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Buying the right toys for your baby

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/7/2006 | Kids & Teens

Toys are just not a source of entertainment for babies they also encourage learning and enhance their sense of perception. It stimulates their imagination, exposes them to new ideas, and teaches them how to solve simple problems and so on. The variety of toys available for infants is mind-boggling. So before you buy you have to look for certain qualities and settle for those toys that match your requirements.

     Ask the following questions:

a) Is the toy durable enough? How long it would last if twisted, shaken, thrown around, dragged or mouthed?

b) Is it washable? Toys must be kept clean for babies tend to bite anything they lay their hands on.

c) Does the toy involve your child, does it encourage him to think creatively or do something? Or is the toy more like a display item.

d) Do you think you will love to play with it too? Nothing would be better if you could participate in the play with your baby.

e) Is it different in its appeal from the toys that your baby already has?

     Consider how safe is the toy for your child to play with.

a) Babies tend to mouth all their toys so you must be sure to avoid buying anything that has sharp points or rough edges.

b) Check the labels to be sure that the paint on the toy is non-toxic. Buy according to the age specifications as mentioned on the labels because these are provided by the toy companies based on safety issues.

c) Do not buy toys with long strings attached to them as they are of potential risk to the baby, there is always a chance of the baby getting entangled. Avoid giving balloons or any kind of plastic wrap as a toy.

d) Do not buy anything that is too loud. If your toy is sound enabled check to see if it has a tolerable range for you definitely do not wish to damage your babys sensitive ears. 

       Toys for very young babies

Baby toys are usually very bright, attractive and sound enabled. You can choose from a variety of Crib toys, they keep the baby constant company and the bright colors and music will keep the baby interested and occupied.

Rattlers and teethers can be very useful for your baby will always want something to chew on. So include some Teething rings or rattle in your shopping list.

Musical toys and squeaky toys fascinate babies and enhance their awareness about how their action can cause sound or produce some reaction in the toy.

Toys that are easy to grasp, toys made of cloth, hand and foot puppets   in bright colors are ideal for babies, but you have to be sure there are no loose or broken parts.

     Toys for older babies

Babies at this stage have an increased sense of their surroundings, they wish to explore and taste new things. They are able to crawl and are in a mood for experimentation. You need to give him toys that last long, are washable and encourage the babys involvement that is it should be interactive.

Stuffed toys, Activity boxes, Push or pull toys, Picture books, Cars and trucks, Pop up toys, Balls, Blocks and stacking rings, Sand toys, Modeling dough, all these toys will enhance a babys comprehension power. Their visual perception is stimulated, they become sensitive to noise, language, movement and color. They try to exercise control over their toys and all the while learning to move by himself and experiencing a new relation with his immediate environment.

     If your child is about 2 years old you can introduce him to

Simple puzzles

Outdoor toys (kid sized cars and trains.)

Toy gardening sets, toy kitchen sets, toy telephones etc.

Washable crayons, finger-paints and paper, coloring books.

Once you know what you are looking for you can narrow down your options and it will help you decide the right kind of toy for your baby. Be aware of the possible hazards involved, read the labels carefully, keep the tips in mind and you are ready to shower your little one with those cute playthings.