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The Best Development Toys for Baby's First Year

In this post we will highlight the best products you can invest in that will boost your baby’s development. 

It’s never too early to start playing and reading books to your child. Obviously, at an early age they can’t kick a footy or build a Lego tower, but there are many ways to engage that will be important for their physical and mental development. 

In an article published in The Bump ‘How to Boost Baby Development with Age Appropriate Play’ A large part of a baby reaching key milestones and gaining skills is related to the materials, experiences and opportunities baby receives to practice.

By choosing toys and activities that match what your little one is ready to work on you are enhancing their development journey. It can be overwhelming trying to figure out what are the best toys suited to your baby in the first year.

Here are a few of our favourite toys to help guide you through the first year.

0 – 3 MONTHS  

The best brain-boosting toys for newborns up to 3 months will focus on three development areas: 

  • EyeSight
  • Muscle Strengthening
  • Encouraging Reach

Encouraging reach is particularly important, as that requires the brain to go through many steps. Baby has to recognise something in front of them, have the desire to touch it, and then manipulate his arms in front of him to grab the object.


At this age the most highly recommended toy for baby is a activity mat or gym. It’s great for practising tummy time, encouraging reach and sensory stimulation.  . 

Baby Activity Gym

 3 - 6 MONTHS

This age is an exciting time for baby hands because their hands no longer clasp giving them the ability to grab. Baby will be able to reach and grab toys that interest them. Other development areas include practising motor skills and learning that objects are still there even if they cannot see them.


Thanks to the elastic strings this rattle can be moved and pushed and pressed in any direction. Playing with this fosters grasping skills as well as developing fine motor skills. What great fun, and will keep babies amused for hours!




6 – 9 MONTHS

By 6 – 9 months baby will be more active and is getting stronger and stronger at this stage as baby starts moving around. The best toys at this age will encourage baby to do four things:

  1. Work on eye-hand coordination
  2. Practice taking things out and putting stuff back into things.
  3. Allow him to explore how to stack items and then knock them over!        
  4. Provide opportunities for him to learn cause and effect: when I touch this button, this happens!


This ball encourages hand eye co-ordination giving little hands lots of different ways to hold her. Throw her and listen to the funny sounds she makes when she rolls working on cause and effect. 


These softly coloured Hape rattles are designed to fit snugly into little hands, it will aid your child's hand eye coordination skills when shaken and played with. Baby can stack the rattles and watch them fall, great for cognitive development. 

9 - 12 MONTHS

At 9 – 12 months skills include learning cause and effect, practising upper body balance and excellent finger motor skills.


From 12 months this walker features 30 colourful wooden blocks with numbers & letters, an abacus at the front, rubber wheels and a sturdy base to avoid accidental spills. This walker covers all the important development areas at this age. 

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