The Best Baby Toys—That Won't Break the Bank!
Even if you don't own every toy in existence, your baby is going to be just fine. Promise! In fact, you need not look beyond your own four walls to find plenty of items that will occupy his interest and stimulate his brain.
Give your baby a single sheet of blank paper, and he might amuse himself for minutes on end waving it around, or trying to tear it into a hundred tiny pieces. The activity can help him practice his dexterity. FYI: infants’ movements aren’t smooth enough for them to get paper cuts.
Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
These offer several fun advantages. 1: They’re shiny and reflective. 2: They’re fun to bang on. 3: They make an interesting noise when rattling against the ground. And 4: They’re fun to bang on! What more could a baby want?
Remember that old keyboard you kept just in case? Find it, dust it off, and let Baby at it! Babies love rapping (OK, pounding) on the keys and enjoying the clacking sounds they make. Be sure to secure the loose cable to the back of the keyboard with duct tape.
From the age of 5 months or so, babies love banging on the piano. Benefits include practice with hand-eye coordination, learning about cause and effect (he learns that by hitting the keys, he’s the one making those sounds), and, best of all, a developing ear for music.
Plastic balls, rubber balls, soccer balls—any ball large enough not to be swallowed is a good, engaging toy for a baby. By the time your baby is 5 or 6 months old, Baby will enjoy passing the ball back and forth with you.
Break out the TV remote. Babies love pressing buttons. And, if you have a remote with a red light that goes on whenever a button is pressed, the toy becomes even more fun and educational—your infant will be spellbound by the light appearing and disappearing.
Empty Plastic Bottles
The smaller the bottle, the better for little hands to manipulate. The larger ones can provide lots of fun, too, by being rolled back and forth or knocked ahead only to rotate back. And when he’s done with the bottle, it’s never too early to teach him to recycle!
Used Toilet Roll Tubes
Why do babies love toilet paper rolls? They’re easy for little hands to grasp, they’re stiff, so your baby won’t destroy them in five minutes, and they can be banged against other objects without harmful consequences.
The faces, bands, and buckles of watches make them fascinating objects for infants. They may serve you particularly well at the changing table when your baby reaches the age at which he prefers to flip over instead of waiting for you to finish the job.
Face it: your baby’s favorite toy is you. And why not? Just think how exciting a thing you are, with fingers that move around in captivating ways, a nose that sticks out, and features capable of endless amusing expressions. Man, are you cool or what?
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