Our favorite baby developmental toys for little smarties
The number one goal when your baby comes along is to have them come out healthy, but we all want our kids to be brilliant, too. Each sensory developmental baby toy in this roundup will nurture their little minds and bodies, and will make your baby/toddler squeal with delight as they learn and have fun.
My first pick is the Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym, which can be used from birth to about a year and beyond, if your bean really loves it. This baby toy will introduce then reinforce tummy play, sounds, the way things feel, and starting to identify animals. It also travels super well, so you can take it on long car trips if baby does not want to be away from it. There’s a teether attached to a bird that sings along with the rattle birdie that crinkles. There is also a flower that squeaks, and a mirror shaped like a tree trunk so baby can start to identify body parts like their nose, eyes, mouth, etc. It is just an exciting and overall stimulating toy from Skip Hop that no parent should be without.
Next up is the Manhattan Toy Winkel, which can be used from birth as well. The Winkel is a teether disguised in colors and loops that are super bendable and pliable, so your bean can really go crazy with it. You can put this alluring baby toy in the fridge to make it an extra-soothing teether for sore gums, or you can use it as a toss toy, meaning you and baby can throw it back and forth, developing hand-eye coordination. It is also completely free of anything harmful, so they can gnaw away and you can rest easy.
The Lamaze Stretch the Giraffe baby toy is a personal favorite of mine because it is absolutely adorable and can be used, again, from birth until around two years of age. It’s plushy but it has sensory sounds built in so it will squeak and rattle, and it has super bright colors so your bean’s imagination can go wild. It is also very easy to travel with, so that makes it even more desirable as you never have to leave the new favorite baby toy behind.
Once baby hits around nine months old, you will want the Chicco Baby Activity Walker. Why? Because it is one of the best tools to help your bean learn how to pull themselves up while attempting to walk. This is a huge milestone, and the walker can be a great accessory to aid with this huge moment. Once baby starts to get on the move, music will play, and keep going until they stop. At the same time bean stops, so does the music, and who wants that? So that means they’ll try to keep on walking for as long as they can manage, practicing their coordination and strengthening their muscles. And when they’re not toddling along, the walker serves as an activity center, with games, lights, and sound effects.
Finally, we have chosen another item from the Skip Hop collection: the Skip Hop Zoo Playspot Playmat, which is great from the very beginning. There are animals adorning the mat which is super cushiony and comfy and lightweight as well, so that means it travels extremely well.
This is just an intro to our favorite sensory toys – our selection has hundreds of great toys for babies, and our store staff and online customer service staff can make great recommendations if you’re looking for a toy for a particular stage or to enhance a particular skill. We love talking about baby toys! And if you’re working on your baby registry, ask your registry concierge which must-have baby toys should go on the list (including the ones listed here). Good luck and congratulations!
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