A guide to the best toys for babies six months and older to add variety to your daily baby play.
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My baby used to love playing at “The Farm”, swatting at Mirror Cow and kicking Jingle Pig, until one day, almost all of the sudden, she was more likely to crawl away from “The Farm” than to spend even a few minutes exploring its all-too-familiar sights and sounds. At six months old, she was over her fascination with her farm-themed activity gym, and she needed new toys that would stimulate her senses, build her reasoning abilities, help develop her motor skills, and keep her (relatively) occupied.
Let’s be honest: I was starting to get a little bored myself. I knew buying a few new toys was a good idea. If you’re in a similar boat, I’m excited to announce that today I’m participating in a fun gift guide hop with several other bloggers that’s all about great gift ideas for babies and toddlers. We have tons of time-tested toy recommendations that are perfect for babies and toddlers!
I’ve divided my toy recommendations into several categories: Sensory, Teethers, Clutching, Rattles, Stacking, Music, Balls, Books, and Activity Center. If you select one toy from each category, your baby will have a nice variety of toys that will encourage healthy development. I have personally used these toys across several months, and recommend them after many happy hours of baby play.
Sensory Baby Play
These interactive toys often feature different textures, sounds, and colors to stimulate the senses. Most of the toys in this section will only be fun for a few months, but they’re great transitional toys.
My baby liked to pull on the tags, and I used it to introduce her to colors. I liked to name the color of each tag as she pulled it.
Oh Freddie. He isn’t the prettiest toy, but he’s one that I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know. You’ll find Freddie on many lists of the top infant toys because he has a lot going on: bright colors, lots of textures, a few different sounds.
I usually opened this nursery novel up so my baby could look at all the “pages” at once. (She loved the mirror!)
A favorite toy at Grandma’s house, this one offers many different textures for babies to explore.
An extremely simple toy that makes a satisfying crinkle. I liked this one for the diaper bag and car rides.
Not quite suitable for stacking, it’s fun to toss this cube around and to talk about the pictures on each side.
When my baby started gnawing on board books, I offered her teethers to help manage the discomfort. (Sometimes I’m still offering her teethers. I offered her a teether today!) Teethers come in a huge variety of styles and materials, so there’s something for everyone.
Little Sapling Toys makes several clever wooden teethers. I thought this popsicle teether was perfect for summer!
These are hands-down my favorite teethers. We own FOUR!
Though it makes a sound, I’m tempted to classify it as a ball.
I don’t love it as an actual toothbrush, but this is a novel (and extremely popular teether).
Clutching toys help baby practice grasping. These toys will be easy for baby to pick up and engage them with bright colors and moveable pieces.
This is a beautiful wooden toy and my toddler is still fascinated by it.
We call this one “Mr. Golden Sun” and I often sing the aforementioned song while spinning it around like The Wheel of Fortune.
A classic baby gift! I prefer soft rattles for babies under 6 months, but once they’re sitting up and have better arm control, I’m comfortable introducing wooden or plastic rattles.
I remember this classic toy from my childhood.
I like this as a toy, but I also really like it as a decor item. (If only I could get California to stand up without a prop!)
For the baby that’s always trying to steal your keys. (Sometimes my baby makes it to the door with my keys, though luckily she can’t reach the lock!)
I loved showing my baby how to stack blocks and then knocking them over, to her delight. Blocks and stacking cups have longevity. My toddler still pulls these toys out on a regular basis.
Modern wooden alphabet blocks that will instantly elevate your Instagram feed. Plus, Little Sapling Toys plants a tree for every toy sold.
We play with these colorful blocks almost every day. In the beginning it was all about stacking, but now my child likes to look at the numbers and pictures on the blocks.
These are fun for the tub, but we play with them outside the tub too!
I’m all about cultivating early music appreciation. It’s fun to create a kid-friendly playlist and encourage them to play along with these simple first instruments.
I’ve written this before, but there was a time when I was honestly afraid to leave the house without this toy!
My child’s first musical instrument, which she enjoys hitting like a drum.
This shaker is super adorable. There are several different animals available.
If you’re looking for even more ideas, read Amanda’s post about entertaining toys for baby.
An open-ended toy with lots of possibilities. These balls have different shapes, sizes, and textures. We toss them in the air and roll the back and forth, but also talk about their colors and line them up by size. These are great indoor/outdoor toys.
Smaller scale balls in lots of fun shapes and textures.
Larger balls that are more fun to toss, throw, and pass.
Can you ever have too many books? I read board books to my baby from the beginning, but I loved introducing touch and feel books around six months. These are just a few of our favorites.
This is part of a whole series by Jellycat. If you want to be extra fancy, you can buy the matching Jellycat animal.
You’ll find many different textures and breeds in this book. (Just in case your child is fascinated with dogs the way mine is.)
Maybe the most classic touch and feel book you can find, with simple retro illustrations.
This isn’t technically a touch & feel book, but the finger puppet makes it delightfully interactive.
This activity center provided lots of baby play while I prepared simple meals. Though she was only in the activity center for about fifteen minutes at a time, buying this toy helped me get more done around the house, period.
This is the woodland-themed activity center we used and loved. I wasn’t planning on buying it, but I set my baby in it just for fun when we were visiting a store. She had such a blast spinning the owl and playing peekaboo with the squirrel that I made an impulse purchase. It was, as they say, worth every penny.
I have seen this activity center on display at a couple of baby boutiques, and it’s pretty darling. Plus, I trust Skip Hop.
Now Go Have Fun!
I didn’t buy these toys all at once. I accumulated them a few at a time over several weeks until eventually I realized I needed a few toy bins to contain them all. We’re still stacking colorful blocks, shaking the tambourine, and sometimes even gnawing on teethers. Though I put “The Farm” away long ago, Jingle Pig and Mirror Cow escaped. They too must have been a little bored. They found a new home in the toy bin, mixed in with all the shiny new things.