Best Toy Ideas for Young Children

Reading to a baby


When you have an infant at home, it might feel like all you do is feed, change diapers and wait for the baby to take a nap so you can get things around the home done. But while it may seem like babies can’t do much, it’s actually never too early to start playing with your little one. Playtime is also an important part of your baby’s development. From physical and cognitive development to emotional and social growth, the importance of play is undeniable.

It’s through play that children of any age (even infants) can learn about themselves and the world around them. And you can be part of the fun too! Playing with your baby can help him/her to achieve important physical milestones, develop his/her brain, teach about emotions and encourage language development. And it doesn’t have to be complicated. During the first months, simply getting down on the floor to play and read with your little one for some minutes can have a huge impact.

To help you get started with a great toys collection that will benefit your little one, I’ve gathered a list of the most loved toys for newborns to six-month-olds and beyond.

A Smarter Play Mat

Play mat for babies


Play mats for kids are likely the most versatile baby products available on the market. Not only they can be used in a variety of ways, but they also carry with them several important development benefits, which is why I’ve chosen it to be the first one on the list.

Also called play gyms and activity play mats, the idea is the same – a brightly coloured and interactive mat for your baby’s playtime. Available in lots of different sizes, shapes and themes, play mats for kids provide a comfy and safe spot for your baby to relax, play, and improve their developing skills. Bouncers and swings are also fun sports for your baby to chill, but a play mat offers a larger variety of visuals, sounds and textures for babies. Plus, a play mat is perfect for tummy time, which helps babies to develop motor skills, strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles and prevent getting a flat head.

When it comes to when will a baby enjoy a play mat, you can start as soon as your newborn is comfortable with lying on their back without being swaddled. At this time your newborn might not interact with the toys and different textures yet, but simply looking at the dangling toys can be a fun activity during their alert time. Your baby will get the most from his/her play mat once you start introducing tummy time, which can begin at three months of age.

And when it comes to how long should baby play on activity mat, limit sessions to five minutes at a time and start with three short daily sessions. Little by little, work your way up to an hour of tummy time a day. At four months of age, your baby will likely begin rolling over their own, and the different toys will encourage him/her to do so. By the time your baby is nine months old, he/she will start crawling and this is usually a sign that your little own has outgrown their play mat.

A Plush Toy

Baby playing with a plush toy


Various studies have shown that plush toys have a positive effect on the development of a child. Babies love to touch and feel new textures and soft toys can provide the perfect blend for developing sensory skills. Even at such young age, babies are drawn to the cuddly softness offered by plush toys as well as the colour and this can help them to develop sensory skills of sight and touch. Not only for babies, but plush toys are a perfect gift idea for toddlers and older children too.

An Infant Mobile

Crib mobile


A beautiful mobile sure enhances the overall appearance of the crib but its main purpose is to provide the baby with visual stimulation. When the infant’s vision is not yet fully developed, they benefit the most from looking at black and white. As they get older, they start to benefit from more bold shades of blue, red, yellow and green. So, make sure you get a mobile that contains a combination of all or most of these colours. Objects dancing above a baby’s head while lying in a crib also helps develop attention span. Choosing a mobile that plays music can be very relaxing for your baby. Try finding an infant mobile that offers a soft lullaby.

A Mirror

Baby looking in a mirror


First, your baby will be captivated by the changing face and expressions looking back from the mirror. Over time, your baby will realize that the smiling, drooling baby staring back is actually a reflection. And when this happens, your baby will become aware of themselves, which will lead to more self-discovery as they learn about body parts and where they are.

Ring Stack

Baby playing with ring stack


This is a classic toy that babies love playing with it. It’s simply a cone that fits different sized coloured rings. In the beginning, your baby will enjoy holding and mounting the rings. Latter, he/she will practice fine motor skills by fitting the ring onto the come. When your baby becomes a toddler, he/she can also learn about colours and numbers when you count the multicoloured rings as you stack them.