Babies and toys go together but babies don’t always take to new toys immediately! Sometimes, they need time to react to toys and it might be a while before they willingly reach out to play with them. Introducing new toys to your baby the right way will go a long way in how they play with them later. Here are some things we suggest.
At first, Playtime = You + Baby
Babies don’t see toys as objects they can play with alone. At this stage, babies associate play with you, the caregiver. The best way to introduce a new toy to your baby is to have them see you play with it.
When you introduce a toy, like the Ele rattle, demonstrate how to play with it. Shake the rattle, make some music, and move the coloured beads up and down. Let them watch you shake the rattle or throw and catch the ball. This will get them curious to try it out on their own.
Teaching baby to play on their own
Once they show interest, familiarise them with the surface, let them feel the toy. Be around when baby plays with the toy the first few times. Eventually, you will see that baby will play with the toy freely. At this stage, you might want to start teaching baby to be okay even if you step away from them for a bit. To reassure them that you will be back, play peek-a-boo or hiding behind the door and reappearing.
Introducing toys with texture
Introduce plush toys as a comforter that they can attach to when you are away. Narrate a story when introducing it, speaking to baby in a soft, soothing voice so they know the toy is safe. Hold it against your own face so they understand how soft it is and then offer it to baby to see if they are curious to try it on their own.
Introducing sounds & movement
It is never too early to introduce baby to music. Rattles make gentle noises; shake them to make music and tap on baby’s knees to the beat. Your baby will enjoy the beat and move to it.
While they are trying out toys that make music, why not introduce them to cause and effect too? For example, when baby shakes the egg shaker, it makes a sound. Baby will be thrilled when they realise they made the sound and shake the egg shakers repeatedly! This is the beginning of learning about cause and effect.