Selecting gifts for newborn babies could be quite tricky, since they are still in the early ages of development. However, that doesn’t mean that toys are out of the equation. After all, infants are making sense of the world around them, and their brains are taking in so much information. Toys could be great tools to supplement their rapid physical and cognitive growth. On the hunt for safe and durable toys for gifting? Here are some that you could look into:
Infants as young as two months old are rapidly developing their senses of sight and hearing. For instance, they could already follow movements and gaze at objects for a couple of seconds as well as react to and create sounds other than crying. Engage them further with this lovely Wooden Hippo Rattle from Eguchi Toys. What we love about this toy is that it grows along with your child: its smooth edges and chunky frame makes it ideal for practicing grasping for four months onwards, and toddlers could use it for pretend play!
Babies love putting everything into their mouths, as this is how they explore the world around them. Of course, this method of exploring is every parent’s nightmare, haha. That’s why we’re thrilled that food-grade silicone toys are available in the market, such as this World Map Puzzle from Sew Crafty. Silicone generally makes for a safer alternative to plastic, as the latter may contain harmful chemicals when exposed to high heat (such as BPA). What we love about Sew Crafty’s silicone puzzle is its variety of uses. It makes for a perfect companion during tummy time, and the puzzle itself is great for practicing fine motor skills. Later on, you could also use it for identifying colors, places on the map, and even directions. It also comes with a cute little boat so you can travel around the globe with your tot!
You can never go wrong with these thoughtfully designed sets from Lovevery! Created by a team of neuroscientists and researchers, each kit is made up of several toys that target a specific age range and its corresponding milestone. Each kit has about five or more toys and a board book, with each toy aligned with a specific skill, such as developing the pincer grasp or problem solving. Another great thing about these toys is that they’re designed with your child’s development in mind, so you’ll know that your child is appropriately challenged while playing.
How babies grow so fast! In a matter of 12 months, your tiny infant has become a little human who can already communicate and is capable of independent movement. At this age, your little bub is already fond of playing games with you or other babies. Nourish that curiosity with these toys:
At 15 months, babies could already stack two blocks on top of each other. Keep their fingers busy to engage their fine motor skills—those movements the tiny muscles in their hands make. These muscles play an important role as babies grow, as they enable them to feed themselves and to write and doodle. Stackers allow your child to hone their fine motor skills through play. We particularly love the colorful ones from Grimm’s, Gluckskafer, and Raduga Grez. What’s great about them is that they use oils that have passed the European Union’s rigid standards for toy safety, so you won’t have to worry about your child’s exposure to toxic chemicals. Raduga Grez’s White Outside, Colorful Inside Stacking Tower is the most traditional type, as it’s made up of colorful rings stacked on a wooden stick (the circular shape allows for easier grasping), topped off with a cone that pays homage to the bulbous onion domes commonly found in Russian architecture. The fiery Amanita Stacker, on the other hand, is more imaginative. It’s shaped like a cute tree segmented into parts, in varying hues of red. Gluckskafer offers stackers primarily comprised of arcs. The Arch Houses and the Sunrise Set are pieces that come in the most gorgeous colors. Grimm’s is perhaps most known for its meticulously crafted rainbow stackers, and for good reason.
The Rainbow Sunset mimic the vivid shades of dusk, with its bright blues and reds. The Medium Pastel Rainbow comes in a more handier size, making it great for tiny hands. Best of all, these stackers are not just simply for stacking, as they could evolve into ball runs, building blocks, roads, and tunnels for your child’s pretend play.
Blocks, just like stackers, allow babies to practice their fine motor skills while having fun, so it’s no wonder that block sets remain a popular choice among parents. Eguchi Toys offers fine-crafted wooden blocks without any paint, allowing your child to appreciate the natural beauty of walnut, beech, oak, and ash wood. They are housed in either small or large sets, made up of easy-to-grasp shapes. On the other hand, maximalist moms would love the more colorful alternatives we have on hand. Raduga Grez’s Skin Tone Cubes are comprised of velvety blocks that are just right for little hands. The set veers towards neutral hues, and it makes a great introduction to discussing racial diversity for when your child gets older. The Gluckskafer Church has a wide array of shapes and colors, while Grimm’s 1001 Nights have vibrant hues that are perfect for building. These heirloom pieces also grow with your child, as they can build various structures with these sets later on. Let their imagination run wild, and craft stories to go with their creations to hone their language skills.
By 18 months, babies learn to push objects, and toy cars are perfect for this simple play. They’re also learning how to imitate simple routines that adults do, such as feeding or sweeping the floor. That’s why introducing pretend play is encouraged at this stage. Pretend play allows your child to reenact routines from memory, build language and social skills, as well as foster creativity. Toy cars are great for role playing, and we are big fans of Candylab’s wooden toy cars because they allow us to craft a wide variety of scenarios: going out for a drive, riding the school bus, playing paramedic in an ambulance or a cop in a police car, or serving ice cream in a cool van. Candylab toys are well-made and extremely durable, and they come in cute but realistic designs that appeal to both kids and even adults alike!
Reference for milestones: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/pdf/FULL-LIST-CDC_LTSAE-Checklists2021_Eng_FNL2_508.pdf