Toys can be a great source of entertainment and mental stimulation for babies and toddlers. However, it is important that parents understand what kind of toys each developmental stage requires according to their baby’s emerging capabilities.
Gumtree gives you the rundown on the right toys and instruments for each stage for your child’s mental growth and stimulation. However, it is imperative to remember that each child develops in a unique manner and must never be rushed.
- Birth through 6 months: During this stage, babies are fascinated by faces and their main activity involves exploration. Thus, any toys that stimulate the senses, especially touch, sight and sound, are perfect for this age group. These include rattles, playmats, soft toys, sleep toys etc.
- 6 to 12 months: As babies get older, they are more mobile as they are able to roll, sit up, scoot and bounce. Some of them may also be ready to take their first steps. Age- appropriate toys at this stage include cause-and-effect toys such as those with buttons that result in music or other fun actions. Babies of this age group also love bins and containers to dump and fill.
- Ages 1 to 3 years: Babies and toddlers in this stage are bursting with energy, exploring everything they come across. They are curious little beings who want to investigate their surroundings. Age-appropriate toys in this age group include outdoor toys, puzzles, construction blocks and musical toys.
- Ages 3 to 5 years: These pre-schoolers enjoy a challenge and have highly active imaginations. Parents are recommended to introduce technology in small bursts to help them. Other toys at this stage include art and craft activities, bikes and pretend play.
Now that you’ve got the knowledge, it’s time to shop! Head to gumtree.co.za or your Gumtree app (click for Apple & Android) and don’t forget to use your location settings to find local baby and kids developmental toys close to home.