Educational Baby Toys

Once a new baby is on the scene, the perceived need for toys to entertain this very important person rises to the surface. It seems that everyone who comes to visit brings a toy with them - something they read about or heard of that will make this baby one of the most brilliant people on the plant in three to six months - guaranteed.

Baby's First Toy is Mommy

When babies are in their "awakening the senses" stage, the first of the three-step model of infant development, their primary needs are for responsive parents, being held, and hearing language. There is no replacement for a mother (and other family members) who sings, smiles, talks, and plays with her baby. This is the best stimulus a child can have at the very outset in life. Since babies don't register color right away, they primarily see black and white at the beginning, trying to stimulate the baby's senses with color could come a little later. Black and white geometric designs seem to cause quite a stir with the newborn set, so start there when it comes to mobiles and patterns to grab baby's attention.

Learning to Hold a Toy

An experience-rich environment, filled with toys, colors, sounds, and touch, will certainly increase development and learning for a baby. Between 0 to 12 months, baby toys morph from rattles and teethers to educational toys designed to teach coordination and identification of shapes, colors, and sounds. Babies are born with a grasping reflex, called the Palmar reflex, which means they grasp anything shoved into their tiny palms. So, a rattle may be held for a second or two when the baby is a newborn. This reflex switches to a voluntary holding between the ages of three to six months.

Baby Einstein Arrives on the Scene

The creation of, and market for, educational kids toys has taken off in the US and worldwide. About ten years ago a mom by the name of Julie Clark developed a way to introduce her infant daughter to the world around her using interactive experiences. Baby Einstein was invented and over the past decade the wonderful world of infant and children's toys has been profoundly changed and affected. Baby Einstein features a wide range of educational kids toys that are developmentally appropriate for infants and toddlers. The unique philosophy is that they approach toys from the child's perspective using real world objects, nature, music, art, poetry and language to introduce a baby to their world. Baby Einstein Count and Compose Piano is rated as one of the top ten best educational baby toys.

The Lamaze Toy System

Another developer of educational kids toys is Learning Curve Brands, the creators of Lamaze toys and the Lamaze Infant Development System. Yale University psychologists, Jerome and Dorothy Singer, are key in the development of Lamaze toys, the designs being based on infant development stages. Lamaze Garden Bug Wrist Rattle & Foot Finder Set, consists of bright graphic wristbands and leg warmers that have black and white strips decorated with cute, funny, bugs. For tiny babies, these toys are great because they slip on the baby's wrists or legs and make a sound every time the baby flaps his legs or arms. The best part for mom is that these toys can't be dropped so she doesn't have to try to reach toys that are tossed from the car seat or baby bouncer.

Rattles & Teethers in All Manner of Colors and Shapes

Rattles and teething rings have come a long way over the years, now appearing in non-toxic hip and creative designs that are fun. Some of the more popular teethers and grasp toys include the Loopapalooza, from Infantino. This 2009 award winning toy sounds like a rock concert and consists of loops that wind together with sliding bugs, a teether, a peek-a-boo mirror, a bug that jitters and a linkable loop. Haba, from Germany, has created an amazing wooden triangle toy that can be clutched, shaken and chewed on. It is colored with a non-toxic paint that doesn't come off and the amazing design keeps a little one entertained for a long time.

There are myriad examples of wonderful, simple, well-designed infant toys on the net. Most of them are available in childen's shops and toy stores in any city in the US.

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