I have found new and age-appropriate toys that my seven month old joy loves to play with. Here is my new list:
This Crocodile Creek ball is a hit at our house. Our son has just recently learned how to push a ball to roll it to a partner! This has been so fun for him and for us to watch him. He also enjoys chewing the ball, almost just as much.
The Fisher Price Shape Sorter was a gift from our son’s step-cousin-in-law. At first, he just liked chewing on the toys and taking them out of the bin. Now, he plunks them back into the bin! This is after much demonstrating from me. Oh, such a proud mama moment! This toy really creates a lot of fun for all ages, and I hope, eventually, he will understand the shapes and colors and how they are supposed to go through the sorter.
I read through many, many reviews to get to the “best” xylophone for toddlers. Many are made of wood and don’t have any sound. Many are made of plastic and don’t have any sound. It was just all around tough to find a good one. But alas, I came upon the (very well-reviewed) Hohner Kids Toddler Glockenspiel (which comes with bag and a mallet). According to reviews (on Amazon and Google), this has correct pitch, and is safe because of the plastic border around any sharp edges. Something to bring out the musician in our son!
Our son first saw a “tumble and twirl” at the weekly Babytime group we visit at our public library. They have an assortment of age-appropriate toys and I have gotten a lot of ideas, based on which ones he is interested in. I found this Playskool Explore and Grow Tumble N Twirl at Amazon.com for a great price. It is easy to press down and fun to watch the balls twirl. Bonus: the balls come out to play with and chew too!
Another popper toy: the Sassy Pop N Push Car. This (less than $7) popper has wheels to roll around the living room for any crawler. Our son loves to watch the balls pop! You can push this car back and it goes forward a little on its own.
I have been wanting a good set of blocks. Our son enjoyed his soft play blocks, but now he is definitely ready for the next step. I was thinking about getting him some wooden alphabet blocks, but since he is still at the very (very!) early stages of scooting and crawling, I don’t want him to slam his face on any sharp edges. Also, while reading the reviews of many wooden, small ABC blocks, many parents stressed that the paint comes off them when chewed. This gives me (obvious) concern, so we’ll wait a bit before purchasing some — more manly — wooden blocks. We chose these Earlyears Sweet Baby Blocks. They are so cute, easy to hold, easy to chew. They are made in China, but isn’t everything, and they are PVC-free. (Target sells some nicely reviewed soft-plastic blocks, the One Two Squeeze Soft Blocks, for just $8.99, but the catch is you have to go to the store to get this great deal.)
A wooden toy that my son loves is the Melissa & Doug Pound-a-Peg. I found this second-hand, and could not be happier with it. He likes chewing on the pegs (no paint chips yet) and putting them back in the holes. He grabs the yellow pegs first and screams if we try to replace it with another color. I think we found his favorite color, folks.
Finally, our son’s (real) favorite toys continues to be our cell phones, lap-tops, and television remote. He sees us playing with them and wants to play with it like mama and dada. Of course we can’t blame him! Looking for a (realistic-looking) baby cell-phone is tough!
And one more shout out: to our beloved board books. Our son has become our precious little reader! He loves listening to stories, chewing the pages, grabbing at the bins of books and bookshelves. He makes me so proud. So, if a child needs anything at all besides a stick to play with, first and foremost, I believe, a child should be given a book.