Because the first year is when their little brains are voraciously absorbing everything you put in front of them, we’ve put together our pick of this year’s best award-winning baby toys.
Baby toys are pretty much all about education. Quality toys can help your infant develop their sense of touch, hand-eye coordination, cause-and-effect, listening, motor and social skills. And because sleep is crucial to healthy development, another important reason for well-designed toys is to help Baby (new Mums and Dads too!) sleep better. At about three to four months, the right products encourage and enhance Baby’s tummy time. When they’re ready to start crawling, toys can also act as a great motivator!
We’ve sifted through the latest developmental toys deemed to bring out the best in infants up to 12 months. These award-winning baby toys chosen by childhood professionals and parents the world over also offer lots of parent-baby interaction and bonding opportunities. By the way, as some of these toys are brand new to the market, they may not be available in stores locally as yet. Consider shopping online in the meantime.
Amadeus and Ludwig Virtuoso Bears
Exposure to classical music helps soothe infants and lower your stress levels too. That’s why Singaporean-grown educational toys brand Vosego decided to create these cuddly Virtuoso Bears. Bearing an adorable likeness to maestros Mozart and Beethoven, push on their plush bellies to play 40 minutes of their namesake’s key melodies. You can easily switch tracks and adjust the volume too. Get your Baby’s musical companion even before birth and begin music education in the womb!
Ages 0+ months
Awards Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2018; Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Award; 2018 National Parenting Product Awards Winner; Academics’ Choice Brain Toy Award; Creative Child Magazine’s Awards 2018 Plush Toy of The Year
Grofriends Ollie the Owl
As any new mother will tell you, anything that comforts Baby and helps them sleep better is heaven-sent. And that’s precisely what Ollie the Owl is designed to do. Squeeze his wings to play four soothing sounds (heartbeat, rainfall, static white noise or Brahms lullaby). Squishing his left foot adjusts the volume. To make his tummy glow at four brightness levels, squeeze his right foot, creating a reassuring environment to help Baby drift off. Sounds play for 20 minutes before automatically switching off and afterwards, a built-in CrySensor cleverly reactivates it should Baby stir.
Ages 0+ months
Awards Mother&Baby Awards 2018 Gold Best Baby Toy; National Parenting Product Awards 2018 Gold Best Nursery Product; MadeForMums Awards 2018 Gold Baby Sleeping Aid
(See also: Baby Sleep Secrets: Preparing During Pregnancy)
Manhattan Toy Jazzy Ball
This two-in-one ball has a flexible silicone geodesic dome-like outer structure easy for little hands to grasp, shake and toss. When in motion, the ball inside lights up and makes silly sounds, perfect for early roly-poly games. While encouraging motor skills development and hand-eye coordination, this exciting Jazzy Ball also helps motivate babies learning to crawl. At just four inches in diameter and really light to boot, it easily goes wherever Baby goes.
Ages 0+ months
Awards Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2018; Parents’ Choice Awards 2018 Recommended Seal
The Play Gym by Lovevery
An activity playmat given a super upgrade, The Play Gym promises your infant an entire first year of play. Thoughtfully made with sustainable and organic materials, it offers five educational zones at the edges. Open each flap to reveal different sensory systems to be discovered at various growth stages. It comes with a month-by-month activity guide that provides play suggestions for each developmental phase, and even becomes a fort as baby gets older!
Ages 0+ months
Awards 2018 National Parenting Product Awards Winner; Parents’ Choice Awards 2018 Gold Award; Red Dot Award: Product Design 2018 Winner
NogginSeek Peek & Seek Rattle
There’s more to the seemingly uncomplicated NogginSeek Peek & Seek Rattle than meets the eye. The dumbbell shape and textured handle makes it easy for Baby to grab. It connects a clear sphere on one end to a teether ring on the other. Beads inside spin to encourage wrist movements and a striped tube slides about for visual interest. It was designed by early childhood experts to encourage early developmental milestones through play, and includes a Parent Guide to track Baby’s milestones.
Ages 3+ months
Awards Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2018; The Bump Best of Baby Awards Best 3-6 Months Toy
Sassy Stack of Circles
Did you know that babies have their own version of STEM learning? It may not be a lab experiment, robotics or complex sums, but Sassy designs toys for tots where Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are learnt through curiosity, exploration and play. And this Stack of Circles is no ordinary ring stacker. It comes with eight rings of varying sizes, thicknesses, colours and textures. They allow Baby to explore sizes, weights, sorting, numbering and building. One is even transparent and doubles up as a rattle!
Ages 6+ months
Awards Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2018; 2018 National Parenting Product Awards Winner
(See also: 20 Best Tech Toys to get the Kids this Christmas)
VTech Stroll & Discover Activity Walker
Technically recommended for babies learning to stand and walk, this Stroll & Discover Activity Walker is also perfect for younger ones who can sit up independently. The activity panel can be easily separated from the walker for fun floor play. There are light-up piano keys, a peek-a-boo door, spinning gears and even a detachable handphone. Plus lots of sounds effects and music too. Most importantly, the walker has two speed settings for controlling the wheel tension that help unsteady beginners gain confidence as they go.
Ages 9+ months
Awards Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2018; Parents’ Choice Awards 2018 Approved Seal
From the moment they are born, babies learn through every single experience. Everything they see, hear, smell, taste and of course, get those tiny fingers on is another discovery waiting to happen. We hope our shortlist of award-winning baby toys will enhance every micro moment you share with your little one.