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The 6 Amazing Benefits of Playing
08 Jun 2022

The Age Guide to Baby Toys

What is the age guide to baby toys?

  1. Sensory toys at 1-2 months old
  2. Rattles and board books at 2-4 months old
  3. Activity mats and teething toys at 4-6 months old
  4. Simple puzzles and stacking toys at 6-12 months old
  5. Interactive and musical toys at 1-2 years old
  6. Dolls, toy sets, and block sets at 2-3 years old
  7. Art supplies, sports toys, large block and puzzle sets at 4-5 years old

During their first few months of life, all your baby needs is you. But before long, they’re going to become inquisitive about the things around them. Soon enough, you’ll find that they need toys to satiate that boundless curiosity (and help them develop new skills).

But you can’t just give any toy to your baby. Any toy you select should be appropriate for their age as well as their current stage of development. Here’s our age guide to baby toys to help you pick out the best playtime options during their first years. 

When can my baby start playing with toys?

In the strictest definition of the word, babies don’t really “play” with things until they’re about six months old. But, that doesn’t mean younger infants don’t need playthings. In fact, you can start giving your baby toys as early as their first month! Doing so will help your baby engage with new things, and keep them entertained from the newborn months to childhood.

Sensory toys at 1-2 months old

Newborns are mostly focused on eating, sleeping, and interacting with you at this stage, so playtime and childrearing are one and the same. Your baby gets plenty of entertainment and development as you hold, touch, and talk to them. 

That said, you can start giving them sensory toys at this time. Choose toys that stimulate their sense of touch, sight, and sound — like this colorful berries rattle from Funtastic Stuff. When selecting toys for your newborn, think multi-textured, multi-colored, and stimulating to help them learn about colors, sounds, and different textures.

Rattles and board books at 2-4 months old

At this age, your baby will still need much of the same interactions that they did as a newborn. So, sensory toys will still appeal to them. But, at the 4-month-old mark, they’ll likely start to start holding and shaking toys on their own. 

So, get them a wide variety of handheld toys, such as this 2-in-1 Giraffe rattle, dangling toys for their playmat, and cloth and board books for them to explore and play with on their own. You can even try giving them a baby-friendly mirror. They’ll be fascinated by their reflection! 

Activity mats and teething toys at 4-6 months old

Compared to their earlier months, your baby will start having better hand-eye coordination at this age. By their 6th month, they’ll be able to pass toys from hand to hand, and steadily grasp and interact with their toys.

So, set up an activity mat for them full of toys such as their stuffed animals, cloth blocks, balls, and more. Any toy that your baby can press, squeeze, or shake is a great toy for them at this stage. Just be sure that any toy you use isn’t a choking hazard. Babies at this age do a lot of exploring with their mouths. 

Simple puzzles and stacking toys at 6-12 months old

At 6 to 12 months, you can start introducing more “complicated” toys for them to try, such as puzzles and stacking toys. This will help them learn independent play, though you should let them follow your lead at first.

Another good option is to include interactive toys, like this rattle ball from Funtastic Stuff. These kinds of toys encourage your kid to experiment and learn cause-and-effect as they learn that each button produces a different sound. You can also use vehicle toys like this construction truck, which will encourage them to crawl after their toys.

Other toys you should try are standing toys, such as activity tables and stacking rings that your baby can push and balance upright. These will encourage your baby to practice moving around while standing, which they need to take their first steps!

Interactive and musical toys at 1-2 years old

Some of your child’s favorite toys can still be used in their first and second years, especially their standing and interactive toys. Aside from that, once your child hits their first year, it’s a good time to invest in musical and interactive toys.

When we say interactive, we don’t just mean toys with buttons, sounds, and lights. We also mean push-and-pull toys, hammering toys, nesting cups, and boxes, shape sorters, stacking rings, and the like. Basically, any toy that gets them to practice their thinking and motor skills.

And, we mentioned musical toys. Try simple yet sturdy instruments like drums, maracas, and tambourines. Or, you can get an electronic one, like this My First Guitar and My First Piano from Funtastic Stuff.

Dolls, toy sets, and block sets at 2-3 years old

At ages 2 to 3, your child’s play becomes more purposeful, thanks to their developed motor skills. They will also be able to complete simple puzzles, block structures, and sorting games by themselves. It’s time to get them more complicated sets with more pieces, like this building block set from Funtastic Stuff.

It’s also important that you start to guide them towards a new development area: make-believe and imagination. This is where toys like dolls, stuffed animals, action figures, and toy sets come in. Toys like this kitchen set or this doctor’s tools set are just the ones they need to enjoy pretend play that imitates the actions of people around them. 

Aside from helping them engage in pretend play, you should also give them toys that keep them active. They have a lot of energy to burn at this age. So, introduce a ride-on toy. Start with one that your child can propel with both feet, and move up to a tricycle.

Art supplies, sports toys, large blocks, and puzzle sets at 4-5 years old

When your child hits this age, there’s a tremendous explosion in their learning ability. So, it’s a great time to introduce more complicated, educational toys to encourage their creativity, critical thinking, and physical skills.

These include things like art supplies and art sets — like this Magic Water Drawing Book — to fuel their creativity and imagination. Other toys you can give them are physical toys, like a hula hoop, jump rope, basketball sets, golf sets, and the like. Basically, any toy that gets them moving and thinking in more complex ways!

Your kid can also handle more complicated block and puzzle sets at this age. They can try their hand at making this Zigo Robo Master on their own. Or, you can help them learn basic math and verbal skills at home with this Fun with Words puzzle and this My Number puzzle.

Key Takeaway

Toys should be more than just entertainment for your child. They should also be age-appropriate to ensure playtime is safe and good for their development. So, use our age guide to baby toys to help you pick out the right ones for your baby from Funtastic Stuff!