3-6 months: Play
Now your child is ready for a few simple toys to explore as she practices using her hands, arms, legs, and feet. Make sure your child has time to move around on the floor or another clean, flat surface (the play area pictured in 0-3 months will still work for this age) . The best toys here will develop hand strength and dexterity, see below for categories.
As your child can begin to reach for objects with intention, offer a handful of items just out of reach so she has to stretch to get them. Small, soft baskets are excellent for storing toys here so you can carry a few from room to room.
Please note: infants can be easily mesmerized by household items, and they in fact make excellent toys at this age.
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Play Materials for 3-6 months
Hanging a simple object on a ribbon or elastic is perfect for increasing hand-eye coordination, depth perception, and concentration. Traditional Montessori items are a wooden ring and a bell, but any lightweight, safe, simple object could be used here.
These hanging toys are from bella's casa, and are ready to use, no assembly required. The ring offers a large area for grasping, and the bell makes an interesting sound when batted.
Hang these from your ceiling, a sturdy mobile hanger, or a wooden gym (see below). Stick to one object at a time, to avoid distraction and over-stimulation.
Wooden Gym Hanger
If you don't have an easy way to hang objects from your ceiling, a gym like this can be used. Many baby gyms have WAY too many colors and objects on them, look for very simple models like this one from Poppyseed Play. The gym should be sturdy, with enough space underneath for your child to safely roll over.
Another excellent toy for hand strength and dexterity, grasping objects are perfect for 3-6 month olds. Look for one that has large openings for your infant's hands, or large objects to clutch. There are lots of great choices, I'd suggest no more than 2 available at a time, rotate a few others every few weeks if you like. Look for toys that are simple in colors, design, texture, and function. Here's some I love:
HABA rainbow clutching toy (pictured)
A classic. Look for a rattle that is super simple and makes a pleasant sound. There are lots of great choices, I'd suggest no more than 2 available at a time, rotate a few others every few weeks if you like. Here's some I love:
Teething Ring or Toy
I'm a fan of the simple freezer rings for teething, and a silicone necklace for the times you're holding your teething infant. A teething infant is going to chew any object you give them, so having a specific "teething" toy isn't necessary, but these chilled rings can help soothe sore gums.
A few soft baskets can be handy for holding your child's toys at this age. Only a few toys should be out at one time, so you'll need space to hold the rest, and a soft basket is an additional item to explore! Avoid any baskets with loose parts or breakable pieces that could be swallowed (reed, wicker, etc)
These canvas baskets are collapsible and can be re-purposed as your child gets older.