Posted ByShellie Braeuner
Though your baby still seems really little, he's ready to play! Try these top toys to keep him entertained.
At 3 to 6 months, your child is no longer content to just lie there and gaze at your loving face. He wants to move! What are the best toys for 6-month-old babies?
"What we grown-ups call 'play' is the basic human learning drive," points out childhood expert Sue Palmer, the author of "Toxic Childhood." This stage is all about discovering how things work. "Early learning is all about exploration and experimentation," says Holly Homer, a blogger and co-author of "101 Kids Activities."
Since play is so important, choosing the right toys for your baby may require more than just an impulsive stroll down the toy aisle.
Check out the best toys for 6-month-old babies:
Long before you spot that first tooth, your baby will need a teether, like this one from Apple Park, to bite and chew.
- Mr. Whoozit
This crinkly, squeaky stuffed toy has been around for 20 years and engages your baby's sight, sound, texture and taste, making Mr. Whoozit one of the best toys for 3-month-old and older babies.
- Linking Rings
These rings from Bright Starts are easy to keep in a purse or diaper bag for a quick playtime.
- Activity Gym
Arched gyms, like this one from Skip Hop, can be used early and are one of the first toys for 3-month-old babies. The soft blanket base ensures a clean, safe place for your baby to play while the hanging toys give your baby something to look at and reach for.
This child-safe mirror from Sassy gives your baby her first image of herself and helps to develop her sense of individuality and self.
- Open Ball
These balls from Oball are easy for babies to grasp and throw or roll as they learn to push themselves up and sit.
This toy has been around for all of human history for good reason. Rattles, like the ones from Apple Park, give children a chance to act and have a reaction.
While you may not think of a blanket as a toy, it is an important plaything for babies. Whether you want to play peek-a-boo or hide a toy, blankets like the ones from Hudson Baby help children develop the idea that things continue to exist even when out of sight.
- Bath Toys
Floating, squirting, squeaking bath toys give children a chance to practice those developing motor skills as they try to grasp these floating toys from Munchkin.
- Stacking Rings
Whether he is pulling the rings off the central pole or chewing on the rings themselves, your baby will be working on motor skills and exploring his own abilities with this toy from Melissa & Doug.
Unlike the open ball, a larger rubber ball requires your baby to use both hands to catch or roll it back to you. Look for a ball like this one from Edushape, which has texture to help your baby hold the ball more easily.
- Bounce Seat
As your baby sits and bounces in this seat from Evenflo, she exercises her leg muscles, shoulders and back.
- Board Books
These sturdy books are your baby's first foray into the wonderful world of literature. Try a kiddie version of "Pride and Prejudice" to keep you entertained, too.
As your child stacks one B. Toys block on another, he practices his fine motor skills.
- Blanket Toy
Comforting toys, like the ones from Baby Aspen, are a combination of a stuffed animal with a short blanket attached.
- Ballyhoo Ball
Tuck the mini balls into the larger ball with this Battat toy, or use them individually.
- Rattle Balls
Each with their own sound, these little balls from Baby Einstein are great to tuck in a diaper bag.
- Stuffed Toys
Sometimes as big as baby, stuffed toys give your child the chance to explore facial features and strength. babyGund sells a cute soft lamb.
- High-Chair Toys
With their suction cups and engaging tops, high-chair toys give you the chance to finish your meal while your baby is occupied. Try this spinning Sassy version.
- Water Wheels
Not just for the bathtub, try using water wheels in the sandbox. Gowi has a great version.
- Stacking Cups
These Nuby cups are great for pouring, stacking and chewing.
Shellie Braeuner, is an award-winning children's author. She earned an M.Ed from Vanderbilt in human developmental counseling and has worked as a nanny for more than 25 years.