The first year of life is a miracle! Your baby learns to push up against gravity to roll, sit, crawl and stand. Give your child gentle stimulation to ignite her curiosity about the world.
Here’s our pick of the best toys for your little one:
5-in-1 Your Way Ball Play Activity Gym (Bright Starts)
Available at Baby City, Makro and independent toy stores for R999
This isn’t your average play gym. Your baby can lie under it on the jumbo padded play mat and engage with the gorgeous hanging toys. There is a prop pillow for tummy time and you can turn the play mat into a ball pit by raising the sides when your baby is sitting.
Pop ’n Glow Piano (Baby Einstein)
Available at Baby City and ToyZone for R299
This is a rewarding action/reaction toy for the sitting baby. As your child presses the large and easy-to-use piano keys, the nautical characters pop up and move, while also creating beautiful musical sounds. In melody mode, babies can enjoy the sounds of classical music masterpieces, composed specially for babies’ little ears. In piano mode, they are rewarded for creating their own masterpieces.
Spin & Giggle Giraffe (Bright Starts)
Available at Baby City, Toy Zone and independent toy stores for R649
Put the balls in the giraffe’s mouth and see which foot they pop out of. This game requires a combination of gross- and fine-motor control. This game also uses counting, music and lights to keep your baby coming back for more. Press the giraffe’s horns and make him spin around until the balls pop out of his feet. Children love cause-and-effect as it makes them feel in control.
Available at Baby City, Toy Kingdom and selected retailers for R199
The first time I picked up the Sensi-Ball I fell in love with its plush, velvety texture and the soothing sensation of putting my fingers through the gaps in the ball. Your baby will discover different colours, textures and sounds, including crunching, tinkling of a bell and squeaking. As the ball rolls, your baby will be encouraged to move and crawl. The ball is fully washable.
Tito Pull Along (Hape)
Available at Toy Kingdom for R299
This wooden pull-along toy consists of the turtle base and a removable shell in the form of a water-filled wheel. As your little one pulls the turtle, the shell will spin. You can also remove the shell and roll it independently along the floor for some fascinating fun for your baby. As the coloured water spills from one segment of the wheel to another, it has a lava lamp effect. I love toys that do more than one thing!
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day.