From 9 months to 12 months, babies are growing, changing and developing in every way: physically, socially, cognitively and emotionally. Many of them will begin to walk at this age and perhaps talk too. Certainly they will understand a lot more of what you say, even if they don’t yet answer.
So you can start to vary their toys much more now. The best baby toys 9 months to 12 months old will concentrate on developing either their walking skills, or their fine motor and hand co-ordination, language, or ideas and understanding. Some toys may have more than one of these functions but there’s no toy that does everything any more.
It’s more difficult to generalize about babies’ development in this age group so we’re not going to split it down month by month as we did for younger babies. They do different things at different ages and you should never think there’s something wrong with your baby if he or she doesn’t start walking or talking as soon as another baby. So instead we’ll take toys by theme.
Toys For Developing Physical Skills
When your baby is easily able to stand holding onto the couch and can take a few steps holding your hands, it’s time for that walker! We recommend the Playskool Roctivity Walk’n’Roll Rider which converts from a walker to a ride-on toy. Click on the picture to see our full review.
Babies will push a walker with surprising force and speed so watch out!
They’ll also be developing more controlled movements with their hands. Go for building blocks, toy vehicles, rag dolls, animals and anything that requires them to push buttons to make a toy light up or play a tune.
Toys For Developing Cognitive Skills
Between 9 months and 12 months old, a toy like the Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Puppy comes into its own. The baby’s cognitive or mental skills will be stretching to understand language. They’ll begin to pay attention to the words of a song as well as the tune and the emotion. And they’ll start expressing their preferences with gestures and sounds, sometimes very forcefully!
Repetitive word games that you play with them will be a hit and they may start enjoying picture books where you name each thing pictured. Beginner educational toys for babies that teach a few words will start to intrigue them, as will baby puzzles that build a picture.
Next article: Best Baby Toys 6-9 Months
Published May 23rd, 2013