15 Best Educational Toys for 9-12-Month-Old​s to Maximize Stimulation​ and Development

by | Apr 30, 2021

At this age, babies are so curious about the world around them. They will be opening doors, drawers, boxes, toilet lids, garbage cans, etc. You name it, they will be into it!

Their exploration has reached an all-time high as they are understanding and making sense of so many new concepts. They’re figuring out how to play and creating new opportunities to explore each and everyday.

As parents, we want to promote our children’s development the best that we can. Although our babies are learning everyday through play and experience, there are still many things we can do to help them along the way.

When teaching new motor skills, there are a variety of ways that we can aid in our baby’s learning. Offering age-appropriate, developmentally-based toys and objects is one of the first step to giving them maximum exposure to learning.

Common household objects can also make great toys for babies. From formula cans and milk jugs to egg cartons and cardboard boxes, your baby will be entertained by so many simple things at this age.

Read more about Common Household Items that Make Simple, Cheap Toys for Your Little One.

To entertain your little one, you'll want to find stimulating toys for your 9 month old. These are the best toys for a 9 to 12 month old baby

Best Toys for 9-12-Month-Old Babies to Maximize Stimulation and Development

As an occupational therapist, I am fascinated by child development. Baby’s brains are growing so rapidly at this age as they explore all that is around them.

That’s why I love these toys for 9 month olds and up, that offer so much exposure to practicing new motor skills and learning.

1. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Piggy Bank

This All-in-One Piggy Bank Toy features songs and tunes for entertainment, colorful pieces for stimulation, and develops fine motor skills, as well as hand-eye coordination.

Your baby will love dropping the coins in the slot and watching them reappear behind the door. They may need some help positioning it properly above the hole, but the rest will be simple for them to learn and discover.

Related Post: 11 Simple, Fine Motor Activities for Infants 9-12 Months Old

2. Fat Brain Toys Klickity Baby Toy

To entertain your little one, you'll want to find stimulating toys for your 9 month old. These are the best toys for a 9 to 12 month old baby

This Klickity Baby Toy is pretty simple, but very stimulating for this age group. Pushing the knobs in-and-out develops cause-and-effect and encourages sensory exploration.

Fine motor skills and coordination are strengthened with pushing and pulling and sounds, movements, and bright colors stimulate the eyes and ears.

3. Lift-the-Flap Board Books

These are the top toys that your baby will love and keep them entertained, stimulated, and learning. They will help to develop a variety of skills, including fine and gross motor skills, sensory exploration, cause-and-effect, and hand-eye coordination

Start your baby’s love of reading early on with these lift-the-flap board books. Turning pages while you read to them is a great skill for your baby to master, but they will get even more thrill from seeing the surprise that’s waiting behind the flap.

4. Fisher-Price Light-Up Lion Stacker

To entertain your little one, you'll want to find stimulating toys for your 9 month old. These are the best toys for a 9 to 12 month old baby

This Light-Up Stacker displays sparkly lights and music to stimulate your baby’s sense of sight and sound. Little hands have no problem grasping and manipulating these large rings.

It will encourage hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills as your baby learns how to position the rings correctly to drop on the post.

5. The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys

These are the top toys that your baby will love and keep them entertained, stimulated, and learning. They will help to develop a variety of skills, including fine and gross motor skills, sensory exploration, cause-and-effect, and hand-eye coordination

These nesting cups are great for little hands to grab and play with and your child will get use out of these for years! They’re not just great toys for 9 month olds, but can and WILL be used well until your child is in preschool.

Sometimes you don’t need music and flashing lights to keep a child happy. These are one of those simple, perfect toys that will last a long time and encourage imaginative play.

Light and sturdy, these cups can be used in so many ways by your baby. They will nest them, stack them into a tower, knock them down, chew them, bang them, roll them, rattle them, float them in the tub, and pour water in and out.

As your baby becomes a toddler, they will love playing pretend with them. They will turn them into cars, drink out of them like teacups, and take a spoon and mix their ‘soup’ in them. Definitely a must-have and for $4, you can’t beat it!

6. Musical Instruments Set 

To entertain your little one, you'll want to find stimulating toys for your 9 month old. These are the best toys for a 9 to 12 month old baby

Hearing themselves make noise will make your baby so excited. Watch them shake, rattle, and roll with all of these musical instruments as they create their own tunes and learn the cause-and-effect of their actions.

7. Wooden Activity Cube

There’s so much for your baby to explore on this Wooden Activity Cube. It will develop your child’s imaginative play and cause-and-effect as they drive the tractor around, zig zag the beads up and down, and spin the spinners.

It’s also the perfect height to get your baby pulling up to stand! This was the first place my daughter pulled herself up to and took her first cruising steps to get to the other side of the block while holding on to the top.

9. Push Walker

This age is the start of your baby’s constant movement and exploration. Give them the means to start getting around on their own with this Sit-to-Stand Walker.

They will love playing with all the push-button features that play music and light up, while also being able to push it around the house. It will help to develop their leg and trunk muscles in preparation for walking.

Related Post: Tips to Teach Your Baby to Start Walking

10. Cube blocks

These Melissa & Doug wooden blocks are a great educational tool for learning and development at this age. Their little hands can hold on to them easily as they grasp these blocks.

They will practice transferring hand-to-hand as they pass them back and forth. Pair them with the stacking cups or any container and they can drop them into the cup.

They may be too young to build a tower at this age, however they will love to knock down the ones that you make. Endless possibilities with these blocks now and as they get older, they can practice learning letters and colors.

11. VTech Baby Peek-A-Bear Phone

Get your 9 month old baby started on pretend play early with their very own phone. I’m sure they’re always trying to take your phone from you, so let them learn and interact with their own toy phone.

Pressing the buttons is a great fine motor skill as they pretend to call mom and dad. They will also love the lights and sounds that make them feel like they’re actually part of the conversation.

12. Shape Sorter

A shape sorter is a must-have for any baby or toddler. It’s a great tool to develop fine and visual motor skills as they turn and rotate the pieces to fit in the hole. They’ll love the bright colors and shapes as they bang them together and learn how to play appropriately with this tool.

13. Drop and Go Dump Truck

Another must have on the list of best toys for 9 to 12 month old babies is a Drop and Go Dump Truck from VTech. Drop a colorful rock into the top of this cheerful dump truck toy and watch it tumble into the bucket to learn numbers.

Once the rocks are in the bucket, the push toy or pull toy can be moved along to see the rocks rumble around inside.

This learning toy develops motor skills and an understanding of cause and effect as they see the balls drop in and come out the other end.

14. Brilliant Baby Laptop

Children as young as 9 or 10 months old will love imitating mom and dad. If you spend a lot of time working from home on your laptop (as most parents do nowadays), your baby will love to be on their laptop too.

This Brilliant Baby Laptop is one of the best toys for 9 month old babies! They’ll love banging on the buttons to get them to make music and light up.

15. Playskool Poppin’ Pals Pop-up Activity Toy

This Popping Pals was one of my daughter’s favorite toys as a 9 month old. It gives babies the ability to twist and turn the knobs developing both fine motor skills in order to pop the door open. It also encourages early problem solving as your little one figures out how to rotate and switch the knobs to get the toy to work.

. . . . .

If you’re on a budget or if musical, over-stimulating toys aren’t your thing, have no fear! As I stated above, babies are intrigued by literally anything at this age!

Common household objects make some of the best tools for your little one and can provide very similar benefits that these toys do. Check out my whole post on how to turn some of these household items into toys that your baby will love!

However, if you’re ready to buy some new items for your little one to explore, these toys are perfect for 9 month olds and up!

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