My last blog post focussed on toys for babies under 6 months. Since then, I have discovered that the older your baby gets, the more choice there is out there. I first started to notice that my baby would benefit from playing with more stimulating toys when he began to reach about 5 months old. He was becoming a lot more curious, adventurous and explorative. So we decided to buy him a few more toys to help encourage his learning and development.
Here is a rundown of our favourite toys for babies aged 6 months and over.
I first discovered these sensory balls when I used to take my baby to baby sensory classes. They have a stimulating textured surface that makes them easier to grip compared to balls with smooth surfaces. The small soft spikes encourage sensory development and help to improve dexterity. This ball is also great at motivating my baby to crawl as he rolls it around the floor. Suitable from 6 months.
The rainmaker has been a hit from day one and provides lots of stimulation for my baby. He loves to watch the rainbow coloured beads gradually cascade through the holes and create the sound of rain. This toy is also great at developing hand-eye coordination and because its compact in shape and size, it’s easily manageable for my baby to hold and turn in his hands. Suitable from 6 months.
This toy was a lovely gift from my sister. It’s a musical toy that rolls along the floor when pushed and has lots of fun activities. The rotating middle part has three interactive sides – one displays a baby-safe mirror, one has a dial that plays a musical tune and reveals a different farmyard animal as the dial turns, and one has three colourful rings that your baby can slide across the frame. I really like this toy because it helps to develop my baby’s motor skills and encourage an interest in learning, and experimenting through play. Suitable from 6 months.
If I’m honest, this has got to be one of my favourite toys. It comes in the form of a charming and jolly cookie jar character with a lid. This is an excellent toy for helping your baby to develop problem solving skills, hand-eye coordination and shape identification, whilst also teaching them colours and numbers. As each uniquely shaped piece is placed correctly in its corresponding slot, the cookie jar responds with rewarding phrases and music, which helps to teach cause and effect and increase self-esteem. Suitable from 6 months.
Another firm favourite is this interactive baby laptop which has lots of fun features, including lights and sounds. This toy is designed really well and encourages my baby to discover and learn about animals and their noises, colours, shapes and letters. This laptop also features a selection of different songs and melodies, a moveable mouse and chunky buttons that are easy for my baby’s little fingers to press. I can confirm that it passes the bashing test with flying colours and also survives spit ups. Suitable from 6 months.
Stacking cups are a simple yet effective way of keeping your baby entertained, and encourages physical and mental development through imaginative play. First Steps Stack Up Cups includes an assortment of 6 brightly coloured cups that increase in size. These stacking cups are perfect for my baby because they are small enough for his little hands to grasp. Each cup has two holes at the bottom so they can also be used as a fun bath toy. Suitable from 6 months.
These stacking rings are also great. Each ring has a different texture and colour, or pattern for your baby to discover and explore. I’ve witnessed first hand how much concentration, effort and skill it requires for my baby to correctly place the ring on the cone. That’s why this is the perfect toy for helping to develop your baby’s fine motor skills, and learn about sequences and different sizes. Suitable from 6 months.
My baby never gets bored of this toy! It’s very engaging because it rolls around on its own (it rolls best on hard floors) and helps to encourage crawling. When he presses the buttons he is introduced to the animals, learns numbers, and listens to different songs and melodies. It also has lovely bright colours, lights and a cute turtle on top that spins around. This toy never fails to capture and maintain my baby’s attention, so it gets full marks from us. Suitable from 6 months.
These colourful cubes are great for babies because they are really soft and lightweight. My baby loves grabbing them and staring at the bright colours and animals. We are slowly progressing to building them up into a tower and knocking them down again. When he’s older we can start to match up the animal pairs. They are also very safe and machine washable.