Baby toys can get on my very last nerve.
Who records the voices for electronic kids toys anyway??? It’s painful really.
But there are SO many high quality educational toys for babies out there if you just know what to look for. Find out what elements make for a good baby toys!
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Please see my full disclosure policy here.
Thank you to the Toybrary of Austin for generously giving my family a membership in exchange for showcasing some of their amazing toys!
Consider choosing more natural materials like wood instead of plastic. Wood is renewable and far less harmful on the environment. They tend to be made with more quality so they last. How fun to imagine your grandchildren playing with the toys you purchased for their parents when they were young!
Look for toys that teach babies very simple social situation and emotions like happiness and curiosity. Toys that display various emotions can be a lot of fun. We love this Peek-a-Boo Panda for showing shyness and surprise! Of course, the majority of social interaction will come from you, as the parent, playing with your child. And don’t forget to read books to your baby. Even if they don’t understand your words, they’re picking up on the emotion in your voice and will associate reading with love.
Babies need to experience lots of sensory input through out the day. Give them plenty of various tactile experiences. Rough, smooth, fuzzy, silky, the sky’s the limit. Tactile Blocks are a neat way for babies to explore their tactile sense. Don’t forget to engage the vestibular (inner ear) and proprioceptive (body awareness) senses through movement, hugs and physical play! A no-brainer way to do that is via baby wearing.
Babies need a chance to learn how to control and manipulate small things. That can be difficult because they also love to put everything into their mouths. This Skwish Grasping Toy not only enthralled my son, but I fidgeted with it for a solid hour! Ha, a little embarrassing, but true.
We borrowed this toy from the innovative Toybrary of Austin. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a library for TOYS! It is so awesome to find new toys for the kids without filling our house with clutter. Liza, the owner of the Toybrary is great about filling her establishment with high quality baby toys as well as toys on up through the preschool years. If you’re anywhere near Austin, TX, I highly recommend checking them out. (There’s even a Parents’ Night Out May 28th. See their website for details.)
Don’t forget to engage your babies large muscles. Give them plenty of time on their tummy. Have them play with balls. Get their little legs working. If you need ideas, check out this post about gross motor play ideas that build your baby’s brain!