Play and developmental stages
The below stages are purely a guide to illustrate the important phases of an infant’s development. No individual is the same and thus it speaks for itself that there would be differences in play and developmental stages of any child.
0-3 months – blurred vision, observation plays a dominant role
3 months-12 months – greatest growth in sensorimotor, visual cortex and frontal lobes (sight, sound, touch, taste and smell).
Bright coloured noisemaking infant toys are great! Later progressing from observing mobiles and mirror toys to grasping and holding toys that can be manipulated with pleasing effects. Activity quilts with different textures, attachments that squeak or rattles, jingles. Soft balls that are dropped and retrieved assist with dexterity and cause-and-effect concept.
As babies become mobile and start sitting up and crawl, other activities become important. Experiment with nesting cups, stacking rings, activity boxes, large blocks and shape sorters later (fine motor skills and relationship skills). Basic cloth/board books with interesting, familiar pictures/objects provides for object-recognition and basic language skill.
Bath toys are important for water play activities such as filling, emptying and splashing. As soon as babies are on their feet they are ready for push-pull toys.