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0-12 Months: Top 10 Educational Toys

Updated on November 15, 2013

Babies Learn Through Play!

From the moment they open their eyes for the first time, babies are learning. You may think that this little newborn doesn't get anything. You are so wrong! She/he is learning from touching you, smelling you, hearing your voice, looking into your face, even from breastfeeding.

One of the first things your baby will learn is to associate the feel of your touch, the sound of your voice, and the sight of your face with getting his or her needs for comfort and food met. You can encourage your newborn to learn by stimulating your newborn's senses in positive ways - with smiles, smoothing sounds, and gentle caresses.

Once your baby turns 3 months and finds out that hands are used for holding things, or move things with hands and legs, real learning through play begins.

This is my babygirl's list of her favorite toys in first year!

How toys are ranked?

As I said in the title, this is all about my babygirl's favorite toys in her first year of life. Maybe these will not be every baby's favorite but from talking with other fresh parents, the most of their babies also love these toys. My babygirl started to interact with toys when she was 10 weeks old. Until then her favorite toy was looking into my face and watching the expressions I make.

Most of the educational baby books will tell you that you should buy colorful or black and white mobile and put it on your baby's cradle. This didn't work for my baby. She wasn't interested at all. But it doesn't mean you baby will not love it.

Toys are not rated in standard way - first is the best, instead they are ranked by the time (period of growth) they were interesting to my child.

#1: Hand Rattle - Babies loves things that make sounds!

First toy that she didn't instantly put aside, was ring rattle with textile petals. She loved that she can move center piece and that petals are of different textures and stuffed with materials that makes sounds. And, naturally - she loved to put it into mouth!

Haba Flowery Ring Rattle
Haba Flowery Ring Rattle

Important to know:

- Petals may be removed for cleaning purposes.

- Center peace made of solid wood.

- Made in Germany.

 

#2: Hanging rattle - Going on a trip or visiting? You need a toy that can be hang on a car seat!

We had several rattles with clips that could be hanged on car seat or push-chair when traveling by car or going for a walk with push-chair. Believe me, you'll need something like this - especially if you are driving and baby is on backseat all alone! This one occupied her attention for longest:

Lamaze Jacque The Peacock
Lamaze Jacque The Peacock

The back of the toy is made of black and white fabric opposite to front that is bright colored. It has the crinkly sound babies love. Each of the "feathers" has a different interest point - a squeaker, a soft bulb, a mirror, and satin touch ribbons. The peacock is light enough - and the feather panels thin enough - for little hands to grab, tug and pick up without easily dropping.

 

#3: Baby gym - Time to find out what legs are for!

So, when my babygirl turned 3,5 months she started grabbing her legs. Than I bought baby gym and let her catch toys with her hands and swing it with her legs. She adored it! She could play by herself for half an hour and sometimes almost for an hour. All I had to do is change toys that are hanged, so she always have something new to explore. I used other toys I had that could be hanged.

#4: Baby bouncer - Where ever you go, baby goes with you!

Even to toilette! :-))

From my own experience, this was one of the most useful things I bought for my daughter! When I put her inside, she was right next to me and safe. Why I have put it between toys? Because it has an arc where you can hang toys. So she is not bored. Also, my babygirl used to take a nap in it during day.

#5: Books early start!!! - Cloth books - It's important to introduce books to baby early and they will love it for life!

I bought her first book when she was 5 months old. At start she was surprised - what's that?!? But, since I got a book with little words featuring animals, I made up songs to get her interested for each picture. In three moths we came to an hour of story telling before sleeping time! She loves this!

Touch & Feel Rattle Book - Animal Colors and Counting Bugs
Touch & Feel Rattle Book - Animal Colors and Counting Bugs

It's made of textile and it has rattle! What more you want?!? They have beautiful, bright colors that attract babies and rattles with bids. Also goes to baby's mouth when ever possible! They are portable and you can bring them everywhere!

 

#6: Mirror! - This one rules!

From the time that my girl started to look around, she was astonished and amazed with her own face. She didn't get that it's her in the mirror, but she loved this baby that was looking at her, smiling or making faces. And sticking tongue! She always wants to hug herself! It's kind of funny! :-))

#7: Buckets - Classics never get old!

One of classic toys even I played with as a child. But it still works. At beginning she was busy taking it out. Now she is starting to put them back. Not yet in right order, but she'll learn from trying!

Kidoozie Stack 'n Sort
Kidoozie Stack 'n Sort

Perfect toy to see little engineering minds being nurtured as they nest, stack - knock over towers! Learning includes the sorting shapes to help them work on problem solving too! And it's great for bath time!

 

#8: Classical rainbow stacker - Another classic toy and all time favorite!

At start my babygirl was busy with taking rings of, now she is trying to learn to put them back. And she is pretty consistent in trying! This is toy that can occupy babies attention for long periods of time and one with which babies love to play each single day!

Stacking Wooden Rings by Schylling
Stacking Wooden Rings by Schylling

This stacking toys are great because they don't get boring for long period of time what makes them very cheap! Even children at 3-4 years loves to play with them!

 

#9: Foam floor puzzles - You'll maybe wonder why...

Because: it's not only a mat for floor, it's also a baby toy! At start my baby only set on it. Now she is taking it apart. And how: she doesn't push the middle to slip out but she folds it in half so that letter or number pops out!!! :-))) In a year or even sooner, she'll try to put it back!

#10: More books! - Never enough of these!!!

I put book also on 10-th place since this is how much my babygirl loves them! Apart from soft textile books I put on #5, there are also other king of books she loves: peekaboo, flip and find and bath books. Not many words but with colorful pictures!

Baby Says Peekaboo!
Baby Says Peekaboo!

Books are always best solution if you don't know what to buy as a gift for someones birthday, babyshower or new mother. Kids will love them if you make some interesting story followed with lots of different sounds you make while reading. Or singing about characters inside book!

 

Babies have a lot to say... even before they can speak.

Listen to what they have to say with the Original Baby Signs Program!

Wouldn't you just love to know what your baby is trying to tell you? And she's trying. Only in different language than one we are using!

What Baby Signs® Program offers:

Over two decades of research by Drs. Acredolo and Goodwyn, much of it funded by the National Institutes of Health, has shown that using the Baby Signs® Program provides many benefits for children and their parents. Using the Baby Signs® Program . . .

* Reduces tears, tantrums and frustration

* Makes learning to talk easier

* Boosts self-esteem and self-confidence

* Stimulates intellectual development

* Strengthens the parent-child bond

I would recommend everybody to try it specially since there is 30 day return policy (of course, products must contain all of their original components and must be undamaged).

Check out Free Baby Signs Quick Reference Guide with order. Code: FREEBIE

Toys safety tips!

* Read and follow the age label, warnings, safety messages and assembly instructions for the toy

* Look for sturdy, well-made toys

* Remember that toys for older children may not be safe for younger children

* Children under three years of age tend to put things in their mouths - small toys, small balls or small loose toy parts are choking hazards for these children

* find more at Toy Safety Tips (Pamphlet).

What's your baby's, grandchild, nephew or niece dearest toy? Keep in mind we are talking about babies under 1 year old!

Share with me a story about your baby's favorite toy! - During those first 12 months of baby's life!

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    • profile image

      beverlyjefferson 2 years ago

      I agree that toddlers are learning at birth. I think most of the toddlers like playing toys that they can't bite. Like with my kids they like playing feeder. It is also true that babies like to play mirrors, classical rainbow toys, puzzles boxes and some colorful toys. This post gives me idea on what to give my children. Thank you!

    • QualityKidsToys profile image

      QualityKidsToys 3 years ago

      It is true that babies are learning at birth. However, some say that children can learn while still in the womb also eg. hearing. When my nephew was young he loved things that stacked. Kind of like the stacking rings listed above. Thanks for the info.

    • sue826 lm profile image

      sue826 lm 4 years ago

      Helpful lens. I have a 6 month old grandson.

    • Mami Design profile image

      Mami Design 4 years ago

      Great lens! Specially when I have a son that fit in this category :). Best regards neighbour from Slovenia! Blessed!

    • KReneeC profile image

      KReneeC 5 years ago

      Great lens! My kids have so many toys. My daughter loves anything with buttons and my son loves anything that he can manuver around with his hands! I saw some things I need to purchase for them too!

    • profile image

      moonlitta 5 years ago

      Hope your baby is happy and safe- it couldn't be otherwise with this concerned mother:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My 10 month baby like to ply on his bibs , cloths, & clothe labels

    • profile image

      banicee 5 years ago

      Great lens i find you learn so much from fellow mums

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Brilliant! Best wishes :)

    • econroy56 profile image

      econroy56 5 years ago

      Great lens!

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

      Great lens, it is good children have so many options. Thumbs up!

    • Nany Palacio profile image

      Nany Palacio 6 years ago

      Thank you for this info, great lens!!

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 6 years ago

      fantastic resource!!

    • MisterJeremy profile image

      Jeremy 6 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I could see this list serving new parents well. Several friends around us are having babies in the next year. I'll come back for gift ideas. Blessed.

    • kougar lm profile image

      kougar lm 6 years ago

      Thank-you for this awesome lens. It show how much work was put into it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      So adorable. lovely ideas. Keep it up.

      Please visit my lens here

    • profile image

      kradical23 7 years ago

      Just wanted to give you some props for the hard work you put into the lens! Please check out my books for schools site! :)

    • profile image

      PinkWeddingDresses 7 years ago

      I love this "her favorite toy was looking into my face and watching the expressions I make"... it makes me go "awwww..." :)

      Hey, I still love cloth books and mirrors, you know? :P

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 7 years ago from Royalton

      You might think that these baby toys have value for only a limited time, but I have found that many of them can be used for years to teach math skills, language arts skills, and starting your child on the road to reading.

      This lens is now featured on Educational Value of the FamilyFun Top Toy Awards 2009.

    • sGirl2 profile image

      sGirl2 7 years ago

      This is a very good list - many of the items were also favorites of my 1 year old baby girl - especially the play gym and the mirror. Another thing that she really liked was one of those soft books you can put family photos in to help baby become familiar with mommy, daddy, grandma, etc.

    • bernadette1 lm profile image

      bernadette1 lm 7 years ago

      Awesome selection! Thank you for joinig http://www.squidoo.com/groups/qualityforchildren Quality for Children Group

    • profile image

      Sojourn 8 years ago

      These are so cute and all of my kids loved these types of toys, too (although they've gotten so much more colorful and creative over the past few years!). Excellent list!

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 8 years ago

      This is an excellent lens and wonderful resource. Five stars and a lensroll to my lens: best on-line reference. Stop by and visit. Thanks.

      p.s. My daughter-in-law taught her first child to sign. It was such a help to the whole family. I recommend to all parents for consideration.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      This is great. I think these toys at an early age are so very important and I enjoyed seeing your baby's favorites.

    • Laniann profile image

      Laniann 8 years ago

      Very attractive lens. I liked that you gave your own point of view on the interaction your baby had with the toys. You make it easier to select a toy and how to take care of it. 5*s

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Awesome selection! I'm going to lens roll this over to my

      Daycare School lens. I love educational toys and I love books. 5 stars as always! Good luck and God bless.

      My lens Daycare School is in the Fresh Squid Contest and I am asking all my favorites to vote! Thanks a lot!!

    • Mortira profile image

      Mortira 8 years ago

      We love our foam puzzle mat! We turned it into a set of blocks that are easy to stack and don't hurt when they crash. My son is only 11 months, so we had to take out all the small letter holes, though.

      Welcome to the New Moms and Dads group!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      My daughter loved her mirror too - and as soon as she was mobile, she would launch books into our faces to let us know she was ready to read!

    • profile image

      Iatjad 8 years ago

      Your lens is great! Babies do start learning from the moment they're conceived. Since their minds are developing rapidly during the first few years of their life, it's best to get them educational toys to max their potential.

      Iatjad

      Tips on choosing a great educational toy for you toddler

    • thepartyanimal2 profile image

      thepartyanimal2 8 years ago

      Yahoo you are a winner in The Squidoo Home for The Holidays Lens Contest So Go Grab your badge.

    • profile image

      BetterBeanBagChairs 8 years ago

      I'm glad there's no question about safety with your products listed.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 8 years ago

      Why do I want the Firefly hanging rattle and I don't even have kids or grandkids? Cute stuff!

    • Mortira profile image

      Mortira 8 years ago

      This is a great selection of baby toys! It can be tough to find things that babies enjoy playing with before they can sit up. Thanks for sharing! 5 stars and a lensroll!

    • profile image

      enslavedbyfaeries 8 years ago

      Nicely done! This is such a bright and cheerful lens. :)

    • jimbo10 profile image

      jim 8 years ago

      This is a great lens for parents. My 3 boys have all loved their bouncers and gyms. Also thanks for visiting my baby lenses. I will lensroll your site back.

    • profile image

      richard_wheeler 8 years ago

      This is a very nice lens you have here. When I first saw my friends son they had all these baby toys like the rattle bottles you described. They also had toy key rings,a toy ring set,and lots of baby story books. The only children's books they allow both of their sons to read are christian children's books which I think is a great idea! That way they can learn more about the bible while they are young. I hope I did not offend anybody.

    • Teddi14 LM profile image

      Teddi14 LM 8 years ago

      Very nice lens you have here. I have a baby sign language lens that I would love to lensroll this too. 5*'s

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      What a bright and joyful lens! 5* for you!

      It was great to see your participation on the forum. ;)

    • ctavias0ffering1 profile image

      ctavias0ffering1 8 years ago

      Fabulous lens.

    • profile image

      Joan4 8 years ago

      wonderful things! we enjoyed these when my grands were born. we also had a little book to put family photos in, and both babies loved that! 5*fav

    • Barkely profile image

      Barkely 8 years ago

      The hanging rattler is my fave, too cute! Thanks for adding this lens to the Fun For Kids Group:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Lovely lens - I can see why it won the contest. Well done! A favourite of all four of my babies was the stacking cups, either in the bath or the sandpit.

    • TheInfamous7 profile image

      TheInfamous7 8 years ago

      Fantastic Lens!! I shall come back to this for my Nephew n Nieces birthdays :-)

      Great Stuff..

    • stephenteacher profile image

      Stephen Carr 8 years ago from Corona, CA

      Nice lens! Good stuff, enjoyed the visit!

      Fight High Gas Prices

      StephenC

    • profile image

      herbie66 8 years ago

      Welcome to the 'Pregnancy and Baby' Group

      ( http://www.squidoo.com/groups/pregnancy-baby )

      5 stars for your great lens!

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 8 years ago

      This is a great lens. I like the way that you have organised everything so it is very easy to read and follow.

    • SoSimplyStephanie profile image

      Stephanie 8 years ago from DeFuniak Springs

      Nice lens! Very organized and easy to read! Great job! Thanks for entering the Squidoo Lens contest by the way! Hope you win!

    • thisnthat2 lm profile image

      thisnthat2 lm 8 years ago

      What a wonderful lens! If only this had existed 30 years ago when my first son was born!

    • The Homeopath profile image

      The Homeopath 8 years ago

      Great idea for a lens! My kids all loved the DK baby books too when they were young. You've given me some great ideas here, I'll be sending you an e-mail later today and I'm adding on books just for your daughter's age on my kids books lens. I can think of a few great ones just for toddlers that she would love!

    • profile image

      PetMemorialWorld 8 years ago

      I see your lens making skills have come a long way in a short space of time - nice lens.

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