10 Best Developmental Toys for Ages 0-1 years

Do we even need to buy babies toys their first year of life? They seem to be so fascinated by things they find around the house– pots and pans, large spoons, plastic water bottles, and empty boxes.  These 10 toys will give you the best bang for your buck as they help babies develop the sensory and motor skills they’re expected to gain that first year and can keep that baby engaged and be used over several months.

Sensory Gym/Play Mat

Baby Gym Baby Play Mat, Kick and Play Piano Gym with 5 Infant Learning Sensory Baby Toys, Musical Toys As Boy & Girl Gifts...

A must-have for all new babies! Great for tummy time, side lying or rolling practice, and laying on their back learning to reach for the high-contrast hanging objects. Use this from day one! Tummy time is so important for developing trunk control and stability which in turn helps develop fine motor skills.

Skills worked on:  Reaching, hand-eye coordination, trunk, neck and head control during tummy time, rolling back to tummy and vise versa


Sassy Tummy Time Floor Mirror | Developmental Baby Toy | Newborn Essential for Tummy Time | Great Shower Gift

Engage baby with their reflection! For babies who have difficulty tolerating tummy time, this may help! Lay them on the floor on their tummy with the mirror in front of them as they try to look at their reflection.

Skills worked on:  Visual skills, eye contact, head/neck control when using during tummy time



O Ball Bright Starts Oball Shaker Rattle Toy, Ages Newborn Plus

Shake, rattle, and roll! A rattle that makes sounds engages the senses!

Skills worked on:  Grasp, upper extremity awareness, transferring between hands


Teething/Chewing toy

Amazon.com: ARK's Grabber Oral Motor Chewy P: Health & Personal Care

When babies are teething, they will need something to chew on; however, teething toys aren’t JUST for teething babies. Using teether or chew toys allows for oral exploration, can help babies with tolerating different texture/foods in their mouth, and helps strengthen oral motor skills needed for eating. 

Skills worked on:  Oral motor, oral exploration, toleration of textures in mouth, eases teething pain


A ball…textured, Sqeeky, O-ball, ANY ball

Oball Rainstick Rattle                        Edushape See-Me Sensory Balls, 4 Inch, Translucent, 4 Ball Set

My baby’s first word was “ba” as he pointed to the ball. Baby’s LOVE all you can do with balls! Roll them back and forth, watch and point while they roll across the floor, put them in containers or through hoops. 

Skills worked on: working with hands at midline, bilateral coordination, turn taking/reciprocal play, grasp and release

Squeezable Bath Toys

Bath time is so much more fun with some floating, squeezable toys that make bubbles under water and squirt water through their holes. 

Skills worked on:  Hand/finger strengthening, cause/effect, tactile exploration when splashing in the water or squirting them with water


Touch n Feel Books

Smooth, bumpy, soft, rough, furry! There are many sensory books you can find that allow babies to explore different textures as you read to them. 

Skills worked on:  Tactile exploration, language as you read to them

Fat Brain Toys (one of my faves) Dimpl

Fat Brain Toys Dimpl Baby Toys & Gifts for Ages 1 to 2, Multi

Great toward the end of their 1st year. So simple, yet so engaging. Poke, pop, push the silicone bubbles! Portable and easy to take with you anywhere. 

Skills worked on: Finger isolation, finger strength, color recognition, bilateral coordination


Push Toy

As they learn to stand and walk, a push toy will give them stability to explore on their own and develop some independence. Find one that is interchangeable and allows play while sitting, standing, and pushing. 

Skills worked on:  Balance, core strength, standing and walking 


Baby Paper

Amazon.com : Baby Paper – 2 Pack of Crinkly, Sensory Toys, Black & White Stripe, Turquoise Zig Zag : Baby

The sound that paper makes is irresistible to babies. Instead of having them ripping out pages in books or your magazines, try this paper made for babies!

Skills worked on:  Grasp, hand/finger strengthening, auditory exploration 

There you have it! 10 of my favorite toys for baby’s first year of life. Let them play while developing sensory and motor skills. Remember, play is the highest form of research! 

Stay tuned for best toys ages 1-3. Subscribe to my newsletter to get more child development tools and tips!

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