15 of the best toys for 6 to 12 month olds

Our pick of the top toys for boy and girl babies between the ages of 6 months and 1 year

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Now that your baby can grab and hold things and bang them together, you can give him or her toys that ‘do’ more. He or she will particularly love toys that spin or move or make a noise when they’re touched or pressed (or banged).

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This is also the age when toys can get pretty noisy – as things that make a sound, from clever electronic toys to simple very first musical instruments, are endlessly fascinating to the under-1 ear.

Here are the best toys for 6 to 12 months, as tested by babies

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1. Skip Hop Explore & More Follow Bee Crawl Toy, £30

GOLD winner, Best Baby Toy (6 to 12 months), 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: 5 months +

What it is: A whizzy little cloud, with nestling bee rattle, that zooms around with rainbow lights flashing and (actually quite nice) music playing, encouraging your baby to crawl after it and grab the bee. It spins round in circles when the bee is removed. Batteries included.

Why we love it: We like its 2 whizz-around modes – a circular one for just-about-to-crawlers and a more random one for can-do-this-crawlers. It also has an in-built sensor to stop it bashing into furniture, and the bee rattle has moveable beads and teeth-friendly rubbery stripes for babies taking a crawling time out.

What our child testers made of it:

  • It’s a well-made toy and appears indestructible. High quality, cute design and nice (non irritating!) music. Teddy’s very drawn to the bee – which he finds fun to rattle and chew.’ Nicki, mum to Teddy, 10 months
  • ‘It’s a cute toy and the twins are both very interested in catching the bee.’ Emma, mum to Freya and Joshua, both 6 months

Available at: John Lewis and Amazon


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2. Flora the Animated Bunny, £42

SILVER winner, Best Baby Toy (6 to 12 months), 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: 0 +

What it is: A 30cm-high plush and cuddly rabbit that sings and plays peekaboo, covering her eyes with her floppy ears, when you squeeze her paws. Batteries included.

Why we love it: Her fur is incredibly soft – and those ears! The way they flap is beyond cute – our baby testers were all utterly beguiled.

What our child testers made of it:

  • ‘She looks beautiful in my daughter’s bedroom and Lola loves her. It makes her smile every time she flaps her ears.’ Holly Girt, mum of Lola, 9 months
  • ‘Both Charlie and his 3-year-old brother love this toy! They play with it for ages and giggle whenever the bunny’s ears move. It’s a lovely, quality toy.’ Zoe, mum of Charlie, 11 months

Available at: Amazon and Maison White


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3. Infantino Sensory Textured Multi Ball Set, £13.99

BRONZE winner, Best baby Toy (6 to 12 months), 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: 6 months +

What it is: A set of6BPA-free, lightweight textured balls in different sizes, shapes and colours.

Why we love it: This is back-to-basics with a twist. Each brightly coloured ball has got something interesting to see, feel and prod: simple idea but a winner.

What our child testers made of it:

  • ‘These balls are good fun. It’s great rolling them back and forth, seeing my daughter chewing them and learning to throw and roll them. It’s a good price – and they can be taken into the bath so that means double the fun!’ Eirian, mum to Nia, 10 months

Available at: Amazon


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4. Zoom n Crawl Monster, £34.99

Age: 9 months +

What it is: A monster toy on wheels standing 33cm tall. It comes with 5 balls, makes 15 sounds and offers 2 play options. In the sitting mode, your child can fill the monster with balls and press the button to spit them out. The moving mode lets a crawling baby chase after the toy. Requires 4 C batteries.

Why we love it: Monsters are normally scary but this one totally charmed our tiny testers – and led to it winning Gold in our 2017 Toy Awards. He really got them excited and laughing – not to mention burning off some energy before bedtime!

Available at: Amazon


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5. BRIO Sensory Blocks, £19.99

Age: 12 months +

What it is: 6 super-high-quality wooden blocks, made from FSC certified wood, with plastic details to add colour and function, inviting babies to hold, twist, shake and listen.

Why we love it: These blocks are irresistible: turn them over and explore the different textures, twists and splits, colours and sounds. Then, stack them up and tear them down! Yes, they are labelled are suitable from 12 months but our testers’ mums were unanimous that these blocks are perfect from 9 months – or even earlier – and that was enough to win them Silver in our 2017 Toy Awards.

Available at: Amazon


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6. Lamaze Cosimo Concerto, £27.99

Age: 6 months +

What it is: This soft plush textured zebra doubles as a ‘piano’ so you baby can learn how to activate the notes by pressing the different coloured stripes on Cosimo’s back.

Why we love it: Younger babies ones will be entranced by the bright colours and big friendly face of this Bronze winner from our 2017 Toy Awards – and older babies will enjoy exploring and learning that each stripe plays a different sound. Cosimo also plays a special musical tune of his own when you switch to a different mode.

Available at: Lamaze and Amazon

7. My Pal Violet, £24.99

Age: 6 months +

What it is: A cuddly puppy with floppy ears and touchpads on its paws and collar that trigger 15 different learning activities and over 40 songs, including wind-down, night-time lullabies. If you connect it to your computer or smartphone, you can personalise your pup, so that it knows your baby’s name and favourite things, and uses that info in its songs and games. Comes in purple (Violet) or green (Scout).

Why we loved it: For both our baby judges and their parents, it’s the personalisation features of this toy that make it stand out. The babies loved that ‘their’ Scout or Violet calls them by name. For all its whizzy techy bits, this toy is still wonderfully cuddly – and our baby judges’ mums really rated its bedtime setting.

Available at: Precious Little One


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8. Mamas and Papas Offspring Tummy Time Toy, £19

Age: From birth

What it is: A soft, but not too squishy, cushion, designed to encourage your baby to play on his or her tummy, and covered with things to grab, pull, rattle and chew.

Why we love it: Some babies find tummy-time play (thought to help build muscle strength and generally stimulate physical development) a bit difficult at first but this brightly coloured toy is so packed with fun things to go, even the tummy-timid should be tempted to hang out this way up for longer.

Available at: Mamas and Papas


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9. Tomy Hide N Squeak Eggs, £10.99

Age: 6 months +

What it is: A yellow plastic box of 6 ‘eggs’ with different faces, which each split open to reveal to reveal a brightly coloured chick that peeps when you press it.

Why we love it: These toy eggs are an absolute baby magnet. Although the toy is designed as a shape sorter (each egg has a differently shaped base that fits into a particular hole in the egg box), under 1s generally just have fine old time grabbing the eggs out of the box and bashing them together or squealing in delight when you push the chicks and make them peep. Later on, your child will progress to making them peep him or herself and fitting the halves together. We’ve seen this toy transfix all ages from 6 months to 3 years.

Available at: Very


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10. Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Rock-a-Stack, £11

Age: 6 months +

What is it: 5 brightly coloured rings that fit over a stacking cone base, from big to small.

Why we love it: It’s a brightly coloured, no-frills baby pleaser. The rings are nice and grabbable and the top one is filled with shiny, rattle-y stuff. The base rocks if you tap it, and you can tell yourself that your baby is learning all about size and sequence as you (endlessly) stack the rings back on the base once your baby’s grabbed them all off.

Available at: Amazon


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11. VTech Baby Turn & Learn Cube, £24.99

Age: 6 months – 3 years

What it is: A cube featuring oh-so-pushable light-up buttons, sliding pieces, sound effects, sing-a-long songs and animal characters.

Why we love it: There’s never a dull moment with this toy, that’s for sure! All the different features are designed to motor-skill development, language development and imaginative play. But basically it’s a fun toy that does lots of good stuff when you bash, press and spin it. It’s nice and robust, too.

Available at: Argos


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12. Chicco Aquarium Spinner, £19

Age: 6 months +

What it is: An electronic spin: press the button down and watch the coloured fish zoom round while the lights twinkle and the music plays.

Why we love it: Your baby will love the cause-and-effect treat of bashing the handle (which is particularly well designed for a baby fist) to make the fish spin – again and again and again. It’s sturdy and stable and the fish have VERY cute faces.

Available at: Amazon


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13. Halilit Baby’s First Birthday Band Musical Instrument Set, £19.99

Age: 6 months +

What it is: A sweet set of 4 baby-sized musical instruments, in a zip-up vinyl carry case.

Why we love it: Musical toys, admittedly, can grate a little bit. But we like this one, because the instruments (rainbow shaker, maraca, clip clap and cage bell) look lovely, are just the right size for babies to grab, and actually make different and interesting sounds.

Available at: Amazon and John Lewis


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14. Jellycat Jungly Tails Boing Ball, £10

Age: From birth onwards

What is it: A soft ball, covered in bright animal pictures, that makes a cute ‘boing’ sound when it hits the floor.

Why we love it: A good-sized ball for an under-1 and it wipes clean pretty well. The animal characters are great and we really like the ‘BOING!’ sound.

Available at: Jellycat


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15 Galt Ambi Baby’s First Car, £11

Age: 6 months +

What it is: A baby-hand-sized yellow car, with a red tooting button on top.

Why we love it: All little children love toys with wheels and this one has the friendliest face and a really easy-to-press red tooter button. We also like the fact his googly eyes move as he trundles across your floor. Cute!

Available at: Amazon

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