As a first-time mom, I wanted to read all the articles and know all the things. (Can any mamas out there relate?) One of the things that I consistently read really stuck with me. I learned that when it comes to childhood development, playtime is serious business! And now as a mom of a two year old (I swear I’ll never get used to her being two…well, maybe by the time she’s three!), I’ve witnessed it first-hand. Play is key for your baby’s cognitive, physical, and emotional development. So what are the best ways to play? It varies by age as your little one’s skills improve and change, but here are some of my (and Layla’s) favorites!
0-6 months old
During this age little ones begin to develop eye-hand coordination and love exploring with their mouths. Big hits around our house were Layla’s plush activity toy, play gym, and plastic mirror! I would also recommend colorful cloth books, teethers, and other sensory toys.
6-12 months old
This is when babies get mobile! They crawl, they scoot, they walk, they terrorize. Just kidding. Fine motor skills are really picking up too. Layla loved dumping and filling repeatedly. Blocks and balls were big hits too! Other age-appropriate suggestions are nesting toys, shape sorters, books, or a jumperoo.
12-24 months old
At this age, little ones are fascinated by cause and effect. Toys with lots of buttons, levers, and switches were big for us. Layla also loved toys that kept her moving, and she began imaginative play! Her top toy picks were play-doh, an activity table, a baby stroller and her cozy coupe. Puzzles, books, a water table, baby games, and multi-stage tricycles are also great options for this age!
If you have little ones, what were their favorite toys? Did I miss any that your babies loved?