Cognitive development is an important concern for many parents during all stages of their baby’s life. Nature vs. nurture has often been the subject of debate when addressing issues with a child’s development. Providing kids with the best toys and tools to develop their thought processes should start from the time they are born. While they may be influenced by heredity, their environment is a strong factor in shaping their future abilities. For more information on cognitive development and the theories behind it, go to http://www.healthofchildren.com/C/Cognitive-Development.html.
What Can You Do?
Baby development is an amazing, yet frightening, thing. Your little one will go through many stages and it is nearly impossible to know exactly what to expect. Giving your child attention is one of the best things you can do, whether it be sitting down to watch Paw Patrol, or having a fun evening bath time routine. More information on the importance of spending quality time with your child, check out this article: https://www.understood.org/en/family/siblings/making-time-other-kids/the-importance-of-paying-attention-to-each-child. To assist you in planning those togetherness activities, here is a great selection detailing 12 of the best baby toys for helping with cognitive development:
1. 3-in-1 Soothe & Play Mobile
The Soothe & Play Mobile has lights and music, providing sensory stimulation for your little one. Your baby will love the colors and the music but will love it even more if you join in on the fun too. You’ll see that if you sing or hum along, your baby will become more vocal as well, stimulating his or her brain every time. The mobile is designed to attach to the crib and has little toy animals hanging down to grab the baby’s attention. Who can resist toys in bed?
2. Sing-Along Tummy Time Mirror
Featuring 2 musical modes, a large mirror, and a bat and wobbly base, your baby is sure to have a blast with this tummy time favorite. This activity will not only help your baby develop a sense of self by being able to see himself her herself in the mirror, but they will develop strong head, neck and shoulder muscles from lying on their stomach. This is a definite must for strengthening your baby’s motor skills and action/reaction awareness.
3. Roarin Rain Forest Jumperoos
The music, lights, sounds, and hanging toys are sure to be an attention grabber for your child. The Roaring Rain Forest Jumperoo seat spins 360 degrees do your baby can analyze every aspect of the environment around him or her. The jumperoo also adjusts to three different heights to match your child as they grow. The tiger seat pad alone is enough to get any little one riled up, ready to enhance their senses, and get them standing.
4. Monkey Rattle
Sometimes keeping your baby entertained is a difficult task. Their interest in toys can change day to day, and, before you know it, you’ve collected a bucket of toys they haven’t touched in weeks. The monkey rattle is sure to be a classic though. Filled with colorful beads and a curly tail loop, it can be taken on all adventures while improve your child’s fine motor skills. Shaking and rattling is difficult to get tired of.
5. Coffee Cup Teether
You might be sad that it will be another 13 to 15 years before you’ll be able to share a cup of coffee with your little one. Well, there’s a solution for that. Your baby can mimic your favorite hobby with the coffee cup teether. While you are sipping on your favorite latte, your child can rattle and teeth on this fun toy. For added effect, it has a small heart shaped mirror inside, perfect for developing your baby’s sense of self!
6. Wooden Toys Hungry Humpback Shape Sorter
Shape sorters are a classic toy that baby’s never seem to get tired of. Enhancing fine motor skills and problem solving, this wood toy provides colors and textures that will keep your child interested. While this whale won’t swim away, it will keep your child growing, both physically and cognitively.
7. 3-in-1 Musical Activity Gym
To stimulate your baby’s senses of sight, hearing, and touch, the Musical Activity Gym is a good choice. Your baby can take tummy time to the next level, working himself or herself towards grabbing the multitude of toys linked to the gym. Building their thinking and problem solving skills, your child is sure to get a workout with this product.
8. Stack & Strain Bath Turtle
Bath time is equally as important as the other moments you create with your little one. He or she will be amazed by the Stack & Strain Bath Turtle every bath time. Promoting fine motor and perceptual motor skills, this bath toy gives your child a problem-solving game in the form of a turtle shell. With each piece being a different size, there is only one correct way to stack the shell, making for many bath times of fun.
9. Laugh & Learn Crawl-Around Learning Center
The Laugh & Learn Crawl-Around Learning Center is the perfect developmental toy to get your baby going from crawling to standing. With 4 different panels, sounds, and songs, your baby will never be bored. This educational toy prompts your baby’s first words, challenges them with fun exercises, simple directions, and improves their hand-eye coordination. Much more advanced than the normal blocks or plush toys, this activity center is sure to entertain your baby for hours.
10. Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Tablet
Probably the most inexpensive piece of electronics you’ll buy, this toddler tablet toy is a great tool for early learning. More captivating than the usual stuffed animals or race cars, this product will walk your child through all the important developmental stages. From your child’s first words to mastering the alphabet, your child will be challenged at every level. Your little one will be excited for learning, no matter what the subject.