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Activity toys: What are they for and how to choose?

You are a super enthusiastic new mom or dad and you have heard about activity toys but don't really know what it is?

Don't panic, La Pelucherie explains everything to you: the benefits of activity soft toys for baby's development, how to choose them well, and the pitfalls to avoid!

Birth plush banner, bear cuddly toy, La Pelucherie

The Benefits of Baby Activity Soft Toys

From an early age, baby loves having new and enriching experiences. Even if the activities offered to a young baby remain (and must remain!) simple, touching a new material, listening to a new sound, discovering new colors are real sensory experiences that are very useful for their healthy development.

This is precisely the idea behind activity soft toys, also called developmental soft toys or sensory soft toys, a must-have for early learning toys. And baby gifts !
Let's find out together what activities are offered by these funny soft toys and what baby can learn from them!

Sensory stuffed animals

From his first months, babies use their different senses to collect as much information as possible about the world around them.

Activity soft toys help enrich this sensory exploration : baby discovers new soft or rough materials, varied textures, funny sounds, shimmering colors, a reflection in a mirror, fun movements, and many other things Again.

Playing with his activity toys is a safe, reassuring and fun way for him to discover the world, to awaken his senses while being amazed.

Fine motor skills and skill

Activity soft toys generally offer simple fine motor activities such as a pull tab, a sliding ring, shaking bells, etc.

Little by little, baby exercises while having fun and works on his little hands and his reflexes. He becomes skilful and able to handle everyday objects with more ease , such as a spoon or a felt pen for example.

The beginnings of concentration

Activity stuffed animals are well known for boosting the cognitive development of babies and young children . In other words, they do not only solicit the hands, but the brain too!

If it seems (too) simple for parents, playing with activity soft toys is a real intellectual exercise. for a toddler: he trains his memory, understands cause and effect relationships, develops his concentration skills, and solves his first problems with determination!

Soft toys, creativity and imagination

Activity soft toys also allow children to expand their imaginary world , but in a more limited way than “normal” soft toys. Indeed, with an early learning soft toy, the activities are predefined, whereas with a classic soft toy, it is up to the child to invent the game. Once again, the two are complementary, and we recommend always varying toys and stuffed animals as much as possible.

The first emotions

If he doesn't understand them yet, babies feel emotions from their first days , including anxiety, stress, and even fear.
Of course, the best remedies are mom's voice and arms. But stuffed animals can also help to find calm, soothe yourself, or fall asleep. Some babies even create very strong emotional ties with their favorite stuffed animal. In general, it's more of a cuddly toy than an activity soft toy , but that's up to the baby!

To Read Also : How To Find The Ideal Birth Doudou For Baby!

Baby soft toy, Stork soft toy for birth, La Pelucherie
My First Birth Comforter , La Pelucherie.

Plush dog birth banner, La Pelucherie

Which Activity Plush to Choose?

Activity soft toys are one of the best-selling baby toys! There are therefore a plethora of them, each in its own style, and offering different activities:
  • Classic activity soft toys : Generally small stuffed animals (crocodile, snake, hippopotamus, fox, etc.) often equipped with a rattle, ribbons, different textures, and various sensory elements such as wooden rings, small mirrors, bells, etc.
  • Musical activity soft toys: A big favorite with babies, these musical soft toys are equipped with buttons that trigger fun songs, melodies and sounds to stimulate baby's hearing and musical development.
  • Light-up activity plush toys : Some plush toys also come equipped with flashing lights and various visual effects to add visual stimulation.
  • Giant activity stuffed animals : As their name suggests, these are XXL stuffed animals! They serve both as a big cuddly teddy bear and as an early learning toy.

It is interesting to have several complementary activity soft toys . Baby will quickly get tired of doing the same things. Offering him different stuffed animals and rotating between them allows you to continually arouse his interest!

Also Read : Why Give Your Baby a Giant Comforter?

Giant teddy bear banner, hand sewn, La Pelucherie

Are Activity Plush Toys Safe for Baby?

Without wanting to alarm you, it is essential to address the question of the dangers of activity toys for babies. Accidents have already occurred with soft toys “made in China”, of poor quality and not suitable for young children. The main risks incurred are:
  • Choking on small, detachable or loose parts
  • Strangulation with ropes and twines
  • Poisoning with chemicals

To avoid these risks and ensure your baby's health and safety, only buy activity toys with CE marking . This label proves that they comply with European safety standards applied to children's products and toys.
In addition, for safety reasons, pediatricians and childcare professionals do not recommend putting babies to sleep with their stuffed animals before the age of approximately two years.

But a well-chosen and well-used activity toy poses no risk to baby!

And you ? Are you for or against activity toys? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments below

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