I have always been a DIYer. I love creating new from old and finding ways to make something that I want or need myself (especially if it’s cheaper to do so!).
When Layton was super, super tiny, just a month or so old, I was looking up the best toys for his age and I read that high contrast, black and white toys and books were the best.
We didn’t have any high contrast toys or books at the time and I didn’t really want to buy something that would only be entertaining for a few months. The best thing I could have purchased would have been some books that were black and white. I decided to wait until my local library had their used book sale and in the meantime, I made some “flashcards” for him to look at and enjoy.
It was super easy and free!
Materials Needed: Computer, a printer, and card stock.
Cost: $0 – $5 (depending on if you need to buy card stock)
Craft time: 2-10 minutes.
1. Search Google: “high contrast black and white images for babies” or any variation of that.
2. Save and print any images you like! I found a lot of search results that had multiple images/designs on one page. Of course, I’m partial to sloths, so I found some black and white sloths!
4. Cut up.
5. Display! You can prop them up in their bassinet or bouncer or even just hold them in front of baby’s face. Babies at this age only see about 12-15 inches in front of them.
We had this portable bassinet that made it easy to put some of my flashcards propped up around his head. As he got older, he would hold them and look at them. We retired them when he started putting everything in his mouth!
Pros: Cheap, easy and quick! Definitely get the same benefits that you would if you bought high contrast board books.
Cons: They tear easy and when baby starts putting everything his their mouth, you have to retire or dispose of these “toys.”
Age: 0-4 months
Baby Entertainment Time: multiple hours a day, over a few months
Skills Learned/Benefits for baby: Helps with eye development. When babies are three months and younger, they only see in blacks, whites, and grays, so they love looking at simple black and white or other high contrasts images. This helps them focus on shapes and designs and helps with eye development!
Newborn Eye Sign, American Academy of Pediatrics
Why Black and White Toys Are Best For Baby, The Tot
Don’t Want to DIY?
High Contrast Board Books:
– “Look Look Baby” (We actually found this book at our library’s used book sale.)
– “Hello Animals” (There are a ton of “hello, ___” black and white books.)
– My First Soft Books (If we had all the money in the world, I probably would have gotten something like these! They are great for babies, are fabric pages and have crinkle paper inside!)
Other high contrast toys:
– Tummy Time Soft Activity Book With Mirror and other textures.
– High Contrast Shape Set (these can hang off anything…your bouncer, stroller, or car seat!)