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You may notice that your baby's play becomes much more vigorous around age 6 to 9 months. Now when she picks up a spoon, she may bang it against pots and pans, and she’ll probably start enthusiastically rattling her bunch of toy keys. Toys that play music, help her to stand, and things she can grasp, are all great options.
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Toys for your 6- to 9-month-old
While your baby's love of play is really starting to kick into high gear, you'll notice that she is becoming aware that objects still exist even when she can no longer see or feel them. This means she'll miss a favorite stuffed animal if she can't see it and will look around for it. This style of "free play" is a great way for your baby to practice her emerging physical, social, and intellectual skills.
Babies also become mobile around this age. From sitting up unassisted, it's a short developmental step or two to scooting around on her stomach, rocking back and forth on her hands and knees, and then crawling and pulling herself up to stand. (If you haven't already, now is a good time to childproof your house.)
Toys that encourage stacking, chewing, shaking, and even pushing - are all great options to look for when buying toys for your growing baby.
These fun toys can help her explore her quickly developing skills.
Best toys for 6-month-olds
What to look for
If you were surprised by your 6-month-old beginning to roll over, you're not alone: At about 6 months, babies lose some of their floppiness, and are beginning to learn how to control their confusing bodies. In short order, babies learn to roll over, sit, lunge for things they want, and crawl, so toys that help them learn how to get their balance and explore their new abilities are key.
Your baby is also starting to learn that what she does can have an effect on the world, so toys that respond to being patted or poked are fascinating. Toys that make noise or move back and forth will be some of your baby's favorites, particularly if the toys contain a mirror so they can watch their own face, or interesting textures that they can touch and stroke with their hands.
Speaking of those hands, your baby is probably fairly adept at grasping and manipulating objects by now, and loves the chance to explore with their digits. Toys with interesting surfaces (smooth, bumpy, velvety, rough), and small toys they can shake, drop, and pick up work well at this time.
A freestanding infant jumper
Fisher-Price Animal Wonders Jumperoo
Promotes: gross motor and sensory development
A baby who has just learned to sit is hardly content to stop there: she wants a standing eye view as quickly as possible, and will appreciate any toy that helps her get it. With its bouncy fabric seat and ability to rotate 360 degrees, the Animal Wonders Jumperoo supports upright play while she’s learning to sit and stand. Easily adjusts to 3 different heights as your baby grows, helping to keep her playing through the preschool years.
Available at Amazon starting at $93.00
A rhythm toy
Bright Starts Light & Learn Drum
Promotes: musical creativity
Babies love any toy that makes noise when patted, slapped, rolled, or rattled, but even indulgent parental ears get tired. So this play drum, which can be switched to emit light instead of music when touched, is a great option. It has a mirror on one side so babies can watch themselves as they play, too, and an easy-to-grab handle for taking the show on the road.
Available at Amazon starting at $14.97
Developmental Bumpy Ball
Sassy Easy to Grasp Bumpy Ball
Promotes: fine motor skill and tactile development
The chunky-sized bumps on this ball encourage reaching, grasping, and moving from one hand to the other. Covered in bright colors and bold patterns, this helps baby to focus and strengthen vision. Ball makes gentle rattling sounds that entice your baby to give it a shake.
Available at Amazon starting at $9.99
Best toys for 7-month-olds
What to look for
Your baby may be deep into teething time (most babies get their first teeth sometime between 6 and 10 months), so whatever toy you get for your baby, expect it to be chewed on. Your baby is also developing object permanance, so will love any game where you hide a toy. Cover it up with a blanket, uncover it, and exclaim "There it is!" excitedly. Peek-a-boo is also a classic game for a 7-month-old.
As your baby's fine motor skills develop, they'll continue to love toys they can pore over with their hands, particularly those that have enchanting textures or parts that rattle, twirl, shake from side to side, or otherwise move around.
Babies at this age love predictability, so don't be surprised when he is thrilled by the same game over and over again, or reaches for the same book every day. Know that your baby is enjoying playtime with you, and wants to repeat the good experiences you have shared before.
Easy to grasp and roll cars
Ford Rattle & Roll F-150 Raptor Easy Grasp Push Vehicle
Promotes: fine motor skills
Bright Starts Rattle & Roll car is the perfect choice for baby's first car. Made from soft and flexbible material, your baby can chew, push, and zoom his way into play time with these easy to grasp cars. Each wheel is filled with colorful rattle beads that help keep baby entertained with a fun, rattling sound.
Available at Amazon starting at $6.99
A baby-proof book
Indestructibles: Baby Animals
Promotes: an early love for literacy
With his newly accurate grasp and growing strength, your baby can rip up books with paper pages in less time than it takes you to get from one side of the house to the other. Not so with Indestructibles, though – these pretty and tough books are made with a nontoxic paperlike material that babies can’t rip or chew through. You can even wash them in the dishwasher.
Available at Amazon starting at $5.00
Ice gel teether keys
Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys
Promotes: fine motor skill development and hand-eye coordination
Give your baby something cool to teethe on with these teether keys from Nuby. Place these keys in the refrigerator to provide your baby with cooling comfort on their gums.They are easy to grip which makes them great for practicing coordination and their bright colors will help to keep baby's attention.
Available at Amazon starting at $3.74
Best toys for 8-month-olds
What to look for
At 8 months old, your baby's now exploring objects passionately by banging them, shaking them, feeling them all over, and then dropping and throwing them, over and over and over again. She's not trying to drive you crazy, but the cause-and-effect relationship is fascinating to babies, and they want to see it again and again.
The concept of "one into many" is another concept that 9-month-olds are grappling with right now; toys that can be stacked or collected together are favorites: blocks, shape sorters, toys that fit together in a satisfying way and can then be pulled apart.
Objects or toys that have specific funtions, such as phones, are also interesting to 8-month-olds, who are trying to learn how objects work and how to manipulate them. Help her learn to hold the brush and groom her hair, pick up the cup and pretend to drink, put the phone to her ear and have a back-and-forth conversation. Soon enough, you'll notice your baby doing this on her own, without your help or prompting.
Infantino Press & Stay Sensory Blocks
Promotes: sensory skills
Building towers from wooden blocks is typically still a little beyond your 8-month-old. But these blocks have interesting-to-touch interlocking nubs that make them stay where they’re put, so even the youngest builders can make satisfying stacks.
Available at Amazon starting at $14.84
Multi-use bath toys
Munchkin Little Boat Train Bath Toy
Promotes: hand-eye coordination
Favorite floaty toys make it ever so much easier to get babies into the tub. This brightly colored set of six boats can be linked together to make a "boat train," and are numbered for counting and other number games. They also help your baby explore and experience filling and pouring: Scoop up water in them and turn them upside down to strain the water out through a variety of drainage-hole designs. Kids love the sweet smiling faces on the front of each boat, too.
Available at Amazon starting at $5.99
Best toys for 9-month-olds
What to look for
At 9 months old, your baby may be getting the hang of the pincer grasp, the ability to pick up and manipulate small objects between his thumb and first finger. With that on board, he can use his hands with much more delicacy to manipulate objects around him, and pick them up and place them with greater precision
Your baby also may be getting closer to walking, revving up with moves like crawling up stairs and cruising, holding on to furniture while navigating around the room on her feet. A baby this age may even take a couple of steps or walk wholesale (or some don't walk into well into their second year). You can encourage this new mobility with toys that let him walk supported, like rolling toys with a wide, stable base
Your baby will also love toys with any moving parts: toys, dials, knobs, levers, doors that can open and close. Watch for your baby to babble at well-loved toys, and even imitate the sounds they make. It's all part of baby play!
A toy to encourage fine motor control
Playskool Poppin’ Pals Pop-up Activity Toy
Promotes: hands on activity and motor skill development
Toys with lots of levers, buttons, and switches keep developing hands busy, and this toy goes the extra mile by rewarding little ones with an animal friend who pops out from under a hinged door while also teaching colors, shapes, and cause-and-effect motor skills.
Available at Amazon starting at $24.00
A learn-to-walk toy
VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker
Promotes: fine motor skill development
Making the transition from being a stationary creature to a person who can move at will is your baby’s great passion right now, and toys that assist and can make the transition along with her will hold her interest longer. The baby-beloved Sit-to-Stand walker has a multi-activity front panel with lights, sound, spinners, and sorters that are easy to work from a sitting position. Then once your baby is ready to take off, the toy acts as a walker to prop up those first tentative but triumphant steps.
Available at Amazon starting at $34.00
An updated stacking toy
B. Toys Stacking Rings
Promotes: sensory skill and fine motor development
Your baby's getting the idea that he can make things happen, so poking, twisting, squeezing, shaking, dropping, and opening things will fascinate him. Nesting cups, stacking blocks and ring cones, toys with levers, and toys that let him fit one object into another will be a big hit. B. Toys Stacking Rings are made from different materials with different textures, in colors inspired by nature and beautifully irregular shapes that will fascinate your baby.
Available at Amazon starting at $7.99