Educational Birthday Gift Ideas for Infants

Infants can retain an amazing amount of information. Colors, lights, sounds, shapes, and movement are all meant to foster the child's cognitive abilities.

Ideally infants should have a large selection of sense stimulating objects at their disposal. High contrast photographs or paintings are preferred as are pictures featuring primary colors. A colorful mobile with lights and sounds provides many hours of fascination and allow the infant to practice focusing their eyes. Soft blocks, cloth books, and stuffed animals provide welcome tactile sensations.

Providing toys which promote hand-eye coordination are important to an infant's development. An interactive drum, a set of blocks, shape sorters, or brightly colored rattles presented as a birthday gift inspire the child's cause and effect response and encourage them to engage in repetitive actions.

In the early months, infants are developing their bite reflex. Encourage them to nibble on gel filled toys, which can be refrigerated or warmed to help ease the pain associated with teething. Provide cloth toys, soft plastic rings, and chewable rattles as a birthday gift for a variety of sensations for the baby to enjoy.

Scents are a complex and important part of our senses. Our sense of smell is directly linked to various emotional responses, and it plays an important role in memory recollection. For example, a lavender-scented sachet in the baby's room will encourage calmness and relaxation.

Invest in a collection of simple and silly music for infants. Sing along with the songs. Research shows that a musical influence early in life lays the groundwork for a better education later. Music and math are directly linked with those raised in a musical environment grasping mathematical concepts with greater ease.

Parents who are stumped for a birthday gift idea can consider purchasing a secondary language video set. Children who are taught a second language at the same time they learn to speak their primary language have the greatest chance of retaining and applying the information to their environment. Research has suggested there are long-term cognitive benefits including the possibility of delaying Alzheimer's disease up to four years in later stages of life. Infants can even be taught simple sign language.