This is the age when kids start to get active. They are rolling over, sitting up, scooting, crawling, standing up, and beginning to walk. Sitting up is a big step in being able to enjoy toys more. They can use their hands a lot more to grab and manipulate things. Babies from six to twelve months are still putting things in their mouths like crazy and are starting to really eat solids.
I loved watching my little ones start to take their first steps and learning how to dance which they even do before they walk. This is a time when it is really important to talk about everything. I liked to use colorful toys to talk about colors, and when handing blocks to a baby I liked to count them as I was handing them out. This is a good time to start using sign language with simple words and phrases.
I love the baby stage it is so full of learning and everything is new and full of wonder.
1. Blocks. It is a major accomplishment when a baby develops the ability to stack blocks. Getting the point where stacking is possible takes practice. It is a great way to work on counting and depending on the blocks many other things too. Here are a variety of suggestions for blocks all with attractive qualities.
a) These are lovely colors, and include numbers with objects to count on each block. They are just heavy enough to make stacking not too difficult and are rubber so little hands can grab them more easily.
b) These are great because when you push a button on one it causes not only the object on it to move but also the object on the one stacked below it. There are only three of them but the stack together well and stay stacked more easily.
c) Alphabet blocks by Fisher-Price are neat because they each have a letter and something that begins with that letter.
There are also a few toys that go along with this set well. Such as this:
2. I love this set of stacking toys. I give it to almost every new baby I know because it has great potential to be a wonderful aide in learning and development. It is great for learning colors, sizes, stacking, object permanence (even if you can't see it is still there), and coordination.
3. Crawl along drum. Something to encourage crawling and makes noise! When my son was young he loved playing with one of these at my friends house and her baby loved it too.
4. I really like how this toy has a leg that each makes a different tone. The legs are full of air so they are pretty easy to squeeze.
5. Eric Carle Board Books, beautiful art and learning combine in his books to make them a great addition to any kids library.
Eric Carle also illistrated some books by Bill Martin:
6. Bath toys begin to be a lot more fun at this age. Here are a couple my family enjoyed:
d) Wind up toys
7. Spinner toys are great for this age
8. Jack in the Box
9. Sign language books to read with baby are good for encouraging enjoyment of books and learning signs to help strengthen communication skills.
10. Music and shakers/bells
The wheels on the bus is a family favorite but there are tons of others. Try and encourage shaking to the beat, using hand signals and signs along with songs.
Don't forget that a lot of the items from the 0-6 month post are still great toys for this age, such as a picture book of people baby knows, a mirror book or just a mirror, and as I am sure you know these little guys and gals are not going to really understand much about gifts and will benefit most from interaction with people and environment even with the simplest of things. It might be a good idea to give a gift of donating to a college fund instead of a toy.