A Block, a Bandana, and a Box: Why Less Is More When Choosing Toys for Baby

Fred Rogers said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning.  But for children play is serious learning.  Play is really the work of childhood.”  But why is play so important, and how do you know which toys you should buy for baby?

Play is essential for early brain development.  Through play, babies learn important concepts like cause and effect, plus lifelong skills like problem solving.  Play provides new ways to talk with and engage your baby, which in turn help build language and communication skills.  And having fun together is a great way to encourage bonding and strong relationships with your newest addition!

One of the most important types of play for your child is unstructured play, or free play that just happens, depending on your child’s interests.  Simple toys with multiple purposes, like blocks, can be used in many different ways.  It’s entirely up to how your child is feeling and how he or she explores creativity.  This play naturally evolves over time as your child learns new concepts and ideas.  The exploration is endless!

Whether you’re expecting a new baby soon, or have recently brought a little one home, join us for Read to the Bump on Saturday, December 1, 11 AM at Schimelpfenig Library.  Hear from experts from the UTD Center for Children and Families about how loving adults and a very few toys are the perfect ingredients for play.  This interactive session will explore setting the stage for healthy social, emotional, and intellectual development through meaningful play.  Participate in a read-aloud to your baby bump, learn and sing new rhymes for baby, and talk with new friends about your experiences.  Plus, you’ll learn great information about how to read, write, sing, talk, and play with your newest family member.

For more information about playing with your baby, try one of these titles:

The activity kit for babies and toddlers at risk : how to use everyday routines to build social and communication skills The Activity Kit for Babies and Toddlers at Risk:  How to Use Everyday Routines to Build Social and Communication Skills by Deborah Fein Baby days : activities, ideas, and games for enjoying daily life with a child under three Baby Days:  Activities, Ideas, and Games for Enjoying Daily Life with a Child Under Three by Barbara Rowley
Child's play : Montessori games and activities for your baby and toddler Child’s Play:  Montessori Games and Activities for Your Baby and Toddler by Maja Pitamic Lisa Murphy on play : the foundation of children's learning Lisa Murphy on Play:  The Foundation of Children’s Learning by Lisa Murphy
Rattle time, face to face, and many other activities for infants : birth to 6 monthsMaking sounds, making music, and many other activities for infants : 7 to 12 months

Rattle Time, Face to Face, and Many Other Activities for Infants:  Birth to 6 Months 


Making Sounds, Making Music, and Many Other Activities for Infants:  7 to 12 Months by Judy Herr

The toddler brain : nurture the skills today that will shape your child's tomorrow : the surprising science behind your child's development from birth to age 5 The Toddler Brain:  Nurture the Skills Today That Will Shape Your Child’s Tomorrow:  The Surprising Science Behind Your Child’s Development from Birth to Age 5 by Laura A. Jana


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