Learn through Play the Disney Way!
At about 10 months old, my daughter could not get enough of playing peekaboo. She’d squeal with delight every time I placed her blankie in front of her face, asked “Where’s baby?,” then removed it quickly and said “There she is!” As she got older she started initiating the game herself, and I can still remember her silly belly laughs— even though we’d played peekaboo so many times before.
We think of play as a way to keep babies happy and entertained, but it has another important role as well: enhancing critical developmental skills that serve as a foundation for growth in all areas of their lives. I may have grown tired of playing peekaboo, but for my daughter and all children, play never gets old.
There are so many ways to have fun with your baby and still encourage their growth and development. Disney Baby has just the tools you need to do it! Here are some great ways to get started.
This Classic Pooh toy is great for sensory and fine motor skill development. Place photos inside— familiar faces are sure to get a smile.
Memory Block, $12.45 Amazon
Like Mommy, Like Baby
Toddlers love modeling the behavior of those around them, and carrying a purse like mommy is so much fun!
Minnie Mouse Purse, $9.99 Babies R Us
Ideas for All Kinds of Play
One of our favorite ways to play together is to read. Help baby identify objects through pointing, or describe colors and shapes you see on the page. The possibilities are endless.
Book, $7.99 Amazon
Blocks can be used to develop so many skills, such as shape and color recognition, stacking and sorting, and counting.
Blocks, $14.50 Disney Store
Bath time is a great opportunity for learning through play. I love this Winnie the Pooh toy and so would my toddler.
Bath Toy, $13.99 Babies R Us
Role Playing and Social Skills
This Kanga and Roo set is perfect for teaching social skills and enhancing emotional awareness.
Stuffed Toy, $29.50 Disney Store
Fine Motor Skills
Besides having stimulating colors and textures for sensory play, play yards like this Lion King one are wonderful for fine motor skills. Babies can work on their reach and grasp while having fun at the same time.
Play Yard, $69.99 Amazon
Gross Motor Skills
This sweet rolling toy is a great way to work on gross motor skills, and the music adds another element of fun.
Rolling Toy, $14.99 Disney Store
Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. She writes about all things toddler at Babble’s Toddler Times. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.