One of the best things about having a new baby is playing with them, watching them grow, explore the world with new senses, and learn new things. Baby playtime is about more than just fun, though. The earlier that you can start your child’s educational development, the better. Obviously newborn babies aren’t capable of much beyond sleeping and eating, but when they reach a few months old, their sight is good enough to start playing games using visual acuity as they are able to recognize people and things. Here are some fun ways that you can play with your little one.
- Use stuffed animals to teach the baby about different animals and the sounds that they make. Cute stuffed animals aren’t just for cuddling. They can be used to teach babies about the different sounds that the animals make. Babies often imitate sounds that they hear and will learn through association.
- Some toys are timeless, and brightly colored blocks are one of those toys. Blocks like those offered by ChildTrek are simple yet classic wooden blocks, painted in a variety of bright colors. Bright colors seem to hold babies’ attention longer. You can also start teaching your baby about shape recognition with these brightly colored, high quality blocks. For really young babies, try fabric stuffed blocks
- Through a wide variety of toys and playthings, you can start to teach your little one about different textures through different kinds of fabrics and materials. Products like the Dandelion Organic Activity Ball offer a wide variety of fun and engaging little activities for little fingers. These kinds of toys help to stimulate several senses at a time, making them an educational (and very cute) option. Best of all, it’s soft, so baby can chew on it if they so desire.
- For the more technically inclined, you can break out your iPad and discover the wide variety of apps designed for children. There are a vast multitude of apps, both paid and free, in the App Store. Apps like “Peekaboo Barn” and “Baby Touch & Hear” apps are great for stimulating baby’s senses and keeping them busy for a little while.
- If you want to keep something on in the background, consider investing in the Baby Einstein series. Babies learn various things through musical association. Baby Einstein isn’t about just planting your baby in front of a TV but, as they say, was created by a mother who “wanted to create products that encouraged interactive experiences for parents and their young children as they discovered the world together.” They can be a bit pricey but if you look in a big box store, you might be able to find them for less money.