One of my favorite bought toys is a set of nesting cups.
Do not expect infants under to age of 2-3 to be able to stack or fit the nesting cups together correctly. But there are many ways that younger infants explore and play with this toy. At 13 months Roan has just started figuring out how to take the nested cups apart and is getting the hang of putting one cup into another.
She tries different ways to take them apart and finds that it best to use both hands to to this. One to stabilize the cups and one to try and pull the inside one out. She has not yet quite got the hang of this.
She also tries to dislodge a cup by turning the cups upside down and shaking them but her fingers get in the way.
The video clip
In this clip you see Roan (13 months) playing with a set of cups. Watch how she explores different ways to take them apart. She also copies my action when I show her how to put one cup into another, but this does not really interest her.
And she engages in the game that all infants delight in - throw the toys onto the floor and then wait for your adult or sibling play partner to pick them up again.
Watch how Roan throws them over the side of tray of her high chair, looks to see where they have landed and then looks at me to see if I have noticed. Indeed throughout this clip you see how Roan is able to shift her attention from what she is doing to what I am doing.
How you can use this information to enhance your child's skills
When you give your infant a new toy, do not expect her to play with it according to the book. Leave her to explore the possibilities for action.
Sometimes it is useful to demonstrate what can be done with a toy - and maybe your infant will follow your lead, but if does not find your way interesting, let it be and try another time.
Take time to be around when your infant is playing. Be there to respond to her requests for help and to comment on what she is doing. Talking about what your infant is doing is a great way to promote language learning.
A high chair with a good size tray is a must have piece of equipment.