Best Toys for 9 to 12-Month-Old Babies: Developmental and Engaging

As your little one grows, they crave more interactive and stimulating activities to engage with. At nine to twelve months old, babies have developed basic physical skills such as sitting up on their own or crawling and support their cognitive growth too! Choosing the right type of toys for them is essential to help foster further development in both physical and mental capacities. Read our blog post here for the top picks when it comes to best developmental and engaging toys suitable for nine- to twelve-month old babies!

Related Link: What is Child Development? How Can Parents Help Foster It?

Getting Your Baby The Right Toys

​​Babies, particularly those on the cusp of becoming toddlers, enjoy playing a great deal. Babies are at their most active, curious, and exploratory between the ages of 9 and 12 months, when they are learning to crawl, cruise, and walk. You can aid your soon-to-be toddler's progress toward reaching all of their developmental milestones by playing with them. 

Toddlerhood is a time of great discovery for young children, and play is essential to their healthy development. In addition to helping your child reach physical milestones like sitting up straight and crawling, playtime lays the groundwork for teaching advanced cognitive concepts like object permanence and problem solving.

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Toys for Object Permanence

baby playing with toy cars

Toys for object permanence are great for 9-12 month old babies who are curious little beings. These toys will have your baby on their toes as they play hide-and-seek with their toys. As your baby discovers that objects do not simply vanish into thin air, their cognitive development will be stimulated. With the help of toys such as the Peek-a-Boo Blanket or the Wooden Coin Box, your baby will have fun hiding objects and finding them again, time and time again. These toys offer the perfect challenge for your baby’s growing mind and are sure to quickly become favorites.

Toys for Learning To Move

As your little one approaches the 9-12 month mark, you may start to notice them becoming much more mobile. Crawling and cruising are common milestones for babies around this age, and introducing toys that encourage movement can be a great way to keep them entertained and help reinforce their newfound skills. Look for toys like push walkers, ride-on vehicles, and balls that will inspire your baby to get up and move around. Not only will they love the excitement of being able to get around on their own, but they'll also be getting some great exercise and building important gross motor skills in the process.

Toys for Fine Motor Skills

During 9 to 12 months, infants are developing their fine motor skills; therefore, toys that encourage this development can be extremely beneficial. Toys like blocks, stacking cups, and shape sorters help infants develop pinching and grasping skills. Toys with buttons or knobs that necessitate pushing and twisting can aid in pointing and object manipulation. And toys involving the dropping of objects into containers, such as a ball popper, can help young children develop hand-eye coordination. By providing infants with toys that promote the development of fine motor skills, we help them acquire important skills that will serve them well as they continue to grow and develop.

Toys for Language Learning

As your little one grows and develops, so do their language skills. Boost their language development with toys that support their speech and communication skills. The best toys for 9-12 month old babies are those that encourage language learning. Soft books with colorful illustrations and simple text are perfect for introducing new vocabulary and concepts. Stacking and nesting cups or blocks can also help teach spatial concepts and language skills with their different sizes and shapes. Additionally, interactive toys that promote cause and effect, such as push-and-go toys or activity centers with buttons and switches, can also enhance language skills. Watch as they giggle and coo with excitement as they discover how each toy works, and begin to form meaningful connections between sounds and objects. With the right toys, you can help your little one reach their language milestones and communicate with confidence.

Related Link: Brain Food for Kids: 7 Top Foods for Brain Development

Nine to Twelve-Month Milestones in a Baby's Development

baby playing with toys

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists the following developmental milestones and the role that play can play in fostering them as your baby nears one year of age. (These are just suggestions; every baby develops at his or her own pace. If you have any concerns or questions about your child's growth and development, consult your pediatrician.

Social and Emotional Developmental Milestones

  • Developing an unhealthy attachment and crying whenever you leave (even if it's only to go to another room)
  • Playing charades and imitating others' actions 
  • Favoring certain games, toys, and people

Language Milestones

  • Comprehending and acting upon the word "no"
  • A great deal of babbling, imitation of sounds and movements.
  • Indicating intriguing objects by pointing
  • Listening more attentively when you speak

Cognitive Milestones

  • Looking for things you conceal (this is the beginning of object permanence)
  • Enhanced curiosity in exploring objects
  • Baby points to the correct image when you say the corresponding word (you say "cat" and baby points to the image of a cat).
  • Dropping or throwing objects with the intent to see you pick them up.

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Getting Engaging Toys For Your Baby

Giving your baby the right toys is important for their overall development and emotional wellbeing. Toys that are stimulating, engaging, and tactile can go a long way in providing them with stimulation, allowing them to explore the world around them. From dolls to puzzles and building blocks, there's something for every type of baby at this stage of life. But it’s equally important to keep safety and age ranges in mind when picking toys for your little one. Steer clear of small parts and look for sturdy material that will last longer than that favorite stuffed animal or bright book! Lastly, remember that your baby's best playmates are you - encouraging those interchanges builds confidence and helps babies learn about social behaviors. So don't forget to join in the game too! With a few thoughtful choices you'll be able to create a safe, fun environment where your baby can develop both intellectually and emotionally. 

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