Infants Are Like Martians!
I know you must think that the title of this post is a very odd statement coming from a woman that adores babies! But in my travels, and often in our stores, I continue to hear parents saying, “Oh, my baby does not play with toys,” or “My baby shows no interest in toys.”
Granted, my belief is that the best stimuli for babies are truly their parents, grandparents, siblings and caregivers as they all interact with them. Singing, talking, reading, cooing, and observing the wonderment of everyday activities certainly entertains and has the greatest impact on an infant’s development.
But there is also a great value in a baby’s toys in the first year of life. However, it is critical that you show your infant HOW TO PLAY with the toy. So, that’s why I tell parents to pretend that babies, and even toddlers, need to be treated like Martians!
If a Martian landed on earth and you handed it a toy what would the alien do with it? Although babies are very smart, they, like Martians, have no clue what to do with a toy! One must teach their Martian, oops I mean baby, about the attributes of a toy.
So when you’re looking for a new toy for your little one here are some attributes to think about and then present to your baby:
4. oral senses
5. gross motor and fine motor development
Purchase toys from every category to give your baby different sensory experiences. Also be very aware of your babies size, age and strength: toys should be small enough for her/him to manipulate.
One of my favorite early toys is called Baby Paper. Everyone I show this to looks at me funny, but buys it and then calls me to say,”You were right Joy, my baby plays with it constantly.!!!!!”
It is a small square fabric that has the crinkliest, crunchiest sounding paper inside. And because all babies love playing with paper this item allows them to hold it, manipulate it, crunch it and teethe on it. Its also machine washable, and comes in lots of colors.
A perfect and inexpensive first toy to discover with your little Martian!