Baby’s toys tend to fit into one of two categories; messy or noisy. With this in mind I set out to find some toys which weren’t quite irritating enough to send you crazy or too messy to warrant the idea of a ‘one toy at a time rule’. So without further ado here is my list of parent friendly toys for a 12 month old baby.
IKEA Mula Shape Sorter – £7
This is one of Oliver’s favourite toys and is a great toy that we can play with together. This cute shape sorter is based on the image of a house and has a wooden bottom with removable plastic lid. There are four shapes included with this toy and each shape is a different colour. This not only helps teach colours but also helps little people distinguish between shapes.
At 12 months old Oliver hasn’t quite got to grips with shapes entirely yet and so at the moment I tend to move the box around so Oliver can put the shapes into the holes easier. The lid is easily detachable and means Oliver can get the shapes back out himself.
Compared to other shape sorters on the market, this one is relatively cheap and costs just £7 from IKEA, which I would say is a brilliant investment.
Bright Starts Activity Balls – £5.50
These bright coloured balls are great for developing the senses and are the perfect size for little hands. These come as a pack of five balls, each with a different activity.
When Oliver was slightly younger he loved to shake the ones that made a noise, which would always result in one of those priceless little smiles. Now he is growing older, we sit a foot apart, facing each other and throw one of the balls to one another. He is still only 12 months and so sometimes he throws the ball in the opposite direction, but he loves to play this game regardless.
These activity balls help to develop motor skills and are great for encouraging hand, eye coordination. These are another bargain as they are just £5.50 from retailers such as Tesco and Amazon.
Tomy Hide ‘n’ Squeak eggs – £4.89
Oliver was bought these as a present for his Christening and they are one of most played with toys in the toybox. Oliver particularly likes to empty the box as soon as the last egg is put away and finds it hilariously entertaining to watch his Grandad despair after the fifth time this happens.
The box contains six different coloured eggs that squeak when they are pressed down. Each egg also has a different shape on the bottom of it that can be matched up to the shape in the box, which is not only great for colour and shape recognition but is also good for developing motor skills.
This toy is one of the cheapest toys in the toybox coming in around £4.89 and £4.95 from retailers such as Precious Little One, Amazon and Tesco.
I’m a huge fan of wooden toys and this pull along stegosaurus rates very highly in my books (and thankfully Oliver’s too).
The wheels are positioned to move the toy up and down as it is pulled along, making the spines clatter together as it is pulled along. This is a great way to encourage physical development and can help aid their confidence when walking.
However despite this being a pull along toy, Oliver likes to sit and push this dino across the floor and giggles at the noise it makes as he does so. This use of the toy still stimulates his senses and helps to develop his hand, eye coordination.
This toy is slightly more expensive than the others but I do think that it is worth the money. Despite making a noise, it isn’t an irritating toy that drives parents mad, it’s bright, colourful and is made to a very high quality, making this toy one of the best in the toybox.
Vtech First Steps Baby Walker – £19.99
Now this one was a present at Christmas and to be honest I wasn’t overly fond of it because it is noisy, large, plastic and quite frankly a little bit irritating. However despite all of those things this has become a household favourite for a number of reasons.
The Vtech walker is a very good aid when learning to walk and has really helped Oliver’s confidence. It was great to see him whizzing across the room, this one very nearly did learn to run before he could walk. Now Oliver is walking, he isn’t as interested in pushing it around in front of him, but he still loves to play with the activity board attached to the front of it.
There are a range of different buttons and settings which help with counting and language skills (that’s where the noisy bit comes in). Even though this is a noisy toy it has helped aid Oliver’s development in a number of different ways and for that reason I can let it off for being one of the more irritating toys in the house. This is one of the more expensive toys, coming in at £19.99 at retailers such as Argos, but for the amount of things this toy does, I would say that it is worth the money.
IM toy melody mix – £41.95
* This is actually advertised as suitable from 36 months. I wanted to include it as Oliver enjoys playing with this toy but please note that if you choose to let your child play with this toy who is under 36 months, it is of your own risk and no child under this age should use this toy unsupervised.
Finally I come to my absolute favourite toy in the house. We were bought this as a Christmas present and it is by far one of the most used toys in the house.
This toy comes with ten musical instruments and so Oliver has lots of different things there to keep him occupied. Each instrument is brightly coloured, which helps develop an understanding of colours. There are also lots of different sounds made by the different instruments which is great as a way of introducing your child to music.
We tend to use the jingle bells and maraca when we have our nursery rhyme time and Oliver loves to join in and shake the instruments while I sing (possibly to drown out my voice). We also use this toy to make noise along to our Disney soundtrack which we play while I am baking or cooking. This toy is great to use as an aid to any musical activity and encourages both hand, eye coordination but also imaginative play.
This is stocked at a number of different retailers but I found Precious Little One the cheapest.