Baby toys and toddler toys are the best form of entertainment for infants and preschoolers as they not only help develop motor skills, the toys engage their minds and teach them social skills.
The first step in choosing the best toys for your child is to ensure that the toys are safe. Usually toy manufacturers will note on the toy, the right age of the child for playing with the toys. This can be easy for you to pick, but you should also have some idea of what might be appropriate for your particular child.
Infants need more human one-on-one contact as entertainment, but there are also soft rattles and cuddly stuffed animals with no buttons or eyes sewed on. Plush toys are very popular. As baby begins to teethe, there are teethers made of sturdy, chemical free plastics that can be frozen to soothe teething pains and encourage play at the same time.
Toddlers enjoy plush or stuffed toys as well. Keep in mind these 'stuffies' should not have buttons or eyes sewed on as these can become loose and easily swallowed. Children love putting things in their mouth, so you need to ensure the toys are not a choking hazard.
This is also the age where exploration begins to explode, so soft toys with round corners and large pieces are great for small hands and fingers. Toy manufacturers now make non-toxic crayons and finger paints that toddlers can use with special paper that allows the artful creations to stay on the paper and not on walls and floors.
With the age of electronics, there are many educational toys on the market that are great for toddlers and young children. As most of them are battery-operated, ensure that the battery compartment is secure with one or more screws. Batteries are chemically dangerous and can be a choking hazard.
Many educational toys don’t have to always be battery operated. There are toys that teach young children about shapes, such as putting the correct shape into a slot on the toy. There are also puzzles with large wooden pieces for toddlers and younger children to enforce critical thinking skills.
(Melissa & Doug have an extensive assortment of puzzles for all age groups including babies and toddlers. Customer Reviews are excellent, generally over 4 out of a 5 star rating.)
Providing educational toys for your toddler is a great way to instill the joy of learning. Toys that have bright lights and sounds are the most intriguing to preschool children and are more likely to hold their attention for a longer period of time.
Generally, all toys can be considered educational as well as entertaining for your baby or toddler. It is just about you figuring out what most appeals to your child and that will bring hours of continual play. If a child doesn’t like a toy, there is no way he or she will be engaged and will be looking elsewhere for entertainment.
A good way of determining if a toddler or baby toy would appeal to your child, is to sort the toys listed below, according to the Best Sellers and the Amazon Customer Review Score (usually provided for each item). Toddler toys and baby toys that have a large number of reviews that score in the 4 or 5 range, usually indicates a winner that kids love.