Your baby’s first year is full of so many changes! To begin with, the main focus is on feeding, sleeping, and soothing. Once you’ve got the hang of that, you may find yourself wondering how to play with this tiny little baby. These recommendations are by no means essential. However, they are things that we found incredibly useful during J’s first year. He loves them all, and has made great leaps in his development by engaging with these lovely toys and books. I would be very grateful for any other suggestions and recommendations that you can add to this list. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Musical Sensory Box
A Musical Sensory Box is a great way to start your collection of things to entice and play with your baby. It contains 7 carefully selected items, to help develop their sense of sound, sight, and touch. As well as the items in the box, you will also get exclusive access to games and activities online, which you can use to engage with you young baby. These grow with your baby, with ideas from newborn – 6 months.
Halilit Musical Instruments
Halilit make the best instruments for babies! They are brilliant for little fingers. The handles are tiny, so your baby will be able to grab hold quite easily. All small parts are completely sealed, so they are safe to put in their mouth. They are colourful, noisy, and very enticing!
Flashing Sensory Balls
These are a lovely tool for eye-tracking, and provide a brilliant distraction when you need it. J couldn’t take his eyes off his! They are great when they lights are turned down, and teach them lots about cause-and-effect.
Ok, so this isn’t a toy or a game, but it is so useful! Baby massage is such a special way to bond with your baby, and is a lovely addition to your bedtime routine. This baby oil is the best – it smells amazing.
Wrist rattles are fab for young babies, who are not yet able to hold onto things. They will get a lot of enjoyment out of hearing the rattling sound, but you are able to go hands-free! Lamaze make great baby toys – bright, colourful, and full of different textures and noises. This set also includes some feet finders – to help your little one find their toes.
Babies are obsessed with these drums! Every baby class we’ve tried has had the babies crawling over each other to get to these… They are small enough and light enough to be held by little ones, and make a great noise. Just be careful with the drumstick, as they have a tendency to go into little mouths!
Bubbles are a wonderful sensory tool for babies! They are fascinating, and brilliant for eye-tracking. They can be very calming, and a lovely activity to enjoy together.
These stacking cups are so simple, but have provided hours and hours of fun for J. They can be built up, knocked down, banged together, poured from, hidden, rolled…there are so many possibilities for play. As your baby grows, they will find more and more ways to use them.
These are great for any sort of messy play! They are large plastic trays, which can be filled with any materials you like – and they wipe clean afterwards. Really good for containing the mess, and protecting floors, tables and other surfaces!
I would highly recommend always purchasing your books from Wordery! 9 times out of 10 they are cheaper than anywhere else, and they have free (very fast) delivery. Amazing service!
Quiet LOUD – Leslie Petricelli
This is a fab board book for babies! Lots of opportunity for doing different sound effects, and a great way to get some laughs from your little one.
We’re Going On A Bear Hunt – Michael Rosen
This is old-school, but very effective! Such a classic adventure story, with a great song to go with it (check out youtube if you don’t know it)
Nursery Rhyme Books
There are so many to choose from, but I especially love these finger puppet books. You put your finger through the puppet in the middle of the book, and can wiggle and dance as you sing through the nursery rhyme.
It’s A Little Baby – Julia Donaldson & Rebecca Cobb
Written by the same author as The Gruffalo, this book has flaps to lift, a song to sing, and loads of actions to do. A really lovely book!
Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links, but I would never recommend something that I have not tried and loved myself.