Navigating play with babies and toddlers can be confusing for new parents. Play helps babies reach physical milestones, fosters parent-child connection, and builds social skills, like empathy. That’s why we’ve partnered with Melissa & Doug to give you the guidance you want and need to establish a good play routine with your little ones. If you’re stuck on how to play, keep scrolling for play tips and inspiration, our favorite first toys, and much more, starting from the newborn stage up to age 2.
Play with Confidence
The main goal in the first few months is to foster connection with your child, so here's our list of first toys that can help you introduce playtime.
The development of core strength starts in infancy, so it’s vital to begin encouraging your baby to move in ways that will help develop core strength.
Playdates provide opportunities for your child to begin developing social skills, as well as observations and understanding the awareness of others.
Play Tips: Melissa & Doug's Wooden Surprise Gift Box
With every manufacturer telling you, “This toy will make your kid smarter!” how do you know what is truly beneficial? And is “making your kid smarter” the goal you’re actually supposed to strive for?
Play Tips: Melissa & Doug's Rollables Ocean Slide
Push toys can be fun for babies who are ready to stand and move—though baby still needs plenty of practice without them to work on their independent walking skills.
Play Tips: Melissa & Doug's Wooden Shape Sorting Grocery Cart
Once they’re mobile, children begin exploring the world for the first time on their own and constantly learn new skills—like problem-solving—along the way.
Play Tips: Melissa & Doug's GO Tots Barnyard Tumble
The soft skills they are learning through every one of their interactions will help them build their emotional intelligence and capacity for empathy down the line.
At their second birthday party, they’ll be more skilled at opening presents and maybe even say a distinguishable “thank you!”