When do babies start playing with toys? This is a tricky question to answer but I believe that anything that brings a child joy, play and learning can be classed as a toy, this includes mum, dad, a rolling pin, saucepan or anything else--not exactly your conventional toy I know.
it is apparent that babies start playing with toys weather in the conventional sense or not, from the minute they are born as they interact with their primary caregiver be it mum, dad or anyone else. At this time your baby is an amazing collection of needs, wants, muscles and flesh. They are learning from the minute they are born, from their first breath to the first time they open their eyes
To begin with, they can only focus on something that is about 20-30cm away from them. This will limit the types of toys that they can in fact focus on. So if you are playing with them this is the optimal distance, so that they can clearly focus on you.
As they develop, their vision improves and muscles and motor skills begin to develop, they will begin to ‘play with toys’ in the more traditional sense.
These first toys will be ones than they can look at as they hang above their cot, car seat or baby bouncer. Ones that make a sound or play music are fantastic at this age as babies hearing is very well developed right from birth. When choosing these first toys ensure that you select ones that are brightly coloured and textured, this will ensure babies continued interest for months to come.
Tummy time is very important and widely encouraged by professionals to help develop babies muscle tone, head control and to help prevent a condition called plagiocephaly or flat head syndrome.
Toys are a great way for babies to enjoy this time more, by providing mirrors and colourful playmats, children will be encouraged to lift their heads, building those neck muscles.
Once your little one reaches around 3 months old their grasping skill, which is present from birth will now become more focused. If you place an enticing toy in front of them this will encourage them to reach for it.