Best baby toys (9 to 12 months)

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I have presented my favorite toys for children 3-6 months and 6-9 months and now humbly make my 9-12 month list. I can’t believe my little boy will soon be one year old! He has been playing independently every day, both with and without me playing with him. (His alone time, or “individual structured playtime” as we affectionately call it, is sometimes in his room and sometimes in his play-pen). He plays with the toys listed below, but more so loves to play with toys that aren’t really toys at all.


Bowls, whisks, spoons, cups of ice, measuring spoons, a little bottle with water in it (has become his “security blanket” as of late), lemon squeezer, and remote controls (we have put a kabosh on that last one). So in my new list, I include children’s toys that have stood his test of time while knowing that a stainless steel bowl and a stainless steel whisk is all he needs to hold his attention for over 30 minutes. He mixes with me for that amount of time or more every evening while I cook dinner!

A lot of the toys that we have bought for him, now, are from garage sales. I am attaching the Amazon websites, but this is the garage sale season, so take advantage of the 25 cent prices! It is funny, now that I’m a “mom,” I’m looking for the bright colors of toys while perusing which yard sales are worth my time.

While I love wooden toys, I also love toys with sound. (I know many mamas who find the noisy toys annoying, but my son’s eyes brighten up at the sight of them!) I have been wanting to buy this Fisher Price Musical Stacker for our son for quite some time, and just last week, I found one for fifty cents! It teaches hand-eye coordination with in the stacking and there is a reward for his efforts with some cool bright lights and noises. His eyes light up every time he hears the sound. He hasn’t mastered putting the large star rings on the stacker yet, but I’m sure he will soon.


There are many to choose from – wood, puzzle, plastic, cloth.  Here is the same one, but in a wooden version.  Melissa & Doug stacker.

We bought this Thomas the Train for our son’s cousin, and I was so excited to see one at a garage sale about a month ago. Thomas rides around the room on his own with the help of some double AA batteries. (I actually like the noisy and moving toys and dutifully replace the batteries.) This is the first toy that our son began moving around the room on his own! We couldn’t believe our eyes; he is getting so smart. This train has started his love for all things that have four wheels and roll. We have a couple of tractors and little baby Tonka trucks as well.


This toy encourages music and grasping fine motor skills!  Little Drummer from Hape.

My son’s all-time favorite toy is his Radio Flyer red wagon. He got it a couple months ago and wasn’t very interested, but he began walking with it at about nine months. Now, he flies across our living room with lightning speed. He never stops smiling while walking with it. This wagon is really great, it has a slowing mechanism which can be removed, but it prevents little ones from bumping their heads when they are starting to get the hang of walking. Also, I was skeptical of the “bumper” at first, but it really does work, our son slams his wagon into the wall, and there have been no marks thus far! His new favorite activity is walking his Radio Flyer outside, up and down the hills.


This is a classic oldie, but goodie — I got a farm version of the ‘Pop Up Pals Thingy‘ (which we love because there are real, live cows, sheep, and chickens on our road). Our son has learned how to close the doors, but is still working on how to open all of them.

Books, books, and more books are my favorite toys for my son. He lights up when I read a couple of very familiar ones and will sit still while reading them as long as he gets to turn the pages…. this means I can’t read all the text, but who cares?! He is excited about literacy! He has started to eat the cardboard, so we are teaching him to love and respect his books. He also loves books with fuzzies. His favorite is Good Morning, Good Night. He puts his little face to the soft puppy, kitty, bunny, etc. Such sweet times with our sweet little boy.

Blocks: Every boy (and girl!) needs a good set of blocks. We have bought his first set from Plan Toys. This brand features sanded rubberwood blocks with a couple of dyed blocks thrown in for color. I like that the paint can’t chip into his mouth, because after all, these and everything else ends up in our baby’s mouth! I will want to buy more Plan Toys blocks (they can get expensive!) and perhaps buy the Melissa & Doug non-painted bigger blocks for when he is older and needs to master huge creations. But for right now, this small 50-piece set has worked out just fine.

Every Day: There are two toys that I already reviewed that our son still plays with every day. One is the Fisher Price Shape Sorter. He absolutely loves it. He used to just take the shapes out of the bucket. Now, he throws them across the room and then puts them back. He also has just started putting them into a bowl and mixing them with a spoon or a whisk and then back to the original container again. He is learning! The other toy is the Hohner Kids Glockenspiel Xylophone. This xylophone is still on pitch after several months of constant usage; he plays with it every day and absolutely loves making his own beautiful music.

Happy playing.

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One Comment

  1. I love the Thomas the Train set, there is so many accessories that go with it that my little boy will be busy for months :) Thanks for the idea Amy

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