ebebek-uk

Free next business day delivery ⛟

The secure attachment you have with your baby is the key, and we're here for you to support your bond with play and toys!

Play is a valuable tool in the relationships we build with babies. We play to understand the baby, contribute to their development, and facilitate their adaptation to the world.

Through play, we connect with babies, get closer to them, and strengthen our relationships. We play to interact with them, meet their physical and emotional needs, and make them feel present in their world.

If you have questions about how to define play, what play suggestions might suit a baby's needs and temperament, or how to support babies through play while potty training, this guide is perfect for you. In our guide, where we delve into play and toys suitable for baby development in detail, you will find answers to various questions.

#PlaytoBond

CONTENT

  • How do philosophers define play in history? Why do we play?

  • What are the features of play?

  • What are the stages of play?

  • Unoccupied Play

  • Solitary Play

  • Onlooker Play

  • Parallel Play

  • Associative Play

  • Cooperative Play

  • What are the types of plays?

  • Social Plays

  • Speech and Language Plays

  • Structured Plays

  • Free Plays

  • Pretend Plays

  • How can you understand your baby's play signs?

  • What messages might your baby be sending through play?

  • How can we support solitary play? Factors that influence play

  • Play and Child Temperament

  • Play and Secure Attachment

  • Physically-contacted Plays

  • Nonsense Plays

  • Empowering Plays

  • Thematic Plays

  • Baby-centred Plays

  • Unexpected Plays

  • Separation Plays

  • Regression Plays

  • Cooperative Plays

  • Play and Bathtime

  • Play and Potty Training 

  • Play and Feeding

  • Play and Sleep

  • How to be a "Playful Parent"? Play and Screen Time

  • How can you extend your baby's playtime?

  • Play Suggestions for Preschoolers

  • What should you consider when choosing toys for your baby?

  • Toy Selection Based on Developmental Areas

  • Language Development

  • Cognitive Development

  • Social and Emotional Development

  • Physical Development

  • Spontaneous Play

  • Play and Baby Development

  • Language Development

  • Cognitive Development

  • Social and Emotional Development

  • Physical Development

  • Baby Play and Toys by Months

  • Play and Toy Suggestions for 0-6 Month-Old Babies

  • Play and Toy Suggestions for 6-9 Month-Old Babies

  • Play and Toy Suggestions for 9-12 Month-Old Babies

  • Play and Toy Suggestions for 12-24 Month-Old Babies

  • Play and Toy Suggestions for 24-36 Month-Old Babies

  • Play and Toy Suggestions for 36-48 Month-Old Babies

How do philosophers define play in history?

Piaget: Adaptation 

Montaigne: Effort 

Montessori: Task 

Grass: Practical

Huizinga: Emotion and Experience Pool 

Vygotsky: Learning

Freud: State of Safety and Familiarity 

Comenius: Life Experience

Rousseau: Sense Organs

Plato: Mental Health and Physical Education

Why do we play?

What is a play that we encounter in many aspects of our lives? What does the play encompass? How and when the play is discovered?

The first question could have dozens, hundreds, or countless answers. Each play is unique, and even if it has rules, it is nearly impossible to be repeated identically. Perhaps that's why if we were to define the concept of playing, we would have to explain every play ever played up to this point. Fundamentally, play involves shared feelings and thoughts, and skills such as enjoying, experiencing pleasure, being curious, empathising, developing, observing, connecting, and, most importantly, surviving. Plays were discovered in the 1800s through the observation of animal behaviours.

 

From these observations, the book "The Play of Animals" describes playing as a means animals use to survive and propagate their species. It's quite impressive to see how vital play is and how it affects the sociology of the community. The same author, in his later work "The Play of Man," relates the play behaviours of animals to human play behaviours, suggesting that humans play to survive and transmit their cultures in social life. How similar it is, isn’t it? So, we can say that playing is an instinctive behaviour and we play to meet the following desires and needs:

  • to establish a bond

  • to express our emotions and thoughts

  • to socialise

  • to acquire new skills and knowledge

  • to win

  • to have fun

  • to leave our daily problems behind

  • to get involved

What are the features of play?

Play should;

  • be instinctive,

  • be process-driven,

  • include free will,

  • include active participation,

  • be joyous,

  • be open-ended.

What are the stages of play?

1. Unoccupied Play

  • It’s the first stage of playing.

  • Your baby plays by using their organs such as legs, arms or feet in the first 6 months.

  • It's a random and frequently repeated play.

2. Solitary Play

  • It’s the second stage of playing.

  • Babies over 6 months can generate plays by using various objects.

  • You can change the play objects periodically.

3. Onlooker Play

  • It’s the third stage of playing.

  • It’s frequently seen in toddlers between 2-3 ages.

  • Toddlers observe as they want to feel secure before socialising. 

4. Parallel Play

  • It’s the fourth stage of playing.

  • It’s frequently seen in toddlers 3 years and above.

  • This stage includes play together but no communication.

5. Associative Play

  • It’s the fifth stage of playing.

  • Children around 3-4 years socialise and communicate at this stage.

  • Children observe their play partners and engage in shared experiences.

6. Cooperative Play

  • It’s the last stage of playing.

  • There are observations, communication and interaction among children.

  • The play has a common goal among players.

What are the types of plays?

Social Plays

When talking to your child about feelings, you can benefit from soft toys.

  • How do they feel when their toy is broken?

  • What do they do when happy?

  • How can they calm down when angry?

  • What excites them?

Language Plays

Here is a play suggestion for baby language development - “Let’s Find Out!”. For this play, ask your child to pick an animal and try to find that animal by asking questions.

For example, you may ask:

  • What does it eat?

  • Where does it live?

  • What kind of plays do they enjoy?

  • What colours does it have?

  • Who are its closest friends?

Structured Plays

Structured plays are those with specific rules, taking place in a defined space and time, and centred around a particular theme. Board games or regulated plays are some of the examples of structured plays.

Limitless Plays

These are plays with materials at hand, and there are no strict limits on time and place through free association. It is quite important for children to be able to take initiative, use their imagination, and support their critical thinking skills.

Physical Plays

These are plays that involve physical movement and active use of muscles. Plays like running, tagging, jumping, hopping, and climbing support the development of gross motor skills. Play behaviours such as holding, grasping, squeezing, and leaving have a positive impact on the development of fine motor skills. Plays that support motor skills are referred to as physical plays.

Symbolic Plays

These are plays in which your baby uses an object to pretend. The first symbolic plays are observed in the 12-24 month period, and from the 24th month onwards, the frequency of symbolic plays increases through kids cognitive development. Symbolic plays support the development of strategic thinking and problem-solving skills, creative and critical thinking skills, and communication skills.

For playing symbolic plays, you may use;

  • a remote control as a telephone,

  • a piece of block as a vehicle,

  • a plate as a steering wheel,

  • cushions and sheets as tenting.

How can you understand your baby's play signs?

They can;

  • wink,

  • say, "Let's play!",

  • clap,

  • make little noises,

  • say, "I can show you my room!",

  • touch your knee and run away,

  • show excited reactions,

  • use body language,

  • take their toy and bring it to you,

  • try to communicate.

What messages might your baby be sending through play?

Children can convey multiple and variable messages through plays. Some of these messages are as follows:

  • I’m here!

  • Let’s get closer.

  • I need to be with you.

  • Don't have high expectations.

  • Respect my decisions.

  • See what I need.

  • Know me better.

  • I need to feel safe!

  • I had a bad day.

  • What is the world like?

  • Be my role model.

How can we support solitary play?

  • Don't intervene too much in their plays. Allow them to explore and provide them with unusual play objects that they can engage with on their own.

  • Remove some toys you've jointly decided upon with your child and reintroduce them a few weeks later.

  • Involve them in your daily activities; ask them to guess how long it will take to make a salad. While you're making a salad, you may want them to create their own salad-making play.

  • Spend time together side by side, but with different focuses; your child can play while you engage in your own work.

Factors that Affect Play

  • Physical needs (nutrition, sleep, toilet, lack of energy)

  • Environmental factors (space and time)

  • Child temperament

  • Number of players and type of play

  • Play objects

  • Parenting attitudes

Play and Child Temperament

Temperament is inherited through genes and represents innate individual differences. Each baby can respond differently to the situations they encounter.

Play Suggestions Accord with Temperament

  • If your baby has sensory sensitivity, be cautious about sensory plays including watery, noisy, textured, or lighted toys.

  • If your baby is very active physically, you can play chase and hide-and-seek, or dance with them.

  • If your baby has a calm personality, you can choose puzzles, blocks, and snap-together toys.

Toy Suggestions Accord with Temperament

While nurturing your baby's development, it's essential to observe their temperament and engage in plays suitable for them. You can use various toys during your playtime.

  • If your baby enjoys water, bath toys are perfect for them.

  • If your baby is very energetic, creating plays with soft balls is perfect for them.

  • If your baby enjoys calmness, three-dimensional puzzles are perfect for them.

  • If your baby enjoys sound, socks that make noise as they move are perfect for them!

Play and Secure Attachment

For a healthy parent-child relationship, secure attachment is one of the fundamental keys. Thanks to a secure attachment with the baby, they feel safer and become more inclined to learn, take risks, and develop. We can support secure attachment through play.

  • Physically-contacted Plays

You can touch your baby while singing to them.

You can lay down your baby on your chest and pat their back.

You can make your baby do stretch moves by holding their hands and feet.

You can play finger plays along with a song your baby likes.

You can draw a shape on your baby's back and ask them to guess what the shape is.

  • Nonsense Plays

You can put a nappy on your head while changing their nappies.

You can try putting your shoes on the wrong way and see if your baby notices it and has fun with you.

While putting socks on your baby, you can use the sock as a hand puppet and have a little chat with them.

  • Empowering Plays

In these plays, the adult appears weak and makes silly mistakes. This allows the baby to feel powerful during play.

You can encourage your baby to tap a soft objects or soft toys with their feet and emphasise how the object moves away from your baby with each tap.

You can pretend to fall with your baby's little touch and say encouraging words like 'Wow, you're so strong, you saved my life!' at that moment.

You can have a pillow fight and let your baby's pillow strike knock you over.

  • Thematic Plays

If your baby is scared of bees, for example, you can create plays with finger puppets of bees.

If your child is starting nursery, you can engage in creative drama using plush toys and recreate the nursery environment as a pretend play at home.

If you’re going to the hospital, you can play as pretending to be a doctor.

  • Baby-centred Plays

    You can ask where the train is going and pretend to be there.

    You can be a play partner in your baby's interest and focus.

     You can let your baby determine the roles in the game with role play games.

  • Unexpected Plays

You can make a different sound every time your baby touches you.

You accidentally bumped your foot, and you noticed your baby laughed; you can playfully repeat it.

Note: Considering that your baby can mimic you, make sure you create a safe play.

  • Separation Plays

You can play the peek-a-boo with your baby, experiencing short moments of separation and coming together again.

You can play hide and seek at home, allowing for slightly longer periods of separation and reunion.

You can establish your unique form of communication. When dropping them off at nursery, you can exchange a wink, and when picking them up, you can give an elbow bump.

As a way of saying goodbye, you can place a kiss on each other's palms. You can ask them to put their palm next to their cheek when they miss you.

  • Regression Plays

You can wrap them in a blanket when they act like a baby.

You can play a symbolic play of changing baby’s nappies.

You can use a toy baby's bottle and pretend to feed it.

  • Cooperative Plays

You can pretend to struggle when they stop holding the bag you're carrying together.

You can set a challenging play task and discuss together how you'll overcome this challenge.

Keywords for Secure Attachment Supportive Play

  • Smiling

  • Eye contact

  • Non-competitive environment

  • Being child-centred

  • Random and repeatable behaviours

Play and Bathtime 

Play Suggestions to Reduce Your Baby's Bath Time Anxiety

  • Familiarising: Play with your baby inside the bathtub without adding water.

  • Accompanying: After adding water, provide your baby with a toy they can wash during bath time.

  • Feeling Powerful: Encourage your baby to wash this toy with water.

  • Role Modelling: Have a fun and positive attitude while bathing your baby with bathtime toys.

Play and Potty Training

If your baby is using a toilet adapter seat, you can stick fun and colourful footprints on the floor leading to the toilet; if they're using a baby potty, stick them towards the potty.

In your plays, you can have a conversation about the toilet using plush toys or finger puppets.

You can create a pee-poo tracking chart with your baby. Ask them to draw a smiling face in their preferred colour on the chart every time they use the toilet.

Play and Feeding

Highchair Play Suggestions 

  • Blank paper, a thick brush, and water!

Place a white sheet of paper in front of your baby. Choose a brush they can grasp easily and wet the tip. Allow them to make drawings on the paper with the brush. You can also be a role model.

  • Sticky notes!

Draw dark-coloured shapes on sticky notes.

Stick the notes with the shapes randomly on the highchair. You can be a role model for your baby to explore these papers. 

  • Rescue the toys!

Select small toys that won't harm your baby. Place these toys on the highchair.

Wrap the toys to be sandwiched between the baby highchair and cling film. Support your baby to tear the cling film with their finger and remove the toys beneath.

Play and Sleep

4 Questions and 4 Answers about Sleep Companions

  1. What is a sleep companion?

A sleep companion helps babies transition to sleep and provides them with comfort and relief.

  1. What should a sleep companion be like?

It should mimic the sounds babies hear while in the womb, comforting the baby by producing sounds similar to electric vacuum cleaners, running water, car engines, and washing machines. It should have a non-bright white light and be soft.

  1. When should a sleep companion be used?

Your baby needs you more in the first 3 months after birth. Additionally, their hand skills may not have developed enough to grasp a sleep companion in these times. Therefore, it is recommended to introduce a sleep companion to your baby after they reach 3 months of age.

  1. How to use a sleep companion?

The sleep companion should be associated with your baby's bedtime routine. It should not be played with when your baby is awake and active. Your baby should have a sleep companion with them only in their sleeping space such as their baby cotstroller, or crib.

How to be a "Playful Parent"?

  • Be spontaneous.

  • Stay open to fun and humour.

  • Use your imagination all the time.

  • Have a curious and questioning attitude.

  • Never forget that you can play anytime, anywhere.

  • Focus on learning, not instructive, aspect of play.

  • Stay open to opportunities to add playful touches to everyday life.

Play Suggestions for Playful Parenting

  • You can hop to the bathroom to brush your teeth.

  • You can sit on the floor while playing with your baby.

  • You can imitate your baby's movements directly.

  • You can respond to your baby by making the sounds they make.

Play and Screen Time

  • For ages 2 and under:

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, screen time for your baby should be limited to video chatting with your relatives, and it should not exceed 10 minutes.

  • For ages 2 to 4:

Daily screen time should be a maximum of 1 hour. According to the guidelines published by the World Health Organization, children should spend most of their time away from screens, engaging in active and interactive activities.

How can you extend your baby's playtime?

Tips to Increase Focus on Play

  • You can raise and lower your voice.

  • You can change play objects periodically.

  • You can use unusual play objects in unconventional ways.

  • You can add a challenging task to play, such as building the tallest tower.

  • You can put humour into play.

  • You can use unconventional gestures and facial expressions.

Play Suggestions for Preschoolers

  • Pretend to be at nursery by using plush toys, rehearsing the fun times they will have at nursery. Explain to your preschooler that the teddy bear, who might feel anxious about being away from home in the beginning, will feel safe when their mum comes to pick them up from school.

  • Ask your child to guess what colour their best friend will wear the next day. Discuss their predictions while coming back from nursery.

  • Share a funny moment from your day with your child. Also, ask them to tell you the funniest moment they had at nursery. Laughter is comforting and strengthens your bond.

  • Ask which toy they like the most at nursery. Ask them what kind of play they'd like to choose with that toy and with which friends the next day.

  • Prepare a gift together using recycled materials for a beloved friend. You can create a story about this gift.

 

What should you consider when choosing toys for your baby?

  • Age-appropriateness 

While choosing bigger toys for younger ages, you can pay attention to prefer the smaller sizes of toys as your baby grows.

  • Desired Developmental Area

If you want to support your baby's physical, cognitive, social and emotional, or language development, you can choose the toy based on that specific developmental area.
  • Stimulating Different Sensory Organs,

You can examine which sensory organs the chosen toy appeals to, such as touch, sight, smell, hearing, and taste. The sound, texture, and appearance of the toy are crucial for your baby's development.

  • Multi-functionality

The more plays you can create with a toy, the more functions it has. Open-ended toys like playdough, plush toysanimal figurines, and finger puppets have multiple functions.
  • Referring to Daily Life Routines

Toys like baby cell phones, kitchen utensils, tool sets, and dress-up costumes can be cited as examples of toys that involve daily life routines.

  • Increasing Movement and Curiosity

It's crucial for supporting your baby's developmental areas that they have a sense of curiosity and explore through movement. You can make use of toys such as balls, trains, car toysplaymats, and play tunnels.

    Toy Selection Based on Developmental Areas

    • Toys for Language Development

    Picture Books 

    Hand and Finger Puppets

    Bath Books

    Written and Illustrated Play Cards

    • Toys for Cognitive Development

        Puzzles

        Blocks

        Stacking Toys

        Cubes

        Snap-Together Toys

    • Toys for Social and Emotional Development

        Plush and Soft Toys

        Construction Sets

        Doctor Sets

        Kitchen Sets

        Emotion Cards

        Baby-Safe Mirror

        Small Animal Figures

    • Toys for Physical Development

        Playmats

        Play Tunnels

        Kids Bicycle

        Scooter for Kids

        Cubs, Blocks and Grip-Grasp Toys

    Spontaneous Play

    • Play peek-a-boo.

    • Fingers on duty! Use your fingers in different moves.

    • When you make eye contact, open your eyes wide and smile.

    • Touch their back and ask them to touch the same spot.

    • Repeat a behaviour they like.

    • Communicate using different tones of your voice.

    • Use gestures and facial expressions.

    Play and Baby Development

    1. Language Development

    Language development in babies consists of two processes: “Receptive Language” and “Expressive Language”.

    Receptive Language: Your baby perceives the words you use through their receptive language skills, starts to understand, stores them in their long-term memory, and learns.

    Expressive Language: Through receptive language skills, your baby begins to express the words they have learned from you, and speech occurs.

    To support your baby's speak- ing skills, you first need to invest in their receptive language skills. So, how should this investment be made?

    • You should talk to them a lot.

    • You should also explain your daily routines to them.

    • You should read plenty of books to them.

    • You should listen to songs together.

    Play Suggestions for Language Development

    • You can show your baby pictured cards with contrasting colours and create stories with those pictures.

    • While changing your baby's nappy, you can use engaging facial expressions to explain to them how you're changing it.

    • When they say “tar”, you can correct the word within a sentence and extend it, like “Do you want the car?” as a reflection.

    • You can engage with your baby's interests. When you observe them playing with a train, you can make a “Choo-choo!” sound.

    • When your baby points at a toy and says its name, you can verbalise their behaviour by saying, “You pointed at the teddy bear, do you want to play with it?”.

    1. Cognitive Development

    Here are 5 play suggestions that help support your baby’s problem-solving skills:

    • Attach a small object to the floor with tape. Ask your baby to rescue this object.

    • Place your baby's favourite toy in a hard-to-reach spot. Encourage your baby to find new ways to reach the toy.

    • Hide a piece of a three-dimensional puzzle. Ask your baby to find the missing piece.

    • While building a tower with blocks with your baby, ask them how they would prevent the tower from collapsing.

    • When reading a story together, convey the problem the hero faces to your baby and ask how they could come up with a solution to this problem.

    1. Social & Emotional Development

    How can we support self-esteem through play?

    By giving positive reinforcers and encouragement: 
    Well done! You carried the ball so balanced. You were very attentive in this play, congratulations.

    By using our body language:

    When your baby succeeds during play, you can give a high-five.

    You can wink when they accomplish a challenging task.

    By respecting their decisions:

    You can ask your baby which toy they want to use in play. You can establish the play rules together.

    1. Physical Development

    When your baby is 5 months old:

    They can shake the toy with their hand.

    They can turn the pages of a thick book.

    When your baby is 10 months old:

    They can grasp a toy with two hands.

    They can clap their hands.

    When your baby is 12 months old:

    They can roll a ball.

    They can point to a toy with their finger.

    When your baby is 14 months old:

    They can stack two large blocks on top of each other.

    They can hold a large crayon and scribble randomly.

    When your baby is 18 months old:

    They can switch buttons over and play with pins.

    They can stack four large blocks on top of each other.

    Baby Plays and Toys by Months

    Toy and Play Suggestions Suitable for the Developmental Areas of Babies Aged 0-6 Months

    Playing with babies aged 0-6 months (newborns) has two important and valuable reasons:

    Strengthening the secure bond with the baby and getting to know them better. Play is a wonderful tool for the baby to become active, start communicating, socialise, and explore their surroundings. In the first months of life, babies learn many things through interaction with their parents. Feeling the touch, hearing the voice, smelling the scent, and seeing the face of their parent helps the baby feel secure and facilitates interaction.

    Things to Consider While Playing with Babies Aged 0-6 Months (Newborn)

    • Having a full tummy and a clean diaper make playtime more comfortable and enjoyable for the baby.

    • You can play while bathing, breastfeeding, or putting the baby to sleep. There's no need to set aside a separate time for playing!

    • Appealing to different sense organs during play is crucial for the baby's development.

    • Making eye contact and smiling together with the baby during play strengthens the emotional bond.

    Physical Development of Babies Aged 0-6 Months

    Babies in their early months often use their hands and feet frequently. They can only be in a lying position. They usually keep their hands in a fist and gradually open their fingers. They try to reach for the faces/hair of the people around them and grasp with their fingers tightly. They can grasp and shake an object given to them. They reach for any object or toy and can hold it with both hands. They try to transfer an object from one hand to the other.

    Play Recommendations for Physical Development of Babies Aged 0-6 Months

    • When your baby is 3 months old, you can lay them on a playmat facing down and support them in holding their head up. You can lay them on their back again when they get tired.

    • You can lay your baby on your stomach facing down to make eye contact and have a conversation with them.

    • You can gently dance by holding your baby and playing light music.

    • You can applaud together by holding your baby’s hand.

    • You can gently hold their arms to facilitate stretching movements and guide them in pedalling their legs like riding a bicycle.

    • Offering an object that makes noise, you can encourage your baby to grasp and shake it with their fingers. You can be a role model and accompany them while playing.

    Toy Recommendations for Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 0-6 Months

    • Fun, baby cell phone, and hanging toy

    • Tummy time pillow

    • Playmat

    • Soft balls

    Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 0-6 Months

    Babies may find it challenging to make eye contact in their early months, but they gradually begin to establish eye contact with people around them. They frequently smile, start recognising their parent's voice, and develop trust. They use crying as a means of communication, expressing their need for attention and other necessities. They direct their attention to wherever the sound is coming from, engage in social interaction, and express discomfort when they don't feel safe.

    Play Recommendations for Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 0-6 Months

    • You can bring your head towards your baby's tummy and gently shake it.

    • Smile at your baby when you make eye contact.

    • When your baby is lying on their back, you can count their toes by touching them.

    • Mimic your baby's voice and behaviours.

    • During this period, the skin-to-skin contact you establish with your baby is crucial, and you can also incorporate touch during your playtime. You can lay your baby on your chest and share the excitement of anticipating their birth moments.

    Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 0-6 Months

    • Baby-safe mirror

    • Sleep companion

    • Featherless Plushies

    Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 0-6 Months

    Babies in the first months look at the faces of the people around them and try to recognise them. Eye movements between people or objects change, and they begin to control their eyes. Over time, the duration of eye contact increases. They start making sounds to express themselves, want to be with the people they love, and reach out to objects that capture their interest.

    Play Recommendations for Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 0-6 Months

    • Your 0-6-month-old baby will soon be able to distinguish the voices of their parents. You can sing songs and lullabies to them. Also you should play with 0-6 months toys.

    • While changing their nappies, you can smile, stick out your tongue, use different facial expressions, or make funny faces.

    • Choose a favourite toy for your baby to follow, shake, and notice the sound.

    • You can hang a swinging toy over your baby's crib. By moving this toy, you can encourage them to track it with their eyes. From the third month onward, as your baby's hand-eye coordination develops, they may start reaching out to grasp the toy.

    • You can play the "Peek-a-boo!". During this period, your baby thinks that things disappear when they can't see them. So, when playing "Peek-a-boo!", if you close your face with your hands, your baby will think you are not there. The brief separation and reunion in this play help your baby feel secure.

    • As your baby approaches the 4th month, their teeth may start itching. They may begin to bring objects they grasp to their mouth. During this time, you can use soft teething toys and hygienic items they can bring to their mouth.

    Toy Recommendations for Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 0-6 Months

    • Baby flash cards

    • Toys with curved and symmetrical shapes

    • Objects with different textured surfaces (such as soft balls, and rough shapes)

    • Musical and moving toys

    • Rattles

    Language Development of Babies Aged 0-6 Months

    Babies produce “aaa” and “bbb” sounds in the first months, followed by babbling sounds like “ba-ba” and “da-da”. They communicate by laughing, farting, or crying. They begin to laugh out loud. They start shaping their mouths to produce different sounds. They attempt to use facial expressions and enjoy imitating others. They begin to engage in conversations with toys and try to make sounds with them.

    Play Recommendations for Language Development of Babies Aged 0-6 Months

    • Listening to the same songs while sleeping, breastfeeding, or bathing can contribute to creating routines with your baby.

    • Your baby can see up to 20-30 cm in the first few months. You can read large, colourful, and soft books in a way that your baby can see.

    • You can communicate with your baby about what you are doing. For example, if you are changing the diaper, you can talk about how you are changing it.

    • You can play with your baby using colourful and fun finger puppets. It's crucial to hold the puppets close so that your baby can see them.

    Toy Recommendations for Language Development of Babies Aged 0-6 Months

    • Finger puppets

    • Thick and illustrated storybooks

    • Bathroom books 

    Toy and Play Suggestions Suitable for the Developmental Areas of Babies Aged 6-9 Months

    During this period, differences in the developmental characteristics of babies begin to emerge. They acquire new information and skills. So, choosing plays that cater to different developmental areas contributes to their development.

    Babies in this period start to explore their surroundings more by moving away from their cribs. They transition from a lying position to a sitting position. They are curious about their environment and get excited to explore. Their tiny world gradually expands.

    Play is instinctively familiar to babies from birth, hence, it is very familiar to them. You can support your baby in getting to know the world by using the language they are familiar with, that is, through play. Safety measures should be taken at home to allow the baby to explore their surroundings through play freely.

    Things to Consider While Playing with Babies Aged 6-9 Months

    • Having a full tummy and a clean diaper make playtime more comfortable and enjoyable for the baby.

    • You can play while bathing, breastfeeding, or putting the baby to sleep. There's no need to set aside a separate time for playing! Also you should play with 6-9 months toys.

    • Appealing to different sensory organs during plays is crucial for the baby's development.

    • Making eye contact and smiling together with the baby during play strengthens the emotional bond.

    Physical Development of Babies Aged 6-9 Months

    They start sitting independently. They attempt to bounce on their bottom. They begin to crawl and shuffle on the floor. When held by their hands, they try to stand up. They start holding small objects in their palm and become more active in using their fingers. They enjoy grabbing objects, and when an object is offered to them, they raise their arms to reach for it. They explore objects by shaking, gripping, squeezing, and sliding them.

    Play Recommendations for Physical Development of Babies Aged 6-9 Months

    • You can encourage your baby to move towards you by placing them on the playmat in the "Tummy Time" position.

    • When your baby starts sitting, you can roll soft balls to them on the floor, supporting them to follow the ball with their eyes and grasp it with their hands.

    • Your baby can lie on the playmat, and you can provide the opportunity for them to climb onto you. Through the physical contact and fun you create during playtime, you can strengthen the secure bond with your baby.

    • While your baby is lying down, you can do stretching exercises by placing them on your legs.

    • You can place your baby in different positions such as side-lying, tummy time, or back-lying. Each time, you can put different toys/

    • objects around them, allowing your baby to see these objects from different angles.

    • You can build a tower using toilet paper or soft blocks. Breaking down this tower can be a great activity for your baby, helping them observe cause and effect.

    • If your baby is just starting to sit during this period, you can give them a noise-making toy while they are sitting. Encourage them to pass the toy from one hand to the other.

    Toy Recommendations for Physical Development of Babies Aged 6-9 Months 

    Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 6-9 Months

    During this period, your baby begins to recognise the differences between basic emotions like happiness and anger. They gradually start perceiving the emotions of people around them and can distinguish between strangers and familiar individuals. They may show movement when they see themselves in the mirror.

    Play Recommendations for Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 6-9 Months

    • During this period, your baby begins to express their likes or dislikes through their attitudes and behaviours. You can discover what your baby enjoys or doesn't enjoy during your playtime together.

    • They might point to a toy they want by using their hands and eyes, or by making sounds, and you can carefully observe these messages from your baby.

    • You can also have fun with your baby by putting their diaper on your head or creating a finger puppet with a sock. Such playful behaviours can contribute to the enjoyment you share with your baby.

    Toy Recommendations for Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 6-9 Months

    • Featherless Plushies

    • Finger Puppets

    Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 6-9 Months

    Spatial awareness develops and they perceive the dimensions of objects and begin to make comparisons. They understand whether objects are close or far away and use their body accordingly. They form ideas about the ways toys or other objects are used, try them out, and learn. They start using different sensory organs to understand the presented objects. They begin to establish cause-and-effect relationships.

    Play Recommendations for Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 6-9 Months

    • Your baby will start using their hands more frequently during this period and can make gestures like clapping, waving hello, and saying goodbye. You can engage in plays with your baby involving these gestures.

    • You can play sorting plays. During this period, babies enjoy playing plays through trial and error.

    • You can provide opportunities for your baby to see the outcomes of their actions. For example, knowing that pressing a button on a toy produces sound helps them establish cause-and-effect relationships.

    • You can offer chances for your baby to make sounds using objects they give you.

    • You can create a sound from an object your baby can't see and guide their attention towards that sound.

    • Utilising toys/objects with different textures can contribute to your baby's sensory development.

    • By filling a large box with various toys, you can create a discovery box for your baby.

    Toy Recommendations for Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 6-9 Months

    Language Development of Babies Aged 6-9 Months

    They begin making sounds to communicate and express their needs. They start to turn towards sounds in the environment. They recognise their name and turn towards the person calling when it is said. They make sounds consisting of the same syllables, such as ba-ba, aa-aa and de-de, and begin babbling. They slowly begin to understand and respond to single-word instructions (stop, take, give, etc.).

    Play Recommendations for Language Development of Babies Aged 6-9 Months

    • Speak, sing, and read a book with thick pages together. Encourage your baby to turn the pages of the book.

    • You can hide a toy under the baby blanket and ask your baby to find it. You can verbally express your baby's actions, such as "There is a small toy under the blanket," to support language development.

    • You can also provide explanations about things your baby points to with their hand or eyes.

    Toy Recommendations for Language Development of Babies Aged 6-9 Months

    Toy and Play Suggestions Suitable for the Developmental Areas of Babies Aged 9-12 Months

    Babies are more curious and active during this period, so playing with them by sitting on the floor, attempting to walk in nature, or engaging in various activities in different environments can be beneficial. They may try to climb stairs by crawling. This stage is crucial for babies as they transition to crawling and walking. Their ability to imitate also develops, and they tend to mimic behaviours they observe in their surroundings. They enjoy finger plays, musical toys, and songs during this time. When they are interested in an object, they can point to it with their fingers and track it with their eyes.

     

    Physical Development of Babies Aged 9-12 Months

    During this period, babies develop small and large muscle skills such as grasping, turning, bending, squeezing, pushing, and throwing. They attempt to stand and walk by holding onto objects in their surroundings. They can stand comfortably when held by their hands. They start using their index finger to point at objects that capture their interest. They use small muscle skills to put objects into a box and take them out. They can stack one block on top of another. They begin to use their hands, arms, legs, and feet more frequently.

    Play Recommendations for Physical Development of Babies Aged 9-12 Months

    • When your baby wants to move, you can move with them and encourage their activity. Also you should play your baby with 9-12 month toys.

    • By holding your baby's hands, you can support them in walking on different textures (sand, grass, water, etc.).

    • Encourage your baby to play with blocks to develop balance and coordination skills.

    • You can play finger plays, dance, and create sounds with toys that make noise when pressed.

    Toy Recommendations for Physical Development of Babies Aged 9-12 Months

    Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 9-12 Months

    During this period, they can notice things that bother or please them, and if

    they are uncomfortable, they can express their discomfort. They can understand whether a parent is pleased with a situation. They use gestures and facial expressions more frequently and observe people around them. They can follow a parent's voice or laughter and imitate their movements. They engage in interactions such as hugging, kissing, and making eye contact.

    Play Recommendations for Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 9-12 Months

    • You can engage in fun communication with your baby using different gestures and facial expressions.

    • You can establish play routines, for example, giving your baby a foot massage before bedtime.

    • Smile at your baby when you make eye contact.

    • During plays, you can use polite words like "thank you" and "please" to set a good example.

    • You can also dance to entertaining songs.

    Toy Recommendations for Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 9-12 Months

    Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 9-12 Months

    During this period, children try to find hidden objects, experiment with new strategies for problem-solving, and attempt to discover new ways depending on the situation. Their memory strengthens, and they enhance their learning speed through repeated actions. They become more inclined to establish cause-and-effect relationships, becoming aware of the consequences of their actions. They start matching shapes.

    Play Recommendations for Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 9-12 Months

    • You can interlock and separate objects with your baby. You can benefit from storage containers, boxes, and items of different sizes in your home.

    • In your plays, using concepts like open-closed, up-down, and

    • inside-outside, you can support your baby's spatial awareness skills.

    • You can choose a favourite toy for your baby to follow, shake, and notice the sound.

    • You can hide toys and assist your baby in finding them.

    Toy Recommendations for Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 9-12 Months

    Language Development of Babies Aged 9-12 Months

    During this period, babies begin to babble more rhythmically and for longer durations. They can easily understand simple and short sentences and provide one-word responses.

    They can wait their turn during communication, for example, they may make sounds or babble after the other person has finished speaking.

    They enjoy imitating sounds and repeating heard words, and they respond when they hear their own name.

    Play Recommendations for Language Development of Babies Aged 9-12 Months

    • To support your baby's language development, you can mimic the sounds they make.

    • Observe your baby's interests and engage in conversations based on those interests.

    • When your baby points to an object/toy with their finger, you can say the name of that object/toy and offer it to them.

    • Repeat the same words frequently in plays. For example, if you are teaching your baby the verb "to give," you can repeat phrases like "give the ball," "give the spoon," "give water," and so on.

    • In plays, verbally express your baby's actions. For instance, if they are clapping during a play, you can say, "You're clapping so strongly!" to verbalise their actions.

    Toy Recommendations for Language Development of Babies Aged 9-12 Months

    • Finger puppets

    • Thick and illustrated storybooks

    • Bath books

    • Baby cell phone toy

    • Illustrated play cards

    Toy and Play Suggestions Suitable for the Developmental Areas of Babies Aged 12-18 Months

    Physical Development of Babies Aged 12-18 Months

    At this stage, they are ready to walk and dance. They can hit a ball. They can grasp and release objects in their hands. They can bend down to pick up an object from the floor. They can climb on tables, chairs, sofas, and beds. They can ride a toy car and walk backwards. They can squeeze, roll, and shape playdough. They can stack 2-3 blocks on top of each other. They can grasp thick crayons and scribble with them.

    Play Recommendations for Physical Development of Babies Aged 12-18 Months

    • Firstly, you should provide a safe environment for your baby to move around freely.

    • You can hide objects/toys in various places for your baby to explore different areas of the house and encourage them to find these objects/toys. Besides, you should with your baby with 12-18 month baby toys.

    • You can play walking backwards with your baby from their room to the kitchen.

    Toy Recommendations for Physical Development of Babies Aged 12-18 Months

    Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 12-18 Months

    They hug, kiss, and laugh more frequently. They begin to make toy preferences and their self-awareness increases. They feel proud when they accomplish a play and enjoy observing and imitating others. They take pleasure in being interactive.

    Play Recommendations for Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 12-18 Months

    • You can establish fun communication with your baby by using different gestures and facial expressions. You can also encourage them to imitate you.

    • You can giggle and laugh while looking at each other.

    • When you make eye contact, you can widen your eyes and make amusing sounds.

    • You can visit parks where your baby can play with peers and enjoy outdoor play.

    Toy Recommendations for Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 12-18 Months 

    • Finger puppets

    • Small animal figures

    • Plushies

    Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 12-18 Months

    During this period, children get to know themselves better and notice their reflections in the mirror. They explore the purposes of objects. They imitate housework. They engage in simple matching plays and can grasp the concept of part-whole relationships with two-piece objects. They can develop strategies to overcome obstacles.

    Play Recommendations for Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 12-18 Months

    • You can create plays with toys that allow them to establish cause-and-effect relationships (such as push-and-pull, button-operated, or wind-up toys).

    • You can offer your baby safe objects as toys for exploration that they haven't encountered before.

    • You can engage in plays with objects that activate different sensory organs, such as textured or soft items.

    • You can play hide-and-seek with your baby.

    Toy Recommendations for Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 12-18 Months

     

    Language Development of Babies Aged 12-18 Months

    During this period, babies begin to understand 2-3-word sentences. They become more skilled in taking action related to understood words like "give" or "hold." When asked about an object, they can point to it with their finger if it's nearby. They can turn the pages of illustrated children's books. They can hand over the requested toy. Their vocabulary consists of approximately 20 words. They start using words like "no" and "bye-bye."

    Play Recommendations for Language Development of Babies Aged 12-18 Months

    • You can imitate the sounds your baby makes using hand and finger puppets.

    • If your baby is looking at a teddy bear, you can verbally express their interest by saying, "Do you want to play with the teddy bear?"

    • You can observe the words your baby is trying to say and write songs using those words.

    Toy Recommendations for Language Development of Babies Aged 12-18 Months

    • Hand or finger puppets

    • Thick and illustrated storybooks

    • Bath books

    • Baby cell phone toy

    • Illustrated play cards

    Toy and Play Suggestions Suitable for the Developmental Areas of Babies Aged 18-24 Months

    Your baby begins to use their imagination at this stage and enjoys pretend plays. For example, they are inclined to pretend to drink water even if the cup is empty. They start thinking more complexly, their language development accelerates, and they begin to form 2-3-word sentences to express themselves. They acquire new skills in communicating with their peers. They easily control their body and muscles, run, walk backwards, jump, and attempt to climb stairs.

     

    Physical Development of Babies Aged 18-24 Months

    Children in this period easily walk, run, climb, and use stairs. They can catch and throw a ball. They enjoy dancing to musical toys and playing tag and hide-and-seek. Their hand-eye coordination improves, and they use fine motor finger muscles more easily. They play easily with building blocks and construction toys. Pulling and removing things capture their interest. Their balance and coordination skills develop.

    Play Recommendations for Physical Development of Babies Aged 18-24 Months

    • You can play with your baby including movement, such as tag, hide-and-seek, or jumping.

    • You can use blocks to help develop your baby's hand and fine motor skills.

    • You can build structures with construction toys.

    • You can choose a play where you and your baby crawl to find a hidden object in your home.

    • Encourage your baby to move an object between their hands from one place to another. Over time, you can decrease the size of the object.

    Toy Recommendations for Physical Development of Babies Aged 18-24 Months

    • Balls with different textures and sizes

    • Pull & Push-along toys

    • String toys

    • Play tents/tunnels

    Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 18-24 Months

    They enjoy symbolic plays. They like toys they can pretend with. They enjoy cuddling soft toys. They love musical plays.

    Play Recommendations for Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 18-24 Months

    • You can create symbolic plays using soft toys.

    • Using puppets with different scenarios can support your baby's empathy development.

    • You can play imitating each other with your baby. You can ask them to find animals to imitate.

    Toy Recommendations for Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 18-24 Months

    • Plushies and soft toys

    • Symbolic playsets such as kitchen toy set, doctor toy set, construction toy set

    • Musical toys

    • Figures like car, animal or baby

    Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 18-24 Months

    Problem-solving skills develop, they become curious to try new things, and they enjoy the process of exploration. They like looking at themselves in the mirror. They begin to grasp that others can think differently than themselves. They enjoy wooden puzzles, stacking cubes and rings. Abstract thinking skills develop, and they enjoy symbolic play.

    Play Recommendations for Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 18-24 Months

    • To support your baby's cause-and-effect skills, you can use push-buttoned and wind-up toys.

    • With construction toys, you can help develop your baby's strategic thinking, prediction skills, and deductive reasoning.

    • To enhance their ability to understand part-whole relationships, you can use puzzles.

    Toy Recommendations for Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 18-24 Months

    • Construction toys

    • Stacking toys like building blocks and nesting circles

    • Sorting toys

    • Push button and wind-up toys

    • Puzzles

    Language Development of Babies Aged 18-24 Months

    During this period, babies form 1-2 word sentences. They love pretending to talk on the phone. They engage in conversations with finger puppets and plush toys. Fun and illustrated books capture their interest. They enjoy artistic activities, creating shapes with playdough and describing them.

    Play Recommendations for Language Development of Babies Aged 18-24 Months

    • You can engage in a conversation with your baby using finger puppets and varying your voice tones.

    • Sitting face to face with your baby, holding objects in your hands, you can pretend to talk on the phone.

    • You can create art projects using paint and art materials, and describe your works to each other.

    Toy Recommendations for Language Development of Babies Aged 18-24 Months

    Toy and Play Suggestions Suitable for the Developmental Areas of Babies Aged 24-36 Months

    They love pretend plays. Their efforts to socialise and communicate increase. They start interacting with peers and become more curious about their surroundings. During this period, they often start using words like "I" and "no" frequently. They desire to move physically on their own. They begin to develop autonomous behaviours, such as changing clothes, eating independently, and establishing toilet habits.

    Physical Development of Babies Aged 24-36 Months

    They become adept at jumping, running, moving backwards, and climbing stairs. They show enthusiasm for riding a bicycle and a scooter. They love outdoor play, especially at the playground, where they start using toys like slides, climbing frames, and swings independently.

    Play Recommendations for Physical Development of Babies Aged 24-36 Months

    • You can ride a bicycle with your baby in nature.

    • You can play tag.

    • You can have a pillow fight at home.

    • You can create a play tent/tunnel at home using cushions.

    Toy Recommendations for Physical Development of Babies Aged 24-36 Months

    Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 24-36 Months

    During this period, your baby wants to choose play. For example, if there's a toy car, they would like to determine where the car will go. They are open to social stimuli from the environment and are eager to engage in interaction. They begin to recognise and express basic emotions such as happiness, fear, and sadness.

    Play Recommendations for Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 24-36 Months

    • While playing with your baby, you can frequently ask for their opinions.

    • You can create plays about emotions using emotion balloons or emotion cubes.

    • To support communication skills, you can play interview plays by pretending to speak into a microphone.

    • You can reinforce their sense of confidence during play by emphasising positive behaviours without dwelling too much on mistakes.

    Toy Recommendations for Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 24-36 Months

    • Plushies and soft toys

    • Symbolic playsets such as kitchen toy set, doctor toy set, construction toy set

    • Building blocks

    Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 24-36 Months

    During this stage, your baby’s advanced cognitive skills such as sorting, separating, categorising by colour, and classification develop better.

    Problem-solving and strategy-building skills improve. They can complete multi-piece puzzles. They can make comments about pictures in illustrated books. They can use objects beyond their intended functions.

    Play Recommendations for Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 24-36 Months

    • You can do a classification activity with your baby using legumes in your home.

    • You can say sentences where they can establish cause-and-effect relationships. For example, what happens to the ground when it rains? Ask them these kinds of questions.

    • You can complete multi-piece puzzles together. You can discuss how problems can arise when puzzle pieces are missing and how these problems can be solved.

    Toy Recommendations for Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 24-36 Months

    • Educational play cards

    • Matching cards

    • Multi-piece puzzles

    • Shape or letter puzzles

    • Push button and wind-up toys

    Language Development of Babies Aged 24-36 Months

    During this period, your child will start forming 3-4 word sentences. Their ability to follow instructions improves, and they can carry out two-step directions like "Catch the ball and throw it to me". They understand stories better and enjoy making comments about the pictures in storybooks. Their receptive language skills, necessary for understanding spoken language, develop, and they use expressive language skills more frequently to express themselves.

    Play Recommendations for Language Development of Babies Aged 24-36 Months

    • To support your baby's language development, you can sing songs together and use finger puppets.

    • You can ask simple questions like "What do you want to eat?" or "Which toy do you like more?" to your baby.

    • You can create a word jar together. You can write stories related to the words in the jar.

    Toy Recommendations for Language Development of Babies Aged 24-36 Months

    • Illustrated storybooks

    • Finger puppets

    • Plushies

    • Baby-safe mirrors

    Toy and Play Suggestions Suitable for the Developmental Areas of Babies Aged 36-48 Months

    In this age group, separations from home occur more frequently as your child may go to nursery. They have language skills that allow them to express themselves better. They can control their body, and easily put on their own shoes and coats. They are inclined to engage in collaborative plays with peers. Preferences begin to take form, and they want to implement their own decisions. Problem-solving skills are advanced. They are successful in establishing and maintaining social relationships.

    Physical Development of Babies Aged 36-48 Months

    They do not struggle when going up and down stairs. They can hold, catch, and hit a ball with force. They love climbing. They run longer and more balanced. They can ride a tricycle and stand on one foot briefly. They can walk forward and backwards in a balanced manner.

    Play Recommendations for Physical Development of Babies Aged 36-48 Months

    • You can ride a tricycle in nature.

    • You can play tag, hide-and-seek or walk backwards with your baby.

    • You can play at home where you balance on one foot.

    • You can set a target and throw a ball towards that target.

    Toy Recommendations for Physical Development of Babies Aged 36-48 Months

     

    Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 36-48 Months

    During this age group, empathy skills develop, and they are more open to socialising and communication. Additionally, they feel better about

    self-awareness and self-sufficiency. They become aware of what they can or cannot do, and with this awareness, they are more inclined to improve themselves.

    Play Recommendations for Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 36-48 Months

    • To support your baby's self-confidence, you can provide positive reinforcement for their positive behaviours during playtime.

    • You can ask them questions to encourage empathy and share their emotions/thoughts about different scenarios. For example, how does a wet cat feel on a rainy day?

    Toy Recommendations for Social & Emotional Development of Babies Aged 36-48 Months 

    • Plushies and soft toys

    • Symbolic playsets such as kitchen toy set, doctor toy set, construction toy set

    • Building blocks

    Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 36-48 Months

    Children at this stage can do colour matching, easily distinguish between the same and different concepts, and compare and match shapes. They can comprehend and follow instructions consisting of 3-4 words and complete the continuation of stories or recall stories. They begin to count numbers and can complete multi-piece puzzles.

    Play Recommendations for Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 36-48 Months

    • You can cover your baby's eyes and try to make them hear 3 different sounds in the environment.

    • You can engage in conversations with open-ended questions like "How do you think the rain is falling?"

    • You can design matching cards together and play a matching play with these cards.

    Toy Recommendations for Cognitive Development of Babies Aged 36-48 Months

    • Multi-piece puzzles

    • Shape or letter puzzles

    • Push button and wind-up toys

    Language Development of Babies Aged 36-48 Months

    During this stage, your baby says their name and age. They have a vocabulary of approximately 250-300 words in total. They can largely respond to the questions you ask and provide explanatory answers. They start forming sentences of 5-6 words.

    Play Recommendations for Language Development of Babies Aged 36-48 Months

    • To support your baby's language development, you can together change the endings of illustrated stories.

    • Before bedtime, you can choose a word and create a story using that word.

    • Every day, you can select a new word and use it in different contexts.

    Toy Recommendations for Language Development of Babies Aged 36-48 Months

    • Illustrated storybooks

    • Finger puppets

    • Plushies

    • Board games

    • Educational play cards

     

    Please don't forget to support the secure attachment you have with your baby through play and toys. We're here for you every step of the way!

    #PlaytoBond 

    ebebek

    ebebek