Your baby grows so fast in the first year and covers some major milestones of development. Whether it’s something as simple as tummy time or play, there are a variety of toys on the market aimed at developing motor, sensory, tactile, cognitive, and creative skills. Of course, safety of the toy is paramount but most of them help your baby to build these vital skills.
The best development toy for babies has to engage, entertain, and educate your baby, and should enhance your baby’s sensory, motor, and problem-solving abilities along with their social skills. It’s never too early for your baby to start playing, and many of these toys will have long term benefits on their development. We hope our review of the 25 best development toys for babies will help you find the perfect toys to ensure the all-round development of your baby’s skill sets.
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Benefits Of Development Toys
- Helps boost IQ and makes learning fun
Developmental toys focus on coordination, motor skills development, memory retention, and numbers, which help in enhancing IQ. They combine enjoyment and learning into play, so your baby learns life skills in fun ways.
- Helps develop sensory and motor skills
Regular play develops motor skills, but development toys hasten the process. Blocks and puzzles are especially designed to enhance motor skills, problem solving skills, and hand-eye coordination. Vibrant and colorful lights and sounds enhance visual, auditory, and tactile perception in small kids.
- Advances problem solving skills
Development toys like puzzles challenge the mind of a child as they encourage them to think in order to solve a problem. Through trial and error, they can see where to fit pieces correctly. With practice, they become more efficient in it and develop strong problem solving skills.
- Encourages creativity
Technology over more traditional forms of play has caused a decrease in children using their creativity and imagination while playing. Educational toys make children more imaginative and creative and encourage them to think outside the box.
- Improves concentration
Children have a short attention span and they easily lose interest if made to do something they don’t like. Development toys can turn something like language or mathematics, which children may otherwise find boring, into an interesting activity. They develop new skills while playing and build their interest in learning.
- Enhances emotional and social development
Something that’s usually ignored is how development toys enhance social and emotional development. They allow children to play together and encounter social cues like crying, laughter, or anger, and figure out how to manage such social situations. Waiting for your turn, sharing, compromise, conflict resolution, and leadership skills, are all important aspects of social development that they learn through these toys.
23 Best Development Toys For Babies
What’s better than a toy that gives your baby pleasure and also helps in developing various skills? The bright colors, bold patterns, and easy-to-grasp bumps of this ball make it an ideal toy for 6+ month babies. The bold colors and patterns allow them to focus, strengthening their vision and enhancing visual tracking. The bead rattle creates neural connections and the chunky bumps develop skills like grasping, reaching, object manipulation, and transferring from one hand to the other. Your baby will also develop skills like balance, coordination, and sitting on its own. The different materials and textures of the toy develop your baby’s tactile sensitivity as well. This toy is sure to give your baby endless hours of joy.
- Rattle has a gentle sound
- Enhances all developmental skills
- Develops gross and fine motor skills
- Made of durable and safe polyester, plastic, and foam
- Winner of Oppenheim Toy Platinum Award
Who doesn’t love looking at themselves! And this large mirror engages your baby and helps develop their vision, as do the red ladybug and rotating and clicking bee. The easel back of the mirror allows it to stand on flat surfaces, and so your baby can enjoy it while doing tummy time. The mirror encourages your baby to focus on a human face with the true reflection mirror, and the attached symmetrical butterfly and textured, crinkled leaves develop vision and encourage tactile exploration, while playing peek-a-boo. The 2-color spinning, tracking ball spikes their curiosity right from when they are born.
- Non-toxic plastic
- Soft frame construction
- Bright and bold colors
- Enhances both sensory and motor development
Your baby can literally have a ball with this easy-to-grab toy that has 32 finger holes so that it can be easily held by infant hands. Its patented, flexible design is soft and inviting for your baby. It is sure to keep them engaged and encourage them to squeeze and shake it, thus developing motor skills. Suitable for babies between the age of 0 to 36 months, it initially helps them with tummy time as they try to push themselves towards the ball, and later also helps them with finer motor skills like crawling.
- 4 inches diameter
- Made of soft plastic
This 20-piece set provides real variety for sensory exploration and to develop fine and gross motor skills. It also enhances an early introduction to colors, textures, recognition, counting, sorting, numbers, and descriptive language. This sensory toy set has silicone toys that keep your baby entertained for hours as they build towers, stack, and play with the textured balls and shapes. It’s a combination of 8 counting blocks, 8 textured balls, and 4 squeezy animals, which are all perfect for your baby. Your baby will never get bored with so much sensory stimulation!
- BPA-free material
- Easy to wipe clean
- Sturdy blocks and soft play animals
- Suitable gift for any occasion
If you’re looking for the ideal toy to help your baby crawl, this might be just the one for you! Especially designed to grow with your baby through 3 stages, this motorized crawl toy encourages them to crawl by motivating them with colorful lights, peppy tunes, and sweet buzzing sounds. A sensor helps the toy to avoid obstacles. The interactive bee encourages crawling in 3 development stages. In the pre-crawling stage, the easy-to-hold bee rattle wobbles without falling over. For beginner crawlers, the cloud moves in a circular path, so your baby doesn’t have to go far. And for advanced crawlers, the cloud moves in a random pattern to encourage your baby to chase it. The removable, rubberized bee is especially designed for teething, while the spinning cloud offers visual stimulation. This toy prompts cognitive development, strengthens muscles by crawling, looking, listening, and reaching. It also builds sight and sound recognition with colorful lights, sounds, and music.
- Ideal for 5+ month babies
- Encourages discovery and exploration
- Enhances motor skills
- Encourages sensory development
Talk about versatility— with 6 sides and 15 different activities, this toy will keep your baby engaged for hours on end. Your baby can rotate the gears, press the musical notes or star button, or ring the bell to hear sweet tunes. There’s also a built-in microphone so little ones can practice their singing skills as well. Each object requires different skills for them to function like driving, talking, singing, using tools and more. There’s a steering wheel and motor with real sounds and driving skills, a detachable cell phone to make calls and learn numbers, sliding beads on 2 tracks to learn colors and numbers, a stretching game with a banana and apple that can be pulled out. It improves eye-hand coordination, enhances critical thinking, fine motor skills, and problem solving skills.
- High quality materials
- Eye-catching colors
- Long-lasting durability
- Ideal for children 18 months and older
This innovative rattle enhances visual tracking and visual stimulation as it lights up in soft colors, has a soft, pleasant sound, an easy to hold handle to enhance grasping, and fun textures for tactile stimulation. This toy strengthens your baby’s foundation for future learning and helps them achieve their early milestones through play. It guides parents through activities and interactions that will help promote healthy brain development and bonding from day one, helps understand cause and effect, enhances observation, and helps predict outcomes. This toy comes with an illustrated parent guide to baby’s milestones so that parents know what developmental skills to look for.
- No PVC
- Ideal for newborns and above
- Encourages baby’s first STEM skills
- Multiple award winning toy
This developmental toy features a jumbo roller that rolls away with blinking lights and rattle noises that encourage your baby to crawl after it. The material has been thoroughly tested and will not leak air and is safe for your baby to use. It stimulates development and plays a large role in developing strong neck, head, and shoulder muscles as well as honing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. The jumbo roller is also a great ball maze for young toddlers as they learn to navigate the balls through holes in the different layers. The drop ball game stimulates puzzle solving skills and teaches cause and effect. The colorful and attractive animal graphics will grab your baby’s attention and encourage play time. All you need to do is blow it up with any air pump and let the fun begin.
- Constructed from heavy duty PVC
- Suitable for kids between 6 to 36 months
- Includes 2 rattle balls and 1 LED ball
This fun developmental toy helps to teach your baby 4 crucial skills through different modes of play— happy songs, cute patterns, counting numbers, and the alphabets. And to add to the fun, the turtle crawls with the happy songs, encouraging your baby to crawl. This early learning toy helps to develop mathematical skills and pronunciation. Fine motor skills are enhanced by pressing different buttons. This toy also features a volume control key to adjust the volume and is bilingual with English and Spanish functions. This multifunction turtle requires 3 AA batteries which need to be bought separately.
- Made of ABS plastic
- Suitable for kids between 6 to 24 months
- Durable and shatter-proof
- Soft edges for safe handling
This smart toy for babies is an educational block sorter which is challenging and fun for little ones. It features 18 colorful blocks in 5 different shapes and makes a great gift item as well. The baby’s ability to identify and match shapes will develop logical thinking, counting skills, creative thinking, shape and color recognition, fine motor skills, sorting skills, and STEM learning. These easy-to-grip blocks are bound to entertain any child for hours on end while boosting their imagination and creativity and enhancing their cognitive development. These blocks can also help your baby socialize by playing with their friends or siblings and learning how to cooperate. So, help your child have a blast as they learn with this creative toy.
- BPA-free plastic
- Safe material for babies
- Promotes hand-eye coordination
- Fosters problem solving skills
- Suitable for babies 3 years and above
Help your child through their teething process and amuse them with the 11 rattles and fruit-shaped teethers that come in a feeder bottle. The teethers are easy for your baby to grasp because of their textured surface and feature polymorphous biting points to massage your baby’s gums and ease pain. This brightly colored, durable toy is nature-themed, and is ideal for babies above 6 months of age. Babies find its crinkly sound interesting and it enhances their hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and helps them recognize different colors, shapes, and designs. It comes in an easy to carry, portable storage box, and makes a great gift for different occasions.
- 100% food-grade silicone teether
This multi-purpose developmental toy is interactive and can be used as a rattle, teether, sensory stimulator, crinkle, and stuffed animal that helps new parents with so many essentials. It has ultra-soft, baby-safe, curly boa fabrics and vibrant, high contrast colors that babies are attracted to. Its soft handle makes it easy for your baby to play and interact. The feather-like tail of this toy can be used to gently caress, calm, and soothe your baby when it is cranky. It’s the perfect baby shower gift and can be used right from the beginning of your baby’s life.
- Machine washable
- Ideal for babies of 0 to 18 months
- Winner of several national awards
- Conforms to highest international standards of safety
Your little one will have major fun with this action-packed discovery cube as it has lots of interesting features that encourage sensory exploration through touch, sight, and sound. It includes a peek-a-boo mirror, a hidden jingle ball, clacker rings, star pocket, crinkle sound leaves, and more. Soft and squeezable, it’s made of 6 sides of polyester fibers, polyurethane foam, plastic film, and ABS plastic rings, which familiarizes your baby with different tactile textures. Packed with fun, this cube is just waiting for your little one to discover all its different facets.
- Measures 6.5 x 5.25 x 5.25 inches
- Suitable for babies above 3 months
- Makes an excellent gift
The bright colors and attractive designs of these wrist and ankle rattles for infants help to stimulate their visual development and color cognition. With an adorable crinkling ladybug, butterfly, spider, and bee attached to each wearable rattle, these 4 baby toys are sure to keep your little one entertained for hours together. Besides aiding in brain development, they enhance fine and gross motor skills as babies raise their arms and legs, kick and even crawl. The cute ladybug and butterfly will encourage your baby to grab and kick, stimulating hand, eye, and foot coordination. The wrist rattles wrap around their wrist safely and are securely fastened with velcro. They stimulate your little one’s sense of touch with their textured surfaces, which is so important for their development, and the soft jingling and crinkling sounds promote auditory development.
- Natural cotton fabric
- Exquisitely packed
- Ergonomically designed
- Ideal baby gift
These interactive rattles have a strong suction base that easily attaches to a high chair, table, or any smooth surface for uninterrupted play, and wetting the suction cup will help it stick even better. The adorable animals and their attractive colors hold your baby’s attention and encourage them to look, listen, touch, and explore. It offers visual stimulation and enhances their fine motor skills as they press, twist, and spin the toy to strengthen dexterity of the fingers, hand-eye coordination, and counting skills. It also develops your baby’s hearing, perception, and promotes brain development. This toy is ideal for creative play and lifelong learning, and its superior design makes this one of the best development toys and gifts for babies and toddlers.
- Made of ABS plastic
- Contains rattle beads
- Features spinning tail, nodding head, and rotating body
- Suitable size for small hands
This is a special remote control with various buttons designed for your baby so that they can press the buttons and hear lively songs and see it light up. This toy features a phone, remote, keys, sound effects, and flashing lights to stimulate your baby’s curiosity and promote the development of your baby’s early auditory, visual, and tactile perception. It’s compact enough to be taken anywhere and will keep your little one entertained on the go. This remote control sets channels, shows different weather conditions, introduces numbers and vocabulary, and encourages children to imitate sounds and build vocabulary while playing, thus promoting your baby’s language skills. Rather than having them grab your TV remote or cell phone, give them their own special remote control to satisfy their curiosity.
- Made of ABS material
- Safe to use
This super soft plush toy looks after various developmental stages of your baby over the first few years of their life. It’s replete with various textures and colors that your baby can spend hours exploring. This sensory toy keeps your baby busy and comes with a mechanical music box— all you have to do is pull the ring at the bottom of the donkey and it plays a beautiful lullaby. Yoogie, the donkey comes with crinkle ears, squeaky legs, and clacker rings attached to its hands. It has a kid’s mirror on its belly to help your baby to focus, track images, and explore the human face. It also features a key teether and perfectly sized legs so your child can grasp them. This toy is carefully manufactured to help you keep your little one engaged for hours while stimulating sight, touch, and sound perception.
- BPA-free teether
- Safe to use
- Easy to carry
- Develops key motor skills
- Improves tactile sensitivity
- Enhances auditory awareness
- Ideal for newborns to 3 years
This development toy for babies comprises a wooden board for stacking the different shapes. It has 20 pieces and is especially designed with 5 different geometric shapes— octagon, square, rectangles, triangle, and round. It helps your baby to match shapes and count, recognize colors, and enhances sorting skills. Babies learn to stack similar shapes which improves their manual dexterity and hones their skill of logical thinking, reasoning, and application. The perfect blend of fun and learning, this interactive toy is ideal for kids up to the age of 3 years.
- Made with natural wood
- Non-toxic colors
- Board measures 13.5 x 3 x 0.5 inches
Beneficial for auditory, visual, motor, and cognitive skills, this brightly colored bumpy ball is an ideal development toy for babies. The soft, burr-free material does not irritate their skin and the ringing bell stimulates their hearing. As they grow, babies develop color cognition, and their imagination is stimulated. The uneven surface of the ball makes it easier for the baby to grasp and helps develop hand-eye coordination and motor skills. The bumps have different textures which gives your baby a variety of tactile experiences.
- Safe material
- Easy to hold
- Makes a perfect gift
- Suitable for newborns to 6 months
This innovative toy is a round hoop that encircles your baby and offers several age-appropriate activities to encourage motor skills while playing. Exploring the delightful textures and sounds offer sensory stimulation and enhance sensory skills, motor skills, and cognitive development. It encourages your baby to lie in different positions and strengthen muscles for crawling and pivoting. It features a rainbow, baby-safe mirror and 4 felt cards with vibrant illustrations to enhance your baby’s vision between the age of 2 to 3 months. It also features a round, double-sided crinkle koala and a weighted textured leaf with plastic beans to promote gross motor skills and vision development between 3 to 5 months.
- 24 sensory detachable developmental activities
- Fosters emotional intelligence
- Suitable for different developmental stages
- Suitable for newborns
- Easy to assemble
- Can be used outdoors
- ASTM certified
- 35.5 inches diameter
Hone your baby’s creativity and flexibility with the scientifically fan-shaped wooden parts that can be rotated at will to stimulate imagination and creativity or make different shapes with the cute caterpillars. The bright colors attract your baby’s attention and improve cognitive recognition of color. It also enhances sensory skills, hand-eye coordination, and gross motor skills as they interact with the twister. Spatial cognition develops as twister baby toys can be contorted into various shapes. Made of high quality wood, the edges are smoothly rounded and good quality, safe, and durable elastic bands are used.
- Ideal for a gift
- Cute and safely fitted eyes
- Develops hand strength by pulling and rotating
- Ideal for babies aged 0 to 18 months
This versatile play mat includes 9 removable toys for sensory and motor skill development and language discovery. The thick lion play mat is specially designed with a green tree and brown branch and comes with a ball pit and 4 colorful balls which keep your baby engrossed for hours. This toy fully meets your baby’s needs of visual, auditory, and tactile stimulation and enhances cognitive and physical coordination. It includes a baby-safe mirror for self-discovery, a toy bear that makes sound, lion’s ears, mushroom, and green leaves, among other toys. The gym play mat is made from high quality fabric, is washable, and is safe and comfortable for your baby’s skin. Your baby will get a lot of tummy time and can effectively balance on the mat so that they can sit or stand more stably.
- Non-slip base
- Easy to clean
- Convenient to store and carry
- Convenient to assemble and disassemble
- Food-grade silicone teether
- Enhances fine and gross motor skills
- Stimulates creativity, imagination, and emotional intelligence
This product inspires creativity, curiosity, and believes in the power of play. Suitable for hand-eye coordination, sensory exploration, and developmental brain function, children enjoy pulling the cords so that they vibrate and make various sounds. Toddlers can shake it like a rattle or try to catch the soft bubbles. The look-at-me activity gets newborns to develop visual focus and tracking as they find out that the object in the mirror is their reflection. This toy has multiple grips, stimulation points, multi-size poppers, and much more. It enhances developmental skills, is fun, and playfully therapeutic. This gender neutral learning toy is a perfect gift for various occasions.
- 100% food grade material
- Suitable for babies above 6 months and toddlers
It’s not always easy to know which toys would be best suited for your child’s developmental needs. Now that you have been through our review of the 25 best development toys for babies, here are a few pointers on how to choose them for your precious baby so that they derive the maximum benefit out of them.
How To Choose The Best Development Toys For Babies
- Rate of development
Every child has a different rate of development as both nature and nurture play a role. In fact, girls and boys also develop differently, so you need to choose their toys accordingly. Your child should be exposed to a wide variety of toys rather than going for gender specific ones. The concept of dolls are for girls and cars are for boys is outdated, and they should be allowed to play with what interests them.
Apart from being age-appropriate, toys need to pose a bit of a challenge so that your baby can learn new skills. It should not be so hard that the child gets frustrated and gives up, nor should it be so simple that your child gets bored.
Safety features are applicable to all children’s toys but you have to be more careful with kids below the age of 3 as they put everything into their mouth. All toys need to be non-toxic, with no small parts that they can put into their mouths, no rough or sharp edges, and should not be fragile or breakable.
- Age of your baby
Till 6 months of age, toys like soft toys, rattles, hand puppets, and baby mirrors are great as they can hold, feel, shake, look at, and bang. After 6 months, you should look for toys that encourage tummy time, movement, and crawling, such as stacking toys, and musical toys. From 1 to 2 years, go for toys that encourage functional and pretend play. Toys of different shapes, colors, and sizes help children develop basic concepts like color and shape recognition, spatial perception, and fine and gross motor skills.
It always makes more sense to buy a toy that your child can enjoy and one that also lets them hit development milestones like visual, auditory, and tactile perception in the early stages, and aspects like social, emotional, and fine motor skills as they grow older. Eventually, they would hone skills like creativity, imagination, and problem solving. Apart from being educational, it’s as important that the toy is engaging and holds your child’s attention and interest. There is a plethora of such toys available and sometimes making a decision could be rather daunting. Our review of the 25 best development toys for babies should make this choice easier for you and help you pick those that will benefit your child the most.