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toys 6-12 months

toys buyers guide

toys 6-12 months

The second six months of your baby's life is a time of fast development, and for most parents, they'll feel like they've come out of the sleep-deprived early days and are really getting the hang of parenting. Babies become stronger, more communicative, dextrous, mobile and much more aware at this age. They will explore everything by putting it in their mouth, and will chew on literally anything in their path to ease sore gums when teething. As co-ordination and dexterity improves, your baby will begin to enjoy toys that move or make a noise when they touch them. They will also enjoy toys that can be taken apart. They will sit up, crawl and stand and begin to see the world from a different viewpoint.

age and skills

  • Between six and 12 months, babies will learn that things they cannot see may be hidden and not gone.
  • They will choose particular toys to play with and show affection towards favourite dolls and teddies.
  • They will grasp objects, pass them from hand to hand and bang them together.
  • They will crawl, stand up and take their first few steps.
  • They will enjoy hide and seek games.
  • They will learn to use toys such as hammers and telephones correctly.
  • They will be able to recognise and identify pictures in books.

Suitable toys - teddies and dolls, noisy toys, shape sorters, blocks, nesting containers, multi-activity toys, books, basic role play toys, bath toys, moving toys.

Soft dolls and teddies

Choose dolls, teddies and stuffed animals that are small enough for your baby to pick up and play with. There should be no parts they can pull off and put in their mouth.

Noisy toys

Wooden spoons, saucepans and plastic bowls will provide your baby with all they need to make noise, or you could buy a toy drum or baby band ??something like the Light and Sound Drum.

shape sorters

Posting objects into the right opening helps your baby learn about shapes and matching, with Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Cookie Shape Surprise.

Blocks

Choose wooden bricks, plastic blocks or something a bit softer like the Silver Cross Soft Activity Blocks. At this stage, your baby will only stack two or three blocks at a time.

Nesting containers

Sets of beakers that fit inside one another are great for hide and seek games, where smaller cups can be covered by larger ones.

Activity centres

Activity centres are single units that combine several toys that move, spin and make a noise. They provide a great variety of play and some even fasten to the side of the cot.

Moving toys

Simple cars and other push-along toys like the board book, for example the Dear Zoo Board Book appeal to babies that are beginning to crawl, as they give chase to the car shooting off infront of them!

Books

When your baby is able to turn pages by themselves, you should introduce board books and use lift-the-flap books to share hide and seek games, something like The Gruffalo Touch and Feel Book. Reading to your baby from as early as possible is a great idea. Books are like toys to babies, so let them get used to playing with books, and read them short stories to begin with.

Role play toys

A hammering bench, toy telephone like the cute little Vtech Tiny Touch Phone and bucket and spade will encourage your baby's hand-eye-coordination as well as getting them used to handling different shapes and textures.

Bath and water toys

Floating and pouring toys will help your baby learn about water and make bath time more fun. The classic bath ducks like the Rub a Dub or try something more interactive like the VTech Sing and Splash Fish which introduces first numbers through song.

safety first

  • As your baby will put toys in his mouth, it is important to keep them clean. You should wash those that are washable and check plastic toys for sharp or roughened edges.
  • Always supervise your baby when playing banging games or using hammers.
  • Never leave your baby alone in the bath or in water, even for the shortest period of time.