The 19 Best Toys for 5-Month-Olds of 2022

From stacking cups to play gyms, your baby will fall in love with these toys

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During their first year, buying a toy for a baby isn’t as simple as just walking down a toy aisle and picking something that features one of their favorite characters. Instead, you need to prioritize safety (babies at this age love to put things in their mouths), is developmentally appropriate and promotes progress toward their milestones, and gives them opportunities to explore.

Reviewed & Approved

The Lovevery Play Gym can be used when your little is a newborn for tummy time or as a safe space to play comfortably as they get older. For a smaller toy you can take on the go, we recommend the Skip Hop Bandana Buddies Animal Activity Toy.

By 5 months, your baby is probably rolling over, passing objects between their hands, and working on their core as they get closer to sitting up independently. According to Lauren Quinn, OTD, OTR/L, CNT, an occupational therapist and NICU clinical specialist, infants at this age are interested in exploring their senses and playing with textures.” We carefully looked over toy safety, design, value, age recommendations, and material when reviewing products.

Here are the top toys for 5-month-olds for active play and learning.

Lovevery Play Gym Activity Gym and Play Mat

Lovevery The Play Gym

Courtesy of The Tot

The Lovevery Play Gym is our top pick because this durable play gym can be used immediately after birth and throughout the first year of life. Made from sustainable wood, non-toxic organic cotton, and non-toxic polyester, this play gym is designed with different activities that support physical development and is great for babies to enjoy all day long.

There are five Montessori-inspired play zones and different activities that adults can either take out or hide away when the baby is under- or over-stimulated. It can also be set up and collapsed in two minutes for easy storage.

Skip Hop Bandana Buddies Animal Activity Toy

Skip Hop Bandana Buddies Animal Activity Toy

Courtesy of Skip Hop

Available in a variety of different animals, these buddies can clip to a stroller, high chair, or a diaper bag to play with on the go or while hanging out at home. Each animal has its own unique design, but regardless of the one you choose it will offer a variety of different textures for your baby to touch, grab, scrunch, and chew on.

Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy

4.5
winkel-rattle

Courtesy of Amazon

The Winkel is a must-have because there are so many ways to play with it and it’s safe for babies of all ages. In the center, it has a little cube that rattles when the baby shakes the toy. Coming off of the cube are several colorful plastic tubes that loop around so that babies can easily grab and chew as a teether.

It serves as both a toy as well as a teether, and it can even be put into the freezer to make it extra soothing for sore gums.

Bright Starts Oball Rattle

Bright Starts Oball Rattle

Courtesy of Bright Starts

Oballs are great for grabbing, shaking, tossing, and passing from hand to hand. They come in various colors and styles, but this specific design includes a rattle that offers a sensory aspect thanks to the satisfying sound.

Finally, the ball is made from smooth, flexible plastic that babies can safely chew on.

Sophie la Girafe So'Pure Totem Rattle, Red/Yellow

Sophie la Girafe So'Pure Totem Rattle, Red/Yellow

Courtesy of Sophie la Girafe

Great for sensory play, this toy features sound from the rattle as well as different textures for babies to touch and mouth on for exploration. The rattle is made from rubberwood, which is durable and safe.

Additionally, even though the rattle has a minimalistic aesthetic overall, it does still feature four separate colors to grab babies’ attention and pique their interest.

Skip Hop Explore & More Baby’s View 3-Stage Activity Center

Skip Hop Explore & More Baby’s View 3-Stage Activity Center

Courtesy of Amazon

There is a lot to love about this toy because not only is it packed with features that are perfect for 5-month-olds, but it also offers three different stages of play so it can be enjoyed well into the toddler years.

There are four different height options, the seat swivels 360 degrees, there is a discovery window where babies can watch their feet tap on colorful piano keys, and it’s packed with different activities for babies to explore and engage their senses.

Sassy Peek-a-Boo Activity Book

Sassy Peek-a-Boo Activity Book

Courtesy of Sassy

This is a small, simple toy that babies absolutely love. It’s soft and waterproof, so little ones can chew on and drool all over it without damaging it. The book has a handy clip attached to it so that you can hang it on a stroller or high chair to help keep your little one occupied.

Finally, each page in the book has contrasting color designs that are visually engaging without being overstimulating for babies.

Infantino Pat and Play Water Mat

Infantino Pat and Play Water Mat

Courtesy of Infantino

Water play is great for sensory exploration, and this mat lets babies play with water without getting it all over the place. Just fill it up with water and then set it on a flat surface, like a high chair tray or the floor, and watch your baby pat it and move the little fish inside around (which also introduces them to cause and effect).

STEAM Life Plush Elephant Baby Toy

STEAM Life Plush Elephant Baby Toy

Walmart

With this elephant, kids get a plush toy as well as an electronic toy with different ways to play. The body of the elephant features three different buttons, each with its own shape and color, that play music, light up, or make funny sounds.

Melissa & Doug Flip Fish Soft Baby Toy

Melissa & Doug Flip Fish Soft Baby Toy

Courtesy of Melissa & Doug

Babies can explore different textures and colors as well play with this fish that has flippable scales. Each scale on the fish features a different design on each side so it’s like a little game of hide-and-seek. It also features crinkly fabrics for extra sensory play and it's machine washable.

Munch Baby Chew Cube

Munch Baby Chew Cube

Buy Buy Baby

Made for babies between 3 and 12 months old, this rattle-teether combo is available in an assortment of aesthetically pleasing colors. The smaller cube on the inside of the large silicone cube rattles in a satisfying way when it’s shaken. The super-smooth silicone features different textures that are perfect for sensory exploration as well as teething.

Manhattan Toy Wimmer Ferguson Mind Cubes

Manhattan Toy Wimmer Ferguson Mind Cubes

Courtesy of Manhattan Toy

You get four separate cubes in this playset designed for babies from birth. Each cube features fun designs in contrasting colors including letters, numbers, shapes, and animals. For a little extra fun, the cubes also have different tags sticking out from one of their sides to offer some sensory play as well.

The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys

The First Years Stack Up Cups

Courtesy of Amazon

These simple little cups are toys that will be fun for your baby now and into the toddler years (especially in the bathtub). The set comes with eight cups in different colors that are sized to nest/stack onto each other as well as a star-shaped ring that holds them all together when they’re not being played with.

Additionally, the cups each have a different number on them and have little holes on the bottom so that water can sprinkle out of them.

Baby Einstein Stack & Teethe Multi Texture Teether Toy

Baby Einstein Stack & Teethe Multi Texture Teether Toy

Courtesy of Baby Einstein

Babies get five separate pieces with this stacking toy, each of which is its own size, color, and texture. The pieces can be stacked together and played as one, or pulled apart to be played with individually. It’s made from soft, non-toxic rubber that’s both safe and soothing for babies to chew on as they explore and teethe.

Sophie la Girafe So’Pure Senso Ball

Sophie la Girafe So’Pure Senso Ball

Courtesy of Sophie la Girafe

This toy is great for sensory play because its unique design features several different textures as well as little colorful holes for babies to touch and stick their fingers into. It’s made from safe, soft rubber that is fun to play with and also really good for pain relief from teething.

Finally, it has two handles that are specifically designed for little hands to grasp onto.

Infantino Balls, Blocks, & Cups Activity Set

Infantino Balls, Blocks, & Cups Activity Set

Courtesy of Infantino

There are 16 pieces that come in this activity set including stacking cups, numbered blocks, and sensory balls. Each piece is made from materials that are safe for babies to put in their mouths and can be easily wiped down to clean. The set is full of bright colors, fun textures, and plenty of opportunities for learning and exploration.

Busy Baby Activity Chair

Busy Baby Activity Chair

Courtesy of Busy Baby

Made from super-soft, safe materials, this little chair offers babies a cozy spot to sit and lots of activities to keep them occupied. It features a mirror, rattle, squeaky toy, as well as several sensory details that are perfect for exploration. This chair is made to sit on the floor and designed to assist your baby as they build strength to sit on their own.

Baby Einstein Discover & Play Piano Musical Toy

Baby Einstein Discover & Play Piano Musical Toy

Courtesy of Baby Einstein

This little piano plays music, lights up, and has plenty of buttons for little fingers to press on. The three buttons make animal sounds, speak numbers, and play music from different instruments. The keys of the piano are made from soft textured fabric, offering babies sight, sound, and touch stimulation.

Baby Einstein Star Bright Symphony Plush Musical Take-Along Toy

Baby Einstein Star Bright Symphony Plush Musical Take-Along Toy

Courtesy of Baby Einstein

This little star toy offers a great way to integrate music into your baby’s play, especially when they’re in need of some stimulation. It plays six different classical melodies and has several, gentle lights that flash when the music is being played.

Additionally, the toy is equipped with a strap so that it can be attached to a high chair or stroller.

Final Verdict

While a 5-month-old will certainly find joy in any of these toys, the Lovevery Play Gym (view at Amazon) is our top pick because of the various ways for babies to engage, the five Montessori-style play zones, and its overall aest hetic.

What to Look for in Toys for 5-Month-Olds

Safety

The first thing to consider when purchasing a toy for a 5-month-old is whether or not it is safe and age-appropriate for them. By this age, babies have a lot more personality, which might make them seem older and more developed than they actually are, so it’s best to avoid any toy that isn’t marked as safe for babies under 6 months old.

Additionally, at 5 months, babies love to grab everything, especially objects that seem out of reach, and are exploring all kinds of different textures with their hands and their mouths. This means you have to assume that any toy that you purchase for them will likely go straight into their mouth.

Other things to be mindful of when shopping for toys for 5-month-olds include making sure there are no sharp corners that could hurt their gums, that nothing on the toy that has the potential to pinch, and that any materials used are safe for them to put in their mouths. 

Developmental Milestones

In the first year of life, development is a major factor to consider when selecting toys. First, any toy should be appropriate for a 5-month-old to play with based on their development, and second, it’s ideal if the toy offers a way to help them develop further and reach new milestones. Some common milestones and developmental activities to consider for 5-month-olds include:

  • At around this age, babies start to pass objects from one hand to another. Support this skill with a toy like the Winkel (view on Amazon) that has an easy-to-grab design.
  • At 5 months old, most “infants enjoy being upright or in a seated position...while exploring the world,” says occupational therapist and NICU clinical specialist Lauren Quinn, OTD, OTR/L, CNT. The Busy Baby Activity Chair (view on Crate and Barrel) is an excellent toy for this kind of play.
  • When standing (with help), 5-month-olds typically have enough strength to support their weight on their legs and might even bounce, so the Skip Hop Baby Activity Center (view on Amazon) is a great pick for this milestone. 

Exploration Opportunities

“Five-month-olds are actively seeking sensory input,” says Quinn, so toys that allow them to explore different senses and textures will be great for their development as well as fun for them to play with.

Quinn explains that, for 5-month-olds, some of the best activities “include play with lightweight sensory objects to encourage reaching and grasping, manipulation of different shapes, sizes, and textures.”

Another way to support exploration and sensory development is with toys that play music. According to Quinn, “the integration of music into play often promotes engagement and learning” at this age.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What types of toys should my 5-month-old have?

    Age-appropriate toys for a 5-month-old include anything that is safe to go into their mouths, as that is how they explore the world at this age. Look for toys that are soft or have soft corners, which includes a lot of plastic and silicone options. Also look for toys that have a lot of sensory elements, such as bright colors, different textures, or musical sounds.

  • How can I keep my 5-month-old entertained?

    A 5-month-old is rolling, reaching and working on tummy time. They are very busy at this age figuring their world out. They don’t need a ton of toys to keep them entertained, but it’s nice to have a few on hand that are safe. That means anything that is sensory-driven, such as rattles or colorful items, and anything that they can grasp, as they are learning how to pass things back and forth. Smiling, singing, and reading to your baby are ways to keep your baby entertained without toys. 

  • What toys should I buy my 5-month-old for the holidays?

    Buying holiday gifts for a 5-month-old might seem stressful if you don’t know what kinds of toys are appropriate. A few suggestions include rattles, teethers, a play gym, or an activity book, all of which are safe and help babies explore. At this age, anything they can grasp is a focus. You can help your baby develop skills by simply placing a soft-sided toy slightly out of reach.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Ashley Ziegler is a staff and freelance writer who covers lifestyle, home, parenting, and commerce content for a variety of platforms. She’s a wife to a public school administrator and mom to 1-year-old and 3-year-old daughters. In addition to regularly scouring the internet to find the best things for herself, Ashley spends multiple hours a week researching, comparing, and writing about products specifically for kids and families.

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