Sensory play is a vital element of your little one's development - and sensory toys have been specifically designed to stimulate newborns and young babies, encouraging their sense of curiosity, and providing learning opportunities.
Toys that light up, crunch, crinkle, rattle or play music are all excellent at keeping 0 - 6-month-olds entertained, and, remember - variety is the spice of life, especially where sensory toys are concerned; by capturing your baby's attention and encouraging them to use each of their five senses - sight, sound, touch, smell and taste - sensory toys help babies develop happy, engaged and inquisitive characters. Research suggests that sensory toys offer much more than just a distraction - they can also help babies to refine their coordination, fine motor skills and visual processing - and so, we have gathered together a list of the best sensory toys for babies aged 0 - 6 months, which will engage their five senses, providing learning opportunities and sensory play.
Best Toys For On-The-Go
Winkel Rattle and Teether from The Manhattan Toy Company.
- Around £11.99.
- Suitable for 0 - 6-month-olds
This colourful toy is fun to hold, and it makes a rattle noise when it is moved or shaken. The endless loops and bright colours will fascinate young children during sensory play, and the soft plastic tubes are very tactile - and BPA-free - meaning that it is 100% safe for your baby to chew and gnaw on. Easy to use and easy to wash (in soapy water), this toy hasn't got all of the bells and whistles, but it's a great addition to the sensory toy box for newborn babies.
Sassy Big Bumpy Ball from Sassy Developmental.
- Around £9
- Suitable for 0 - 6-month-olds
Learning and experimentation are at the core of this toy, which has lots of different colours, textures and patterns as well as making fun rattling noises. The multitude of different 'bumps' offer babies the chance to chew, prod and squeeze - and the non-toxic materials and the very lightweight design make it suitable for baby sensory play from 0-months onwards.
Farmstand Avocado Stroller Toy by Skip Hop.
- Around £10
- Suitable from 0 - 6 months, and beyond
This adorable toy was the winner of the Best Baby Toy (0-6 months) at the MadeForMums Toy Awards. The soft, plush toy looks like an avocado, which is split into two halves with a rattle in the centre - where the avocado pit would be. With different textures, colours and sounds, this little sensory toy is perfect for babies to grip, squeeze and play with, and the built-in loop and ring make it one of the best sensory toys for on-the-go play, as it can be easily attached to the stroller or pram.
Sensory Toys Baby Can Enjoy Independently
Kick 'n' Play Piano Gym by Fisher Price.
- Around £53
- 3 months +
This fully-equipped play gym is perfect for 0-6-month-olds, complete with lots of different sensory, tactile elements. The 'piano' is located at the bottom of the play mat, and has some chunky keys that baby kicks to 'play'. The playmat is decorated with bright designs and some colourful characters, and the mobile is one of the best in the market for kids this age. The dangling mirror is sure to fascinate young babies, and there are lots of other spinning animals and moving parts to keep your baby entertained.
One of the best things about this particular play mat is that it can be adapted and changed as your baby grows - and the piano can be played during tummy time or as they learn to sit up alone. Playmats that have an attached mobile are great sensory for babies - and this mat has lots of creative, fun and imaginative added elements that mean your little one will enjoy playing with this toy for a long time to come.
Foot Discovery Rattle Toy by Twiddle Ons.
- Around £9.99
- Suitable for 0 months +
From the makers of Sock Ons - the ingenious accessory that keeps your baby's socks from falling off - comes the foot discovery rattle toy. Designed to help your baby to 'discover' their feet, these rattle toys are worn over the baby's socks, so that they can make noises and watch the fish move as they lie on their back, or sit on your lap, kicking and wiggling their legs and feet. A brilliantly simple toy, the adorable fish designs are colourful and noisy - and newborns will enjoy learning how to make them move and rattle.
Best Toys For Bathtime
Fish Family by Water Babies.
- Around £8.99 each
- Suitable for 0 months +
The Water Babies Fish Family won the silver award at the MadeForMums Toy Awards 2019, thanks to their hygienic, mould-resistant bath toys. Squishy, colourful and solid, babies will love playing with these fishy friends, which have been designed for 0 - 3-month-olds. Parents will also love the fish, which are made in natural latex rubber and dyed using food-grade colourings, and as there are no air holes, the toys are safe from mould and other forms of dirt and bacteria. This means that the fish will be long-lasting bath buddies, rather than the short-lived bath toys of the past.
Kimmy Koala Tummy-Time Book by Taf Toys.
- Around £16.99
- Suitable from birth
This self-standing book has fun, graphic pictures on both sides, making it the perfect toy for tummy-time. One side of the book has simple, black-and-white designs - as these high-contrast images have been designed specifically for newborn babies - whilst the other side has bright, colourful images that are more suited to babies 3 months +. This brilliantly designed book also features lots of different sensory fabrics and flaps, as well as a koala teether and a baby-safe mirror - meaning that your little one will be entertained whilst spending some much needed time on their tummy.
Giant Soft Book by Galt.
- Around £12.99
- Suitable from 0 months +
Sensory books are brilliant for babies of all ages, as they have lots of different things to touch and look at all in one place.
This large, padded version is great for tummy time thanks to its large size - and, unlike many sensory toys for babies, it is machine-washable. Brilliant from birth onwards, little ones will love exploring the different textures to feel, sounds to make and colours to look at on each page. With a mirror and squeaker, the book will keep your baby entertained for hours.
Baby Mirror Toy 2-in-1 Crib And Floor Mirror by Goefly .
- Around £4.99
- Suitable from 0 months +
Your little ones will have hours of fun with a mirror - learning to focus on the image, watching as their reflection moves with them. This brilliant baby-safe mirror stands up, making it one of the best sensory tummy-time games. Not only is this toy entertaining to your baby, but it encourages social skills. The mirror also comes with added accessories around the frame, which make noises thanks to the hidden buzzer and bell. The stand-alone design can be folded flat for storage, or it will stand upright on the floor or in their cot.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
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Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
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