As an occupational therapist, and mom, every holiday or birthday my friends and family ask me what developmental toys I recommend for young children. Specifically, they want to know what toys will foster their kiddos development of skills such as: fine motor, visual motor, visual perception, sensory, and overall development of play. With the holiday season upon us, I thought I would put together a list of some of my favorite toys that I recommend for infants through age 5.

Infants, 0-12 months
These are toys that are brightly colored, or black and white (contrasted). They are easily manipulated by clumsy, learning hands and fingers, and safe to go in their mouths. These toys also promote gross motor development (rolling, sitting, standing, walking), cognitive development, such as learning cause and effect, and eye-hand coordination. I also recommend a large blanket for the floor so that you have a clean place to lay or sit baby down before they are more mobile. And for newborns, don’t forget that tummy time, and exposure to black/white contrast toys (placed within 6-12″ of their eyes) are very visually interesting to them.
Following is a (non-exhaustive) list of toys that I would recommend for the babies in your life. Many of these toys were (still are) ones that my children enjoyed, I gave as gifts, or I have used in a therapeutic setting. Of course, there are MANY toy options out there, and the following list provides ideas (or direct shopping links if you want to make it easy on yourself!) of age appropriate toys for your littles. Enjoy and happy holidays!

— OT Mamacita

*Please note that the following recommendations include affiliate links, which means that at no cost to you, I will earn a commission (which will help with costs of running the site) if you click through and make a purchase*

Kristen Cooper

Kristen Cooper

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