There's only one of you and many of them -- parents of multiples are extra challenged when it comes to promoting developmental play with their babies. These toys are good options to consider for your twins, triplets or multiples. Not only do they encourage cognitive development and motor skills, but they can be used interactively or effectively shared by more than one baby, perfect for twins or multiples!
Soft blocks are great toys for infants yet also have play potential for older babies and toddlers. Choose brightly colored blocks with lots of contrast and pattern for visual stimulation. These Knock-Knock blocks from Small World Toys come in a set of sixteen (plenty to go around)with a vivid checkerboard pattern and colorful images.
The Fisher-Price Discovery Gym features hanging toys activities to stimulate several senses and a soft mat for baby to lie on. Plenty of bright colors, stimulating graphics, interesting textures, music and lights help stimulate babies' senses and gross-motor skills.
Link Along Friends from Lamaze are a handy addition to the diaper bag. Clips let you attach them to the stroller or car seat. Brightly colored details stimulate your babies visually, while a soft plus texture provides encourages tactile exploration. In addition, each of the three characters has a unique sound feature, such as a vibrating buzzer, squeaker or jingling bells.
Older babies (ages six months and up) will enjoy sorting toys, which teach them cause and effect, enhance their fine motor manipulation skills, and enhance hand-eye coordination. Fisher Price's Peek-a-Blocks include stars, circles, squares and traingles, each with unique features that reward babies with sounds, motion and surprises.
Pop up toys never fail to delight. Singing Pop Up Pals, featuring popular Sesame Street characters, reinforces the relationship between cause and effect while encouraging exploration with knobs, levers and buttons. Some reviews claim that the elements are too difficult for small hands to manipulate, and others complain about the noise level. This style of toy is more difficult for multiples to share among themselves, but this model should suffice to satisfy two at a time.
Puzzles are an excellent way to develop visual spatial and cognitive skills. Choose products with large chunky pieces, durable wooden construction and knobby handles for younger children. Look for products packaged in sets for multiples who are reticent to share. Geometric and animal shapes can also help enhance vocabulary.
Keyring-style teether toys appeal to young babies, developing their fine motor skills as they learn to grasp and manipulate them. Look for soft plastic items with a variety of visual and textural stimulation that are free from any small parts that might become dislodged. This set of three is perfect for triplets, or for twins as a pair and a spare.
Older, mobile children will enjoy ride-on or pushing toys that encourage their gross motor skills. Look for safety features like soft edges, as well as dual purpose toys that will meet their needs as they grow up. For example, some toys feature a handle so parents can push younger babies, but convert to a self-powered vehicle for older ones. Wagons that accomodate two children are perfect for twins, but watch the weight limits.
The Baby Buggy Book is chock full of elements designed to stimulate hand-eye coordination, tactile exploration and self discovery. Each pages features something new, like a mirror, squeaker or crinkling sound. Books are more difficult to share between multiples, so it's nice to have a variety on hand.
Dolls impart a sense of comfort and security to young children, but you have to be careful that your doll of choice is appropriate for babies. Look for soft-bodied dolls with no loose pieces and features embellished with embroidery rather than adhesive. This simple doll is particularly durable. Cuddling a doll helps babies stimulates tactile exploration, and enhances grasping skills. When it comes to dolls, to each his own -- don't even think about sharing! Plan to buy one for each multiple.