The Baby Shower
Healthy play leads to healthy brain development and starts during infancy. I was recently honored with the opportunity to be a godmother and my future godson’s baby shower was last weekend. I always buy books and a sensory toy for every baby shower I attend. This time I purchased tons of books and toys for my godson and thought it would be great to include a blog with suggestions for baby shower gifts that would include why each item is beneficial for child development. I am an educator and I am always thinking about educating. Years of research has shown play is essential to the development of all domain of development for young children. Play has positive impacts on all area of development including cognitive, motor, social skills, and emotional wellness. Below I will list 3 toys which would be a great gift for a baby.
I am starting with my favorites, BOOKS. Reading to a child at any age is a great idea. A book can be used to build communication. as you are reading you are modeling language and connect the word to a visual. A child can also increase their fine motor skills as they grow by turning the pages. pointing and holding the book when they are older. Board books are great for babies because it can hold up after mouthing and drooling which are typical of babies. Many board books have different textures, mirror and make sounds which are all extra added bonuses. Recently I had a parent of a student mention she tries to often sit and read to herself to model for her school-age child the habit of reading. Maybe I should buy a book for my godson’s parents. I made sure to include books that represented the racial and cultural identity of my godson.
In his first months, before he learns to grasp objects or sit up, my godson will mostly appreciate things he can look at and listen to. His vision will be fuzzy at first and he’ll fix on things that are about eight to 15 inches from his eyes, though in the first month he’ll only be able to see clearly to about 12 inches. He’ll enjoy brightly colored objects – especially if they also move or make music. A crib mobile can make life more interesting for him. The mobile should only be used if a baby is still unable to sit up on his own. Objects that move slowly and produce a gentle sound are far more interesting compared to toys that are silent and still.
Keep in mind a few safety precautions: The mobile shouldn’t have any parts (including dangling strings or toys) that a baby can reach. Keep the mobile 8 to 14 inches away from a baby’s eyes, and remove it as soon as he shows signs of being able to push up on his hands and knees.
Toys to manipulate
Starting at 3 months, babies are about to start grasping items. It’s fun to see them learn to use their little hands and use them to create a response. Toys designed for small hands to explore and strength those fine motor muscle are wonderful gifts. Soft balls can be pushed, rolled, or pated. It’s even better if the ball makes music or sounds. As my godson grows he’ll enjoy blocks, baby-safe puzzles and shape sorters. He will also be fascinated by toys with levers he can pull and large plastic hinges that open and close. Soon he’ll be able to pass a toy back and forth between his hands and rotate his wrist to inspect it from all sides, usually before popping it into his mouth.
Be sure to check labels to make sure that all toys are safe for chewing! And never attach a toy to a crib or playpen with elastic or string because it could end up strangling or entrapping a baby.
I would love to hear about the toys you are planning to bring to a baby shower. Share those items in the comments section.