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For many months a new born baby will not be interested in playing with their toys - no matter how colourful the toys or encouraging you are, toys are not something they seem really interested in. Until the age of one, most babies will not be able or interested to play alone for very long.
In the early days, you will be far more interesting to your baby. They'll want to follow you round with their eyes, try to mimic what you do, be around you and it's a great time to spend quality time together. Even if baby does begin to enjoy playing with toys, make sure you are always near so you can share with the experience.
Toys present only one small way that children learn about the world and their place within it. The brain develops more in the first two years of life than at any time. Playing and interacting without people is the way babies learn.
How do Babies Learn?
As babies learn to reach and hold things, they become more interested in toys. "What happens if I bang this?" "What a soft feel this teddy has." "I like the sound of that."
Then, they realise they can make things happen themselves. "If I drop this, it makes a noise and someone will come and pick it up.", "If I shout, someone comes.".
Playing, chatting and singing of course is the way children babies learn about speaking and language. From birth they hear your voice, the sounds of music, the noise of cars and talking. All these influences go on to combine to make up their knowledge and understanding of words and language. They pretend to chat on the phone, they sing and babble.
What Toys Could You Buy for a 6 month old?
Toys that are tactile and feel nice are always good. Choose things with lots of bright colours and lots of fun shapes and sizes, things that make a noise and things that are easy to hold.
... and for a 12 month old?
Try things that move or pop open or have doors that shut, this begins to teach cause and effect: if I press this, then that happnes. Physical aparatus to encourage moving is also fun at this age: tunnels and tents.
... and for an 18 month old?
There are thousands of manufactured toys for toddlers, such as building blocks, role play toys (phone, kitchen), puzzles and games, outdoor equipment and so on. But remember you are the best thing for a baby to play with! There are so many things you can so easily do together:
Lots of simple, easy, and non-expensive ways to spend time together. Who needs toys?!
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