Infant Toys, or “play objects”: a list of thoughts


“The best toy is 90% child, 10% toy.”–Joan Almon, founder of Alliance for Childhood.

“Passive toys make active babies, active toys make passive babies”–Magda Gerber founder of RIE

“The infant’s hands are the first play object”–Emmi Pikler MD, founder The Pikler Institute

“The first doll should be simple: a cloth with  knots tied for a head and hands” Rudolph Steiner, founder of Waldorf Education

What toys do babies need?

Birth to 4 months:(and beyond)

Connection to their primary caregiver through sensitive care giving– a dance of connection and communication!

A warm environment that is nourishing to the senses

  • physical warmth
  • soul warmth
  • time in nature–bird song, wind, dappled light of trees…
  • singing (real voices, not digital)
  • touch–plenty of time in arms of caregiver–some time on back on firm surface for free movement
  • Let her discover her hands–endless interest here!

A simple square of cloth–a cotton napkin–just on it’s own, or tied as above

starting at 3 months put some more things in piles around where you put the baby down on her back:

Here are a couple things I have in my classes:

links: Pikler ball

natural teething ball

light weight objects a baby can eventually get hold of

Here is a great post by Janet Landsbury on toys: Creative Toys engage babies






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