We all know that a baby’s first “toy” is mom & dad. Which is great because that’s free! Even in those teeny newborn days, I made sure to interact with Ollie as much as possible (without overwhelming him) to help nurture his language and motor skills development from an early age. This meant a lot of tummy time, different facial expressions, chats, reading, singing, baby massages and letting him look at and touch different items around the house (you never know how exciting dimmers and shadows are until you have a baby!).
But after several weeks I wanted him to be able to start interacting with things on his own and be a little more independent so I could do normal people things like eat and pee in peace. After exposing him to several toys, these were the ones that stood out for being super interactive, safe, and easy for them to grab.
Infantino Big Top Discovery CubeThis thing is FULL of surprises! It’s probably the most well thought-out toy we own considering how compact it is. It has a ton of colour patterns and figures on it and it scrunches, rattles and shakes in so many different ways. I swear every time I pick this up I discover a new feature. The ball is also super easy for the little guys to grab in the early days thanks to that long string and they’ll love to look at themselves in the built-in mirror.
I was one of those lucky moms with a 3 month old who decided to sprout teeth (because who doesn’t love to go through a sleep regression and teething at the same time) so I had to act fast. We were fortunate enough to get both the traditional Sophie and the teether at our baby shower, so decided to give them a go. Well, the teether was a huge hit! It is much easier for little babies to grab and my guy loves chewing on it. He literally lights up every time we give this to him and it doesn’t pose a mold problem like the original Sophie does.
Bright Starts Enchanted Elephant Activity Gym (Or any activity mat, really)
Watching Ollie progress from just staring at the toys (especially the mirror) until he got bored when he was 1 month old to now moving all around the gym to twist, yank, flick, chew and kick toys at 4 months old has been incredible. Activity mats are also great for making tummy time interesting and developing their hand-eye coordination. I also love that you can buy toys separately to swap them out in the gym to keep things interesting. My only quibble with this one in particular is that although the material is nice and soft, the edges are a bit constricting for bigger babies so Ollie’s limbs started hanging out of it once he was 3 months old.
This was the FIRST toy Ollie ever interacted with because the holes in it made it super easy to grab and shake. And you can’t beat the price! I especially love it because the plastic is so soft I didn’t have to worry about him hurting himself when he would inevitably smash it into his own face. To this day he still loves to chew and shake it, and has now started throwing it across the room a million times to prove how whipped his parents are when we pick it up for him every time. Moms with older babies also recommended putting face cloths in the holes to work on their finger dexterity which I will definitely try!
When I was given one of these at my work shower I thought it was a bath toy at first (FTM fail) but once Ollie got a hold of this he knew exactly what to do with it. The teething pads went straight into his mouth and he’s been crinkling it to death ever since. It’s another affordable option that goes a long way.
Happy playing! I’d love to know if any of these are a hit with your little ones.