People will often ask me which toys I recommend for babies. There are a few, however, even if you surround a baby with toys, they often want to play with objects their parents are using. So I often recommend discovery baskets filled with home objects.
Age recommendation: Baby
Materials: A basket, box, bowl or anything large enough to fit a few household items in. Objects that are baby safe, a whisk, rubber spatula, wooden spoon, ice cube tray, baby spoon or cup, small container with lid and so on.
How to play:
- Place about 4-5 objects in the basket.
- You can add some baby shakers inside, baby puzzle pieces or silk scarves. You want to add different textures or sounds. Leave the same objects in the basket for a few days. When your baby stops going to the basket to explore, change the items.
- This activity is meant for them to explore on their own, however, spend some time with them to "narrate" what they are doing and what they are seeing. For instance, as they pick up the whisk, observe it, feel it, then place is on the floor you can say, "You took the whisk for the basket (point to whisk then the basket as you say these words). Do you want to put it back in the basket? You want to place it on the floor!".
Learning and Development: The CDC milestones for 6 months state that a baby should show curiosity for objects around them. They should also show interest in playing with you.