What It Is
Wimmer-Ferguson is the original innovator of black-and-white developmental baby toys, and Manhattan Toy is bringing the Wimmer-Ferguson philosophy to a new line of toys. The Wimmer-Ferguson Learn & Play Ball is an activity ball for babies that features black-and-white graphics designed to stimulate a baby's senses. The ball also has ribbons and vibrant colors. And when baby rolls the ball around, he will hear a chime sound.
Why It’s Useful
The high-contrast images on the Wimmer-Ferguson Learn & Play Ball are visually stimulating to a baby, and the different ribbons offer great tactile play. Babies will enjoy looking at the different pictures, colors, and patterns as they play with this soft ball.
Who It’s For
The Wimmer-Ferguson Learn & Play Ball is for ages 6 months and up.
What To Be Aware Of
Manhattan Toy says that its Wimmer-Ferguson baby toys are an accurate reflection of laboratory research on infant visual development. Designs reflect more than 40 years of research on infant vision. Professional research has shown that newborns are more attracted to high-contrast patterns than to color or brightness alone.
That said, there is also a significant body of recent research from the University of California at Berkeley that says that any visual stimulation is good for babies as their focusing ability develops. It's the high contrast rather than the black-and-white that kids respond to, and black and white represent the highest level of contrast. Recent research has shown that children can begin to determine color at 2 weeks and by 2 months, they are able to distinguish the level of contrast approximating that of an adult.
So, with this toy in particular, the black-and-white is almost irrelevant as babies should be able to perceive the colors very soon. Still, this is a charming first toy for baby with lots of visual and tactile stimulation. The "science" seems largely to be for marketing purposes.