the best baby toys for 6 to 12 month olds:
here comes the fun

This is where the fun really begins: babies become much more active in their second six months, especially when it comes to play. They love banging toys together and are starting to get better at picking up tiny things like raisins. Everything goes in their mouth and by the end of their first year they'll be on the move too. Choosing the best baby toys for 6 months and older means thinking about developing their skills as well as having fun.

cute baby crawling

soft toys, dolls and teddies

Your baby is starting to understand emotions and feelings. You'll notice them growing attached to their favourite toys (and sometimes other household objects like tubes of toothpaste or that brightly coloured dinner plate).[1] Lots of babies develop emotional bonds to soft toys like dolls and teddies, showing affection towards them and choosing them over their other toys. They'll use them for comfort: mostly snuggling before falling asleep. (Bless!)

baby playing with a cuddly toy

noisy and flashy toys

Cause and effect is a brand new concept for your little one. They're starting to understand that they can affect the world around them, and don't they just love it? Toys that respond to their touch by making lots of noise and flashing brightly help them to work this out (and earplugs can help out mum and dad).

baby playing with a stacking toy

shape sorters and stacking toys

They may seem like messy little people, but babies love organisation. At 6 to 12 months your little one is starting to understand the differences between shapes and colours. Posting shapes through slots is double the fun at this age, as they're also starting to realise the difference between "hidden" and "gone". Shape sorter toys can help to develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, as well as helping to teach about sorting and matching.

building blocks

The best toys for 6 month old babies are soft with no sharp edges, so start your little one off with fabric or plastic blocks. Stacking will be tough at first until they get the hang of hand-eye coordination. It's a skill that takes a lot of practice, which is why blocks are such a good choice at this age. Once they've learned how to stack them, they'll have great fun knocking them over again, learning more about cause and effect.

baby playing with stacking cups toy

activity centres and push toys

Activity centres from brands like the early learning centre have lots of dangly, shiny and noisy bits to keep your little one entertained for hours. Some have shape sorters and bead mazes, too. They come in lots of different shapes and sizes. Some can be clipped onto the edge of a cot and others can be placed over a play mat. Some also double up as walkers, so your baby can lean on it as they take their first small steps.

baby crawling

moving and rolling toys

Rolling, shuffling, crawling and toddling are more fun when you're chasing after something. Once baby is on the move they'll love toys that roll or have wheels. They can push and chase them on their own, or you can enjoy a fun family game of baby-in-the-middle.

role playing toys

Your baby loves copying the adults around them and have great fun pretending to talk on the telephone, banging a toy hammer or hosting little tea parties. Playing at being an adult helps them to understand the world around them, builds those all-important hand-eye coordination skills and gives them a self-esteem boost. Taking turns (you bang the hammer, then hand it to them for a shot) is a good way to bond and help them to build their skills faster.

happy baby getting kisses and cuddles from their mum

bath and water toys

Colourful baby bath toys can make bath times a lot more fun. 6 to 12 month old babies love filling up beakers of water and pouring them out again[2]. Your little one will be mesmerised by floating toys and they'll love having a good splash in the water. It's all in a good cause: they're learning about volume and how liquids behave.


Reading stories and rhymes to your baby helps them to develop language skills[2]. As they get closer to 12 months they'll be able to turn pages themselves, so it's a good time to introduce them to board books that are perfect for little hands, as well as interactive pop-up and lift-the-flap stories. At this age they'll start to recognise pictures in the books, so look for colourful and exciting illustrations for extra fun.

safe play

  • wash and check plastic toys for sharp or roughened edges
  • always supervise your baby when playing
  • make sure toys conform to British Standard BS EN71
  • make sure all toys should be safe, non-toxic and durable
  • keep fabric toys and costumes away from fire and heat sources
  • remove labels, tags and ribbons before giving soft toys to your baby
  • toys with long hair or fibres are not suitable for babies under 12 months

View all our baby toys for 6-12 months here >>


[1]. BabyCentre Staff, Toys for 6- to -9-month-olds, BabyCentre [Accessed April 2019]

[2]. Baby and Toddler Play Ideas, NHS, August 2018.