For a baby you want to provide simple, safe toys that the baby has to manipulate to get a reaction from. Avoid battery operated toys, though it’s okay to have a couple. A baby doesn’t need a ton of toys or expensive toys. The best toys are often home-made. You want the toys to be safe for the baby to mouth because that is one of the ways a baby explores an object. Once the baby is a little mobile, put the toys on a low shelf or in a little basket so that the baby can get them himself. Provide a safe area for your baby to roll around and explore (not a playpen, bigger than that). Don’t fill it with too many things. Have you ever noticed how when you put a pile of toys in front of your baby he rolls away to play with a tag on a basket? Too many choices can be overwhelming for a baby. Here are our family’s favourite baby toys (links in the pictures):
Small tin cups from the dollar store. They make a great noise when banged together and are nice and shiny.
Hair curlers from the dollar store. They have an interesting texture and are different sizes and colours.
Canning jar top and juice can lids. Cheap, safe and great baby toys.
Water bottle with objects inside. You can put so many different things, beads, pipe cleaners, sparkles, toys that are too small for baby to play with. Just remember to glue the top on.
Knobby ball. Balls are great for mobile babies and the knobby ball feels so cool, all the kids like to touch it.
Oball. This one is easy for a baby to pick up and hold or catch.
Object permanence box. Baby drops ball in and it comes back out.
A ball drop is a toy your baby will use over and over. Good for eye/hand coordination.
Sophie the Giraffe. Yes, it’s over-priced, but it’s the best teething toy we’ve had. It’s all natural and the legs are perfect for getting to those back molars.
Oball Stacker. It can be stacked all different ways.
DIY baby toys. Pull, push, dump, great fun.
Black and white baby gym. These are good for small babies that can’t move yet.
Baby hair brush makes a great toy. It has different textures and the handle fits in the mouth. If it has a grippy handle it’s even better.
A low mirror for baby to see in.
Small cloths or handkerchiefs. These can be squished, chewed on, shaken and are always changing shape.