pages. You should be able to find lots of businesses that offer educational infant toys in your area. Don't assume, just because your child is an infant, that she cannot understand or is too young to benefit from developmental toys.