My Favorite Toys

MKswing

For quick lists click HERE OR read below about each toy selected and how it is beneficial

 

Here are a few of my favorite infant/baby toys and why:

Age 0-6 months (all mentioned here can be used much longer than just the first months–seating needs do evolve, though)

Basic rattles:

Look for a rattle with a small diameter grip. It is difficult for your baby to grasp any toy that is fat and will be for several months. Try placing the rattle in their hand to begin with and watch their primitive reflexes “grasp” the rattle.

Here is an example:

Bright Starts Rattle

This is just one of many rattles with smaller areas to grip. I like this one because it is light as well.

 

Vibrating teethers:

The First Years Vibrating Teether

Infantino Vibrating Teether

These are excellent for teething but also for the calming effects of the vibration. I use these also for stimulation to muscles when they are weak. Vibration is a very strong stimuli so some children are not able to handle it right away. Always let them explore the toy and bring it to their mouth when they are ready. These teethers vibrate when the child bites down. You can help them learn this by helping them hold the teether and pressing it as they bite.

 

Seating/Positioning

Bumbo chair

This chair has had a lot of news attention from being used improperly. ALWAYS KEEP IT ON THE FLOOR and STAY WITH YOUR BABY. This is a great chair for a young baby. This chair is great for improving head and upper trunk control. Place a toy in front for your child to reach for or use the tray for weight bearing through arms.

 

Infant Super Seat

I like this chair for basic seated play. For children with tight hamstrings, a therapist can show you how to use this chair for added stretching.

Prince Lionheart Baby Seat

This is an example of a booster chair that is stable enough to use on the floor. Always use the straps and I would suggest backing up to a wall or very sturdy couch so your baby won’t push and tip backwards.

For all of these chairs, you can roll up a hand towel and “stuff” in either side of your baby to assist holding them upright. A therapist can guide you with this and using towel rolls to bring are forward.

 

Boppy Pillow

There are many uses for this besides a nursing pillow. See my page devoted to this wonderful pillow.

Pop-up toys:

Playskool Busy Pop-up Pals

 

This is a beginning “cause and effect toy” as well as teaching a variety of hand and finger positions and coordination.

 

Activity Tables:

You want to look for an activity table that has removable legs. This is very important. For the younger days when your baby is not yet standing, you can place it flat on the floor  OR my personal favorite is to leave two legs on and two off to allow it to “lean” and use this for tummy time!

Here are a couple of good ones to purchase:

Leapfrog Learn and Groove

Fisher Price Laugh and Learn with Friends Musical Table

 

Winfun Letter Train and Piano

 

Tunnels:

Melissa & Doug Happy Tunnel

Pacific Play Tents Find Me

Pacific Play Tents Dinosaur Tunnel

Pacific Play Tents I See U Tunnel

The Fun Tube–Red

Caterpillar Tunnel Indoor/Outdoor

 

There are soooo many!  Choose the one you like. If your child has difficulty with enclosed spaces, the I See U tunnel is see through and might work better. I will be posting a Tunnel Play Page soon! Look under Gross Motor Play on the Home Page!

Balls:

Most every child will play with a ball from infant to adult. There are so many kinds. Here are a few of my favorites:

For a young baby 0–12 months:

Sassy Developmental Sensory Ball Set

 

This is a great first set of balls to give needed sensory feedback.

Baby Einstein Bendy Ball

 

This one is almost always in my toy bag. It is easy to grab and most babies love it.

Edushape Sensory Balls –Set of 4

 

This is a practical great set of sensory balls as well.

 

 

Earlyears Roll n Swirl Ball Ramp

Playskool Explore and Grow Busy Ball

Playskool Busy Ball Popper–Pink

 

Excellent sets for working on reaching above chest level and working on sitting balance as well as incorporating some speech and cognitive work!

Baby Einstein Roller Balls

 

I cannot say enough good things about these. They provide tons of input from light to sounds. These are excellent for all but I use them with sensory impaired children. My vision impaired children LOVE these!

VTech- Move & Crawl Electronic Activity Ball

Fisher-Price Go Baby Go! Crawl-Along Musical Ball

 

There are several types of these. They are all heavy but “move” on their own with the slightest touch. I love that! It will make your baby “work” to earn it !!!

Various Great balls for holding and input:

Spin Ball

 

Rhino Ball

These two are great for grasping work.

 

Gund Colorful Ball

 

This is basically a stuffed ball. It is soft and very easy to grab but with a small amount of weight to it.

 

Wonderworld Peek-a-boo Ball

 

Great for cause and effect play!

 

12 Months to 2 years:

Earlyears Baby Farm Friends Bowling

 

I love this for the farm animal theme as well. In my experience with this set, the kids love to carry them around and sing Old MacDonald just as much as for the bowling.

 

Phlat Ball

 

There are so many kinds of these. When you get it, it is not “broken”. It takes about 30 minutes to sit and fully shape itself the first time. This ball is great because you can make it “flat” and it returns to a ball shape. If you hit it right, it will stay flat for a few seconds and bounce up! Use this for arms but also for stomping!

 

Gertie Ball

 

There are so many of these as well. These are for catching but I use them for all kinds of fun play. You will LOVE this ball.

 

Basic Playground Ball

 

You can also get a regular, every day ball from your local chain store. These are great for kicking, etc. This one in particular has the right weight and thickness to last a long time as well as offer a great bounce, etc.

 

Champion Medicine Ball 2 #

 

This is one of my favorites. It is not intended to be left with a child. I use this with a variety of throwing, lifting, and core activities.

 

Click HERE for a preview of My Baby Moves: Play With A Purpose, available soon.

 

 

 

 

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