The Best Toys For 6
Top-tier toy options for the teething, crawling, babbling age group.
As a new parent, I remember being totally clueless about baby toys. I thought, Do babies even need toys? I sure did have a lot to learn. One thing I did pick up on quickly though is that when they’re around 6 months old, babies will play with pretty much anything — a cardboard box, the remote, your house keys. Everything is a toy. But, there are also some amazing toys on the market for this age group, and the best toys for 6-month-olds tend to be ones that will support their development and even grow with them.
At around 6 months, babies start to grab anything and everything within their reach, and it almost always winds up in their mouth. So, it's especially important for 6-month-old toys to be made with materials that are safe for teething. Crawling is also a developmental milestone that can be on a 6-month-old's radar. Toys that encourage babies to scoot across the floor, use their arms and legs to propel themselves, and eventually build up the strength needed to crawl are right on target for this age range.
When considering which toys to purchase for a 6-month-old, it is important to note that "not every toy is safe even when marketed as age-appropriate," says Dr. Michelle Ruda, a board-certified pediatrician and UTHealth Division Director of Child Safety and Integrated Care, an affiliate of Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas. "Parents and caregivers should be aware that serious injuries can and do occur from seemingly appropriate toys," she tells Romper. Ruda advises parents to read labels carefully and avoid toys that have small batteries or high-powered magnets that can potentially be ingested and cause serious injury.
"Be careful when purchasing crib toys to avoid potential choke hazards and an unsafe sleep environment," Ruda says. "Buy toys with parts that are larger than your child's mouth and avoid those with small, loose parts. Soft objects and loose bedding can increase the risk of suffocation in an infant. Items with strings (i.e. mobiles, hanging toys) should be kept out of reach to prevent strangulation injuries."
Whether you’re stocking your own baby's toy room or shopping for a baby shower gift, this list of the best toys for 6-month-olds is full of great options that will keep babies engaged, occupied, learning, and stimulated while they play.
Pros: Interactive design is idea for cause and effect play.
Cons: The weighted bottom makes this toy a bit heavy.
To keep your curious baby engaged in tummy time play, the Hape Penguin Musical Wobbler is one of the best toys for 6-month-olds. The penguin's uniquely weighted roly-poly design means your little one can bat at it as they lay on their tummy, but it won't roll away or fall over. It also plays soothing jingling sounds while its arms shake and wobble along as it moves.
Review: "This thing is my son's favorite toy. He got it as a Christmas present when he was only 4 months old, so couldn't interact with it a great deal, but loved watching it wobble and listening to the sound. Then at 5 months old, he because really into it, kicking and batting at it, and now at 6 months old, thinks it's amazing. It's fairly heavy for him, but he will still pick it up for a few seconds before dropping it. We put it on his Exersaucer and as he bounces and moves around, it makes this toy wobble around and play nice notes (similar to a xylophone sound, but with less vibration). For tummy time, he just loves it and reaches for it before the other toys we surround him with. It's very sturdy - he's dropped it off his Exersaucer numerous times, but it survives. It's a high quality toy that I would expect to be more expensive for its size, sturdiness and utility. Haba is a quality brand and we've loved all Haba toys in our collection, past and present."
Pros: Each cup has a small drain hole so water won't stay in and get stagnant after bath time.
Cons: Not great for teething because of the rounded edges.
Every little kid needs a set of cups to play with in the bathtub. It's basically a parenting law. Could you just grab a few measuring cups or plastic kiddie cups from the kitchen to fulfill this requirement? Technically, yes. But they wouldn't be nearly as cute as this colorful set sitting on the edge of the tub all lined up in size order. Not only is this set of eight nesting cups classic and fun, they’re budget friendly, made without BPA, lead, or phthalates, and each one has a small hole in the bottom for water to drain out of.
Review: "These are a great price and such a staple toy! I have seen them enjoyed by kids from baby to 3 years old. They are vivid colors and so fun."
Pros: Can be played with in multiple ways as a rattle, teether, or push car.
Cons: Measuring approximately 4 inches long, this car is on the smaller side.
Babies can go from teething to shaking to rolling with this adorable car toy. Colorful beads inside the wheels make noise as they car is pushed, which can help to encourage crawling. The car's lightweight construction makes it easy for little hands to push across the floor, but some reviews do note that it doesn't roll as well on carpeted floors as it does on hard floors.
Review: "My son loves the beads in the wheels and that it is easy to hold onto. Wheels roll well and easily. Unlike other baby cars, it does not tip over on its side as easily which keeps my baby from getting frustrated. He drives this crawling around all over the house."
Pros: Ergonomically designed with a textured chewing surface and made with a nontoxic gel interior that stays cool after being refrigerated.
Cons: Cannot be cleaned in the dishwasher or a bottle sterilizer.
In the search for teething toys for 6-month-olds, anything that can by grabbed firmly by baby's tiny fingers and stuck far enough in their mouth to reach those pesky back teeth is ideal. Add in the ability to create a cooling effect on sore gums and you have a definite winner. The keys are free of BPA, phthalate, PVC, and latex, and can be easily cleaned with soap and water.
Review: "These are a fantastic teething product. My baby loves to chew them and play with them. They are bigger than I thought, but this isn't an issue. We put them in the fridge because he loves them when they are cold. They came really fast, and were nicely packaged. Would highly recommend."
Pros: A simple toy that helps with shape recognition, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving.
Cons: Some babies may get frustrated if they can't get the blocks lined up just right.
A shape sorting block set is a classic baby toy that is ideal for 6-month-olds as they start to really work on their fine motor skills. (But like, will they ever be able to use a spoon without flinging strained peas everywhere?) This toy is expertly designed so that all 10 block shapes fit right inside of the storage bucket. The lid comes off so that your baby can dump everything out and start the game over and over again. Plus, it has a carrying handle for them to tote the entire bucket around as they grow and start walking, so it's not a toy your little one will outgrow anytime soon. It's lightweight and affordable, too... what's not to love?
Review: "We've had these for a few months now and my baby loves knocking over the bucket to make noise, banging the shapes together and on things, and using them as teething toys. She hasn't figured out how to put them in the right holes yet, but she's getting there. Such a simple toy, but perfect for motor skills for babies 6 months and up."
Pros: Brightly colored rings with interactive elements that can be stacked in any order.
Cons: Rings will melt if put in dishwasher or bottle sterilizer.
There are numerous stacking ring sets on the market for babies. From rainbow-hued options that stack only in size order to Instagram-worthy pastel wood toys that look to pretty to touch, the choices can be overwhelming. This set is a top toy for 6-month-olds thanks to the inclusion of different rings that each provide a unique sensory, textural, and visual experience. With bright colors, varying patterns, different weights, and even one ring that rattles, little ones are encouraged to engage in sorting and sequencing when playing with the rings. The rings are also easy to grasp and can be stacked in any order, so they’re less frustrating to play with than similar sets.
Review: "My favorite part of this product is that all the rings fit in any order. My grandson first started using this (well, I helped) when he was about 6 months old. Even now at 10 months I'm quite sure he would get frustrated if he had to put them on in a particular order to make them fit. Also, each ring is quite different from the other rings so the toy provides a lot more sensory experience than the traditional ring stacker. Not just colors, but the way each ring feels is very different. And it's well made and durable, so no problems there. Great product!!"
Pros: Easy-to-hold handles allow little hands to easily grasp this textured teething toy.
Cons: Measuring 3.5 x 1 x 4 inches, this toy is on the smaller side for a handheld teether.
Made from BPA-free silicone, this teething toy from Infantino is specifically designed to give teething babies a soft, but strong material to bite into. The toy is shaped like a carrot with different textures across the top easy-to-grasp handles on either side so that your baby can keep hold of the toy and gnaw on it. The silicone surface can be easily wiped clean with soap and water or a baby-safe cleansing wipe.
Review: "This is a hit with our twins. They fight over it! I bought it for their Easter basket not really thinking much of it, but they love it. It's a great material and easy to grab. The thickness is nice for teething. It also is not hollow so it's easy to wash and no mold issues. Both babies give it two thumbs up!"
Pros: With lots of areas to grab onto, this rolling rattle encourages crawling.
Cons: Top-heavy design doesn't allow it to sit upright when put down.
How adorable is the cute hedgehog design on this toy? Part rattle, part ball, this little guy rocks and rolls as baby plays to encourage movement. The teether beads and raised ears are perfect for little ones to nibble on. It's perfectly-sized for tiny hands to grasp the different openings and can easily attached to a stroller or carrier if playing on the go.
Review: "This is my second time purchasing this product! I have had one for both kids and both times was the favorite toy. It is really cute and a perfect toy. Has a little rattle in it so make noise, beads to move around, and lots of places for them to hold on to."
Pros: Can be played with in or out of the tub.
Cons: Some purchasers received sets with duplicate animals instead of four different designs.
Finding a bath toy for 6-month-olds that won't mold and is easy to clean, but will keep them thoroughly engaged and happy while they splash and splash isn't always easy. The Munchkin Float and Play Bath Bubbles are spinning, rattling bath toys with cute figurines and rattling elements inside that keep babies entertained during bath time. Each bubble spins independently inside of a textured ring that's easy for baby to grasp and floats in the tub. This particular package comes with a set of four bubble balls including two that have various animals like a penguin or turtle on the inside.
Review: "The balls float, roll, and most importantly make fun noises when hit against each other. For a child with rudimentary gross motor skills, this proved to be an excellent hit — so much so that we bought them for our friends' children!"
Pros: Each rattle makes a distinctive sound, great for throwing in the diaper bag and actually keeps baby engaged.
Cons: Some parents find the rattle sounds annoying and unnecessarily loud.
It can be difficult to find a baby rattle that's an entertaining enough toy to keep a 6-month-old engaged for very long. By this age, babies want to toss things, put them in their mouth, move things back and forth from hand to hand, and have been introduced to bigger toys that light up or make noise to get their attention. With the Skip Hop Mara-Corns, you get two rattles that are easy to grasp and make two distinct sounds to keep your baby shaking and moving along with them. Plus, the smiling corn and husk design is just downright adorable, so what baby wouldn't want to hang onto them?
Review: "Great quality, super cute, perfect for little hands!"
Pros: Won't roll out of reach.
Cons: Smaller hands may not be able to firmly grasp the plastic bump elements.
There actually aren't many balls specifically designed to be played with by 6-month-olds. If the ball rolls away, it's hard for a baby to chase it unless they’re already an expert crawler, which most are not at this age. This is one toy that won't easily roll away from your baby as they play. Each textural bump on the ball's exterior boasts a unique design or bright color to keep baby engaged and several are clear with colorful beads that rattle around inside. These same bumps also make the ball easy to shake, toss, or move from one hand to the other.
Review: "Very cute ball! I love that every part is different. It keeps baby occupied, and it's very colorful!"
Pros: Silicone material is thick, but flexible, so it's easy to grasp and perfect for teething.
Cons: The suction cup bottom does not stick well to surfaces that are at all textured.
One of the hardest things about trying to eat a meal with a baby at the table is keeping them occupied at the table. When my kids were babies, I was forever looking for a toy to distract them so that I could scarf down my food. This is exactly the type of toy that solves this dilemma. Part teething toy, part sensory experience, the bright orange tower suctions to any smooth surface while baby explores the textured rings attached. It's small enough to throw in a diaper bag when dining out, the 100% food-grade silicone construction is perfect for teething, and it can be easily sanitized after use.
Review: "Such a great toy! We’ve used this thing everywhere. We’ve stuck it on windows, doors, high chairs, the floor, etc. My daughter loves to chew on it and hasn't grown bored with it yet. Would be great to stick to a plane tray for in-flight entertainment."
Pros: The lightweight, collapsable design is great for on-the-go play.
Cons: Can be easily knocked over while playing.
Toys that are designed specifically to be used during tummy time are a great choice for 6-month-olds who need something entertaining to engage with while they work on their muscle development and strength prior to crawling. Even once your baby is on the move, this mirror's different elements are still super fun to play with while sitting up. Babies will love looking at the cute bugs, playing with the crinkle flaps at the bottom, or just waving and smiling at themselves in the mirror's reflective surface.
Review: "Great little mirror. Perfect for tummy time. The bumble has crinkly wings. The ladybug makes a rattling sound when you roll the black and white part. It stands well on its own."
Pros: Parental controls let you choose to play sounds in English, Spanish, or French, as well as adjust the volume.
Cons: The buttons on each leg are sensitive and may be activated unintentionally.
A stuffed animal that doubles as a learning toy is a fun way to keep 6-month-olds engaged and entertained during playtime. The Baby Einstein Octoplush is a musical octopus that introduces babies to colors and music in an exciting and age-appropriate way. With a super soft texture and huggable design, your little one will love snuggling up to this friendly sea creature as it plays classical tunes. Each time you squeeze one of the octopus’ legs, your baby will hear the name of the color that corresponds to the image on that leg.
Review: "My six month old absolutely adores this toy. Honestly she almost likes it too much because when she sees it she starts shrieking and bouncing and gets really hyper. Sometimes we have to take it away so she can calm down before getting it back. She hugs it really hard and will wiggle along to the music. It is very easy for her to push the buttons and manipulate the toy. It was definitely worth the cost for how much she loves it."
Pros: Tactile stimulation, colorful beads, and a spinning center are great for developing eye tracking and hand-eye coordination.
Cons: The textured surface of the wheel can be difficult to clean.
When it comes to highchair toys for 6-month-olds, you really want something that can stay firmly stuck to the tray surface so that your little one doesn't fling it clear across the room. The Sassy Wonder Wheel has a sturdy suction cup to keep this toy right where it is supposed to be as your baby spins the wheel and watches the colorful beads inside turn around and around. It really does keep your baby distracted if you need a moment or two to prep before eating or clean up after meals.
Review: "This is literally one of the most useful purchases we have made for our baby. He is 9 months old and has been using it since he was about 5 months. This keeps him so entertained and happy when we go out to dinner. Unfortunately it doesn't stick on every surface, which is to be expected with a suction cup, but it works for most restaurant tables. Everyone comments on how cool it is too. We definitely didn't want to be those parents that just give our kid a phone to stare at to keep him occupied while we are out, especially this young. I’m glad we found such a great alternative."
Pros: Encourages crawling and large motor skill development.
Cons: Balls won't go through the top when just dropped in, but must be pushed down to go in. Balls can easily roll under the couch.
One of the things my own kids loved to do when they first started sitting up and attempting to crawl was to push a toy car or truck across the ground. The bigger the toy vehicle, the easier it was for them to get a good grasp on it and shove it across the floor. Not only is this toy dump truck perfectly-sized for babies ages 6 months and up, it can be pushed or pulled by an attached string. To keep your little one entertained, this interactive VTech toy includes colorful buttons that play music and phrases when pressed. There are also three balls to play with that the dump truck will count out loud when put into the top opening.
Review: "After a year of play and countless drops it's still going strong."
Pros: Three different sound settings play multiple, realistic car noises.
Cons: Steering wheel only rotates slightly and does not turn a full 360 degrees.
Toys for 6-month-olds that model real-life activities like cooking, working on a computer, or even driving let little ones model exactly what they see you doing day in and day out. With this driving toy, they can grip the baby-sized steering wheel and move in back and forth to make the dog character above the wheel move. Grab the turn signal to hear a blinker sound, move the shifter, and turn the key to hear the engine roar. The buttons at the top of the toy play music, sounds, and animal noises depending on the mode of play selected.
Review: "My little girl loves this. I sit it in her lap after I get her buckled into her car seat. I can tell you it is durable as it's fallen out of the car a few times and still looks and works great. I love that it has so many different buttons to push and that it has three settings which make all those same buttons do different things. I would highly recommend this to entertain your little one at home or on the road."
Pros: Made from soft, BPA-free plastic with bright colors and animal designs, they’re safe for teething babies to put in their mouth and easy to wipe clean.
Cons: Not designed to drain water, so mold may grow inside if used in the bathtub or put in the dishwasher.
A sturdy, but squeezable and squeaky block that can be hurled across the room without fear of breaking or damaging anything is an absolute winner as far as toys for 6-month-olds go. I was gifted a set of these building blocks when pregnant with my oldest, so I can can personally verify that they were a hit with both of my boys, who played with them well beyond babyhood. But you don't just have to take my word for it — there are more than 10,000 five star reviews on Amazon that also rave about this set.
Review: "Love this block set! The blocks are soft enough to chew/gnaw on, but sturdy enough to actually build with them. My daughter also really enjoys the squeak sound that they make."
Pros: BPA-free teething loops are easy to grasp and soothing for baby's gums.
Cons: Can't be heat sterilized; use only soap and water to clean.
At first glance, this teething toy from Manhattan Toy company doesn't look all that entertaining, but it's specifically designed to keep babies focused and soothe teething troubles. The colorful teething tubes that make up the exterior of this toy are expertly intertwined to hold your baby's attention. The tubes are all attached to a solid center block with a rattle inside that keeps them anchored in place no matter how hard your baby tugs and chews.
Review: "This is such a fun toy for my son. It has a variety of colors which he enjoys looking at. Each of the ‘rings’ are soft and pliable. They are easy for him to put in his mouth to chew on. It also has a pleasant rattle in the center box. The rattle makes a soft rattling noise when shaken. I was also impressed with the weight of the toy."
Pros: This soft-sided cube for sensory play encourages both fine and gross motor development.
Cons: Animal sound buttons can be difficult to press.
Soft-sided activity cubes like this one from Melissa & Doug are a staple toy for 6-month-olds. Especially for babies who like to smack their toys against themselves and anything else within arm's reach, this is one toy that won't hurt them or cause any damage when that happens. (Because they pretty much all do that eventually, let's be honest.) Each face of this multicolored cube features a different barnyard animal, textured pull tabs, and crinkly accessories to keep little ones tuned into the toy as they play with it. They can grab it by the side handle to give it a firm shake, gaze into the baby-safe mirror on the top, and even gnaw on the edges when teething. It's a really versatile toy that offers different options for play and keeps babies thoroughly engaged.
Review: "Great, colorful cube for my little guy to enjoy. He especially loves the soft sheep ears. The different sides keep him amply entertained. Great product for the price!"
Pros: This interactive toy encourages crawling.
Cons: Wheels don't turn well on carpet.
Looking for something interactive that encourages crawling but isn't too difficult of a toy for 6-month-olds to operate? This adorable crawling caterpillar checks all the boxes. The press-and-go design means that when your little one pushes down on the center ball, the caterpillar will illuminate, the wheels will rotate, and it will begin inching along for your baby to follow. As the wheels turn, colorful beads spin inside of them, music plays, and the caterpillar's head swivels. Amazon reviewers note that while the wheels will turn on carpeted floors, they do tend to work better on a hard surface, which is something to keep in mind when considering this toy.
Review: "I bought this toy for my grandson who is just starting to crawl and he loved it. It scoots when you push down on it, includes nice sounding music and subtle lights. The parents of our other two younger grandkids (6 months old) liked the toy as well so I bought two more for their children to enjoy when they start crawling."
Pros: Made from heavy-duty PVC, the mat won't leak air or water as your baby lays, rolls, plays, and moves on the surface.
Cons: Smells strongly of plastic when initially removed from packaging.
For babies who aren't super into tummy time, an activity mat that doubles as an engaging toy can keep them interested for longer than 2.5 seconds at a time. Simply fill this inflatable mat's outer ring with air and the inner area with water to create a unique sensory play area for your baby. The seascape scene underneath the water includes six brightly colored toys that move around as your baby plays. A 26 by 20-inch rectangle, it doesn't take up too much space, plus it can be drained and deflated for storage when not in use.
Review: "I bought this for my 6-month-old niece, and she loves it. My 13-year-old decided to stand on it (for reasons unclear) and I almost had a heart attack because I was sure she was gonna pop it with her weight. But it didn't burst! I was very impressed by it's durability and its nice to know it won't explode all over my floors even with heavy use."
Pros: Machine washable and made without any embellishments that can be a choking hazard.
Cons: At just 8 inches tall, this baby doll is on the small side.
While you can likely find an entire zoo full of stuffed animals made specifically for babies, there actually aren't a ton of options when it comes to baby-safe baby dolls. Beaded eyes and tiny sewn-on embellishments usually bump baby dolls into the 3 and up age group. Thankfully, HABA designed their Snug-Up Dolls specifically for babies, so they’re completely safe for all ages. The snugly soft doll measures 8-inches tall, so it's the ideal size for 6-month-olds to cuddle up with during playtime. The best part about this adorable baby doll? It's totally machine washable, so when it (inevitably) gets covered in milk, spit up, or drool, you can just throw it straight into the wash.
Review: "This is beloved by all the babies I have given him to. They love the size and weight and softness of features and whole doll. It becomes a friend to sleep with and cuddle."
Pros: The bar can be positioned in two ways for play while baby is sitting up or laying on their tummy.
Cons: The purple space emits a red light instead of purple when pushed.
If you’re looking to introduce your baby to the wonders of musical instrument play with a toy that's both interactive and educational, the Baby Einstein Glow & Discover Light Bar is a top choice. Each of the bar's six colorful buttons illuminates when pressed and plays either a musical note, animal sound, or the name of the corresponding color, depending on which mode the toy is in. There are also three language settings to let your baby learn in English, French, or Spanish.
Review: "This is one of my daughter's favorite toys. She loves listening to it and watching the light. It has also been a great motivator to help with sitting practice. She loves pushing the buttons while sitting and uses the toy to help keep her balance. It is also great to use in tummy time and to encourage rolling. This would also make a great gift!"
Pros: Features a myriad colors, textures, and elements that keep little ones actively engaged.
Cons: Not machine washable, so fabric elements can be tough to keep clean.
Toys that hang from a stroller and can be clipped onto a carrier are an absolute life-saver for parents of 6-month-olds. Babies can grab onto the rings, run their fingers over the smooth velour body, peek into the mirrors on one wing, and giggle away as they squeeze the round squeaker on the other wing. If fireflies aren't your thing, the Lamaze brand also offers similar clip-on toys shaped like a jellyfish, a squid, and a koala.
Review: "This is by far the best purchase I have made for my baby. This keeps her occupied and she absolutely loves it. One side it vibrant colors and patterns and the other side is black and white patterns. Switching between the sides keeps her focused and occupied. She loves grabbing at it and it also makes riffling noises. Love this as her first toy she actually plays with!"
Pros: With 14 interactive features and 25 melodies to play, there's plenty to keep your little one busy.
Cons: Some may find the bright, blinking lights and barrage of different sounds overwhelming.
As much as some parents don't want to admit it, things that light up and make noise are some of the most popular and entertaining toys for 6-month-olds. (Hi, I’m some parents.) It's why they love to grab our phones and the remote. Five of the cube's sides are covered with interactive elements for baby to press, spin, and move. On the top of the cube, four differently-shaped buttons light up when pressed and make sounds that correspond to the different shapes.
Review: "This is our holy grail of baby toys. I wanted something small but that would get a lot of use and grow with the baby. We got it for our 6 month old and she was immediately drawn to it. It helped her to sit unassisted because it allowed her to lean on it for support. She flips it to all the sides and plays with every part."
Pros: With multiple ways to play, your baby won't outgrow this toy for a while.
Cons: The lightweight design allows the toy to tip over easily.
Even if your baby isn't quite ready to stand on their own yet, having a toy that can help them make the transition from sitting to standing and then on to walking is a way to encourage them to explore the world around them through movement. Baby can interact with a variety of elements including light up numbers, musical keys, turnable gears, a telephone, and more. When they’re ready, they can grasp the walker by its sturdy handle and push it around to further develop their motor skills. Once they grow too tall for the walker itself, the front panel can be removed to be played with separately from the rolling stand.
Review: "I love the sit to stand function of this walker as it grows with the baby because the front part comes off. Another great feature is that the wheels lock to slow the baby down and rolls slowly on carpet. It is a little light weight so I do see my daughter not being able to pull up without it slightly tipping, so far she hasn't fallen yet! The music is good and she loves the removable phone portion to it!"
Pros: The 8-inch-long tube is easy for tiny hands to gasp, shake, and move.
Cons: The beads inside sometimes get stuck together as they fall and have to be shaken loose.
For as noisy as babies can be sometimes, it's not surprising that they’re usually super into toys that make just as much (if not more) noise than they do. When it comes to toys for 6-month-olds, rattles might seem like a better fit for younger babies, but this wooden rainmaker toy's see-through design combined with the soothing sound keeps older babies intrigued. When the shaker is turned upside down, the vibrant green and blue beads fall through twists and turns inside the tube to create a unique noise that sounds like rainfall.
Review: "My 6-month-old loves this! We got it when he was about 4.5 months. If he is ever fussing, I shake this toy and roller the little beads fall down and it instantly quiets him up. Plus it just looks really cool! Also he uses It as a chew toy pretty often and I think the shape of the toy has helped with his grip."
Pros: Made from 100% natural Heva tree rubber, this toy has a soft texture and various chewable areas are ideal for teething babies.
Cons: It can be difficult for some babies to squeeze the toy hard enough to make it squeak.
With more than 12,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, it's easy to see why Vulli's Sophie the Giraffe teether is such a popular toy for 6-month-olds in the throes of cutting teeth. They can gnaw on a foot, ear, or anywhere on the giraffe's body to soothe sore gums. Multiple reviewers note that they’ve purchased this particular toy for multiple babies because it is just that effective at keeping teething babies occupied and happy. On a personal note, this is my go-to baby shower gift for friends and family expecting a new arrival, and thanks to the toy's popularity and rave reviews, recipients have been thrilled to open it each and every time.
Review: "I can honestly say I was very surprised how much my son loves this giraffe. The little nubs and legs are great for putting different geometries inside babies’ mouths, and now that my son is teething, he gets the biggest smile when I pull out this toy."
Pros: This musical stuffed toy has volume controls and a removable battery pack, so it can be machine washed.
Cons: The light is bright and can keep some babies too engaged to use at bedtime.
Looking for a soft, plush toy for a 6-month-old to snuggle up with? With just a gentle push on the Twinkle Tummies cat belly (or a snug baby hug) a soothing lullaby will play and the cat's stomach will glow. There are six lullabies to rotate through, each playing for approximately 3 minutes when the cat's belly is pressed. The adjustable volume control and the ability to switch the entire toy on and off is a bonus that other nightlight-based stuffed animals don't always have.
Review: "My daughter loves snuggling this! It's super cute, cuddly, and easy to use. She loves that the lights change on the tummy, too, which is soothing."
Pros: The overall design of this toy will help foster visual interest and gross motor development.
Cons: The round spheres may be too large for some babies to chew on.
Made with soft and flexible BPA-free plastic, this clutching toy is totally safe to go in baby's mouth. Which is, naturally, the most likely place a 6-month-old will put any toy. The Manhattan Toy Atom Rattle & Teether Grasping Toy is thoughtfully designed with the structure that's similar to that of of a molecular atom, bit has rings looped around each stem to create a rattling sound when shook.
Review: "This is the first toy that our girl showed any interest in. We took it with us while traveling and it kept her very happy. She loves to move it and hear the rattling it makes. It's easy grasp for her and not so heavy that it will hurt her if she drops it on herself. Best part of all is it can go right in the dishwasher for easy cleaning."
Pros: There are no holes in these floating toys, so water won't get inside.
Cons: The weighted bottoms are heavy enough for some parents to worry that they may cause damage if thrown hard.
If you’re looking to add a couple of fun and interactive bath toys for 6-month-olds to your kiddo's collection, this adorable set of floating animals from Munchkin is a top choice. Each set comes with one polar bear and one penguin toy with a rounded bottom that will float and bob when put in water.
Review: "I bought these little bobber toys for my son when he was 6 months old. He is now 15 months old and they remain his favorite bath toys! I love that they float and bob around in the water. These toys are great for hand-eye coordination as well. They are big enough that they aren't a choking hazard, but small enough for little hands to grab."
Pros: Features four hanging toys with various shapes, colors, and textures to keep baby entertained.
Cons: The toys hang too close to baby's face when attached to some infant carriers.
For any parent who has ever taken their baby on a walk or shopping trip in a stroller, only to find themselves bending down every five seconds to reassure a fussy little one that you haven't in fact disappeared, you know just how handy a few stroller toys can be. This spiral-shaped toy attaches securely to the front bar of a stroller or the handle of an infant carrier, so it's a perfect toy for 6-month-olds to keep them entertained when you’re out and about.
Review: "My son loves this. He's entertained and we can remove the toys separately and have him play with them in his baby gym! Super fun. Great value for the price you pay."
Pros: Made with all-natural rubber wood and treated with baby-safe, water-based acrylics that won't chip or come off when chewed.
Cons: Arms and hands can get stuck between the openings.
With wooden spheres and that can be squished and flattened while staying tethered together with elastic bands, this is one of the most unique toys for 6-month-olds on the market. Babies can move this clutching toy from hand to hand and practice fine motor skills as they manipulate the moveable parts as they please. It's basically a baby fidget toy.
Review: "I’ve purchased a few of these over the years. It was my daughter's favorite teether and rattle as a baby, and other babies I’ve gifted it to loved it as well. It's easy for little hands to hold, is light enough to shake, and has so many little wooden beads to teethe on. It's easy to wipe down with a cloth, but is obviously not as convenient/hygienic as a machine washable and boil-able silicone teether."
Pros: Supports both early educational skills and motor skill development.
Cons: Moves slower than other crawling toys.
Whether baby is sitting up or on their hands and knees in crawling position, they can interact with this musical turtle's illuminating features. Since this toy actually crawls across the floor, it can help encourage that same skill in babies as they try to chase after it. It's made from shatterproof plastic, features two sound levels, and has soft lights that aren't too overwhelming for little ones. With four modes of play, babies can listen to songs, count, follow light up patterns, or learn letters in both English and Spanish.
Review: "Favorite toy that I've bought my 6-month-old son! It is very durable (he likes to hit the button on the shell really hard)! He loves to watch it walk across the floor and it encourages him to crawl. It is a very cute turtle and a great purchase!"
Pros: This four-in-one activity center features a removable piano that can be used from infancy through toddlerhood.
Cons: There is not a manual switch to select a specific language, so the piano will cycle through them all when in discovery mode.
For all of the rolling, kicking, moving, and grooving that a 6-month-old baby is inclined to do, a combo play gym and activity mat like this one from Baby Einstein is an ideal toy for the age group. Seven detachable toys are included with the Kickin’ Tunes activity gym to keep babies of all ages entertained. At the foot of the mat, a colorful, detachable piano plays music and sounds in four languages and lights up when kicked with feet or pressed with hands.
Review: "This was 100% the best spent money of any toys or entertainment for our new baby. We started using this when he was weeks old for tummy time and he grew to love the lights on the piano. It was the only way we could keep him from crying during that initial tummy time. He loved laying on his back and staring at the dangling toys for months and learned to roll from back to tummy with this mat!"
Pros: This crawling toy has three modes to keep baby engaged as they grow.
Cons: Will not move on carpeted floors.
To help encourage 6-month-olds to begin crawling, this developmental learning toy from Skip Hop is designed to grow with your child. In pre-crawler mode, the bee will wobble, but won't fall. In beginner mode, the cloud moves in a small circle, so your baby doesn't have to go far to catch it. Advanced mode moves the toy in a random pattern to encourage baby to chase after it. To further support your baby's crawling response, this battery-operated toy also lights up and plays music.
Review: "I love this toy! Keeps my baby entertained with the lights, music and moving. Encourages baby to crawl. It has a feature where you can make it go in circles or in squiggles. When you take the bee off it will spin in circles with the lights. Very cool toy!"
Pros: With three modes to choose from, LED lights, music, animal noises, and a spinning interface, there is a lot to keep baby engaged.
Cons: Some of the letter/animal combinations aren't obvious matches. (Example: Q for Queen Bee)
The LeapFrog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo is one of the best toys for 6-month-olds thanks to the toy's exciting and interactive take on learning about letters and animals. In alphabet mode, when baby spins the wheel, they’ll hear the name and sound of whichever letter the wheel lands on. Alternatively, zoo animal mode will play the name and noise of whichever animal appears, while music mode plays two different songs for babies to dance along to.
Review: "Bought this because my daughter loves things that spin and make music. She cannot get enough of this toy! It spins super easily and it isn't as annoying as most other musical toys."
Pros: Made from multicolored scales in fabrics with various textures and features including areas that crinkle and squeak.
Cons: Must be hand washed.
If you’re looking for one of the best toys for 6-month-olds that can easily be thrown in a diaper bag or played with on the go, this textile-covered fish toy is a top choice. In addition to the sensory appeal of this toy, there's also an interactive element with hidden pictures underneath each scale. As your baby lifts each scale flap, they’re greeted with cheerful pictures to keep them engaged.
Review: "It's surprisingly a lot bigger than I thought it would be. The fish is plush, and all the scales are made of different materials with different textures. You can lift the scales and there are little pictures under them, and the fin has teethers. It seems to be great quality! Exactly what I wanted!"
Pros: A hidden power switch and embroidered details make this soft plush toy safe to snuggle with.
Cons: No volume control.
From GUND, the oldest maker of plush toys in America, Flappy the Elephant is a snuggly soft stuffed animal toy that's just perfect for 6-month-olds. The interactive elephant is ready to play when its foot is pressed. Press the left foot and your baby will be delighted with a game of peek-a-boo as Flappy's ears move to cover its face. Press the right foot to play the song "Do Your Ears Hang Low?" sung in a child's voice as Flappy's ears move to the music.
Review: "The plush is very soft and the movements it makes are very cute. I like the limited nature of the electronics. No flashing lights or obnoxious music. The voice of the penguin is that of a child and you can choose short phrases with kissing, or short, not too loud singing with kisses. Great value for the money and my granddaughter loves it."
From stacking toys that engage their emerging problem-solving skills to self-propelled toys that encourage crawling and large motor development, there are plenty of great toy options for 6-month-olds to choose from. With so many fun choices on this list, your baby is sure to have a blast as they learn through play.
Dr. Michelle Ruda, board-certified pediatrician, UTHealth Division Director of Child Safety and Integrated Care, an affiliate of Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas
This article was originally published on May 21, 2022Ashley Jones Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: " Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: " Pros: Cons: Review: " Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: " Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: " Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: " Pros: Cons: Review: " Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: " Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: " Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: " Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: Pros: Cons: Review: