Every parent wants the same thing; for their child to grow up happy. It is not uncommon for caring parents to stress over their baby’s educational development. The 6 months leading up to their 1st birthday is a crucial time as babies become much more communicative and mobile. This article focuses on educational toys for babies 1 year old and why they are important for your child’s development.
A ball can be just a simple play thing for the park or garden, but when a baby is learning to walk, stand or crawl it becomes an important educational toy for strengthening your baby’s leg muscles. Firstly you should sit on the floor holding your baby facing away from you. Put a ball in front of their feet and encourage them to kick it. You can help by moving their legs if your baby can’t do it unassisted. Give praise each time they make contact and this will give them confidence. With another parent and baby playmate you can have them kicking the ball to each other. They will both improve their gross motor co-ordination skills whilst having a lot of fun.
As your baby becomes a 1 year old they will begin to babble word-like sounds. To help improve your baby’s verbal and hearing skills you can use felt to create animated stories. You can buy ready-made shapes from educational toy shops or make your own. Face your baby and tell a simple story using the shapes to illustrate. Speak clearly and point to the pieces as you talk about them, don’t worry about making the story complicated just keep it animated.
Babies love to put items into categories, particularly at about 9 months. A shape sorter is an educational toy that will help to develop your baby’s fine motor skills. Although a shop bought toy may be fun to begin with, the novelty will soon wear off. It is easy to make your own shape sorter at home instead, for very little cost. Provide your baby with different objects or food cut in small pieces and small containers to put them in. Encourage your baby to sort the items by colour or shape.
A rattle can help develop your baby’s fine motor skills and sense of rhythm. Any toy that is musical can be entertaining, even ones you have made at home with pasta and a plastic bottle. Add variety with colours and different sounds to ensure that your baby doesn’t get bored. It may give you a headache but your baby will love it.
Babies begin to understand language and develop motor skills before they can actually speak. Baby signing toys can be used to help improve your baby’s communication skills. Signs are attached to words and this enables you to better understand what your child wants. Some people think that baby signing will negatively affect their baby’s speech development; however it actually enhances their vocabulary and language skills.
The range of educational toys for babies 1 year old is extremely vast. There are products to suit every parent and baby, whether it is a ball, a homemade rattle or baby signing toys. When choosing a particular toy think about the skills that your baby will develop and try to target all the senses over time.