The 17 Best Developmental Toys for 6-Month-Olds of 2023

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Best Developmental Toys for 6-Month Olds

Verywell / Chloe Jeong

In addition to getting cuter every second 6-month-olds are reaching a time of huge growth and development, as some babies will begin babbling, sitting up on their own, and eating solid food. To celebrate these major accomplishments, add a developmental toy to your child's collection. These educational toys also make a great holiday gift for any little one in your life. When shopping, consider what’s best for the child and their lifestyle—most importantly, ensure the toy is safe by avoiding anything with small pieces that could pose a choking hazard.

Reviewed & Approved

"By six months, a baby is able to roll over and start to sit unassisted. As babies get older, you want developmental toys that encourage your baby to sit up and play and even start crawling. Once babies become more mobile, they need toys that can keep up," says Laurie Leahey, senior editor at Toys, Tots, Pets & More (TTPM). We researched value, toy safety, and age recommendations when reviewing these best toys for 6-month-olds.

LeapFrog My Pal Scout Smarty Paws Puppy

My Pal Scout Smarty Paws

Amazon

Pros
  • Over 40 lullabies with three time-lengths

  • Can be personalized to say child's name

  • Over 15 learning activities

Cons
  • Needs setup for personalization to work

Sing, play, and dance along with this cute puppy pal that will help your little one as they learn first words (including feelings and emotions), numbers, and colors. The LeapFrog My Pal Scout Smarty Paws is at the top of our list because of the endless ways to play and loads of learning activities. When kiddos grab onto Scout’s paws, the pup will react with music, games, and mindfulness exercises, which will stop when the baby lets go—this helps to teach cause and effect. Parents can program the toy with a smartphone, tablet, or computer, so the pup will know the kiddo’s name. 

When it’s time to transition to quiet time, there’s a sensor in Scout’s right paw that activates nighttime mode, which will play five, 10, or 15 minutes of bedtime music (with volume control) that’ll soothe and calm your little one. Plus, thanks to Scout's soft, plush fabric, babies will love snuggling up with their new friend. 

Price at time of publication: $25

The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys

The First Years Stack Up Cups

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Free of BPA, lead, or phthalates

  • Numbers on base encourage counting skills

  • Lightweight for babies, sturdy enough for toddlers

Cons
  • Only toddlers might be able to grip

These eight brightly colored cups are fun for stacking and pouring and will even help teach some early number and color recognition. Each cup has different variations of holes in the bottom, so your kiddo will love filling them up with water or sand and then watching it trickle out of the bottom. These easy-to-clean stacking cups are versatile, budget-friendly toys.

Price at time of publication: $5

What Our Editors Say

"For $5, you can't do better. My daughter loved these simple cups so much that we got a set for our house as well as her grandparents'. The set kept her occupied, whether she was making noise with the cups, stacking them, or just throwing them on the floor!" Lauren Levinson, Editorial Director, Verywell Family 

SmartNoggin NogginStik Developmental Light-Up Rattle

5
SmartNoggin NogginStik Developmental Light-Up Rattle

Bed Bath and Beyond

Pros
  • Free of BPA, PVC, phthalates, or lead

  • Color-changing lights for visual tracking skills

  • Mirror on bottom for early self-recognition and vision skills

  • Textured body encourages sense of touch

Cons
  • Plastic design could deter some buyers

Increase cognitive development with this multi-purpose toy. Each Noggin Head has color-changing lights that are activated when batted by the baby's hand. The eyes on the face encourage visual tracking, the texture on the toy’s body provides tactile engagement, a built-in rattle increases audio engagement, and a mirror on the bottom helps babies see themselves.

Included with the toy is a parent’s guide to monitoring milestones. 

Price at time of publication: $24

Sassy Tummy Time Floor Mirror

Sassy Tummy Time Floor Mirror

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Easy to set up

  • Rattle and crinkly bee encourage development of touch

  • Mirror stimulates early self-recognition and vision skills

Cons
  • Construction of mirror could deter some

Tummy time just got a lot more engaging (and cute!) with this floor mirror made just for babies. Easy to set up, the easel-shaped mirror stands on the floor while the mirror engages the baby's developing vision. Curious kids will love grabbing for the rotating, clicking, and crinkly bee and ladybug rattle that are both attached to the mirror. 

Price at time of publish: $21

What the Experts Say

"Milestones at six months relate to the child’s ability to start interacting with the world.  This means recognizing their own faces and faces of important people in their lives.  Children at this age develop an interest in seeing themselves, and I like toys with mirrors that allow themselves the opportunity to see their face in different contexts." Daniel Marston, PhD, ABPP, clinical psychologist

Edushape See-Me 4-Inch Sensory Balls

Edushape See-Me 4-Inch Sensory Balls

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Can be rolled, gripped, tossed, and bounced

  • Easy-gripping nubby texture for tactile development

  • Bright colors for visual recognition skills

Cons
  • Some might find it not entirely stimulating

Engage baby’s senses and tactile development with this set of four sensory balls that are fun for rolling, gripping, tossing, and bouncing. The bright color design and nubby surface make these versatile toys for kids of all ages, so they’re perfect for young kids and their older siblings. Parents appreciate that they come perfectly inflated, so they’re easy for little hands to grab and grip. 

Price at time of publication: $20

Fat Brain Toys InnyBin

Fat Brain Toys InnyBin

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Textured chunky blocks for grip and touch

  • Stimulates fine motor skills

  • Different styles of blocks for shapes learning

Cons
  • Straps on box might restrict some hands

  • A bit more expensive

Babies will love exploring the textures of the six chunky blocks that are sized just right for little hands. Children are challenged to push the different shapes through the elastic bands of the cube, encouraging fine motor skills, tactile exploration, and experimentation. A self-contained toy, kids can put other toys in the versatile bin for added storage and learning.

Price at time of publish: $26

ALEX Toys Discover My Busy Town Activity Cube

ALEX Toys Discover My Busy Town Activity Cube

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Improves gross motor skills

  • Offers a full-body engagement

  • Five sides of various learning activities

Cons
  • Construction could use some work

  • A bit more expensive

Babies can use their large muscles to improve gross motor skills by playing with this cube, sitting at it, pulling themselves up, and eventually standing at the sturdy wooden toy. The five sides of fun include curvy wire rides, peek-a-boo doors, spin and match animals, ABC tiles, and more. While it’s recommended for ages 12 months and up, most 6-month-old babies can begin playing with this toy and will age into it. 

Price at time of publication: $111

Baby Einstein Sticky Spinner High Chair Activity Toy

Baby Einstein Sticky Spinner High Chair Activity Toy

Amazon

Pros
  • Great for travel or keeping baby entertained in restaurants

  • BPA-free

  • Encourages hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills

Cons
  • May not suction to every type of surface

This portable spinner toy suctions to tables, highchair trays, and more to keep baby entertained, whether it’s on a plane or during mealtime at home or at a restaurant. The colorful outer loops and the inner ball spin in opposite directions to capture the little one’s attention, and the toy is made out of soft BPA-free plastic, so it’s safe for babies to play with. Kiddos can grasp and spin the loops, helping them practice hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

Price at time of publication: $9

Munchkin Float and Play Bubbles Bath Toy

Munchkin Float and Play Bubbles Bath Toy

Amazon

Pros
  • Stimulates baby’s senses of touch, sight, and hearing

  • Tight seal prevents mold and mildew

  • Can also be used outside of bathtime

Cons
  • Hard to clean under the ring

Keep your baby entertained and engaged during bathtime with these Float and Play Bubbles balls. Each plastic ball has a rotating textured ring on the outside and a fun toy inside that rattles and spins. The spheres are the right size for little hands to grasp, and their tight seal prevents mold and mildew growth.

Price at time of publication: $9

Fat Brain Toys Sensory Rollers

Fat Brain Toys Sensory Rollers

Amazon

Pros
  • BPA-free food-grade silicone material is safe for baby

  • Six different textures to explore

  • Easy to clean

Cons
  • A bit heavy

These silicone sensory rollers are great for babies to explore their senses of sight, taste, touch, and more. Each ball has two unique patterns for little ones to investigate, as well as a chime inside, which rings when the ball is shaken or rolled. Plus, the rollers are dishwasher-safe and made from BPA-free food-grade silicone, so they’re easy to clean and safe for teething babies. 

Price at time of publication: $20

VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube

VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Volume is adjustable and shuts off automatically

  • Grabs baby’s attentions with lights and songs

Cons
  • Lower volume setting may still be too loud for some babies

With five sides of play to explore, babies can press, slide, and twirl this toy’s many buttons and knobs. The cube has a motion sensor, which plays fun sounds when the toy is moved to keep the baby engaged. The four light-up buttons on the top teach your little one about animal names and noises, while other features highlight numbers and letters; together, these features make this an educational toy in addition to a fun one. The volume can be adjusted and will automatically shut off, though new AAA batteries will need to be inserted for the sound and lights to work, as the included batteries are just for demo purposes. 

Price at time of publication: $19

Bright Starts 4-in-1 Groovin’ Kicks Piano Gym

Bright Starts 4-in-1 Groovin’ Kicks Piano Gym

Amazon

Pros
  • Grows with your kid

  • Play mat is machine-washable

  • The toys are detachable

Cons
  • The three required AA batteries are not included

This play gym is fun for your little one at all ages. Before the baby starts sitting, they’ll love laying on the mat and looking up at the toy bar—featuring a plush bird rattle, sun mirror, ring rattle, textured leaf toy, and animal flashcards—and kicking at the piano and drum pad, which lights up and makes several different noises. Once they can sit up, the toy bar can be removed to give them more space, and the piano can be flipped into a seated position. When your kid is older, still, the instrument converts into a fun portable piano and drum toy. Plus, the five toys on the toy bar can be unclipped and taken with you to keep your little one entertained in their stroller or at a restaurant. 

Price at time of publication: $40

Adena Montessori Object Permanence Box

Adena Montessori Object Permanence Box

Amazon

Pros
  • Promotes hand-eye coordination and teaches object permanence

  • Each ball is a different texture for additional exploration

  • Helps develop hand, wrist, and finger control

Cons
  • The balls may be loud when dropped into the box

To use this toy, your baby simply needs to drop a ball into the hole on the top of the wooden box and then watch it reappear as it rolls out into the tray. Watching the balls disappear and reappear will help them work on concentration and object permanence. The three balls are made from different materials—plastic, wood, and a knit ball—for little ones to explore various textures. Depending on the material, the balls might make a loud noise when dropped into the wooden box, so caregivers could add a piece of felt to the bottom of the box. 

Price at time of publication: $23

Manhattan Toy Skwish Classic Rattle and Teether

4.8
Manhattan Toy Skwish Classic Rattle and Teether

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Multi-sensory toy

  • Doubles as a rattle and teether

  • Wood is painted with non-toxic paint

Cons
  • Tricky to clean

This combined rattle and teether helps your baby learn about sound, touch, and taste, while the textured wooden beads and elastic strings are great for tactile exploration. Baby can grasp and shake this toy and watch the colorful beads move back and forth—then, when they’re older, they can use it to learn their colors. The wooden toy is coated in non-toxic paint, so it’s safe for when they inevitably put it in their mouth.

Price at time of publication: $21

Sassy Stacks of Circles Stacking Ring STEM Learning Toy

Sassy Stacks of Circles Stacking Ring STEM Learn

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Variety of textures for teething

  • Helps develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills

  • Clear ring with beads helps baby connect sight and sound

Cons
  • Toy is quite small

From working on hand-eye coordination to encountering new textures, these stacking rings are an engaging way for little ones to explore lots of new sensory skills. Featuring eight different-sized rings to help develop fine motor skills, kiddos can stack the rings onto the straight pole in any order. The rings’ various textures are also great for teething babies, while the clear ring with visible, colorful beads helps them connect what they’re hearing to what they see.

Price at time of publication: $13

Lovevery The Senser Play Kit

Lovevery The Senser Play Kit

Lovevery

Pros
  • Toys are specifically designed to align with milestones

  • Play guide for parents is included

  • Toys are inspired by Montessori learning

Cons
  • Subscription options are pricey

Tailored to babies that are 5–6 months, this kit helps little ones explore their senses and build their skills, from touch to body control to object permanence. The kit includes a spinning rainbow toy, magic tissue box, grippable rainbow ball, “Parts of Me” book, play socks, and a wobbler for tummy time. Also included is a handy play guide for parents with expert tips, at-home activities, additional uses for the toys, and more. Sign up for a single shipment or pre-pay for multiple subscription boxes, delivered every two months. 

Price at time of publication: $80

Manhattan Toy Baby Whoozit 6" Stroller and Travel Activity Toy

Manhattan Toy Baby Whoozit 6-Inch Stroller and Travel Activity Toy

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Super portable

  • Bright colors and patterns are visually appealing

  • Babies can see themselves in the hidden mirror

Cons
  • Not machine-washable

Doubling as a soft stuffed friend, Baby Whoozit is a multisensory toy that babies can play with on the go. With eye-catching patterns like stripes, stars, and checks, the brightly-colored toy crinkles, rattles, and squeaks to engage little ones. Kiddos can grasp Baby Whoozit’s pink mouth loop or red nose, which flips up to reveal a mirror. Attached to the top of its head is a plastic clip, which can attach Baby Whoozit to cribs, strollers, and car seats for portable entertainment. 

Price at time of publication: $19

How We Selected the Best Developmental Toys for 6-Month-Olds

We chose the best developmental toys for 6-month-olds by researching reviews from customers and competitors, and we studied the features of more than two dozen products on the market. We considered price, design, features, ease of cleaning, age recommendations, and material when deciding our picks. We also consulted with Laurie Leahey, senior editor at Toys, Tots, Pets & More (TTPM), and clinical psychologist Daniel Marston, PhD, ABPP, for any considerations or product recommendations while reviewing guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics on toy buying safety.

What to Look for in a Developmental Toy for a 6-Month-Old

Safety

When you’re shopping for toys for a 6-month-old, think large—meaning you don’t want a toy that has pieces small enough to fit in the baby’s mouth.

Also, avoid toys made with bean-like pellets, loose stuffing, and toxic materials. Pellets or loose stuffing can cause suffocation or choking if ingested, while toxic materials may be poisonous.

"If your baby is mobile, block stairs, cover electrical outlets, lock low cabinet doors, and take other appropriate precautions to keep your baby from getting into something or somewhere they shouldn't be," says Laurie Leahey, senior editor at Toys, Tots, Pets & More (TTPM). "Parental supervision is also really important during playtime. That helps keep baby safe, but parent interaction also helps babies develop language skills and promotes the parent-child relationship."

Developmental Milestones

At 6 months old, a lot of exciting developmental milestones are happening, and many of them can be achieved through play.

  • The First Years Stack Up Cups are great for the cognitive skill of passing things from one hand to another. 
  • For language and communication development, try the LeapFrog My Pal Scout, which helps little ones learn vowel sounds.
  • When babies look at themselves in a mirror, such as with the Sassy Tummy Time Floor Mirror, they are working on social and emotional development.

Types of Play 

Clinical psychologist Daniel Marston, PhD, ABPP, recommends "toys that do not limit available activities to one or two things but allow for a variety. In my opinion, this allows the child to develop curiosity and individuality." He continues, "the most important thing that toys offer for children during infancy and the first half of their first year is the ability to not only start to distinguish objects but to interact with the world as soon as they are able."

Understanding your child’s milestones will give you an idea of what steps you need to take to further develop their skills. Parents and caregivers should look for toys that allow babies to explore cause and effect, stimulate the senses, and support fine and gross motor development.

"Interact with the child when using toys, but do not direct the child in using toys," Marston says. "This lets the child develop skills in their own individual way and builds curiosity while fostering individuality."

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What type of toys should my 6-month-old have?

    “When choosing toys for any age group, it is best to consider what developmental milestones are happening with your baby at that time,” says Neela Sethi, MD, lactation expert, MAM Baby ambassador, pediatrician, and mom. Dr. Neela says that at this point in time, babies are usually starting to sit up and can transfer objects between their hands. They also love sounds. “Toys that play music when buttons are pushed are a great option,” says Dr. Neela. “Stacking blocks, toys, where you have to put objects into a container, balls, and toys that have texture or are crinkly, are also fun at this age.”

  • What toys are developmentally appropriate for a 6-month-old?

    Dr. Neela reminds parents that babies are growing fast at this age, and their interest levels may change rapidly along with their development. “Six-month-old babies love toys that play music, activity boxes, and toys with texture,” she says. “They tend to do a lot of teething at this age, so don’t forget the importance of teething toys! MAM teethers massage and cool sore gums, and the outer textures stimulate the sense of touch,” she adds. At this age, babies also love soft books, balls, stacking rings or cups, and blocks.

  • What should 6-month-old babies play with?

    At six months, your baby is excited to be exploring the world around them. Try to find toys that are safe for them to chew on, as well as fun toys that play music or make sounds in response to your child's actions (like pressing a button). “They love balls and things that move,” says Dr. Neela. “It is also fun to stack at this age or place items in a container. As they grow, babies will gravitate to activity centers and plush toys.” At this age, toys can be fairly simple, and something as straightforward as a ball can provide hours of entertainment. Toys and books provide valuable stimulation to help your baby develop.

  • How much do developmental toys for 6-month-olds cost?

    High-quality developmental toys that are age-appropriate for 6-month-olds range in cost, but generally, you can expect to pay between $10 and $40. However, there are plenty of options below $10 and many pricier toys to choose from, such as the Lovevery The Senser Play Kit, if your budget allows. At $5, The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys is the cheapest item on our list and is a simple yet versatile toy. The priciest toy we included is the ALEX Toys Discover My Busy Town Activity Cube, which retails for $100 and is a more elaborate toy with five sides of various learning and fine motor activities.

Why Trust Verywell Family?

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She’s also the mom of a 10-year-old son, 7-year-old son, and 3-year old daughter. Her favorite toys for younger kids are simple toys that have longevity and might be enjoyed by older siblings, too, like stacking toys and book sets.

Phoebe Sklansky is Verywell Family’s Associate Commerce Editor. She is a big fan of sensory play and has fond memories of watching her younger brother play with the Whoozit as a child.

Additional reporting by Ashley Ziegler

4 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. How to buy safe toys.

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Important milestones: Your baby by six months.

  3. Rosenberg RA, Butler RA. Sound as a reinforcer for infants’ manipulations of toysJ Speech Hear Disord. 1982;47(3):292-295. doi:10.1044/jshd.4703.292

  4. Kim ET, Lillie M, Gallis J, et al. Correlates of early stimulation activities among mothers of children under age two in Siaya County, Kenya: Maternal mental health and other maternal, child, and household factorsSocial Science & Medicine. 2021;287:114369. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114369