The first few years of your child’s life are crucial to long-term cognitive development. Trillions of weak connections are created in the brain and those connections are at risk of withering away if not exercised through stimulation. Countless studies have proven that a variety of actions and interactions stimulate the infant brain most importantly, basic human interaction like playing, feeding, changing, hugs and kisses but there are toys that can aid in this cognitive development also.
Whoosit by Manhattan Toy
Seen attached to countless strollers and car seats, the Whoosit is a staple in the baby world. This adorable character is safe for newborn and will provide your baby hours of entertainment while helping build his or her brain. This toy is engineered towards two ages; newborn and 3-4 months and up but will most likely be with you much longer. The Whoosit features one black and white side to catch the newborn’s attention and one with colors, shapes, a squeaker, and mirror for a few months later.
A play mat is an essential item to stimulate your baby’s growth. Play mats create an area for “tummy time” a time in which baby can lie on his or her stomach and practice lifting the head and the most basic of motor skills while reaching for and playing with toys. Some play mats are designed to look whimsical but every inch of the Shangrila is specifically made to stimulate baby’s brain. The mat is also designed to grow with your little one as one side is black and white and the other is color. The funky, random patterns aren’t for looks but rather for function and the mat features fun pops of play sure to engage your little one’s brain while they just think it’s just play time.
Good, old-fashioned blocks are still an invaluable tool in the quest for early success with your infant. Playing with blocks early on has even been related to better math scores in high school (Wolfgang et al 2001). Any set of blocks that feature a non-toxic finish will do, but Hape Toy’s Maple Blocks are safe, adorable and the bright colors will help catch and keep your little one’s attention. Blocks come in a variety of shapes and sizes suitable for all ages so look for a few sets for each stage of development.
Committed to “Providing quality toys that enrich young lives and develop minds” Manhattan Toy is notorious for producing toys that stimulate cognitive development while using non-toxic materials. Starting at 3 months, the Skwish is one of the first toys your baby can easily learn to grip. The crisscross design of the strings makes it almost impossible for your baby to not grip this toy when they shove their pudgy little hand inside of this bright contraption. The contraction and expansion of the toy along with the moving of the wooden beads can help your new baby understand cause and effect as they control the toy.
Your baby’s growing brain needs stimulation in order to foster growth of connections that may be lost forever as they grow older. Although there is no substitution for human interaction, these toys can aid in your baby’s development all while they just play. Babies can see at birth, just not as well as older children so stark images in colors combinations of black, white, and red can stimulate the baby white pastel colors tend to blend all together and do little to nothing to stimulate the optic nerve or the brain. Pick up or register for a few of these highly-rated toys to add some color and stimulation to your little love’s life.
Wolfgang, Charles H.; Stannard, Laura L.; & Jones, Ithel. (2001). Block play performance among preschoolers as a predictor of later school achievement in mathematics. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 15(2), 173-180