How often do we give our children inappropriate materials. In reality it probably doesn't do too much harm, but it doesn't do any good either. Beginning Montessori state 'Most rattles are so big they look like a bar bell when offered to an infant' and I think they are right.
Otis is still little (9 weeks) and this sweet little bell rattle fits perfectly in his hands. It is seriously the sweetest 'toy' for an infant and so, so simple.
It is the only hand material that he is using (the others in the above picture are a little big for him to get his fingers around and are to be used at around three months). While it stimulates his grasping reflex it also allows him to focus and concentrate on tracking (as he looks at it) and works on making purposeful movement. It also gives him something else to do and something new to explore.
I know that he enjoys it as he will grasp it and shake it for a few minutes at a time. Yes, building up hand strength too. It truly is the simple and most natural (and handmade) things that are the best.