By Cherrie Tam
With the holidays just around the corner, what toys to get for your growing baby is sure to be on the top of your mind. You know children learn through play, and that authentic play experiences are fundamental in helping kiddos learn important skills that help them grow.
But what do babies need for play and how do you play with them?
How do you choose educational and engaging toys that aren’t over-stimulating? Toys that your kiddo will actually play with for longer than 5 seconds?
Toys that won’t be abandoned in a corner taking up prime real estate in your home?
The KEY is choosing simple and open-ended toys:
Look for toys that don’t have a lot of moving parts or fancy contraptions.
Look for toys that don’t do the playing for your child…aka children have to maneuver the toy to make it work the way they want.
And look for toys that don’t have a right or wrong way to play with it.
Think balls, scarves, tupperware containers, cardboard boxes, and blocks.
The simpler the better because this creates an opportunity for babies to think outside the box.
Because the toys are open-ended they can be combined in a multitude of ways giving kiddos a chance to practice getting creative with discovering different ways to play.
Choosing quality play objects is half of the puzzle. How you play with your kiddo is the other half of promoting their learning and growth.
When playing with your little one, follow their lead and let them show you what to play with, how to play with it, and for however long they want. Resist the urge to intervene and resist the urge to show them how to play. Instead, spend time labeling and describing what they are doing. Not only will this give your child a chance to really show you what they are capable of, but your acknowledgment of their efforts will help boost their self-confidence and encourage them to be more active explorers. Happy playing!
Cherrie is the Founder of NuBaby Wellness and is a Parenting Coach who specializes in baby and toddler development. She is the creator of NuBaby Wellness’ signature intelliPLAY program – a multisensory program designed to help parents learn how to support young children’s 3 pillars of intelligence: IQ, EQ & social intelligence using a loving and compassionate approach that strengthens connection and communication. www.NUBABYWELLNESS.com