“Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul”, said kindergarten inventor Friedrich Froebel. Research has shown that play helps in all areas of child development by providing the most required environmental stimulation to the child. Right from birth play helps a child to learn physical skills, language development, and social skills. Play shapes a child’s personality and is a part of the early material of moral character. Toys of different types form the epicenter of a child’s play. It is therefore quintessential for a parent to be well informed when it comes to choosing and buying the right toys for their little ones. With the fast growing toy market and the enticing and often overrated media advertisements, choosing the right and safe toys for children has indeed become a difficult task. This article is an attempt to provide the basics of choosing the right toys for infants-children aged 0-1year.
Birth to three months:-
The vision of a newborn is not fully developed. They are very nearsighted and can see only few colors like black white red and yellow. Their hearing though is matured and they can hear and recognize their mother’s voice. The toys that can be introduced at this age are-
-Mobile with highly contrasting colors and patterns.
-Music boxes, records, CD players with soft music.
-Soft, brightly colored and patterned toys that make gentle sounds.
Talking, singing and any form of active interaction with parents and near ones also provides the child with the most needed stimulation in this stage and throughout the first year of the child.
One to three months:-
This is a phase where the child starts following moving objects, and starts using hands and eyes in coordination. The child also learns to smile and babble and can turn his head toward direction of sound. The toys that are best suited for this age are-
-Images and books with high contrast patterns.
-Bright varied mobile.
-Playing varied music with music box etc.
Four to seven months:-
By the end of this period the child will be able to roll from front to back and back to front. The child will be able to sit first with support and then without. He will able to reach for things and then transfer them form one hand to another. Full color vision also develops at this time and the child’s distance vision and ability to track moving objects improves. It is obvious from this that some major milestones are achieved during this period of life. Therefore the toys that can be given to the child at this age are-
-Soft balls, especially those which make soft pleasant sounds.
-Toys with different textures and which make sounds.
-Toys that are light weight and have finger holds.
-Musical toys like bells.
-Old magazines with bright pictures for you to show him.
-See through rattles that show the pieces making the noise.
-Baby books with board, cloth, or vinyl pages.
The child develops interest in mirror images so including a mirror (preferably unbreakable) is ideal during this phase. You can also stat reading to your child during this period.
Eight to twelve months:-
Your child will be able to crawl and creep during this age and will also be able to pull himself to standing position. You can introduce your baby to the following toys during this stage.
-Stacking toys of different sizes, shapes and colors.
-Cups, wooden spoons, light weight pots and pans.
-Large and colorful building blocks.
-Large dolls and puppets.
-Push and pull toys.
-Toy cars and trucks.
-Paper boxes, old magazines, egg cartons etc.
The sole purpose of this article is to provide accurate information about Ayurvedic/Medical theories. This information is not intended for use in the prevention, treatment, or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concerns, please consult your family physician or health care provider who can fully assess your individual needs and provide the care you require. The contents of this article may not be reproduced in part or whole without the permission of the author.