Wednesday, June 18, 2008

infant toys 7-12 months

I've been pulling my hair out on is trying to find toys suitable for Thumper the last few months. I did some research on the Internet, but most suggestions on age appropriate toys for infants are so generic as to be useless. At the same time, from 6 months on, all Thumper does is put anything you give her in her mouth. It's gotten worse the last few weeks. At 8 months, she is now putting things in her mouth she didn't use to! She'll even bend over and lick any surface she sits on. I fail to see the point of getting her interesting things when all she does is put it in her mouth.

What's making my search harder is my two requirements. 1) the toys last awhile, preferably through several developmental stages. 2) they're non-toxic.

So what's an age appropriate toy for 7-12 months?
I went by Target the other day to look at their infant toys. From what I can tell, most of the small toys are all teethers and clutch toys. The big playmats have other stuff, but I think Thumper will most likely just lick them.

The PDF File put out by US Consumer Product Safety Commission has been really helpful.

For infants 7-9 months, they say that infants like to bang, insert, poke, twist, squeeze, drop, etc with their toys. Basically, things they can do w/ their hands. And at an more advanced level than 2-6 months, when they just hold, bat, turn, shake, and taste.

For infants 10-12 months, they like to play with containers, such as stacking, putting in/out, open/close, pushing, turning things.

There's also fascination with appearing/disappearing objects and operating simple mechanisms.

The PDF file breaks toys down into different category. For each one they have suggestions.

Active Play
  • push toys w/o rods
  • infant swings
  • soft low climbing platforms for crawlers
  • transparent/chime/flutter/action balls at least 1 3/4 inch in diameter
Manipulative Play
  • Soft/rubber/rounded wood blocks
  • 2-3 piece puzzles (10+ months)
  • teethers
  • pop-up boxes
  • small, hand-held manipulables
  • clothe toys
  • pop up boxes, containers to empty and fill, etc (10+ months)
  • large rubber/plastic beads
  • nesting cups
  • stacking rings/cones
  • graspable mirror toys
Make Believe Play
  • soft baby dolls with no loose hair
  • small plush animals or big soft toys
  • simple push cars
  • low wall-mounted mirrors
Creative Play
  • rubber or wood blocks that rattle/tinkle
  • adult operated music stuff
Learning Play
  • cloth/plastic/small cardboard books

As you can see, it's a long list! I think my focus will be on chewable toys that can be easily grasped. Thumper eats everything, including the cloth book we got as a gift, so I'm not sure how good any of the other stuff are. Combined with my requirements (non toxic and lasts), I think these are what I want Thumper to play with for 7-9 months.
  • Sophie the Giraffe wasn't as big a hit as every review made it out to be because Thumper's little hands still have problem grasping it. But she still likes it once in awhile.
  • Plastic measuring cups are great as they're free and Thumper has now finally discover that you can bang them together. She wasn't interested in them at 7 months. The bad thing is that it's plastic and I have no idea what type so I really don't like her chewing on them.
  • Haba First Blocks have gotten good reviews. Even though it's rated for 1 year old and up, I'm going to see if she will like them. Since they're wooden blocks, they should last longer than the clothe version Haba makes for younger infants. It's made in Germany with maple wood, painted with non-toxic laquers.
  • Haba Salto Teething Toy is the 2nd teething toy I"m going to get Thumper. I really hope she likes it. I chose this one over the other Haba teething toy as the center pieces will allow her to push. Some parents had pinching concerns w/ the simple round one.
  • Haba Technicus Discovery Cubes I'm hoping she'll like the cube as it has peek-a-boo elements to it.
  • Haba Great Vehicles Soft Book is another item I hope Thumper will like, better than her gift cloth book. That one didn't have good stuff in it at all and so all she does is chew on it.
  • ABC book is totally unappropriate for Thumper's age as she can't read. But it has push panels for her to push around and she likes to push them. Though lately, she's down to just licking the books.
  • Wooden puzzles havn't been too useful because Thumper likes to chew on the pieces. These are 6+ puzzle pieces so it's not quite age appropriate for the puzzle part yet. But I think they're great for developing pinching skills as the pieces have little knobs on them. I should last several years as I've used the puzzle on a 3 year old.
  • Mirrors are free! The great thing is that DH has a shaving mirror. I used it on Thumper around 4 months, she wasn't interested. Very interested around 6 months for a few days. I think it's time to take it out again so she can watch herself when she flips over.
I think worse comes to worst, all Thumper does to these toys is to chew on them. But at least I'll have the ease of mind that they're all non-toxic toys (except the measuring cups). I'm so glad I've finally decided on her toys for the next 4 months. Now I can toss all the little stuffed animals and plastic chew toys she's been chewing on. They get washed in terrible detergent and I hate seeing Thumper sucking on them.

I hope these toys are good enough from now till 1 years old. The measuring cups will come in handy when she's into stacking. The Discovery Cubes should be handy for object permanence development after 9 months. I also bought a little push cart awhile back. I'm hoping she'll also find that fun when she's ready for it.


turtleturtle7 said...

They sell metal measuring cups. You should get those for your kitchen anyway cuz you shouldn't use plastic for hot things (i sometimes have to measure hot liquids).

I got my kitchen aid set at Sears, but i've seen them everywhere.

Smurfett said...

metal really isnt great for gums. you should go for plstic or clothes at this age