Infant and pre-school toys buying guide
The best way to learn is by doing something that's educational, but also fun at the same time. Children love to learn and there are plenty of toys around to help them do just that.
Taking your baby's development into account
Babies grow incredibly quickly. They also learn incredibly quickly, so keeping their minds stimulated is hugely important. For detailed advice on which toys you should buy for your baby's different developments stages check out the Tesco Baby Club. For babies go to our baby's educational play page, and for toddlers check out our toddlers play advice page.
Below we have highlighted some of the most popular and recommended infant and pre-school toys.
Great fun for the youngest babies, the bouncer lets the baby bounce up and down safely. Subject to any other weight limit on the bouncer, it can be used until your baby can sit unaided. Make sure you always use the bouncer's safety harness and adjust it correctly. Some bouncers play sounds and melodies to your baby as they bounce up and down, while others have padded seats, washable covers, removable toy bars and all sorts of other features to amuse and stimulate your child.
Most mobiles play soothing tunes and lullabies as they rotate, giving your baby something fascinating to look at as they slowly drift off to sleep.
A play gym looks like a mat with toy-covered bars going over the baby's head, and is great at developing your baby's hand-eye coordination. Play gyms are packed with all sorts of activities; from bells to mirrors, teethers to rattles and differently textured toys.
Effectively a rocking chair for your baby, the rocker relaxes your baby by gently moving back and forth. Some rockers are battery powered so they can even rock themselves.
Unlike adult swings, baby swings are battery powered, so it does all the swinging for you. What's more, most baby swings also play music, so you can gently rock your child to sleep.
As with bouncers, it's essential to check the weight of your child and the swing to make sure they're compatible with each other.
These are designed to teach your baby to walk almost without them noticing. Simply place them in the padded seat with their legs going through to the floor and watch as they use their feet to propel themselves around the house. Walkers can be adjusted to grow with your child, so they're not likely to outgrow one in a hurry. As with bouncers and swings, the weight of your child needs to be taken into consideration.