Baby toys are more than cute dolls and stuffed animals intended to get giggles from your baby - they provide developmental benefits. Ensuring your baby has all the resources they need to grow is an important job as a parent.
Below, we’ll talk about how baby toys help your child through early developmental milestones and list some of our favourite types of baby toys.
Baby Toys: More Than Just For Fun
Yes, baby toys are cute and cuddly. But, they are much more than that - they are also an educational resource. Babies want to learn about the world around them. As they grow, they search for ways to experience different sounds, colours, and textures. Every new shape introduces them to an aspect of the world they haven’t seen before.
Parents can help their children develop early childhood skills by giving them baby toys that are stimulating, colourful, soft, and comforting. Toys that play music will develop their listening skills. Wooden baby toys such as building blocks will help them develop fine motor skills.
It may look like downtime, but make no mistake: your baby is doing a lot of work when playing with their favourite stuffed animal. Baby toys help develop their senses so they can hit those all-important early developmental milestones. Early childhood studies found that making time to play with your children is vital for healthy development and building strong parent-child bonds.
The Benefits of Baby Toys: How They Help Your Child Develop
Playing helps your children to learn through their senses. But what other ways do they help a baby develop? Let us dive a little deeper into the benefits of baby toys for your child.
There are four developmental areas that baby toys are beneficial for; cognitive, emotional, social, and physical. The good news is that many different types of baby toys will encourage the development of all these areas (yet, some toys are better than others).
Benefit #1 - Promote Cognitive Skills and Improve Behaviour
Wooden baby toys such as building blocks or jigsaw puzzles are great for developing cognitive skills; in other words, helping your child to think. These toys need your baby to use different thinking skills such as problem-solving or cause and effect.
Additionally, allowing your baby to play with toys every day can help them to improve their behaviour. While we are not saying you should give them a rattle every time that they cry, playtime can improve their mood and is a stress reliever too.
Benefit #2 - Build Emotional Skills
Although your baby might not have the words to express their emotions, that doesn’t mean they aren’t developing emotional skills. Many baby toys help your baby learn about empathy, caregiving, resilience, emotion regulation, and self-confidence.
For example, teddy bears may be soft and cuddly, but they also help your baby learn to self-soothe. Many babies play or hug teddy bears as a form of emotional regulation, especially at bedtime. This baby toy can comfort and soothe them when they feel distressed, tired, or emotional.
Benefit #3 - Encourage Social Relationships
Baby toys also teach your child how to build and maintain social relationships. Whether that is with you or a sibling, when you give your baby toys to play with, it can teach them how to share and cooperate. This is especially true when they become toddlers. If your child goes to daycare, they will need to learn how to play with other children.
Building these social skills with your baby from an early age with baby toys will help them to learn vital social skills as they grow older.
Benefit #4 - Develop Physical Skills
Baby toys help your child to develop physically. Gross and fine motor skills are important developmental milestones for babies. They need to learn how to crawl, grasp items with their hands, and much more.
Using baby toys during tummy time can be a great way to develop their physical skills. For example, stacking rings promote your child’s hand-eye coordination. Toys that rattle or make noise when you shake them are other examples of baby toys that support physical development.
What Parents Should Be Looking for When Buying Toys for Children
But, what should parents be looking for when buying toys for babies and toddlers? The first thing that you’ll need to consider is whether the toys are safe. Do they come from a reputable manufacturer? Are there any parts of the toy that could be a choking hazard?
Asking yourself these questions can help guide you in the right direction. Next, you should think about buying toys that will grow with your baby. Baby toys should be fun at different developmental stages. For example, a toy wooden car can be as beneficial for a 3-month old baby as it is for an older toddler.
The last thing to ask yourself: will this toy benefit my child in more ways than one? Choose a baby toy that will promote cognitive, physical and social-emotional skills. This way your baby will have lots of opportunities to develop in various ways when playing with their favourite toys.
Best Baby Toy Brands That Your Child Will Adore
At Luca Elle Boutique, we work with several of the best baby toy brands across North America and Europe. From Cuddle + Kind dolls to Mushie stacking cups, you’ll be able to find a variety of baby toys to inspire your child’s curiosity.
Mushie is an American baby brand that is known for designing products that are modern and sustainable. Their line of baby toys is no different. From adorable stacking cups to this beautiful set of Nesting Stars, these toys are great for encouraging your child’s fine motor skills and problem-solving skills.
The simple, elegant design also is perfect for those parents that love a minimal aesthetic in their home. Believe us, you’ll want to keep these baby toys on display for all to see rather than hiding them away in a toy box. Suitable for ages up to 3 years, these kids’ toys will soon become a family favourite.
Senger Naturwelt is a German-based brand that makes the most adorable, soft, handmade stuffed animals for babies and toddlers. How can you say no to something as adorable as this Cuddly Animal Goose?
Featuring a removable belly that can be heated up for extra comfort, this stuffed animal will give special cuddles to your baby. Made out of a blend of cotton and lambswool, Senger’s baby toys are ideal for newborns and toddlers seeking a cozy best friend for bedtime. Available in various sizes and designs, these stuffed animals will be a great companion for your child as they grow.
Cuddle + Kind
For many parents, Cuddle + Kind dolls have become a staple in their homes. These wonderful hand-knit dolls are made by a family-run business based in North America. Its mission is to help end childhood hunger. So, for every Cuddle + Kind doll sold, they will give 10 meals to children in need.
Not only is the company mission a worthy cause, but its products are fair trade and extremely child-friendly. With various characters from Henry the Bunny to Claire the Koala, there are plenty of options that your baby will love. Available in two sizes and handmade with love, these baby toys are great additions to your home.
Konges Sløjd is a Danish baby toys brand that makes sustainable, environmentally-friendly baby essentials. Featuring wooden baby toys and softer, comfort toys this brand is ideal for babies and parents alike. Not only will they encourage imaginative play but they are great for building social-emotional skills.
Explore the World of Baby Toys with Luca Elle Boutique
Here at Luca Elle Boutique, we understand the importance of playtime for your little ones. If you are looking for a great selection of toys for babies and toddlers, look no further. Our collection of toys is suitable for the newborn stage up to 4-years-old (and older).