Normally by the age of 2 to 3 months your baby will be able to grasp things and will enjoy batting at objects that are in front of them.
They will also be kicking a lot more so an interactive baby gym or mobile that makes enjoyable sounds when they kick it is great at this stage. Not only will they learn about cause and effect, they’ll also begin to realize that making noise is just plain fun!
Your baby will also show more interest in their stuffed animals at this age and will grab them and wave them around.
By the age of 3 to 4 months, your baby will begin to reach for their toes and even put those toes in their mouth. Their ability to grab toys is rapidly improving and they love to explore things by putting them in their mouth.
At this stage, teethers, rattles and soft plush toys that are toxin free are the perfect way to keep your little one engaged and stimulated.
At 4 to 6 months your baby may start trying to roll over or may be able to actually roll from their tummy onto their back. They may also be sturdy on all fours and able to sit up with support on their sides and back. They’re also better able to manipulate toys with their hands and are delighted with any toy they can make a sound with!
By the time your baby is 6 to 9 months old they are able to engage in active play. They will clap their hands when playing patty cake and playing peek-a-boo makes them laugh out loud.
At this stage, your child can sit up by themselves, crawl and scoot and even pull themselves up to standing position while holding onto furniture.
Their babbling will sometimes produce recognizable words such as Mama and Dada and they will scoot or crawl after objects that interest them.
Large balls are a delight and if the ball makes noise or lights up, all the better. It’s fun to roll the ball back and forth between you or roll it away from your child and watch them go after it.
At this age your baby will begin to realize that they can make things happen so squeezing, dropping and shaking things will be tons of fun!
Nesting cups and stacking blocks and toys are ideal at this age. And they’ll have a blast when you build tall towers that they can knock them over and watch them come tumbling down.
Their favorite activity during bath time might be filling something up and emptying it out…over and over and over!
The 6 – 9 month mark is often the age when they may make their first friend in the form of a favorite stuffed animal or blanket.
Whichever they bond with, you want to be sure that it has no small parts that your child can pull off and put in their mouth. You also want to be sure it’s small and light enough for them to pick up and carry around and that it’s washable and easy to keep clean.
Also a hit at this age is pretty much anything that makes noise! Squeaky toys, activity cubes – anything they can get some fun sounds out of.
By 9 to 12 months your baby will start to engage in more interactive play and pretend play. They enjoy imitating what they see adults or older siblings do. For example, your child baby may love to talk on a play phone.
They’re consistently cruising around by holding onto an object such as furniture and may even be walking on their own.
This is a great time to introduce push toys to your child. Push toys will encourage them to move around more and help develop their fine and gross motor skills. Keep in mind that the best push toys at this age are ones that are very stable and won’t tip over when your child is leaning on it.
Now that they’re getting around better, they’re curious about everything and enjoy getting into things. They’re starting to develop their problem solving skills and that’s where toys like shape sorters can help.
Or, for a cheaper alternative, simply give your child a clear container and some blocks of different sizes and shapes and let the fun begin!
Balls are great for this age range too and instead of just rolling it, your child will be able to have fun watching it bounce. Again, all the more fun if the ball makes whacky sounds or lights up.
Blocks are wonderful for this age too and provide hours of fun whether your child is stacking them up or knocking them down.
As it was when they were younger, filling something up and dumping it out may still be a favorite way for your child to pass the time. Taking a pail and shovel to the beach or park will keep your little one happily engaged for long periods of time.