Right around the time James turned six months old, he learned how to sit independently and roll from his back to his tummy, and our world changed almost overnight (in a really good way). Once James became capable of sitting on his own, the world of play really opened up for him and it’s been so much fun to watch. Here are the toy highlights from this month:
1. Discovery Boxes
These aren’t really a toy, but a container for the toys, but they’re my number one tip! In every room where we set James down to play, we have a “discovery box.” In the living room, it’s a woven basket and in the family room, it’s a large Tupperware box.
We put several of his toys, all with varying textures and functionality, into a container and let him explore the toys by selecting ones to take out and play with. Once he takes them all out, he then plays with the empty box for a while before getting bored, but if we put the toys back in the box, we can repeat this cycle over and again for almost an hour sometimes.
As an example of what to include in a discovery box, the one in our living room usually has 3-4 mini Tupperware containers in bold colors, a homemade popsicle lid, baby beads, a Ty beanie baby, Sophie the Giraffe, a rattle, the magic touch piano, and a soft, crinkle book.
2. Stacking Cups
Our stacking cups are from Mushie, but there are several brands that make similar ones. James is still too young to stack them himself, but he loves watching us stack them and then topple them over himself. He also loves to grab and mouth the different sizes of cups. Sometimes we play with the cups while sitting on the carpet and sometimes we’ll put them on a coffee table or ottoman and let him stand (with support) to play. Get them here on Amazon.
3. Soft Stacking Blocks
Similar to the stacking cups, soft stacking blocks have been a huge hit. They’re a little harder for James to hold than the cups, but they’re easier on his gums, so there are some trade-offs that are beneficial to both. Amazon sells a lot of off-brand versions of these blocks, but I don’t recommend purchasing these kinds of products if your baby will be putting them in his/her mouth. Stick to name brand versions like Skip Hop, Infantino, or “>B. Toys (product pages linked).
4. Magic Touch Mini Piano
The Baby Einstein Magic Touch Mini Piano is a great musical toy that James loves. It has two different sound settings: one that makes piano key sounds and one that plays short songs. James likes the setting that plays songs better right now because it’s very satisfying from a cause-and-effect standpoint. Get it here on Amazon.
5. Julian (nee Julius) the Dog
Julius the Dog, who was re-christened “Julian” after I used top-down processing to read the tag, is part of the Moulin Roty La Grande Famille collection of French stuffed animals. Not only is he so cute and so French, but his limbs are perfectly sized for carrying around the house and for chewing on.
What all of these toys have in common is that they allow for very open-ended, novel play and the practice of fine motor skills.
6. Still In Heavy Rotation
In addition to the above toys, we’re still getting a lot of great use out of:
- The Lovevery Play Gym
- Teethers including Sophie the Giraffe, the Baby Banana, and Nuby Keys
- Freddie the Firefly
- Crinkle Books like the Cloud Island Soft Book
I’d love to hear what other moms have to say about their little ones’ favorite toys, either for around this same age or in the months ahead (6-9 or 9-12 months). Drop a comment below!