It can be hard to know what toys your baby will enjoy their first year, even though there are thousands to choose from! We previously rounded up our favorite smaller toys for stimulating baby’s senses, but what about some larger gift ideas? During their first year, baby’s are learning to use their body – rolling, sitting up, crawling, and cruising. We’ve selected toys that will help them work on developing their new skills and that will grow with them through multiple stages of development. And during the first year, those changes happen fast!
With the Deluxe Kick & Play Piano Gym, there are four ways to play – lay & play, tummy time, sit & play, and take along. It has a large keyboard with light-up keys and five repositionable toys. With Smart Stages technology, the learning content changes based on your child’s age. BUY HERE.
2 | SKIP HOP BABY’S VIEW 3-STAGE ACTIVITY CENTER ($120)
Use this 3-stage activity center first as a seated 360-degree activity center, then as your baby starts to cruise remove the seat so they can stand and play, and then when they’re a toddler convert it to a play table and add coordinating chairs! Features include a discovery window that baby can peek through and see their feet, four moveable toys, and a suction snack cup. When it’s converted to a toddler table, the base becomes a plastic chalkboard surface they can draw on. BUY HERE.
3 | HAPE COUNTRY CRITTERS ACTIVITY CUBE ($150)
This play cube has five separate activities including a bead maze, ball roller coaster, color match, rotating maze, and shape sorter. Babies will play with it, and also use it to balance themselves when standing. It comes with ten pieces, including a wooden mallet, three wooden balls, and six wooden shapes. BUY HERE.
4 | SOFT & SAFE COZY BALL PIT ($79.99)
An adorable, super soft ball pit sure to provide hours of entertainment! Features removable pillows and a washable mat that make it easy to clean. BUY HERE.
5 | VTECH SORT AND DISCOVER ACTIVITY CUBE ($29.99)
This activity cube has five sides of fun! Includes seven fun activities including a mini book, spinner, and slider that introduce colors, numbers, animals, and more. BUY HERE.
6 | WHAT’S INSIDE? SOFT FEELY BOX ($49.99)
This machine washable box is filled with ten different sensory objects for kids to feel and explore while removing them and putting them back into the box. The toys include a butterfly with crinkly wings, a lion with a corduroy coat, a flower with a mirror, and a squeaky frog. Play with it at home or take it on the go. BUY HERE.
7 | HAPE PUSH AND PULL WONDER WALKER ($99.99)
The popular Wonder Walker is great for baby taking their first steps. It has a sturdy base for babies pulling themselves up and an easy-to-push design. Babies can carry around their belongings in the base and will enjoy playing with the movable knobs, gears, and colorful balls. BUY HERE.
8 | BABY CARE PLAY MAT ($100-$150)
This cushioned play mat gives your baby somewhere soft and clean to play. It protects them when they crawl, tumble, or topple over, and the village scene is great for imaginative play. It’s waterproof, easy to wipe clean, and comes in a variety of patterns. BUY HERE.
9 | TAGGIES HEDGEHOG BABY MAT ($55)
This adorable baby mat makes the perfect spot for lounge or tummy time, and the different textures and Taggies ribbons provide extra stimulation. There are lots of different characters to choose from too! BUY HERE.
10 | BRIGHT STARTS GET ROLLIN’ ACTIVITY TABLE ($39.99)
This activity table features a ball drop ramp with spiraling balls, lights, and music. Babies can play the piano on the toucan’s beak, open and close the hippo’s mouth, spin the elephant, and “read” the jungle themed book. Includes over 60 songs and activities. BUY HERE.
11 | MILLIARD SOFT FOAM TODDLER CLIMBER ($79.99)
This foam toddler climber gives your baby somewhere safe to climb and slide! The pieces can be used separately or together for added functionality, and have velcro strips to connect them. BUY HERE.
12 | MELISSA & DOUG TURTLE BALL PIT ($59.99)
With this giant green turtle, your baby will have lots of ways to play! It comes filled with 60 squeezable balls, which are fun for your baby to sit in or climb on. It has a zippered top, non-slip bottom, and a variety of activities including holes to push the balls through, crinkling feet, a textured ring, mirror, silky fabric tags, and a rattle. BUY HERE.
13 | VTECH STROLL AND DISCOVER ACTIVITY WALKER ($34.99)
It may not be the prettiest activity walker, but there’s a reason it has been a favorite for years – babies go crazy for it! It’s multi-functional with a removable play panel on the front with piano keys, a phone, shape sorters, and spinning rollers. BUY HERE.
14 | GRACO DOORWAY JUMPER ($39.99)
This doorway jumper is great for babies that need to get their wiggles out! It easily attaches to most doorframes and can be moved from room to room to keep baby close to you. It has non-twist straps, a play trap, toys, and a machine washable seat pad. BUY HERE.
15 | GUND BABY ANIMATED FLAPPY THE ELEPHANT ($40)
This isn’t just any plush toy! Press the left foot and Flappy the Elephant plays peek-a-boo with those big floppy ears, or press the right foot to hear Flappy sing “Do Your Hears Hang Low?” BUY HERE.
16 | BABY EINSTEIN NEPTUNE’S OCEAN DISCOVERY JUMPER ($109.99)
Activity jumpers are BIG but guaranteed to keep baby happy! This one is a favorite because it gives your baby 360 degrees of engaging activities all while letting them jump and turn. It has a spinning crab, a starfish mirror, an octopus paddle toy, and flashcards. Plus there are extra loops to add in baby’s favorite toys. BUY HERE.
17 | LITTLE TIKES 2-IN-1 GROW WITH ME SWING ($26.99)
The Little Tikes Swing grows with your child from nine months up to three years. Use it first with the T-bar and shoulder straps to safely secure your baby, but it can be stored out of the way when it’s not needed anymore. It can be used indoors or outdoors and comes in three different color combinations. BUY HERE.
18 | PLAYSKOOL EXPLORE N GROW BUSY BALL POPPER ($34.90)
Press the smiley faced button to a ball onto the spiral track. When the ball reaches the bottom, it pops back to the top and the fun starts over again. Your baby will love the upbeat music and endless fun. BUY HERE.
19 | LAUGH AND LEARN SMART LEARNING HOME ($149.99)
There is so much to explore inside and out the Smart Learning Home. Outside it has a porch light, open & close mailbox, ball drop rain gutter, light-up house numbers, and a shape sorter recycling bin. Crawl through the door to go inside and you’ll discover a home office area with light-up thermostat, office light and clicker clock, and a kitchen area with a shape-sorter fridge and role play pieces. Includes 200+ songs, sounds, and phrases to introduce colors, shapes, numbers, and the alphabet. BUY HERE.
20 | SKIP HOP FARMSTAND GROW & PLAY ACTIVITY GYM ($80)
The adorable farmed-theme activity gym has lots of toys and activities to stimulate baby’s senses. There’s a pocket where your baby can “pick” their own carrot, a corduroy watermelon wedge pillow, and five hanging fruit including an avocado rattle, beet squeaker, and musical bunny. It has fold-up sides to create an enclosed play space ideal for tummy time, and one of the arches can be used as a growth chart when your child has outgrown it. BUY HERE.
21 | HABA COLOR FUN PLAY GYM ($69.99)
A beautifully simple play gym that gives you the freedom to choose which toys to entertain and stimulate your baby. The height of the bar can easily be adjusted with a simple screw and the colored wooden discs on the base slide back and forth. Includes a rattling frog grasping toy. BUY HERE.
22 | FISHER-PRICE INFANT-TO-TODDLER-ROCKER ($44.99)
The Infant-to-Toddler Rocker is a convenient seat for feeding, playing or resting. It can be used for both infants and toddlers (up to 40 lbs) and features calming vibrations, a removable toy bar, two recline positions, kickstand for stationary seating, and a machine washable seat pad. BUY HERE.
23 | TINY LOVE MEADOW DAYS SUPER PLAY MAT ($39.99)
This large play mat doesn’t just provide a soft space for baby to play, but it also has engaging textiles like a carrot teether and a padded mirror. Folds up and has a carrying handle for easy transport. BUY HERE.
24 | HABA NURSERY WOODEN RAINBOW MOBILE ($45.99)
Babies love mobiles and we love this simple wooden one from Haba. Hang it above their crib or changing pad and your baby will enjoy watching the colorful wooden balls swing in the air. BUY HERE.
25 | THE PLAY GYM BY LOVEVERY ($140)
From tummy time to fort, this gym provides a whole year of play (and beyond)! It has five developmental zones that reveal or conceal areas to prevent overstimulation and promote learning: learning to focus; making sounds; how things feel; hiding and finding; exploring colors. Once your baby has outgrown using it as a play gym, it can be converted to a fort using the included cover! BUY HERE.
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Feature image via Lovevery.
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