Buyers Guide: Ball Toy For Baby
A simple play with a ball, where you either hold the ball and move it towards a baby's eyes or roll it along the floor so the baby can see it, allows little ones to improve their visual tracking skills. Visual tracking refers to the ability to track an object or person with your eyes while moving across your visual field.
The use of small balls for babies' hands can help them develop fine motor skills and provide a sensory experience. For instance, they learn that balls can roll, be held, be squeezed or dropped, and thrown. Understanding these is a crucial cognitive process for learning about the world around them.
Experts recommend that you have a variety of balls of different sizes and textures. In addition, the balls must be clean enough to be mouthed as this is an important way for babies to explore and play with an object.
Developmental Benefits of Ball Play For Babies
- Eye-Hand coordination
- Motor skills (Gross & Fine)
- Spatial Awareness
- Hand Grasping Skills
- Problem-Solving Skills
- Language Skills, including pragmatic and social skills
- Temporal Awareness; this helps children to time and coordinate their movements
The Best Ball Toys For Your Baby
Silicone Teether Balls
Silicone is hypoallergenic and non-porous, making it safe to use for teething babies. The ridged design is to help develop motor skills in babies while also providing safe and soothing relief for aching gums or new teeth.
Sensory balls usually come in a set featuring different textures. Each ball has a unique surface; smooth, rough, ridged, or spikey. Aside from helping babies improve their sense of touch, these balls also introduce babies to the different textures present in the world.
Fabric balls offer an auditory discovery as babies make crinkly or rattling sounds using these. Fabric balls are also typically safe for babies as they are soft and light. They are also durable and will be able to withstand the inevitable baby chewing tactics.
Medium-sized Beach Balls
Large beach balls can be too much for babies, but a medium-sized one can be great fun. Infants will know how to grip a semi-large ball with both hands while having fun and learning how throwing works.
Giant Exercise Balls
Parents can try doing tummy times over a giant exercise ball. Babies will be able to grasp the sense of balance from early on. Exercise balls can also be convenient because they can last even after babies grow into toddlers and kids.
Safety Tips For Baby Ball Play
- Ensure they are large enough to hold but not too small to pose choking hazards. Balls should not be smaller than 1.75 inches (4.4cm) in diameter. This size is perfect for preventing them from being swallowed or lodged inside the windpipe.
- Make sure the ball toy is strong enough to withstand chewing.
- The material should not be latex or thin rubber. These materials will never last as babies are prone to biting or chewing things because of their aching gums. Also, accidentally inhaling balloon-like materials like latex or thin rubber can cause choke-like symptoms in babies.
- Always heed the manufacturer's age, cleaning, and safekeeping guidelines for the ball toys.
- Never leave your baby unsupervised when playing; accidents can happen.
Ball skills are part of the fundamental movements skills that, when mastered, can contribute to your child's overall fitness and health all through life. So choose the right ball for your baby and help them discover all the fun with ball play!