This pretend play idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Allison McDonald.
“Everyday play is what childhood should be about.” -Allison
Babies change so quickly and when you are picking out their first Christmas gifts for them you want to balance toys they can use right now and something they can grow into in the coming months because it’s not going to be long before they are no longer a baby! These are my absolute favorite baby toys from Melissa & Doug for baby’s first Christmas.
1. Soft, interactive, and bright the Musical Farmyard Cube is a great pick for babies just starting to explore past their own fingers and toes. It makes sounds, has exciting textures to explore and bite. Let’s face it, babies will be putting toys in their mouths so having a stimulating teether built right in is a huge plus!
2. Once my son was old enough to crawl meal times got a little harder. When I was cooking he either wanted to be held or to “help” by being literally underfoot! This Emma Stick & Spin High Chair Toy would have saved my sanity. Pop this in a stocking and use it on Christmas day as you prepare for company and let your little one explore in their high chair.
3. Safe, bright and sturdy enough for the strongest set of jaws! Caterpillar Grasping Toy is a perfect pick to wrap up and give to a baby this Christmas. It helps develop hand strength by twisting and turning, hand eye coordination, and can be used for all sorts of imaginative play.
4. If you are a parent you will understand just how much babies love to dump things out of containers. My daughter spent months doing nothing but this and never seemed to tire from it. That is why the whole collection of Melissa & Doug Fill & Spill toys are #4 on our list. There are bugs, a picnic basket, a purse, a toolbox and more. You can use these toys to start counting with your babies too!
5. I can only think of one thing my babies loved more than spilling things, and that was keys. Real keys are not safe for babies but these Clacking Key Ring wooden ones are and will even grow with your child as they move past simply shaking and mouthing them. The keys fit in the key hole and as your baby becomes a toddler and preschooler they can work on those fine motor and hand eye coordination skills used to put the keys in and turn them. I love that these are wooden and sturdy and are very much a classic in the making!
Allison McDonald is founder and editor of No Time For Flash Cards. She has been teaching children in various capacities since 1993, so she has done her share of crafts, songs and circle times! Her son’s birth brought her home, and her love of teaching and helping other parents sparked the idea for No Time for Flash Cards. Early-childhood education is her passion . . . her heart belongs to the little guys! Get to know Allie and see her creative kids’ crafts and educational activities on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest