Help: developmental toys for a 6 month old

(I know, he’s only 5 months old, but 6 mo seemed like a better “milestone” moment for this post)…

We have lots of toys for Ryan. Our family room floor is covered with his things… he has a bouncer, an activity gym, a baby bjorn “babysitter,” a bumbo, an anywhere chair from pottery barn, a walker, a jumperoo, 2 toy chests filled with toys and books and carriers……… wow, writing all that out makes Ryan sound like one spoiled little boy!

But I feel like in the snap of my fingers he has gone from “ooooo preetttyyy llliiigghtttsssss” to “ok lady, I’m bored and you better do something about it. Fast.”

I try to keep him entertained by reading books and playing with toys that make noise when you push buttons… and he really does love scooting around the kitchen floor in his walker (for about 10 minutes). But I feel that we’ve reached the age where he needs MORE. His brain needs more. And of course I want to buy the best things that I can for his development. I know interaction with him is the best–and we definitely do that (peek-a-boo, funny faces and noises, baby in the mirror, itsy bitsy spider, reading, etc.)–but what else? I feel like sometimes he’s looking at me and thinking “Mom, that’s not funny. You are one crazy lady. (And I’m bored).”

So… calling all seasoned-moms! What should we buy?! What’s the best way to entertain him at this age? Best developmental toys? And please… no DVD recommendations. We’re doing no TV until he’s 2. Thank you!!!

13 comments to Help: developmental toys for a 6 month old

  • my son loved toys with different textures. we got stacking toys too. he wasn’t ready to stack them at that point, but he still enjoyed them. he liked anything that played music and that he could chew on. 🙂


  • Miracle Pending

    I think giving too many options can be more detrimental than beneficial. Try going from one to the other and switching between 2 or 3. To be honest, he probably can’t tell too much of a difference between toys. They’re all basically the same.

    We have a winkel, Jacques the peacock, sophie the giraffe, bumbo, jumperoo,playmat, and baby einstein entertainer. If she isn’t in the mood for any of those, it probably mean she just won’t be entertained. I’ll usually just wear her around or put her down for a nap if this is the case. Babies learn to entertain themselves.

    Do you play any instruments, or does your husband? We’re very musical here and always have it playing, either on stereo, I play the piano, and my fiance plays the guitar. She loves it.


  • Miracle Pending

    Oh, one more thing. What’s wrong with having a TV on? We don’t watch too much but definitely lay with her on the couch during a movie. She definitely seems entertained for some of it at least.


  • Soft blocks with different textures and inserts was a favorite at this age. Mine happened to be made by Parents but there are tons of great options. Carl an Me also has a bunch of nice wooden baby toys.


  • Some things to grow into: A set of stacking & nesting cups, and the stacking rings like you have pictured above are good. We really liked this fishbowl toy When he drops the balls in or reaches in to take them out, it plays music and lights up. (We had an older version so it looked slightly different.) Something like these where the baby manipulated buttons or levers to open up the little doors. You’ll have to show him at first but even that should be very entertaining for him. A small xylophone with the attached mallet on a string. We loved this activity center because it can be attached to a crib, pack and play, or simply placed on the floor (it has “feet”). It is two sided, so if he gets bored with one side you can flip it over. (Although one side is meant for younger babies and one for older ones.) It plays nice classical music when the baby moves things around. So those are some of our favorites. HTH


  • Miracle Pending – I’ve been meaning to write a post on TV for awhile.. I’ve read a lot of articles on how too much TV before the age of 2 can lead to ADD/ADHD or other issues. The images on TV move too quickly for their little brain to process so everything to them is like go-go-go, so when they get older, they’re still all go-go-go (hyperactive). And then even after the age of 2 they should only get 1 hour a day of TV. But I’m sure letting them see it for a little bit like once a week or something wouldn’t be that bad…

    Thanks all for the suggestions!!


  • Becca M

    Taggies!!! My son LOVED taggies! lol. Soft books are a must. Do you have an exersaucer? Boys love to stack, Ryan is probabyly too young now, but in the future, get some peek-a-blocks. Adam loved them when he was 6mos old, he got them for Christmas, and he still plays with them today at almost 3.


  • Omgosh, I don’t even know what those things are! I need to go look them up… taggies… peek-a-blocks..

    We don’t have an exersaucer either! We have a walked and a jumperoo… but my MIL has an exersaucer and he loves it! So maybe we should get one…. I just think a walker is so similar..

    And thanks Crunchy Nurse – I just added all of those to my amazon wish list!! 🙂


  • hippie4ever

    Well, I wouldn’t call myself a ‘seasoned mom’, my son’s only 14 months 🙂 But I really wanted to weigh in on this topic. I read a very interesting book a few yrs b4 my son was born.(Unfortunately I can’t remember the title now, and a quick search for what I could remember of the title turned up nothing on Amazon.) But it was a book on how we train our children to be consumers in America. Simple things, for instance a child doesn’t instinctively want every Elmo product from birth, but they become familiar with the character from toys they receive and shows they watch until it seems like a family member. When they then see the character in the store they will point to it, rush to it , WANT it…etc. This is a very simple example of just one of the topics in the book. I don’t think there is anything necessarily wrong with Elmo, but we are an INCREDIBLY consumeristic society, and I don’t believe that is a good thing. I think Ryan probably has plenty of toys 🙂 and you shouldn’t feel guilty.

    I have been trying to only purchase Waldorf style toys for my son, easier said then done, but recently stopped at Babies R Us and Toys R us for something, I can’t even remember what it was, and I wandered the aisles. I left feeling like such a bad mom! There was so MUCH STUFF, that my son didn’t have and most of it would make him smarter, happier, a faster thinker, increase his hand eye coordination etc. – or so it claimed on the packaging. My son was with me too, as I wandered, and the array of bright colorful toys with blinking lights and different sounds had him mesmerized! I honestly don’t know how I made it home without a cart load brimming full, like many parents who were in the store. It wasn’t till I got home that I remembered what I told his Grandparents when they wanted to buy him Baby Einstein, “Einstein didn’t have Baby Einstein”.

    We all want what is best for our children and I think sometimes the toy industry takes that basic instinct and turns it into guilt about what our children don’t have and what we should be providing. I forgot to mention above: I was still feeling guilty about all the toys my son didn’t/doesn’t have from Toys R Us when I saw a trailer for the movie Babies and watched the young children in Africa playing with rocks! Children have been thriving in our country and others for centuries without the dizzing assortment of children’s toys available today. Ryan I’m sure isn’t bored and you wouldn’t want him to need for you to purchase something new to entertain him.

    I read the above comments and there are some GREAT ideas, some I have for my son 🙂 But don’t feel like Ryan’s bored, don’t feel pressured to always buy more, and remember most of the intellectual greats we point to when we want to stimulate our childen’s brains, never had access to any of the toys parents feel pressured to buy now. There are some wonderful toys available on the market, but I think we all need to retain balance.


    babydickey Reply:

    Wonderful comment, thank you for sharing! That is a great point and one I didn’t think of. I’m sure some of the simplest things to us aren’t so simple to Ryan–after all, he is new to this world! Showing him the grass and trees and water and cars driving by are all new things for him…. society definitely does make you feel pressured into buying the latest and greatest products for your child’s development. Thanks again for your comment!!


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