Each new stage of an infant's life brings a new wave of toys and activities that optimally stimulate their senses and entertain them. When a mom in the online community I am part of asked for suggestions for toys for our six-month-olds, an extensive list emerged. These items should be on the shopping list of every six-month-old's mom, grandparent, and holiday gift-giver.
Sophie the Giraffe. The manufacturers of this long-loved teething toy tout its ability to stimulate all of babies' senses. Most importantly for my baby who likes to put everything in her mouth, the toy is made of natural rubber and food paint, so it is completely safe to explore all her chewable parts. Many moms in my group attest to Sophie's popularity with their six-month-olds, and I'm thinking this is a must-have for my daughter's birthday list.
Books. Books that crinkle are a special hit with my daughter. They might fool her into thinking she's being allowed to play with those stray circular ads she always seems to want to get her hands on. She gets a kick out of listening to Hallmark recordable books she's been given, and while she doesn't really care about the stories in her board books yet, she does love to chew on them. "Indestructible" is the key word when it comes to books for my six-month-old. I've seen what she can do to a magazine.
Stationary play centers. At four months old, my daughter was just starting to fit in her Jumperoo and become interested in its attached toys, but she seemed to only last a short while before she wanted to get out. Now, at six months, she has really discovered its entertainment value and gets quite excited to be placed in it. Her legs go crazy, she can rotate her seat around, and she has discovered all the toys. (Her favorite is still the teether that she sucks on until it's sopping wet. Do you see the emerging pattern?) Other moms in my group agree that their babies love their stationary play centers.
Musical toys. Six-month-olds seem to really enjoy musical entertainment. My daughter and several group members' babies like the Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes. This MP3-Player-inspired toy plays catchy classical tunes while flashing bright lights to catch babies' attention. Six-month-olds may accidentally or purposely press the large button in the center that switches tunes. Of course, my baby's favorite musical toy is none other than Mommy herself. Other moms agree - babies this age just love a fun sing-along, complete with dancing and clapping. My baby can't get over the sounds that come out of my mouth when I sing her a good show tune. Her eyes light up like a Christmas tree!
Anything chewable. When it comes down to it, this is what my baby wants most. A measuring spoon or cup, small squishy bath toys (these are our favorites), plush dolls, teething rings, plastic keys… if it can be chewed, sucked, or otherwise slobbered on, she wants it. I've been known to keep a bucket of safe bite-sized toys around and just dump it on my baby's high chair tray or blanket. She will stay entertained for a long time going through her "toy buffet," sampling one and then moving on to the next!
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