New Kid On The Block: Natural Toys and Activities for Ages 0-12 months


There’s a new kid on the block…it may even be yours! Are you looking for natural ways to keep baby entertained in his/her first year?

Here are some items and activities that you can share with them:

0-3 months old:

In baby’s first few months, the main source of activity and stimulation can/ should come from you! They are taking in new sights and sounds everyday, so activities created by you (rather than a toy with too many lights, bells and whistles) and which focus on one or two senses at a time are delightful provided they are not too loud or overwhelming.

-a playmat (a soft-textured natural fibre blanket made of organic cotton/bamboo, a hand-made quilt, or a sheepskin rug) which they can lie on are perfect for stimulating their senses.

-natural toys include a small, baby blanket or plush toy blanket made of organic cotton.

-mobiles hung above their sleeping/play area made of paper (e.g. butterflies, birds, stars, flowers, airplanes, animals), organic cotton figures (e.g. fairies, birds, animals), and wood (e.g. for stand supports for the figures or for making figures such as those listed above)

– soothing sounds such as your voice, classical music, natural sounds from the environment that are live or taped (rain, wind, birds singing)

– lullabies

– opportunities to be in nature (walks with you in a sling/ soft carrier, stroller, on a mat)

3-6 months old:

Activities which involve direct interaction between parent-child are most rewarding for both parties. These next few months are filled with milestones such as rolling over, reaching for objects, and learning to sit up. Babies may now start mouthing as their gums begin to harden.

-a sanded, wooden stable tripod or another wooden form (that cannot fall over or collapse) can be placed over the playmat and soft toys attached with string so that baby can reach for, pull and swat the toys.

-a wooden rattle or teething ring

-natural rubber toy

-natural bonding doll (made of organic wool and cotton materials)

6-9 months old:

Baby is becoming more vocal and interactive. She will be learning how to crawl and may even stand or walk by the end of this period. Activities which encourage baby to move to an object and pick it up are enticing.

– a simple wooden toy that rolls or that is attached to an elastic band that allows it to stretch or expand.

– opportunities to feel different textures such as your skin, hair, the bumps and grooves of your face, silk, cotton, leather, wool

9-12 months old:

Baby will be learning how to walk soon if not already. Make sure play area is safe from sharp and small objects as well as electrical outlets, and that stairs are blocked off safely.

-a wooden spoon and pot are a cheap and easy way to keep baby entertained for long periods of time

-a wooden stacking toy

– a wooden pull toy

– wooden musical instruments such as a maraca/ rumba shaker

– cardboard containers or metal bowls that can be stacked and stored inside one another

– stainless steel ring with playkeys

– wooden push toys that they can use to support themselves when standing such as a stroller or cart

– opportunities to feel different textures such as water, sand, earth, bubbles

– natural hand-made doll/stuffed animal made of organic wool and cotton fibres

– more interactive games such as peek-a-boo, hide-and-seek, sharing games (give, take then give back object again), clapping and other hand games

– opportunites to make sounds with their hands and mouth

– opportunities to create sounds on musical instruments such as a wooden xylophone and/ or cymbals

– opportunities to observe such as: a short puppet show with simple finger or regular-sized hand-made puppets (made of organic silk, wool or cotton); parents and siblings doing daily chores and activities with them playing nearby

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