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Toybox Tales Blog

Baby Toys - Black and White vs. Primary colours

by Developer Designer 03 Oct 2022

As parents, we can quickly get caught up in the whirlwind of buying new playthings and new goodies for our children. But did you know that product colour can play an important role in how your baby’s brain functionality and development are stimulated, and even how skills like recognition and vision are impacted?

In this article, we explore how black and white vs. primary colour baby toys each have their own key traits, and how you can incorporate them into your toybox at home.

Contrasting black and white with primary colours

When it comes to baby toys, there are two schools of thought – black and white toys, or primary-coloured toys? But the argument isn’t always as, well, black and white.

On the one hand, black and white toys are said to be ideal for newborns as they help to stimulate their developing vision. Plus, they're gender-neutral, so they are ideal for parents that haven’t yet found out the gender or that want to keep a more basic colour scheme.

On the other hand, primary-coloured toys are often assumed to be more ideal for older babies, providing a way to aid colour recognition and learning about different hues. Plus, little ones tend to find them naturally more fun and interactive than black-and-white alternatives.

So, what's the verdict? Ultimately, it's up to you as the parent to decide what you think is best for your child. Every kid responds differently to objects and environments, so it’s important to assess what your little one enjoys most and what seems to engage their interests.

However, there are some pros to consider for each category, which we’ll explore below.

Why black and white toys are important

When it comes to baby toys, black and white items are just as important as primary colours. That’s because black and white contrast strongly with each other, which helps newborns focus their vision and develop their brains.

When these aspects of their development are still in their infancy, it’s important to give them visual aids that will help them improve and refine their skills – something that black and white toys offer more than coloured ones.

Beyond this, babies are born with a fascination for high-contrast patterns. In fact, studies have shown that newborns prefer to look at black-and-white images over those with colour, as they are known to engage the optic nerve on a more advanced level. The strong contrast between black and white also makes it easier for babies to track objects and see movement.

The benefits of primary-coloured toys

On the other hand, primary-coloured toys help promote cognitive development overall. Studies have shown that humans who are exposed to a variety of colours learn faster and remember more information than those who aren’t, especially when from a younger age.

This is because different colours can help stimulate different parts of the brain, which can in turn help with memory, pattern recognition, and other important cognitive skills.

When to introduce primary colours

By the age of three months, most babies are able to see colour, making it a good time to start incorporating primary shades into their environment. While you can still use black-and-white toys before, during and after this time in their life, colours will also help your little one’s mood, learning and general behaviour, once they reach this milestone.

By six months old, your little one will be far more interested in their surroundings and be able to focus on smaller objects. For this reason, we recommend experimenting with different coloured toys to see what engages them the most and keeps them entertained.

Ultimately, the best toy is the one that your child enjoys the most, and every baby is different.

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