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SO many toys for children these days are electronic. And, in my opinion, many of them can be quite annoying… even when baby isn’t playing with it, it’s talking at them saying, “Press my RED button!” and trying to distract them from whatever other toy they’re currently playing with. My kid has a short attention span as it is, I don’t need toys that make it worse.
Now don’t get me wrong, we have a few battery-operated toys in our house, but not many. There are definitely some that can be educational (or super helpful in the car… all bets are off on a road trip), but I much prefer the non-electronic toys that encourage imagination, discovery, independence and persistence.
Below are some of my favorite non-electronic, no-batteries-necessary toys for babies ages 6 to 12 months.
Important Note: I’ve tried to categorize the toys into age groups as best as possible, but as we all know, babies grow and develop at different rates, so I would suggest looking at the age group before and after your child’s actual age to see if you think there are any other toys that might be appropriate for where he or she is at, developmentally.
1) Radio Flyer Walker Wagon
My sisters-in-law got this for my daughter for her first birthday. She is now 2 and it has been one of her favorite toys since the day she got it. I would say this toy is appropriate for any baby pulling themselves up and trying to walk (whenever you would introduce a push walker).
We also had the Melissa & Doug Alligator Walker, but it was so light that anytime she tried to pull up on it, it would tip. This Radio Flyer Wagon is much heavier and sturdier for babies to pull up on. Plus, it’s multipurpose and grows well with the baby. Now at age 2, Ava loves giving her teddy rides, pretending it’s her car and putting her purse and keys in it, and having mommy and daddy push her around in it. It has gotten daily use since we’ve had it, and I can’t recommend it enough.
2) Melissa & Doug Shapes Puzzle with Large Knobs
This puzzle is another good one that grows well with the child. At first, the large knobs allowed my daughter to grasp the pieces (some other puzzles don’t have these knobs making the puzzle difficult for little ones), and they helped her develop her fine motor skills. It also introduced the concepts of matching, patience and trying again when a piece didn’t fit. As she got older we used it to teach her colors, and now (at 2 years old) we’re using it to learn our shapes.
I LOVE toys that have use and interest for multiple ages and developmental stages.
3) Stacking Rings
The stacking rings are a classic that develops baby’s fine motor skills. Before baby is able to stack the rings, many love just holding on to a ring (especially the red one since it has little beads in it and doubles as a shaker rattle) and chewing on them.
4) Pop-Up Activity Toy
This toy is such a fun one for this age range. It has switches and buttons that make little animals pop up. It is an excellent toy for developing fine motor skills, resilience and persistence as it may take baby a while to figure out each one.
This toy doesn’t, however, transition with them through developmental stages very well. Once they’ve mastered it, there’s not much else to use it for. But my girl loved it for quite a while.
5) Stacking Cups
These stacking cups are great for open play. There are so many things to do with them besides stacking, and babies and toddlers can both use them in different ways. For the little ones you can hide smaller objects under the cups to teach object permanence, and as they get older you can play memory games by hiding specific toys under different cups and having your child remember what cup each item is under. They also make perfect bath toys!
6) Montessori Object Permanence Box
This simple Montessori toy was a big hit for my daughter. It teaches young ones the concept of object permanence (that an object still remains even if they can’t see it). Once the ball is dropped into the hole, it disappears for a second until it rolls out into the tray. It’s like magic to a baby! My daughter loved putting the ball in the hole and watching it roll out over and over.
7) Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Xylophone
So this one is probably better for the littles closer to 12 months, though younger ones could still be entertained by the balls alone. As the reviews state, it requires a bit of force for the balls to fall through the holes, so the younger ones in this age group probably wouldn’t be able to play with the toy by themselves. But it grows well with them as the xylophone is removable and can be used as a musical instrument on its own once baby has outgrown the pounding bench aspect (though I think my 2 year old would still enjoy whacking it! Ha!)
8) Dimpl Bubble Toy
My mom got this for my daughter when she was around 6-9 months, and I must admit I didn’t quite get the intrigue at first. But my daughter can be occupied with this toy for a very surprising amount of time. At first, she just used it as a teether mostly, but as she got a little older (maybe around 1) she started popping the circles and never stopped! She still plays with it in the car a lot. It’s an EXCELLENT non-noisy car toy.
You can never go wrong with gifting books! Here are some of our favorites for ages 6 months – 1 year.
Dear Zoo– A lift-the-flap book with over 3,000 reviews.
Where is Baby’s Belly Button?– A lift-the-flap book that teaches body parts.
First 100 Words– Excellent book for language development, with over 8,000 reviews
Where’s Spot?– A classic that even I loved as a child!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar– Another classic that children seem to love!
Moo, Baa, La La La!– A fun one that teaches animals and their sounds.
Gifts for Other Ages
This week I will be posting gift lists for other age groups including newborn/infants as well as toddlers. Be sure to Like my Facebook page or join my email list (in the right column) to be notified when they are posted.
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4 replies on “Best Non-Electronic Gifts for Babies Ages 6 Months – 1 Year”
Books are always great gifts and I love anything Montessori. Thanks for sharing these great ideas!
I’m all about this gift list. I’m all about the educational toys to help baby learn and grow. But also that Radio Flyer wagon takes me back to my childhood!