There are so many toys out there and it can be hard to resist scooping them all up! But ensuring you're buying just the right toy for the age and stage of the child you're shopping for makes the task easier and more satisfying for everyone. That "just right" toy should be well-suited for each stage of a child’s development, as well as nurturing their evolving interests and abilities, which is why we’ve developed a comprehensive list of the best developmental toys for children in every age group! Keep in mind that each child develops at their own pace and many of our toys will be played with throughout lots of the stages and beyond.
The Best Developmental Toys For Birth to 6 Months
Babies love to observe their surroundings, and they are especially drawn to brightly-colored objects and people’s faces. They love to explore what their feet and hands can do, lift, and turn their heads toward interesting sounds, put things in their mouths, and more!
- Toys they can reach for, shake, and put in their mouths—like rattles and teething rings.
- Toys that promote grasping reflexes and help develop eye movement and visual interest and stimulation, like mobiles, hanging toys, and play gyms.
- Early dolls, animal figures, and soft balls with lots of textures and sensory elements are also ideal for young infants as they enrich sensory play and development.
Our Top Five HABA Picks for Birth to 6 Months:
The Best Developmental Toys For 7 to 12 Months
When shopping for tioys by age, keep in mind that older babies are always on the go. They’re constantly rolling over, sitting, scooting, bouncing, pulling themselves up, and even standing! Children around this age are beginning to understand common words, love finding hidden objects, and can point to body parts and stack objects.
- Toys that spark the imagination—think baby dolls and bath toys.
- Toys to build with, like large soft blocks and plush stacking toys.
- Toys that encourage sensory play and have lots of sounds, textures, and ways for babies to interact.
Our Top Five HABA Picks for 7 to 12 Months:
The Best Developmental Toys For 1 Year Old
When your little one hits their first year, they can’t wait to start walking and climbing. They love stories and experimenting, too, so the best developmental toys help them foster those skills!
- Toys to build with, like early wooden block sets and early stacking games.
- Toys to pretend with, including dolls with accessories, play food, and puppets.
- Toys that work to stimulate brain activity—this is the perfect time to introduce early puzzles and simple sorting games to the mix.
- Toys that encourage them to move, walk, and push and stretch their growing muscles like pulling toys, walker wagons, and balls.
Our Top Five HABA Picks for One Year Old:
The Best Developmental Toys For Two Years Old
At two years old, your child is working hard to expand their vocabulary. They also have an urge for adventure and may be making you work to keep up! Toddlers love to climb, hang, roll, and tumble, and they’ve mastered the use of their hands and fingers. They are beginning to develop a real understanding of cause and effect and early social interactions.
- Problem-solving toys, like puzzles and early board games.
- Toys for building and pretending, like blocks, dolls, and pretend play.
- Toys that spark creativity, like rhythm instruments and pretend food.
- Toys that can roll and move and encourage them to begin building and making choices. Our Kullerbu sets are the ideal toy for this age and up as they connect to the world of cars and movement.
- Early games, like our My Very First Game collection, teach basic rules and help develop skills like patience, teamwork, and the fun of game play.
Our Top Five HABA Picks for Two Years Old:
The Best Developmental Toys For 3 to 5 Years Old
Preschoolers and kindergartners love to chat and will have plenty of questions. They want to experiment with things and test their physical skills, so keep that in mind when searching for the best developmental toys for this age group!
- More complex problem-solving toys, like jigsaw puzzles, arranging games, and shape sorters and stacking toys.
- Toys for building and pretending, like toy cars and marble runs.
- Toys that help develop their fine motor skills like threading games and magnetic mazes.
- Toys that help them explore the world of the sandbox, like pails and shovels and for older kids in this age range, magnifying glasses and DIY kits for exploring nature.
- Games are great for this age range to help develop all kind of skills and bring the family together to play.
Our Top Five HABA Picks for Three to Five Years Old:
The Best Developmental Toys For 6 Years Old and Up
The sky is the limit for this age group who are learning new things every single day. Games engage their interest in strategy and they are ready to explore the world around them and understand what makes it all tick. At this age, children are developing their own interests now, so try to find toys tailored to their budding pursuits. Some kids like doing do it yourself projects; others love crafts or playing with dolls.
- Toys that encourage them to develop their brain and reasoning like our logic games or other strategy games.
- Toys that help reinforce what they are learning in a fun and interesting way, like magnetic sets and games that encourage literacy.
- Toys that help them continue to develop empathy and nurture storytelling, like dolls and our Little Friends collection.
- Toys that get them to interact and notice the outside world like our line of Terra Kids toys.
Our Top Five HABA Toys for Six Years and Up:
No matter what toy you choose, we hope you know that HABA is there for you. We know the difference a toy can make in a child’s life and we are committed to creating toys that unlock kids’ creativity, curiosity, and sense of wonder. Every toy and game we design is not only joyful for children to play with but fosters their development at the same time.
At HABA, we believe that small moments of connection open up worlds of possibilities and create lasting memories. We want to celebrate the endless stories and laughter that our toys inspire. Let's play, giggle, and create worlds of imaginary play that will set kids on a path of curiosity and learning to make the world a more joyful place.