- What are the educational interests?
- At what age will baby benefit the most?
- And above all, how to choose a super soft toy?
Let’s get started without further ado!
Like any baby soft toy , educational soft toys, activity soft toys, or sensory soft toys, are often very soft and shaped like cute animals.
But they have plenty of surprises in store to arouse baby's interest and curiosity : bright colors, varied textures, fun sounds, little mirrors, pull labels, etc.
Complementary to classic birth soft toys , these educational toys accompany and stimulate baby in the discovery of the world around him.
Also Read : 50 Infallible Gifts For 1-Year-Old Babies!
The awakening of the senses!
An awakening soft toy or sensory soft toy is essentially used to stimulate baby's senses in a playful and reassuring way :
- Sight : Contrasting colors and simple patterns attract baby's attention. Some models even have small mirrors or reflective elements to encourage visual exploration.
- Touch : Almost all soft toys offer a variety of textures: soft fur, rough fabric, pull tags, and many more. This allows baby to discover new sensations to the touch.
- Hearing : some baby soft toys even emit fun sounds thanks to bells, sound rattles or melodies which stimulate baby's hearing and contribute to their musical awakening.
- Taste : although the soft toys are not intended to develop our little ones' sense of taste, they will be happily chewed! And this also contributes to sensory awakening.
- Smell : when made from natural materials, such as organic cotton or wood, soft toys also stimulate the olfactory sense!
Fine motor skills
Imagine baby grabbing his activity toy with the whole hand for the first time, grabbing small objects clumsily, sliding a wooden ring nimbly, or even pulling a protruding tab with determination!
These fun activities help strengthen the small muscles in baby's arms and hands, improve their hand-eye coordination, their dexterity and their gripping ability . Baby learns to control his movements and refine his reflexes. And let's be honest: it's better for him to train on his stuffed animal than on the dishes!
Cognitive development and social interaction
Like all stuffed animals, sensory development stuffed animals are also good allies for baby's cognitive and social development . By playing with their stuffed animals, a newborn is encouraged to explore their environment, experiment, imagine, and give free rein to their natural creativity.
The various activities offered stimulate memory and reasoning, as well as to understand cause and effect relationships. It's a great workout for his growing brain!
And that's not all: soft toys for babies are ideal partners for developing social skills and interactions . By playing with their stuffed animals, babies learn to share, communicate and establish relationships with others.
Stuffed animals are among the favorite toys of children, from birth to adulthood. There is therefore no age to offer a plush toy .
However, a soft toy that is well suited to the baby's age will better support his development and development.
Thus, awakening soft toys, sensory soft toys, and activity soft toys are ideal for children between 6 months and 2 years old . Before that, we prefer soft toys from birth, and later, more realistic stuffed animals.
From 0 to 6 months: the birth comforter
My First Stork Cuddly Toy , La Pelucherie
Offer a soft toy to a baby under 6 months old is not of much interest. Baby is still too small to benefit from it. He will prefer a birth comforter, the perfect companion for newborns.
Soft and reassuring, these little stuffed animals in the shape of a stork,bear , rabbit , dog , ordonkey for the more original ones, help baby fall asleep peacefully, reminding us of the security and warmth of mom's belly.
To Read Also : How To Find The Ideal Birth Doudou For Baby!
From 6 months to 2 years: early learning toys
Between 6 months and 2 years is the ideal age to offer soft toys . Baby becomes more active and begins to curiously explore his environment and develop his fine motor skills. He is then gradually able to grab his stuffed animals, manipulate them, and fully enjoy the sensory activities offered!
After 2 years: more realistic stuffed animals
My Hector Dog Plush , La Pelucherie: Realistic Plush Toys with Lifetime Guarantee!
From the age of 2, children begin to be interested in more realistic soft toys , representing animals or characters from their favorite stories. These soft toys then serve as playmates around which the child invents stories and develops his overflowing imagination.
“Real” soft toys are often larger and sturdier than baby soft toys , allowing children to use them for many years. They then become real friends!
How to choose the right baby soft toy?
Not all early learning toys are equal! Some are much more interesting for baby's development than others. So, how do you find that rare gem?
First of all, listen to your baby ! What’s catching his attention right now: Colors? Everything that shines ? What makes the noise? What can he chew? It is important to adapt to your baby's tastes and pace of awakening , because let's not forget: he's the boss!
Then, think about safety and avoid “made in China”. Before the age of 3, babies put everything in their mouth. It is imperative to choose a soft toy that presents no risk of suffocation or toxicity . Opt for high-quality soft toys , without chemicals and preferably made from natural materials (organic cotton, wood). And watch out for small parts that could come loose and end up in baby's mouth!
Of course, the best soft toys are generally more expensive than the others, but it's worth it!
Also Read : How to Store Your Stuffed Animals Properly?
How to introduce soft toys to your baby?
It is generally recommended to offer several sensory development toys to baby to vary the program and continually revive their interest. As soon as boredom rears its ugly head, bring in a new educational plush toy to offer new experiences.
When you offer a new soft toy, do not hesitate to play with your baby to show him how to use it. He will observe you carefully to imitate your gestures when it is his turn.
Warning: sleeping with a soft toy is not recommended . As their name suggests, these soft toys are designed to awaken and stimulate baby, not to relax and put him to sleep. It is therefore preferable to have awakening stuffed animals to play with, and a very soft stuffed animal to find sleep!
And you ? What do you think of soft toys? How did you choose those for your babies?