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The Benefits of Play – Part 1 – Dingle Dangle Toys

A Baby’s brain is like a sponge and they are eager to learn about the new world around them. Every new colour, shape, texture, taste and sound is a wonderful and exciting learning experience. Dingle Dangle toys that are safe and stimulating will help them discover and develop their senses. Toys with contrasting colours are fascinating to babies and stimulate their developing vision. Bells, rattles and toys that make a sound are definitely one of the favorites among infants too.

Babies reach developmental achievements during their first months through a mix of motor, sensory and emotional experience.  Playtime is a major part on your little one’s development.  From cognitive and physical development to emotional and social growth. Sensory toys involving textures, sounds and bright, contrasting colours are all great developmental choices for babies. By 4 months old, babies can bring their hands together and use their eyes to coordinate hand movement, they can hold their hands up, make eye contact and turn their head towards sound, they start to babble and treat us with a that beautiful toothless smile (Each baby develops at their own individual pace, talk to your paediatrician if you ever have any questions or concerns.)

Your baby’s development and happiness can be enhanced with high-quality baby safe products and toys products. A Dingle Dangle set or Play Gym is one of them.  It provides stimulation, learning opportunities and activities that are important for development.

Why is a Dingle Dangle Set so great?

Dingle Dangle Sets and Baby gyms allow your baby to learn the basics of cause and effect. Between about 6 weeks and 4 months, babies engage in something Piaget called “primary circular reactions”. This means they learn to repeat an action that they initially did by chance. Then between about 4-8 months babies begin to intentionally initiate these actions and repeat them because they find them fun or amusing! These actions are called “secondary circular reactions”. Some examples include grabbing, kicking or pulling a toy in order to make it light up or make sounds. This skill is important because it is the beginning of logic and the understanding of cause and effect. Dingle Dangles facilitate this development of the understanding by providing dangling toys and even kick- or pull-activated toys that respond to their actions, encouraging them to interact with them again.

Gross motor benefits:

This is probably the most obvious benefit of them all. Dingle Dangles encourage babies to use and develop the muscles in their arms, legs, tummy, back, and neck. Dingle Dangles and Play gym toys are great for tummy time too.  Tummy time not only strengthens your baby’s neck, back, and arms, but it also supports the development of higher-level gross motor skills (like rolling, crawling, walking), hand skills (developing the muscles), visual skills (teaching the eyes to work together). Additionally, when babies spend time on their tummies it takes weight off the back of their heads and is important for prevention of flat spots. The benefits of a Dingle Dangle set or play gym are unbelievable and supports all so many areas of development?!

Visual perception benefits:

When babies are born, they are near sighted, which means objects far away are blurry. They can perceive objects the most clearly when they are about 18 to 20 cm from their face, and Dingle Dangles are set up perfectly to accommodate for a newborn’ s developing visual perceptual skills. Newborn prefer objects with highly contrasting colours such as black and white. Babies begin to develop depth perception around 4 months of age.  They will also enjoy to toys more as they can see what they are grabbing when they reach out.

Grasping and reaching benefits:

Newborn babies grasping and reaching skills are dominated by reflexes, which means they automatically react in a certain way when stimulated and don’t really have any control over it. For example, newborns demonstrate a “palmar grasp reflex” and reflexively grasp anything that is pressed into their hand. This means newborns can grasp rattles or rings hanging as they learn to hold objects, develop a visual understanding of what they are holding, and build an understanding of cause and effect as they wiggle and shake toys.

Dingle Dangles can also facilitate babies’ development of the ability to bring two hands together while laying on their back while they hold a toy (around 1-3 months) and reach for an object with two hands together.

Sensory stimulation benefits:

Dingle Dangles often feature a different textures, sounds, and colours in order to stimulate babies’ senses. Once your baby begins mouthing objects, you can hang teething toys too so your little one can reach for them (on back or tummy) and bring them to the mouth for oral stimulation and exploration. The dangling toys in a play gym can also help develop the visual awareness skill. The bells, music or rattles hanging can help babies develop the ability to search for sounds with their eyes then to look directly toward where the sound is coming from.

How does it work?

Starting from the left:

  • Disc: Soft, multiple textured ribbons for tactile development.  Each disc has a special little quote. Tip – For very young babies, place it on the outer side so that it is close by for tiny hands to brush against, encouraging touch and feel.
  • Bell: As your little one starts to become more aware of their surroundings, they will be able to kick and tap the bell which not only keeps them engaged, but the playful sound promotes auditory development.
  • Resistance Beads: This one is oh-so-exciting because it’s stretchy! With long multi-textured ribbons to grip and pull, it allows baby to move to the next stage of development by encouraging those all-important gross-motor skills through resistance. Tip – For very young babies, place it on the outer side so that the ribbons are close by for tiny hands to brush against, encouraging touch and feel.
  • Character: What will your little one’s favorite animal be? Each set comes with its own Ruby Melon animal character to brighten up the nursery and create the groundwork for imaginative pretend play.

Good to know:

  • Suitable from birth
  • Mobile frame sold separately
  • Made from natural wood
  • Hand painted with lead free paint
  • Contrasting colours providing visual stimulation
  • Tie your dingle dangles to sit at roughly 20cm from your little one – this is the average newborn depth of field and is the perfect height for babies to touch, kick and keep them entertained
  • Create a play station by adding our Mobile Frame and Change Mat
  • Tie them to mobiles, cots, strollers, infant car seats…just about anything!
  • Approx. 40cm long
  • Do not leave your baby unattended during play
  • Each Dingle Dangle is loving made by hand – ribbons may vary ever so slightly
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