Sometimes people think when following the Montessori method, toys must always be wooden, and that plastic is not ok. Well, that is not the case. Plastic toys in general do not go against the Montessori principles, except for ones that light up and have buttons to push generally. You know the kind. Those noisy annoying types that we tend to hide the batteries on! Haha!
Ideally, you want to be purchasing natural baby toys. What do we mean by that? We mean items that are made from natural materials. So straight away we think of montessori toys like wood but cotton, wool, metal and ceramic items are great too.
Books are also ideal but for now though, we are going to concentrate on educational toys for babies under 12 months. As we know too well how hard it can be to know what the most suitable baby toys by age are, we wanted to help and give you some ideas below. These are only suggestions, and everyone’s children develop at different times so follow your child’s lead.
Baby Toys With Respect To Age
Baby Toys Newborn
Newborns are the easiest to “buy” for as they require truly little. Even though they want to hold on to things, their grasping skill won’t be fully developed until around 3 months, so save the rattles until then. It is all about the senses in this period. Talk to your baby, sing to them and as they can pick up your face from around 20-30cm away, keep them close. I mean who needs an excuse to keep their newborn close anyway!!
Baby Toys 0-3 Months
Now your baby’s eyesight is beginning to develop, cot mobiles are a great addition. For the first 6 weeks, black and white are what they see best but after that, try introducing bright primary colours. So think about your red, blue and yellow items. This is not limited to just mobiles either. High contrast books, images and flashcards are spots on too. Oh, and let's not forget that they will now enjoy listening to items that rattle or shake.
Baby Toys 3 - 6 Months
We feel this is now the perfect time to get those toys they can grasp and help with their hand and eye coordination. So, your rattles and teethers are perfect. If you have a baby gym or climbing frame, you can tie items onto it for your baby to kick at and grab whilst lying on a mat. Balls are also a great addition at this stage. Try getting a variety. Soft cotton ones with items such as bells in are fun. Wooden balls or even teething ones are good too.
Baby Toys 6 Months +
By now your baby will probably be crawling, pulling themselves up or rolling so make sure you create a safe space for them to explore independently. We prefer to avoid items that restrict movement like bouncers, walkers and activity chairs where possible as it is best to allow the child to strengthen their muscles and practice movement naturally. Try items like a walker wagon. We love the baby walkers with wooden blocks in. Not only are they supporting your child to walk, but the contents are also educational as those blocks usually have the alphabet, numbers, and images on and they can practice their stacking skills too. Win-win!
Musical instruments can be so much fun for a child, and we know what you are thinking as we said earlier, you want to avoid noisy toys, but musical instruments are quite different from the electric noise the others produce. Maracas, tambourines and triangles are perfect for allowing your child to explore them with their hands and marvel at the sounds they are creating. If they are more mobile now, try toys they can push and pull as these will assist with their gross motor skills. We also love items that will grow with your children and ones that spark their imagination too. So not only items like the ones we produce but things like a wooden easel so your child can learn to paint and create. They will still be able to get lots of use out of the walker wagon too.
Related: Learn how a curvy balance board can help your child.
No matter what you give your child, always remember to follow their lead. Try not to overwhelm them with too much at one time. Do activities for short periods of time and if you see your child getting stressed or no longer showing an interest, give them a break and maybe try another activity after.
As for what are the best baby toys for boys or even the best baby toys for girls, we believe that boys and girls can both play with the same. This is a modern world after all.
We hope you have found this useful and if you have anything you would like us to talk about in the future, please let us know.