When it comes to ensuring that the right tools are provided for your baby’s development, toys and your baby’s safety go hand in hand. Here’s our definitive list of the best toys to promote development for your baby and toddler.
But, first things first, safe toys for young children should be high-quality, durable and free of sharp edges. Take extra care to ensure that any painted toys are painted with nontoxic, lead-free paint, and that all toys are shatter-proof and can be easily cleaned and decontaminated.
Keep reading for the best toys to promote development for your baby by age.
Toys for infants: 0-6 months
- Toys that they can look at: Anything with an unbreakable mirror or reflective surface so that your baby can see themselves or you!
- Toys they can touch or reach: Think: rattles, squeaky toys, teething rings, textured balls, and anything that gives them a tactile sensation.
- Toys they can listen to: Books with nursery rhymes and poems, soft music, the ABCs, lullabies and simple songs.
Toys for infants 7 to 12 months
- Starting playing pretend: Encourage pretend, imaginative play early is important so go all in on dolls, puppets or anything else that inspires the land of make believe.
- Toys to build with: Your baby will start to love dropping things into holes, building towers with building blocks (and knocking them down) and having fun with items like nesting toys.
- Toys to build strength: Don’t be afraid to build their muscles. Toys like large balls, push pull toys and soft things to crawl over are great for helping them develop.
Toys for 1-year-olds
- Books are always a great toy: start them reading and interacting with books early. Simple board books with great visuals are a great place to start.
- Continue introducing music: Songs, rhymes and even musicals are great for toddlers.
- Get creative: Now is a great time to introduce art! Make sure you’re working with non-toxic, washable markers or crayons.