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9-month-old babies love exploring the world and their attention spans increase. Toys that encourage movement, language skills and social-emotional intelligence, are key to their success.

Many babies are able to explore new areas at nine months of age by using their motor skills (crawling, pulling to stand and cruising along furniture). Instead of waiting for others to bring them toys, they can freely move towards the toys and objects that interest them. “This opens up a new way for them play,” said Elizabeth Zack, Ph.D. Outreach specialist and education specialist at University of Washington.

Safety is paramount when buying toys for 9-month olds. Babies love to put things in their mouths so safety is important. Look out for toys that will help your child reach their developmental milestones, get them moving and build strength.

This is our list of toys for nine-month-olds. They will be entertained, stimulated, and taught new skills.

Best Overall: Playskool Poppin’ pals Pop-up Activity Toy

Pros

  • Develops fine motor skills
  • Teaches have a cause and an effect
  • Mess-free

Cons

  • Some knobs are more difficult to move than others
  • If broken or used incorrectly, could pose a choking risk
  • After prolonged use, stickers may become loose.

As your baby pushes, twists, or slides the levers to reveal pop-up surprises, watch their faces light up. This set of animal friends will help your baby learn colors and shapes, as well as fine motor skills. The all-in-one toy makes cleanup easy. Recommended for children aged 9 months and older

The Best Budget: The First Years Stack up Cup Toys

Pros

  • Teaches numbers
  • Encourages creativity
  • Durable plastic

Cons

  • Can’t hold liquid; has holes
  • Two yellow cups
  • It is difficult to see the numbers on cups

These nesting cups are simple but fun for babies. They can be used to stack, put together, turn over, and hide items underneath. They are bright and colorful and have numbers on the base. This allows your baby to practice number recognition and counting as they grow older. Recommended for 6 months and older

VTech Stroll and Discover Activity Walker are the best walker

Pros

  • Interactive lights and sounds
  • Offers solid support
  • Batteries Included

Cons

  • Some accessories can easily fall off
  • There is no adjustable handle
  • Some children may find too many buttons

The sit-to-stand activity walker is loaded with sounds, lights, and sorters that will keep your baby interested and entertained. Attachable activity centers can be attached to a stable base so that your baby can stand up and start walking. You can adjust the speed of your baby’s walker as they grow. Recommended for children aged 9 months and older

Best Interactive: Fisher Price Linkimals Smooth Movements Sloth

Pros

  • Interactive lights and music
  • Teach letters, colors, numbers
  • Develops motor skills

Cons

  • Doesn’t like connecting with other Linkimals
  • Four batteries required
  • Clicking sound when you are unable to move

The interactive, adorable sloth helps children learn and move with its songs. Children aged 9 months and older can press the buttons on this sloth’s feet and learn about letters, colors and numbers. He sings, dances, claps and lights up as he bobs his head, claps and bobs his head. There are over 85 sounds and tunes for your child to enjoy.

Infantino Press and Stay Sensory Blocks are the best for fine motor skills

Pros

  • Encourages creativity
  • Develops fine motor skills
  • Durable material

Cons

  • BPA-free is not an option
  • Some blocks might have difficulty sticking together
  • Blocks are difficult

This colorful set, even though your child may not be ready to build towers of wooden blocks with them yet, is perfectly age-appropriate. The blocks are recommended for babies 6 months and older. They have interlocking nubs that ensure they stay put. This makes stacking and building so much more enjoyable. These blocks are small enough to allow your baby to practice fine motor skills.

Bright Starts Oball – The Simplest:

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • 32 finger holes
  • It is easy to grasp

Cons

  • Children should not be engaged for prolonged periods of time
  • Some areas might have sharper edges
  • It is not designed to be used as a teether.

Oball classic’s award-winning flexible design makes it easy to hold, catch, and play with babies of all ages. It is lightweight and soft and has 32 large, easily-graspable holes. The flexible plastic material makes it easy to clean.

VTech Pull and Song Puppy are the best for fine and gross motor skills

Pros

  • Fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination are developed
  • Teach numbers and colors
  • Batteries Included

Cons

  • The leash for Puppy is very short
  • Only the ears and tail can move manually
  • These are some tips to help you get started

As the dog toy lights up and plays music, babies have fun pulling it along. This interactive toy is great for children aged 9 months and older. It’s highly interactive and visually stimulating and helps them develop fine and gross motor skills. This toy will become a favorite learning tool as they get older, from teaching their colors and numbers to the parts of their bodies.

Melissa & Doug Take-Along Baby and Toddler Shape Sorter is the best for problem-solving

Pros

  • Develops fine motor skills
  • It is easy to grasp
  • Teaches matching and sorting skills

Cons

  • The shallowness of the sorting pockets is a problem
  • Loud when shaken/moved
  • Bulky

This on-the-go, padded activity center can be used for more than just basic shape sorting. Babies can use the sorter to match shapes and lift the flaps. As they learn their skills, they will enjoy identifying objects and zipping and unzipping bags. The set is recommended for babies aged 9 months and older. It also comes with an easy-to use handle that can be carried from one place to another.

Boon Stacking Boats Bathing Toys are the best for bathtime

Pros

  • BPA-free
  • Encourages creativity
  • Dries quickly

Cons

  • It is difficult to stack
  • Colors made fade over time
  • Water drains out quickly

Brightly colored, stackable boats make bathtime more enjoyable for babies. You can either float them in the bathtub or let them drain the water out. They are suitable for children aged 9 months and older.

Motor skills: Sassy Stacks Of Circles Stacking Ring STEM Learning Toy

Pros

  • Fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination are developed
  • It is easy to stack
  • Teaches numbers

Cons

  • Sterilizers are not safe
  • Some children may find top rings too small or thin.
  • Water-friendly, but will fill with liquid

This stacking toy is designed to improve fine motor, grasping and hand-eye coordination skills. It features chunky rings in all textures and weights. You can stack different sizes of rings with ease because the straight post will accept them all. The numbers on each ring are numbered to help babies learn their counting order when they’re older. Recommended for children 6 months and older

VTech Turn and the Learn Driver are best for imaginative play

Pros

  • Teach animals, colors, and vehicles
  • Interactive lights and sounds
  • Batteries Included

Cons

  • Noisy/Loud
  • Two batteries required
  • The steering wheel is small

This toy can play songs as your baby steers it. The little dog will move back and forth while the song plays. Fun features include a traffic light, turn signal lever, and a horn. To learn more about animals and vehicles, little drivers can press five bright buttons. Recommended for children 6 months and older

Best for cognitive development: Fisher-Price My first fidget cube

Pros

  • Develops fine motor skills
  • It is easy to grasp
  • No sound

Cons

  • BPA-free is not an option
  • Heavy
  • One side has no purpose.

This activity block features six sides with colorful clickers and spinning rollers as well as toggle switches. It will keep your little one busy while they develop their fine motor skills. The toy is fun and will entertain your child without making too much noise. The cube is recommended for babies 6 months and older. It’s small enough to be grasped and explored by tiny hands.

Hape Double Bubble Wooden Beed Maze is the best for hand-eye coordination

Pros

  • Fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination are developed
  • Durable
  • Made of non-toxic materials

Cons

  • If broken or used incorrectly, could pose a choking risk
  • It is easy to remove suction cups
  • Toy is tiny by itself

The two-track bead maze encourages fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It also entertains children as they move the wooden beads around the maze. It is portable and durable. Two suction cups keep the wooden base stable on smooth surfaces. For ages 6 months and older.

Sassy Pop N’ Push Car is the best for cause and effect

Pros

  • It is easy to grasp
  • Teaches have a cause and an effect
  • Inspires exploration

Cons

  • High-pile carpet may not be rolled on
  • Sometimes beads don’t pop every time
  • Small car

This car is easy to grasp and babies love it. When the car moves, the beads “pop”, helping babies to learn about cause-and-effect. Children will love to chase the car and find it when it is released. Recommended for children 6 months and older

Interactive Play is best with VTech Drop or Go Dump Truck

Pros

  • Teach numbers, colors, shapes
  • Batteries Included
  • Develops fine motor skills

Cons

  • If broken or used incorrectly, could pose a choking risk
  • Some people may find string too short
  • Batteries are required

This colorful truck is more than a toy. It helps children learn about colors, numbers, and tools. Each plastic rock is counted as they load it into the truck. You can also use buttons to make songs that teach colors, words and tools. Recommended for children 6 months and older

Ideal for sensitive ears

Pros

  • Durable
  • It soothes babies
  • BPA-free

Cons

  • You should not be able to engage with older children
  • Heavy
  • Carpet is not the best surface for this product.

The adorable wooden musical toy makes soothing, tinkling sound as it moves, spins and waddles. The interior bell makes a gentle sound as the penguin wobbles. This is ideal for sensitive ears. Babies 6 months and older can play with it and it will always come back up.

Best for physical movement: Fisher-Price Laugh-to-Ride Puppy

Pros

  • Develops fine motor skills
  • Walking and ride-on modes available
  • Sorting Teaches

Cons

  • High-pile carpet may not be rolled on
  • The handle cannot be adjusted
  • Some children find it difficult to move wheels

The adorable Stride to Ride Puppy converts easily from a walker to an on-the-go toy. Babies can play with the Puppy by sitting down and sorting the blocks. Puppy will then “feed” them. The seat can be raised and made into a handle when they are able to walk.

Babies can observe the puppy as it walks, rides, pushes, or scoots along. They can also listen to encouraging phrases and songs while it moves. Recommended for puppies aged 9 months and over.

The LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table is the best for gross motor skills

Pros

  • Develops fine motor skills
  • Teach letters, numbers and shapes.
  • Includes English and Spanish modes

Cons

  • Slides and tips are available easily
  • One page is all it takes to make a book
  • Without legs, the tabletop is too heavy

As they develop motor skills, little ones can slide, spin and pull the colorful instruments from this table. They learn basic concepts in Spanish and English through the learning mode.

For floor play, you can take the legs off and replace them when your baby is able to stand. Recommended for babies 6 months and older

VTech Musical Rhymes Book is the best for reading

Pros

  • Teach music and colors
  • Builds vocabulary
  • Develops fine motor skills

Cons

  • If broken or used incorrectly, could pose a choking risk
  • There is no way to play on both pages
  • You might accidentally get your tiny fingers caught between pages

This interactive book will allow babies to hear sounds and songs as they move, twist and push buttons. It is recommended for children aged 6 months and older. Musical tabs introduce children to colors and instruments. They also help develop vocabulary.

Green Toys Tugboat is the best for water play

Pros

  • BPA-free
  • This is a great option for older children
  • Made with 100 percent recycled plastic milk containers

Cons

  • Over-filled: Will not float
  • It is difficult to clean small crevices
  • Some children may not be able to pay attention for long periods of time

This colorful boat can be rolled across the bathtub by babies. They can also use the large spout to pour and scoop water. It’s made from 100% recycled plastic milk containers in the USA and has no BPA, PVC or other external coatings. Recommended for children 6 months and older.

VTech Baby Babble and Rattle Mikrophone are the best musicals

Pros

  • Develops fine motor skills
  • Encourages creativity
  • Interactive sounds

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Batteries are required
  • When singing into a microphone, sound is muffled

The interactive microphone amplifies the voice of your child and encourages them sing along to playful melodies. Babies can hear fun sounds and phrases when they shake the ring or shake it. This fun toy is suitable for babies aged 3 months to 3 Years. It enhances motor skills and listening, as well as promoting imagination.

Best Multipurpose: Baby Einstein Musical Mix ‘N Roll 4-in-1 Push Walker

Pros

  • More than 100 melodies/phrases
  • Lightweight
  • Four conversions

Cons

  • Three batteries are required
  • Not all locks will work correctly at the same time
  • Assembly required

Baby Einstein’s 4-in-1 push walker is a great toy. The toy starts as a music maker floor toy, but can then be transformed into a walker and a DJ mixing table. Finally, it can also serve as a toddler playtable. Apart from the four modes of play, the baby will enjoy the over 100 melodies, phrases and languages available.

The First Years Stack Up Cups are affordable and colorful. The cups promote number recognition and counting, as well as water play and bath play.

What to Look For in Toys for 9 Month-Olds

Safety

Safety is crucial at 9 months of age, as babies love to put things in their mouths. Toys with buttons and magnetic objects should be avoided by babies. If they are able to fit it in their mouths, then avoid it.

It can be difficult, but it is possible to step back and let children follow their curiosity even though it may seem a little risky. Elizabeth Zack, PhD is an outreach and education specialist at Washington University.

She continued, “Be careful!” This doesn’t give you any useful information. Instead, she said, “Take your time.” Before you climb higher, check your feet. This type of scaffolding, where adults provide the right level support to help a child reach the next level, can support safe play and encourage children to follow their curiosity to build confidence and skills.

Milestones

Milestones can be a great guideline for your child’s development. 2 Some toys can help your baby reach these milestones. These milestones can be reached by your baby at 9 months.

  • The Infantino Press and Stay Sensory Blocks make it easy to move objects from one hand into the next.
  • With the Fisher-Price Laugh-to-Ride Puppy, they can move their bodies and build muscles.
  • The Oball Classic Ball allows for crawling and strengthening fine and gross motor skills.

Physicality

Toys that encourage movement are great for helping build a baby’s muscles. For a baby’s development, toys that encourage movement such as large balls, soft objects to crawl to or vehicles that can be pulled and pulled are ideal. 3

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