Encourage Brain Growth with these 50+ Gifts for Babies and Toddlers

Babies and toddlers learn through play!  When we use games that target developmental skills- It’s a win win. I’m not saying we don’t have the flashing Paw Patrol toys, but it’s essential that I have at least some open ended and educational toys. For Christmas and birthdays, I love to focus on the gifts for babies and toddlers that help them with their developmental milestones, like fine motor skills or inserting objects into another. The toys that  work on skills for our babies’ continued growth.50+ gifts that are developmentally matched to encourage brain growth AND hours of fun! Perfect gifts for babies and toddlers, from 0 months to 2 years old. Gift guide for babies, gifts for toddlers, one year old birthday gifts, two year old birthday gifts, christmas gifts for babies and toddlers

If you want to read more about developmental milestones, head over to my routine main page that links to daily schedules from newborns to 2 year olds. They include everything about that age group (also listed below!). Lastly, there are some gifts that are just amazing for parents because they keep our kids engaged or calm, so they had to be mentioned.

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience, meaning I make a small commission to at no additional cost to you!

Related: The Ultimate List of Preschool Gift Ideas

Toys for 0-6 Months Old

Newborn and 3-6 month schedule

  • This swing is amazing for new babies, so a perfect buy for anyone that is having or just had a baby.
  • Best teething and rattle toy.
  • Playmats for lots of engaging tummy time and stimulating play.
  • Music playmats are a fun addition to typical tummy time mats! They get a real kick out of playing the piano with their feet. Pun intended. ;-)
  • This jumperoo was the BEST purchase we made at this age! Both my boys loved this thing and had some super exciting jumping times (4+ months)
  • Soft interactive books, like this adorable Peekaboo Forest
  • Baby wrist rattle and foot finders are fun additions to mat play- and helps them with coordination!
  • Anything like this lil’ critter , that is soft, cute and plays music is a must!
  • This infant seat is great- especially for this age range before they can sit up on their own to see what is going on with everyone.

6-9 Month Old Babies

6-9 Month Baby Schedule

  • Cause and effect toys- like ball roll slides.
  • Bath toys– like this adorable octopus, because sitting up in the bath means play time!
  • Activity cubelots of interesting things to fiddle with and figure out.
  • Soft blocksfor stacking, throwing and if we are honest- chewing.
  • Discovery booksinteractive stories with activities.
  • This car is a fun alternative to the stroller when going to the park or taking walks.  Both my boys love it!
  • Sit to Stand Learning walker -big plus is the tablet in the front can be separated for its’ own toy.

9-12 Month Old Babies

9-12 Month Baby Schedule

  • Push and pull toys– This one is a plus because it has a shape sorter activity included.
  • Musical Instruments, you can start here but the possibilities are endless. We have tons of instruments and the boys have a lot fun with them still.
  • Pounding bench wooden toyfine motor skill and banging fun.
  • Stackable block towersthey may not get great at these until later, but helps them learn to put blocks on top of one another and size differences.
  • More bath toys
  • Tall wooden activity cube– encourages standing and has the interactive play without the batteries.
  • Sit to Stand learning walker– if you still haven’t gotten this walker- you won’t regret it.

Toys for 12-18 Month Old Babies

12-18 Month Happy Toddler Schedule

  • This singing and dancing robot doll was so fun for both my boys! Now I buy it for a lot of my friends and their baby’s first birthday.
  • Shape sorters– lots of shape practice this age.
  • Beginner puzzles-great introduction to puzzles!
  • Make believe toys, really big for this age and going forward- doctor set, cars, dolls, or dress up clothes.
  • Pretend kitchen
  • Pretend cleaning set (My son loves this broom! I’m hoping it turns into a passionate desire to help me around the house.  A mom can dream!)

18-24 Month Old Babies

An Essential 18-24 Month Toddler Schedule

  • A make believe hide away like this playhouse tent is one of my favorite toys for this age and going forward!  Magical spaces can really bring out your child’s imagination and they’ll have fun for hours.
  • Your toddler is really working on hand eye coordination and this basketball hoop is a fun way to work on it!
  • Mega blocks– pre lego age but ready to start building with blocks.
  • Next step puzzles– after your little one has mastered the matching puzzles, they can advance to building a picture with pieces.  These Begin Again puzzles are beautiful and durable- the lightweight puzzles seem to get torn or eaten by the dog in our house.
  • Other make believe toys- doctor set, cars, dolls, pretend kitchen, and pretend cleaning set
  • Perfect addition to a large playroom.  I’ve also seen them set up with a ball pit at the end- hours of fun!  And really, who doesn’t want a slide?
  • Grab some more musical instruments!
  • Riding toy– we don’t have a playroom right now, so my sons chase each other around the kitchen island with theirs.  As long as I’m not doing something in there, they have a blast!

2 Year Old Toys

2 Year Old Sample Schedule

  • Beginner’s tricycle
  • A large train set really leads to hours of play- with setting up the tracks in lots of different ways and then playing with the trains.
  • Magna tiles– they are all the rage and for reason! Higher price than other toys but we have built some pretty amazing structures with these- there are really endless amounts of possibilities so it helps your 2 year old use various skills at one time.
  • Tool set– a continuation of getting them pretend toys to use so they can “help” you around the house or on projects.  My son always feel so important when he grabs his broom to help sweep (by messing up all the piles, lol) or getting his tool set to help on a project.
  • Fireman suit or Princess dress– Now that they are better at dressing themselves, adding dress up to their pretend play adds an extra layer of fun!  I’m all about toys that are open ended and can lead to years of play instead of something they’ll get tired of.
  • Lego duplo– start building lego houses and villages.
  • An easel is a great way to spark creativity and easy for you to help your toddler draw shapes or letters.

Happy gift giving and if there are any other gifts you love that I didn’t mention- please add in the comments!

Get Access to a FREE Resource Library!

Subscribe to my newsletter with 30K+ moms and get instant access to my resource library with ALL of my free files and printables! Once subscribed, I will send you a newsletter with all the details.

Powered by ConvertKit

8 thoughts on “Encourage Brain Growth with these 50+ Gifts for Babies and Toddlers

  1. Very informative content. It provide very ease for those whose are search for these gifts. And on sports related gifts especialy like basketball hoops.

  2. You did a great job by providing the list based on the age group. All of them are helpful. Looking forward to getting a physical growth gift list from you.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. It’s Great. Because of your this list, I have bought a beautiful gift for my niece. Love you hard work.


  4. Wow! This was a pretty elaborate list and covers almost all the brain development toys/games available in the market. And, even though you haven’t mentioned it specifically, this list has every type of education/brainteasing toy.

  5. You did a great job by providing the list based on the age group. All of them are helpful. Looking forward to getting a physical growth gift list from you.

    Keep up the good work!

  6. Wow! This is a great list. All toys you buy should encourage brain growth and learning imho. Get them hooked on books & edu toys , not sponge bob!!! :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *