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Finding a gift for those under 2 on your holiday list can be quite the challenge. At this young age, a child’s abilities and interests change drastically from month to month. But don’t worry, you’ve got a child development expert on your side. In this guide, I’ve described four major developmental milestones for your 4- to 18-month-old, and the perfect gifts to support their growing minds. My infant has tested them and this mother approves!
These blocks encourage your infant to reach out as they discover the stimulating sounds.
Place this book flat to support tummy time. Bonus: They will enjoy looking at themselves in the mirror while reaching for the animals. (Remove the book from Baby's crib before they go to sleep.)
Catch Me Crabbie
Children who have mastered crawling will love using their new ability to chase the crab around the house.
Since at 9 months infants start looking for hidden objects, Dumbo is sure to grab their attention.
This walker grows with the toddler. It has knobs and gears accessible from a seated position, a wide handle for gripping, and once mobile they can fill the cart with toys.
Animal Train Pull Toy
Your toddler can play with the pieces individually or connect them to use as a pull toy.
Musical Tea Set
Kitchen play is a common interest at this age, as toddlers are observing their parents cook. This toy lets them have a tea party while also learning about colors.
This play set allows children to use their imagination to bring the train to life.
Your child will be making attachments to stuffed animals. And their very own Pua, from Moana, is a perfect companion for their daily adventures.
Reaching and Grabbing (4-7 months)
At 4 months old, your infant will be making the amazing transition from observing to interacting with objects, as they begin reaching out towards whatever catches their interest. With practice and time, they will soon be shaking, tapping, or passing objects from one hand to the other. Toys that feature a variety of textures and contrasting colors are great at enticing infants to grab.
Crawling (8-10 months)
There’s no telling when your infant will begin crawling. They may decide to forego the traditional crawl for their own style or skip it all together, but a little encouragement can go a long way! Toys that have stimulating sounds or can move are perfect. Place these enticing items just out of reach while practicing tummy time, to give them an exciting destination while also providing them the time to build those muscles.
Taking First Steps (12-15 months)
Walking is a milestone that makes the phrase ‘each child develops at their own rate’ so evident! The first step towards taking their first step is pulling themselves up to a standing position. From there, your little one will begin walking with the assistance of something to steady themselves, then they’re on their own, and eventually pulling toys behind them. This can be a long process and begins at different times for every child. Finding toys that can be enjoyed a variety of ways will save you the anguish of staring at the unused giant walker in the corner.
Pretend Play (18 months)
Children begin to participate in pretend play at 18 months. Exploring real-life actions through play is part of how they learn about the world around them. They act out what they observe and practice taking on different roles. Toys that imitate real items help them develop this type of play and begin forming their imagination.More On