Top 10 development toys your baby will love


1. Textured book

"Books with interactive elements such as raised textures and flaps will provide stimulation for eyes and fingers. Reading  a story that a child can interact with helps build a bond between you and keeps her interested while you read," says play specialist Emma Lear.

2. Blocks

"Helping to build towers of blocks, then letting your baby knock them down, will teach her cause and effect," says Emma. "This is where she starts realising that she has the power to change her environment. Blocks that click together are also good for developing fine motor skills."

3. Dolls and teddies

"Dolls and teddies can teach your baby how to cuddle, nurture and play gently," says Emma. "Show your toddler how to cuddle the doll and she'll imitate you." This is great for boys too and teaches empathy.

4. Toy phone

"Babies just love gadgets, especially ones with buttons. noises and flashes, and those that mimic adult equipment such as phones and laptops," says Emma. "They also encourage role play, develop imagination and many teach colours, numbers or words."

5. Crayons

"Holding a chunky crayon (even just to scribble a bit) will help your baby develop her pincer grip, a fine motor skill that uses her thumb and forefinger and helps with feeding as well as pen skills," says Emma. 

6. Push-along walker 

"Your baby will love the independence a push-along walker will give her," explains Emma. "One with a sturdy base will help her to pull herself into a standing position and strengthen her leg muscles."

7. Ride-on car

"By propelling herself along on a ride-on toy, your baby will develop the muscles in her legs and her core. This toy will also help improve both her balance and her general gross motor skills," Emma explains.

8. Shape sorter

"These are good for improving problem-solving and fine motor skills as she pick up the shapes and works out which one to push through what hole," says Emma.

9. Tea set

"This encourages your baby to use imagination by playing make-believe," says Emma. "It can also help socialisation skills if they play with others."

10. Play mat

"Mats provide a chance for tummy time, which helps your baby strengthen her neck and arm muscles," says Emma. 

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