How Rattles Aid in Cognitive Development


From the first parent who shook a seed pod to amuse their baby, humans have been using rattles to stimulate their young. The reason is simple; rattles aid in quite a few areas of cognitive development and are endlessly amusing to little ones! A baby’s senses of taste, touch, sight and sound are all engaged when playing with a tinkling rattle. By adding the use of a rattle to your daily playtime with your baby, you will help strengthen their motor skills and developmental milestones.



Even as young as a few weeks old your baby can begin to start focusing on objects in their field of vision. While holding a rattle 6-12 inches away (where you baby is able to focus), slowly move the rattle from one side to the other so help him track with his eyes. If your baby loses interest you can shake the rattle and the noise will recapture baby’s attention. You can also move the rattle farther away and see how far your baby is able to track it. Soon your baby will be able to focus both eyes on the rattle and follow its movement all around!


Rattles are wonderful toys for stimulating many senses. This can aid in your baby’s ability to acclimatize to all of the stimulus happening around them and to better understand the world. The hammered silver will feel cold on your baby’s fingers and gums. The wooden beads offer a different taste and texture, and the rings against metal and wood make a tinkling sound which babies will turn toward to find the source. These are baby’s first introduction to how she will encounter different stimuli in her life.

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Cause and Effect

Around the age of 4 months your baby will discover that by shaking their rattle a noise is produced. The concept that a movement will trigger a specific effect is truly invigorating! What’s more is that a baby can now remember this cause and effect and repeat it over and over. And over and over and over! This is your baby’s first experience with having control over their surroundings. Between 4-7 months babies will continue to practice this skill which is why so many babies love banging their hands on the table and dropping things on the floor.

Object Permanence

This is the concept that when an object is out of view it does not cease to exist. Around 8 months old your child will begin to understand that just because you’ve left the room it doesn’t mean you’ve disappeared entirely! You can begin to teach this concept during playtime by showing baby the rattle, shaking it, then hiding it under a blanket. At first your baby will be surprised when you pull it out again, but eventually they will understand that it is still there and they will be able to find it themselves.

Playtime is baby’s most important activity- this is how children learn about the world. It’s such fun and so rewarding to see your infant blossom and grow before your eyes! We’d love to see any photos of you and your little one using SFJ rattles during playtime!