Age 0 to 6 Months
- Toys for this age are primarily for: looking, listening, sucking, or fingering.
- Infants 0 to 2 months enjoy seeing and hearing interesting things.
- Infants 2 to 6 months show growing interest in touching, holding, batting, turning, shaking, kicking, mouthing and tasting objects.
- Infants like to see:
- Bright primary colors.
- High contrast.
- Simple designs.
- Clear lines and features.
- Human face features (especially eyes).
- Bull’s eye pattern.
- Infants enjoy watching hanging objects or "mobiles" that move by wind, wind-up action, or infant’s own activity.
- Toys for watching should be suspended only 8 to 14 inches (200 to 360 millimeters) from the infant’s eyes and angled toward his/her eyes, then moved up out of reach when he/she can touch them.
- Toys for watching are more appealing if they move and make noise (but movement should be slow and noise not too loud or sudden).
- Infants enjoy variety.
- Infants enjoy producing effects on toys by their own activity.
- Toys for holding should be light and easy to grasp.
- Mouth-able toys should have all safety features recommended for infants:
- No sharp points or edges.
- No small parts to be lodged in throat, ears, nose.
- No electrical parts.
- Nontoxic materials.
- No glass or brittle plastic.
- No parts to entrap fingers, toes, hands.
- No long strings.
- Push and Pull Toys - Not suited to age group
- Ride-on Toys - Not suited to age group
- Outdoor or Gym Equipment - Infant swings (with adult supervision)
- Sports Equipment - Clutch balls, texture balls, and/or soft squeeze balls are allowed for ages of 6 to 8 weeks.
- All balls given to this age group should be at least 1 and 3/4 inches (44 millimeters) in diameter; however if any object appears to fit easily in the child’s mouth, keep it away from the child
- Construction Toys - From about 4 months - Soft blocks
- Puzzles - Not suited to age group
- Pattern Making Toys - not suited to age group
- Manipulative Toys - Simple rattles, teethers, light, sturdy cloth toys, squeeze toys, toys suspended above or to the side of infant for batting and grasping
- Manipulative Toys - From about 4 months - Disks, keys on ring, interlocking plastic rings, small handheld manipulable items, crib gyms (children who can push up on hands and knees can struggle on crib gyms - be sure to remove crib gyms from crib or playpen at this time)
- Dressing, Lacing, Stringing Toys - Not suited to age group
- Sand and Water Play Toys - Not suited to age group
Make Believe Play
- Dolls - Soft baby dolls, soft bodied dolls, or rag dolls all with molded not loose hair.
- Stuffed Toys - Small plush animals, music box animals (operated and monitored for safety by adults), grab on soft toys
- Puppets - Soft hand puppets (held and moved by adults)
- Role-Play Materials - Mirrors (Large, unbreakable) fastened to crib, playpen or wall (Peak interest in mirrors 4 to 6 months)
- Play Scenes (including small figures) - Not suited to age group
- Transportation Toys - Simple push cars (one-piece)
- Projectile Toys - Not suited to age group
- Musical Instruments - Not suited to age group
- Art and Craft Materials - Not suited to age group
- Audio - Visual Equipment (Adult Operated) - Records, tapes or CDs (gentle regular rhythms, lullabies), music boxes
- Games - Not suited to age group
- Specific Skill Development Toys - Not suited to age group
- Books - May enjoy listening to a story being read