Connor will be one year old in less than two weeks! So here is the final installment of my three-part baby’s first year series: Toys and Activities. I included our favorite toys that we used right away with Connor, and our favorites that we purchased throughout his first year. I also included some of our favorite non-toy activities as well. I hope you enjoyed this series! Next post will be back to the food!
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1. SkipHop Activity Mat– We used this for tummy time with the matching mirror, and Connor truly loved it. His “favorite” hanging toys changed as he got older. First he loved the little sheep that plays music, but as he got older he loved the rattle the best. You can also take the toys off and hang them on your car seat handle or on your stroller.
2. Black and White Books- The high-contrast images are super interesting to babies. We bought three of these- 2 regular books (this and this) and 1 book that folds out and stands up to use for tummy time.
3. Yoee Fox Toy– I came across this toy in a Facebook ad and I’m so glad I bought it! It’s super cute and truly is like several toys in one- a rattle, a teether, a stuffed animal, and a sensory toy. Connor liked looking at the bright orange fox, chewing on the ring, shaking it, and being tickled with the tail. He’s a little old for it now, but we still have it in his toy bin and he pulls it out from time to time and still loves being tickled with it.
4. Rattles- This one is pretty obvious. Connor liked regular rattles and he also liked these hand and foot finder rattles that my mom got him.
5. SkipHop Activity Center– We got this when Connor was about four months old and he still loves it. It grows with him and it is still one of our most used toys to this day.
6. Sassy Baby Ring Stacker– Every little one should have a ring stacker. This is the one we have and it was and still is a huge hit. Initially he just liked chewing on the rings, but now he plays with it the “right” way and enjoys it so much.
7. Baby Instrument Set– We got this for Connor for Christmas and he uses it almost daily. It’s the perfect instrument starter set and the little carrying case is super convenient if you want to bring toys out of the house.
8. Melissa and Doug Push Toy– Another Christmas present. We have this in our basement and Connor literally walks back and forth with it over and over again. He is so proud of himself because he is walking, and we like that it tires him out before bed!
9. Pull-Back Cars– My mom got these for Connor and we use them constantly. He pushes them around the house, slides them down a ramp, crashes them into other toys, etc.
10. Drop and Go Dump Truck– An instant favorite from my sister. Connor was fascinated with this toy. He loves putting the boulders in and taking them out, dumping them out the back, and pushing and pulling the truck around.
11. Shape Sorter- Connor has one at our house and one at my parents’ house. This is the one we have. I like that he has two to use because the one my parents have is easier (I can’t find it online) and ours is more difficult. The one we have is still a little too hard for him, but I think he should be able to use it more soon and I like that it is super portable.
12. SoftZone Climb and Crawl Play Set– We got this for Connor’s birthday but already let him have them. He crawls and climbs all over them, rolls his cars down them, knocks them down when we stack them, and pushes them around the floor. I’m loving how much use we are getting out of them already.
13. Activity Cube– I bought this when Connor was first pulling up to stand. He became very interested in standing and playing, so I wanted to get him something he could stand at (other than his Activity Center). He really enjoys all of the different activities this cube has on it, and he uses it daily.
1. Books- Hoot/Big Fish Little Fish/Zoom/Roar (I honestly don’t know why he loves these so much but they are hands down his favorites. We read them all pretty much every day), any Pop-Up Peekaboo (I actually can usually find these cheaper at Marshall’s or Home Goods!), Anything Touch and Feel (we have seasonal/holiday ones- like Halloween, I Love You, etc.).
2. Sensory Bottles/Sensory Bin- I make sensory bottles for Connor and they are one of his favorite toys. I just take the label off of a plastic water bottle, fill it with water, drop in some food coloring, glitter, and beads, and tape the cap on with electrical tape to ensure the cap doesn’t come off and become a choking hazard. He plays with them CONSTANTLY. I also occasionally fill a plastic bin with baby-friendly sensory items and let him go to town. When it was cold I used snow, I have used dry instant potatoes, wet instant potatoes, Greek yogurt with food coloring, cooked spaghetti or ramen noodles… the possibilities are endless.
3. Mommy and Me Yoga- I highly recommend this for moms! I took Connor from 6 weeks to 6 months and it was one of the first places I felt comfortable bringing my colicky baby on my own. It’s such a safe, understanding space, and it allowed me to focus on myself while still including my baby and spending time with him. A quick google search can help you find classes in your area!
4. Parent/Child Swim- We took classes beginning when Connor was 9 months old and I plan on signing up for more. Getting in the water is so fun and it’s important to start teaching water safety as early as possible!
5. Aquarium/Zoo Memberships- Kevin and I bought an aquarium membership because even if you only go twice in one year it saves you money. We bought it in November and we have already gone twice and plan on going several more times before this November. Connor loves watching the fish and it’s cool to see what he is interested in as he grows up. The zoo membership was gifted to us and I can’t wait to start using it when the weather gets a little warmer!
6. Foam Mat– Not really an activity, but we have hardwood floors and we bought this foam mat to keep near Connor’s toys. I like that it doesn’t look too “kid-ish,” and it’s a softer place for Connor to play and crawl around.