ParentClick Santa Barbara

Best Developmental Toys for 0-9


Select Great Gifts for Infants, Toddlers, and Big Kids…  The holidays are upon us! Time to buy toys for the little ones in our life. The age-old dilemma–what is the best toy at this age?

To help simplify the season for you and others buying for your kiddos, we’ve summarized what areas a child is developing at each stage and what types of toys will capture their interest and further their skills!

Remember that toys that do too much don’t allow a child to use their own imagination. Also, many of the toys they play with when they are younger may capture their imagination in a new way as they grow.

Age: 0-3 Months
  • Developing: 5 Senses – Sight, Sound, Taste, Scent, Texture
  • Toys: Soft Toys with Contrasting Colors, Sounds, Slow Movement & Textures that Compel Baby to Focus and Interact –Mobiles, Soft Musical Toys, Unbreakable Mirrors, Soft Books, Hand & Foot Rattles, Sensory Toys.
Age: 3-6 Months
  • Developing: Basic Coordination – Hand / Foot & Eye Coordination, Grasping, Head Control, Pushing Up, Rolling, Teething
  • Toys: Play Gym, Tummy Time Mats, Hanging Toys to Reach, Teethers, Wooden Manipulative Toys
Age: 6-9 Months
  • Developing: Basic Mobility – Sitting, Crawling, Standing, Self-feeding
  • Toys: Toys that Roll or Motor Forward to Encourage Crawling, Balls, Toys that Suction onto the High Chair, Bead Mazes, Soft Spoons.
Age: 9-12 Months
  • Developing: Depth Perception – Pushing, Pulling, Shapes
  • Toys: Pull & Push Toys, Ball Poppers, Shape Sorters, Large Stacking Blocks & Cups, Bath Toys, Sand Toys, Board Books
Age: 12-18 Months
  • Developing: Sense of Things Beyond Themselves – Nurturing & Walking
  • Toys: Soft Dolls, Stuffed Animals, Board Books, Walking Toys, Activity Tables
Age: 18-24 Months
  • Developing: Cause & Effect & Pretend Play
  • Toys: Fill & Spill Toys, Sit-n-Scoots, Play Kitchens, Play Food, Doctor’s Kit
Age: 2-3 years
  • Developing: Deductive Reasoning & Balance
  • Toys: Puzzles, Chunk Building Blocks, Hammer & Peg Sets, Trains & Vehicles, Basic Musical Instruments, Story Books, Balance Bikes, Tricycles
Age: 3-5 years
  • Developing: Social Awareness & Writing
  • Toys: Role Play Costumes, Dolls & Doll Houses, Chunky Art Supplies, Clay, Paint, Basic Board Games
Age: 5-7 years
  • Developing: Reading, Reasoning, Advanced Movement
  • Toys: Beginner Reader Books, Marble Runs, Basic Crafts Kits, Mosaics, Legos, Bicycles, Scooters
Age: 7-9 years
  • Developing: Problem Solving & Awareness of How Things Work
  • Toys: Toys that allow them to Create, Problem Solve & Understand their World–Science Kits, Craft Kits, Building Kits, Logic Games (Chess, Checkers, etc.)

Of course, this is a guide of what is typical. Children can fall anywhere on the spectrum, especially because they are often hyper focused in one area until they master it and move onto a new skill.

We hope this has helped make you’re holiday shopping a little simpler and more fun for both you and the recipient! We’re happy to help you with specific items in the store.


[AUTHOR: Nicki Zuchowicz Horne]

Peanuts Maternity & Kids9 E Figueroa St (In La Arcada between Anacapa & State St)


November 24, 2013

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
[You can use a screen name if you prefer.]