As Graham is swiftly approaching 18 months old, it’s high time I share some of his favorite toys from the past year! First up: his favorites from 6-12 months. It was such a fun time seeing him become more interested in his toys and learning/growing along the way. In my pre-baby world, I would have said we don’t need toys that make sounds or play music, and we’d love to have all wooden toys. Well, when it comes to making your kid happy, sometimes those ideas go out the window!
1. Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Stack & Roll Cups
This was a gift from a good friend of ours and it was a HUGE hit — the cups stack together, they connect to form different sized balls, and they make a fun sound if you tap them together. They also come with a little yellow rattle ball that Graham was obsessed with. He could play with it alone, or put it inside one of the balls to shake around. At 17+ months, he still likes to play with this toy every so often. It’s also a fantastic gift at a reasonable price if ever you’re in need of something for a little one over 6 months — I bought it for a few other kids we know and heard the same rave reviews from their parents, as well.
2. Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes
This toy saved me on many a car ride — and still does when we’re nearing a meltdown. The music is classical so it doesn’t bother me, there are two volume levels, and it was one of the first toys that Graham would really grip onto and not let go of. Once he figured out how to push the big button to turn the music on himself, he was even more in love. The beads are a nice help for teething little ones, and this is easy to throw into my purse or diaper bag if we’re on the go. Best feature: it has an “off” switch. It’s amazing how many kids toys that make noise can’t be turned off.
3. P’kolino Fishing Hole Size Sorter
I loved watching Graham’s little brain work as he tried to figure out how to get the fish in the holes with this toy. It was a great way to see his hand–eye coordination improving over time as it became easier and easier for him to figure out, and he still pulls this toy out to play with on a daily basis.
4. Playground Ball
Any old rubber ball will do, and Graham loves rolling his little dodgeball around through the house. So far, all of our lamps are still in one piece.
5. Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Fun with Friends Musical Table
My best friend lent this to us and we only just returned it to her last month. It was one of the first toys that Graham really interacted with for long periods of time, and also one of the first things he pulled himself up on to stand. Sure, the music and sounds got a bit annoying. But as the parent of a pretty clingy little guy, I was thrilled when this toy would buy me a solid 10 minutes to do something around the house, so I didn’t care that much about the noise! He played with it daily until he was 15 or 16 months.
6. Melissa & Doug Deluxe Chomp & Clack Alligator Push Toy
To be fair, Graham got this on his first birthday, but he took to it immediately and began walking on his own after just a few weeks; I think had he gotten this push toy a month earlier, it would have helped him to walk even sooner. I sort of loved hearing the cute click-clack sound rolling through the house, and seeing him so very pleased with himself when he made it to his destination.
7. Battat Electronic Keychain
He loved to carry his little keychain around, chew on the keys, and make noise with all the different buttons. This was another lifesaver on the occasional fussy car ride, and an easy toy to throw in the diaper bag.
8. Remote Controls (not pictured)
Don’t even try to trick your kid with a “play” remote control. Babies are smart and they want the REAL thing. Even when we took batteries out of old or unused remotes and gave them to him to play with, he still wanted the real thing (particularly the Verizon remote that lit up). When in doubt, household items for the win!
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