They are presented with a world to explore, a body to learn how to use, and other people to learn to interact with. Learning all this requires the right toys to stimulate them mentally and physically.
Some toy manufacturers look at baby toys as merely something to keep children occupied so that they do not bother their parents. There are parents who see it the same way. However, the top baby toy manufacturers, like Fisher Price, develop baby toys that are intended to teach skills that babies need to learn, so that they are ready to face the wide world around them.
These toys are carefully designed to meet the baby's needs at each stage of their development. Introduced at the proper times, new toys challenge babies to learn new skills and develop new cognitive abilities. To accomplish this best, the parents need to understand what skills the toys are teaching and when to introduce those toys to their baby.
Baby's Developmental Stages
Fisher Price has identified six stages of a baby's development. The company's toys are designed to meet the specific needs of those stages. The stages are:
- Lay & Play
- Tummy Time
As babies grow and become stronger, they pass through each of these stages of development, learning more and more how to use their body. The toys for each stage encourage them to master the necessary skills for that stage of development. These 7 essential Fisher Price toys your baby will love are not only fun for your baby, but help him or her learn important skills.
1. Fisher Price Crib Mobile
The first toy that most babies interact with is a crib mobile. The bright colored mobile hanging above their crib helps them develop their sight, their ability to focus, and their ability to track moving objects with their eyes. Most crib mobiles also have a music box, which provides auditory stimulation for the baby.
Newborn babies can not see more than about eight inches in front of their faces. The mobile provides them something to focus on in order to improve their ability to see. They are more attracted to black and white images at first, especially images of the human face. As their eyes develop, they can see farther, with greater distinction and they enjoy bright colors. It is not until a baby is about six months old that he or she can differentiate colors more than just the primary colors.
Fisher-Price's Rainforest Peek-a-Boo Leaves Musical Mobile has colorful animals which go around while its leaves go up and down. The mobile plays classical music or soothing sounds from the rainforest. When the baby gets too old for the mobile, it can be removed and the base still used as a music box and night light.
The Discover 'n Grow Crib-to-Floor Mobile is designed with a special stand which allows it to be taken off of the baby's crib and placed on the floor, making it possible to use it like a baby gym.
2. Fisher Price Baby Gym
A baby gym is not a set of weights that babies lift in order to develop their muscles. Rather, it is a number of hanging toys, which are within their reach as they lie down, to encourage them to reach out and grab the toys. Unlike a crib mobile, the baby gym is intended for babies to be able to touch, helping them to learn how to control their arms and begin to grasp things.
Baby gyms come in a variety of styles and a variety of themes. Some of them are plastic, while others are made of fabric. The fabric ones are often collapsible as well, allowing parents to take the gym with them for the baby to play with outside the home.
While primarily designed for babies who are laying on their back, baby gyms can be used with babies from the time they are born, up through the time they can sit up. As they grow, they try to do new things with the gym, and the toys hanging off of it.
The Discover 'n Grow Open Play Musical Gym provides the baby with a variety of stimulations, and a variety of hanging toys that they can grab and touch. Up to 20 minutes of music gives babies something to listen to while they are playing. The Discover 'n Grow Kick & Play Piano Gym has a soft piano keyboard that babies can kick while they are playing with the overhead toys. Each piano key plays its own note.
3. Fisher Price Teethers
There are several reasons why babies put things in their mouths and chew on them. The first and most obvious is that they are teething and to help their new teeth come through. At the same time, they are experimenting with what is food and what is not. Finally, they put things in their mouths to feel them. The lips are the most sensitive part of the body and by putting things in their mouths; they can feel them better than they can with their fingers.
While Fisher Price makes a wide variety of teethers , most of them provide other activities to stimulate the baby, such as having the teether be a rattle as well, or having a ball captured within it that they can turn. These add to the educational value of the teether, by helping them understand cause and effect.
The Discover 'n Grow Lion Ring Rattle combines teething with a rattle, allowing babies to shake it to make noise, learning how their actions are rewarded with consequences. Among Fisher Price's Disney toys is the Baby SQUIRT's Musical Teether. This colorful turtle has lots of different textures for baby to discover. A button on the turtle's back plays music when pressed.
4. Fisher Price Activity Centers
As babies begin to grow and learn how to use their bodies, development of fine motor skills is an important part of their development. Learning how to grasp, turn, push, pull, open, close, and move are all important fine motor skills that babies need to practice. Activity centers provide a variety of different actions that they can do, most of which cause a response from the toy, such as making a picture visible, having a character pop up, or producing a sound.
As babies use an activity center , they not only work on developing their fine motor skills, but also are learning about cause and effect, an important part of their cognitive skill development. By rewarding babies with a response, the toys teach them that their actions can make things happen. This encourages them to try other activities in order to see what reactions they receive.
The Laugh & Learn Smart Screen Laptop has twelve different buttons, each of which provides a different reaction to each button pressed. As babies get older, they can learn their numbers and letters from this enjoyable toy. The Boppin' Activity Bugs pop up as baby manipulates switches, turns knobs, and pushes buttons. This provides hours of fun as babies get a reaction from the toy for whatever they do.
5. Fisher Price Shape Sorters
Another type of toy that helps with fine motor development is the shape sorter . Babies have to recognize different shapes and put them through holes in the toy which are cut out to match the shape. The amount of dexterity required to put the pieces through the holes is higher than that which is needed for activity centers, helping them to increase this all-important skill.
At the same time, babies are learning to recognize the shapes of the pieces and their corresponding holes. This is a preparatory skill for recognizing letters. The shapes only fit in the holes in one way, forcing babies to see the relationship between the parts. By doing so, they begin learning that different things go together.
The Growing Baby Elephant Shape Sorter comes with eight different blocks in four shapes. This simple shape sorter is a good starter for babies, as they learn the difference between different shapes. The Laugh & Learn Cookie Shape Surprise has a built in music box with over 25 sing-along songs, tunes, and phrases that play when babies put the shapes into the holes in the sorter.
6. Fisher Price Stacking Blocks
Stacking blocks are also usually nesting blocks, with successive sizes. Working with these not only helps with motor skills, but also helps babies to learn about different sizes of things and how they go together. They begin to see that stacking larger blocks on smaller ones does not work well, although stacking smaller ones on larger ones does.
Another cognitive skill that stacking blocks help teach is how smaller things fit inside of larger ones. They can put the small blocks inside the larger ones, although not the other way around.
The Brilliant Basics Stack & Roll Cups set comes with ten different sized stacking cups. They can be put together in a variety of ways, encouraging babies to experiment with the various possibilities. Rainbow coloring helps babies learn to differentiate between one color and another, while numbers on the cups can be used to help them begin to learn their numbers.
7. Fisher Price Playsets That Imitate Real Life
Babies learn by imitation. They see their parents and siblings doing things, and try to do them as well. It does not matter if they are imitating sounds they hear, walking, or cooking in the kitchen, this play is all about learning how to do the same things that mommy and daddy do.
There are two categories of playsets that imitate real life. The first are those that imitate the things that growing babies sees their family doing. Play kitchens , like the Grow With Me Kitchen, allow growing children to begin imitating mommy, while improving fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Toddlers can mix things and put them in the oven, just as if they were working in a real kitchen. Other toys, like the Grow With Me Workshop, provide the same learning experience in a different format. Plastic tools can be used to put in and take out bolts and nails, with babies gaining the idea of how these tools work in real life.
The other category of playsets that imitate life are those that imitate the wider world around growing babies. Sets, like the Little People Fun Sounds Farm, help babies experiment with and learn how the world works. They can have the animals act out what they have seen in cartoons or heard in stories, or come up with their own story. As they play, they are seeing the interrelationship between the various things that are part of the set, experimenting with how the animals live together or how a family lives in their home.
Buying Fisher Price Educational Toys on Toyopia
While there are many places where you can buy Fisher Price toys, Toyopia is one of the best. Not only can you find an excellent selection of Fisher Price toys on Toyopia, but you can typically find ways to save money using the site. Fisher Price developmental baby toys have their own category on Toyopia. There is a separate category for crib toys as well
Many of these toys are used, allowing for even bigger savings. Sellers who are listing used toys generally state whether the toy has all of the pieces or if some are missing. This is especially important for sets that come with a number of small pieces.
Some vendors offer their products with free shipping. While the asking price for the product might be a little bit more expensive than buying one where you have to pay extra for the shipping, the total price is usually less than you would have to pay, if you paid the shipping.
Buying baby toys is much more than just finding something bright and colorful to keep the baby busy for a few minutes. Properly designed baby toys provide developmental stimuli for babies, helping them with their physical and cognitive development.
Fisher Price is one of the best known manufacturers of toys for babies, with an extensive line of toys designed to aid a baby's development. Among their classic collections is the Fisher Price great adventures castle, which not only brings nostalgia for many parents but also offers unique learning experiences for babies. Each toy, including the vintage castle, is carefully designed to provide specific learning objectives to meet the baby's developmental needs at a specific point in their growth.
With these 7 essential Fisher Price toys, including the vintage castle, in your baby's toy box, you can be sure that your baby is receiving what he or she needs in order to grow and learn. Of course, it is necessary that the baby be provided with ample playtime, both alone and with mommy or daddy, as playing with the baby is an important part of helping them grow and learn.