• Books
  • September 21, 2022 4 min read

    Ready? Set. Grow!

    We’re soooo excited to introduce a new addition to our family… Meet Mastermind Toys Baby!

    As Canada’s Authority on Play, we couldn’t be happier to offer new parents a unique selection of baby toys that help newborns to age 2 grow life skills through the power of play.


    Develop skills & thrills through play

    We get it. Taking care of a little human is wonderful and… well, sometimes a whirlwind. With so many firsts to discover, it’s no wonder that each day fills so quickly with so much to explore. New words. New colours. New skills. New milestones. New everything!

    Although many believe that a baby naturally learns life skills, we know incorporating play in your baby’s every day can help foster key abilities for growth. In fact, there are so many valuable infant and baby toys and books that inspire creativity and development.

    At Mastermind Toys Baby, every toy counts. And our curated selection puts the fun in the fundamentals for every age and ability–from day one. We’re thrilled to work with a Child Expert, Caron Irwin, to offer parents innovative ideas on how to help develop your baby’s skills through play.

    5 baby developmental skills & milestones

    We know there isn’t anything you wouldn’t do to help your little bundle of joy achieve those great big milestones. Since babies learn best through play, here is a quick checklist on five behavioural or physical development skills they can aim towards while having fun along the way.  

    1. Fine motor skills: Hand movement

    Toys that encourage fine motor skills during play time can help strengthen your baby’s finger movements and hand coordination!

    This skill is used when small muscles, specifically hands and fingers, pick up objects, hold a spoon, turn pages in a book, or use a crayon to draw.

    Baby toys that can help develop fine motor skills

    Infant toys for 0-6 months they can:
    Rattle, shake, squeeze, or grip

    Baby toys for 6-12 months they can:
    Hold, bang, stack, or knock over

    Baby toys for 12-24 months they can:
    Build blocks, scribble, race vehicles, or engage in
    sensory play with squishy toys or dough

    2. Gross motor skills: Body movement

    Toys that encourage gross motor skills during play time can help develop body strength and coordination.

    This is a child's ability to use large muscles for movement. For example, sitting up, crawling, standing, walking, jumping, running, and, eh-hem, getting closer to your closed cupboards.

    Baby toys that can help develop gross motor skills

    Infant toys for 0-6 months they can:

    Lay on, enjoy tummy time, safely sit up in,
    or hold head up and look around

    Baby toys for 6-12 months they can:
    Sit up in, roll on, crawl with, pull up, or balance

    Baby toys for 12-24 months they can:
    Push & pull, climb, throw, walk, hop, or jump with

    3. Cognitive skills: Thinking & logic

    Toys and books that encourage cognitive thinking & logic skills can help build on learning, remembering, and problem
    solving abilities.

    Babies and toddlers are always observing and touching to help strengthen their cognitive skills. Using sensory play is a
    great way to foster this ability.

    Baby toys that can help develop cognitive skills

    Infant toys for 0-6 months they can:
    Look at black & white images, look in mirrors, touch soft toys,
    listen to repetitive words or songs, or see musical mobiles

    Baby toys for 6-12 months they can:
    See light-up toys, practice cause and effect,
    or feel and listen to board books

    Baby toys for 12-24 months
    they can:
    Sort cubes, play matching games, or see light-up toys

    4. Social & emotional skills: Expressions

    There are many books and toys that build social and emotional skills to help babies and toddlers express themselves and interact with others.

    A baby smiling or waving bye-bye are just two examples of how they learn to interact with others. Helping themselves and self-control are also part of emotional development.

    Baby toys that can help develop social and emotional skills

    Infant and baby toys for 0-12 months they can:
    Listen to music or books, touch soft plushies, or problem solve

    Baby toys for 12-24 months they can:
    Sing songs, listen to music, play with vehicles or dolls,
    pretend-play, practice taking turns, or arts & crafts  

    5. Speech & language skills: Communicating

    Books and music are two key ways to build on speech & language and help with the ability to communicate and understand.

    Naming objects, like parts of their body, shapes, colours, the alphabet, and so on are key areas that children first build upon when they first begin to speak.  

    Baby toys that can help develop speech and language skills

    Infant toys for 0-12 months they can:
    Listen to books , nursery rhymes or music,
    ouch & feel books, or mimic sounds

    Baby toys for 12-24 months they can:
    Touch & feel books, pretend play, play phonics games,
    point and find objects in books, or l
    isten to & enjoy stories

    Caron Irwin, Child Life Expert

    These developmental milestones have been reviewed and are validated by our Mastermind Toys Child Life Expert, Caron Irwin, Founder of Roo Family.

    Caron is a Canadian mother of three and started Roo Family to provide parents with comprehensive support to navigate the adventures and challenges of parenting and family life.

    Caron holds a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Studies and is a Certified Child Life Specialist. She has over 10 years of experience supporting children and families through illness at Canada’s largest children’s hospital, The Hospital for Sick Children.

    Written by Cathy Barbarossa, Senior Copywriter and Editor with contributions by Caron Irwin, Child Life Expert


    Cathy Barbarossa
    Cathy Barbarossa

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