Top 10 Fun & Educational Baby Toys

The first year of your baby’s life is crucial to their development. Make sure baby is learning and thriving with these toys!

Let’s Play, Baby!

Your baby’s biggest adventure begins when they enter the world. So let’s get them started off right with the Top 10 Fun & Educational Baby Toys.

The first year of their life will be a continuous learning process as they begin to explore and learn to relate to the world. Small movements and noises in the first few months may not seem like much, but your baby is learning motor skills and how to engage and interact with the world and the people around them.

When your baby is rolling over, moving their head, grasping at objects, or scooting across the floor, they’re learning how to use their bodies. When your baby stares at your hands and begins making nosing and responding to familiar words, they’re learning language and communication skills.

As your baby watches you move around the room and starts to recognize family and friends, they’re learning social skills and relationships. All of these seemingly small gestures and interactions are critical to your baby’s development. Your baby is learning at a rapid pace!

The best part is: your baby learns best by playing! And we’ve created a guide to some of the best toys for you and your baby. Interacting and engaging with your baby will help them reach those developmental milestones. Educational toys are the key to your baby’s development and progress.

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How Baby is Developing and How You Can Help

Months 1 – 3

In the first three months you’ll watch Baby roll their head from side to side and start learning how to hold their head up. Baby will have a surprisingly strong grip and will begin opening and closing their hands to grip objects. Fine motor skills are developing as Baby learns to instruct their hands to reach and grab for objects. They will begin discovering their hands and voices as they begin cooing and laughing.

As Baby is learning about themselves, they’re learning you and your habits, too. The infant stages of your baby’s life can be as rewarding and fun as it is challenging and scary. Make Baby’s education and development a fun, exciting part of your daily routine!

Baby will start to love play time, so here are some great ideas for toys to check out for these first three months:

  • Rattles and musical toys sharpen hand-eye coordination
  • Colorful toys stimulate Baby’s brain
  • Baby will love a squishy water mat and the floating brightly colored objects
  • Additions to Baby’s Play Mat that dangle and swing to increase Baby’s physical awareness

Months 4 – 6

Baby’s gross motor skills will increase rapidly as they learn the strength and limits of their body. Baby will start to roll over and pushing up during Tummy Time. They will learn how to use their hands as tools and begin experimenting more with their voice. During these months Baby will start to recognize friends and family. Toys that are bright in color help develop Baby’s eyes. Textured toys engage Baby’s sense of touch, but make sure toys mouth-friendly, too!

Look for some of these toys for your 4-6 month old:

  • sensory play sets develop all of Baby’s senses with a variety of colors and textures
  • mirrors help Baby start learning self-recognition
  • babies love simple linking rings and they’re light enough to be easily handled by tiny hands
  • Baby may start putting things in their mouth, so a variety of teethers are a good investment

Months 7 – 9

In the latter half of Baby’s first year, they’ll begin interacting more with the world around them. Baby is starting to understand how life works in the outside world and is probably starting to scoot around on their own. Motor skills are developing rapidly as Baby learns how to better use their hands. Baby may even start clapping! Social and language development starts becoming more advanced as Baby begins to recognize words, interactive games, and human relationships. Lace up your running shoes, because Baby is just starting to get active!

Here are some physically engaging toys to keep Baby active:

  • teething and stacking blocks will improve Baby’s hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills
  • bouncers keep Baby contained and happy allowing them to bounce to their heart’s content. Bonus points for bouncers with fun, engaging toys!
  • look for a toy like an activity center that will encourage Baby to stand on their own

Months 9 – 12

In the final months of Baby’s first year, they have started to learn interpersonal communication and are probably pulling themselves up to stand and beginning to take their first steps. Baby is starting to learn what actions get people’s attention: crying and dropping toys and utensils, for example. During these months Baby will start imitating everyday actions, like using the phone. Cognitive and motor skills are continuing to develop as Baby is starting to learn how to sort toys and turn pages. Baby is quickly becoming a toddler!

These toys may be helpful in keeping Baby’s brain and body engaged in these months:

  • Baby will love toys with buttons to push and gadgets to engage
  • many baby walkers come equipped with additional toys that Baby can play with sitting or standing or zipping around the house
  • look for a puzzle stacking game that will help baby’s sorting and stacking skills
  • interactive plush toys, like the one featured in the image below, engage all of Baby’s basic senses

 

Top 10 Fun & Educational Baby Toys:

Fisher-Price 3-in-1 Musical Activity Gym

Best for Age(s): 0-4 months
Educational Purposes:

  • focusing eyesight (colors)
  • hand-eye coordination
  • tummy time

Product Information
Weight: 1.8 pounds
Dimensions: 20.9 x 2.5 x 16.1 inches

Pros
  • 5 linkable toys (can be moved around or taken off completely for on-the-go fun)
  • Designed for easy fold (compact for on-the-go moms)
  • Machine washable padded mat
  • Removable musical fox toy
Cons
  • Not very interactive for young babies (toys are a bit too high)
  • Easily falls down if baby kicks or swings at the arches
  • Mat is very short, baby will outgrow mat
  • Only for “newborn” stage, doesn’t grow with baby


 

 

VTech Baby Lil’ Critters Moosical Beads

Best for Age(s): 2-8 months
Educational Purposes:

  • focusing eyesight (colors)
  • hand-eye coordination
  • fine motor skills

 

Product Information

Weight: 0.53 lbs

Dimensions: 6.69  x 4.72  x6.69 inches

Pros
  • Variety of fabric textures for baby tactile development
  • Has an easy to grasp bead ring 
  • Spinning square for fine motor skills development
  • 30+ playful songs, melodies, sounds 
Cons
  • Difficult to clean
  • Drains battery quickly


 

 

Melissa & Doug First Bead Maze – Wooden Educational Toy

Best for Age(s): 9-12 months
Educational Purposes:

  • sensory skills
  • hand-eye coordination
  • fine motor skills

Product Information:

Weight: 1.25 lbs

Dimensions: 7 x 4.2 x 8.6 in

Pros
  • Cleans easily
  • Durable
  • Portable
  • No batteries required
Cons
  • Some suction issues
  • Babies may outgrow toy quickly
  • Paint chipped in older models

 


ALEX Discover My Busy Town Wooden Activity Cube

Best for Age(s): 6 months +
Educational Purposes:

  • visual stimulation
  • tactile stimulation
  • fine motor skills

Product Information

Weight: 13.8 lbs

Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 12 inches

Pros
  • Keeps baby engaged and entertained
  • Will not be quickly outgrown
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Multi-dimensional
Cons
  • Difficult to clean
  • Not suitable for travel
  • Can be tipped when pulled hard


 

Cloud B Sleep Sheep

 

Best for Age(s): all
Educational Purposes:

  • auditory stimulation
  • tactile stimulation
  • calming

Product Information

Weight: 1.5 lbs

Dimensions: 7.1 x 9.8 x 6.7 inches

Pros
  • Plays up to 45 minutes of audio
  • Easily washable
  • Velcroes to crib
  • Adjustable volume settings
Cons
  • Price
  • Requires batteries to make sound
  • Some users reported sound problems


Lamaze Stacking Starseeker

Best for Age(s): 6 months +
Educational Purposes:

  • dexterity and fine motor skills
  • visual stimulation
  • auditory stimulation


 Product Information

Weight: 10.6 ounces

Dimensions: 7 x 3.8 x 6.2 inches

Pros
  • Easy to grasp
  • Separates into four segments
  • Encourages taking apart and putting together
  • Built in teether
Cons
  • Seams rip easily
  • Quickly outgrown
  • Not easy to clean


Kleeger Plush Talking Jungle Animals Toy Set With Carrier for Kids 

Best for Age(s): 6 months +
Educational Purposes:

  • dexterity and fine motor skills
  • visual stimulation
  • auditory stimulation

 

Product Information

Weight: 9.4 ounces

Dimensions: 6″ L x 6″ W x 10.5″ H (Jungle House)

Pros
  • Easy to transport
  • Pieces are not small enough to be a choking hazard
  • Easy clean up and storage
Cons
  • Several Pieces
  • Requires batteries to make sounds
  • Not realistic animal sounds


Kleeger Inflatable Baby Water Mat: Fun Activity Play Center for Children and Infants

Best for Age(s): 3 months +
Educational Purposes:

  • sensory stimulation
  • cognitive abilities
  • motor skills


Product Information

Weight: 10.2 ounces

Dimensions: 23.5 x 3 x 18 inches

Pros
  • Durable
  • Portable
  • Great for babies who don’t normally enjoy Tummy Time
  • Colorful and engaging
Cons
  • May not hold baby’s attention long
  • Some users reported leaks
  • Difficult to fill
  • Difficult to clean
  • Does not “grow with” baby


Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & More, BeatBelle

Best for Age(s): 9 months – 3 years
Educational Purposes:

  • introduction to letters and counting
  • music and auditory stimulation
  • cause and effect

Product Information

Weight: 2.4 lbs

Dimensions: 14 x 5.5 x 13 inches

Pros
  • Durable
  • Engages baby physically and mentally
  • Volume control settings
Cons
  • Quickly drains batteries
  • Some users reported short life
  • Some users reported loud mechanics
  • Does not “grow with” baby


Musical Learning Table by Hanmun 

Best for Age(s): 6 months +
Educational Purposes:

  • visual and auditory stimulation
  • fine motor skills
  • introduces baby to light and sound effects

Product Information

Weight: 1.4 lbs

Dimensions: 16.1 x 12.2 x 3.4 inches

Pros
  • Removable legs to convert from sitting to standing
  • Attaches to bed
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean
  • BPA free
  • Volume control settings
Cons
  • Weak legs, flimsy
  • Unreliable
  • Smaller than expected


Comparing the Top Educational Baby Toys

The first year of a baby’s life is an exciting, beautiful experience for baby and parents. Enjoy learning with your little one and make these formative months truly memorable. Some of our favorite educational baby toys are listed in the chart below. Click the link to any of toys you’re interested, and keep browsing MyMommyNeedsThat for more valuable information and tips on mommy-hood!

Product NameImagePriceFeaturesRating
Fisher-Price 3-in-1 Musical Activity Gym$$Easy fold ‘n go portability
Machine-washable padded mat

VTech Lil' Critters Moosical Beads$30+ songs
Small enough for the crib or diaper bag

Melissa & Doug First Bead Maze - Wooden Educational Toy$Multi-shaped wooden beads and plastic rings to spin and slide

ALEX Discover My Busy Town Wooden Activity Cube$$$$Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award winner
Cloud B Sleep Sheep$$$$2 sleep-timer options
8 Soothing Sounds
Lamaze Stacking Starseeker$$4 separate segments
Crinkle and rattle sounds
Kleeger Plush Talking Jungle Animals Toy Set with Carrier$$Plush carrier with 4 animals
Kleeger Inflatable Baby Water Mat: Fun Activity Play Center$$Floating fish
Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBelle$$Multi-color LED grid tummy
Musical Learning Table by Hanmun$$$Made from safe and non-toxic ABS plastic
Lights up and allows for guided or free play

 

If you found this article helpful, check out the posts below for more:

5 Most Popular Breastfeeding Pillows

Child Safety Locks for Cabinets and Drawers

Find the Best Baby Stroller for Your Lifestyle

What is the Best Baby Bottle for a Newborn?

 

Source: “Baby Development Stages: The First Year” WebMD

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