Top 8 Baby Toys Recommended by Occupational Therapists!

It can be overwhelming for parents when searching for the best toys to keep their babies entertained and motivated when there are so many options to choose from! Magazines, blogs, and ads tend to showcase the most extravagant battery operated toys. However, these may not always be the best option for your child’s developmental growth.

When thinking about toy selection, it’s important to incorporate toys with strong sensory components, such as, textures, visual items, noises, and bright colors. These types of toys are perfect for babies who are learning so many new skills; like attention, head control and overall awareness of their bodies and surroundings. It is important to make sure that whatever toy you choose, it is safe for mouthing (when a baby puts a toy in his or her mouth), which will happen as your baby explores their world. 

Listed below are the top 8 toys that are OT recommended for fun for both babies and parents alike!

  • Bead Maze

A Bead Maze toy can make a sitting activity more enjoyable! Featuring brightly colored, multi- shaped beads moving along their unique paths, it encourages color recognition, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor development through play! You can position your baby in your lap, have him or her sit supported or unsupported (depending on their age!) on the floor, on engage with it in a high chair – so many options!

Here is an example on Amazon.

  • Sassy Tummy Time Floor Mirror

This mirror toy is perfect for tummy time as it promotes reaching with the interactive bugs all while stimulating the baby’s visual system by seeing their reflection in the mirror.

Here is an example on Amazon.

  • Nesting and Stacking Cups

Nesting cups may look simple, but they are a great toy with a lot of different ways to play! Your baby can touch, move, nest, stack and tap together the cups. Encourage your baby to put the “on” top and “in” side to help support beginning language skills. Have your baby reach to grab the cups in different areas to work on visual tracking and reaching for a challenge!

Here is an example on Amazon.

  • Ring Stacker

The Ring Stacker toy is a classic toy that incorporates fine motor work, depth perception, hand-eye coordination, and midline play. It is also a great toy to begin the understanding of sizes. There are multiple themed stackers to choose from!

Here is an example on Amazon.

  • Baby Einstein Glow & Discover Light Bar

This toy is great for tummy time as well as sitting play! The toy bar lights up when the baby touches it and makes sounds to stimulate their visual and auditory systems. It includes animal sounds, colors, and xylophone sounds and speaks in 3 different languages! The toy can lay flat for tummy time and then can be propped up when your child learns to sit. This toy is easy to store and is portable. Recommended for ages 3 months and older.

Here is an example from Target.

  • Oball Rollin’ Rainstick Rattle

This toy is perfect for your baby to play with while on their stomach or while sitting in your lap or supported on the floor. It promotes reaching, bilateral coordination, and stimulates their auditory and visual systems with the colors and sounds it makes when it rolls. This toy can also be used throughout your child’s development while your child is crawling or walking!

Here is an example on Amazon.

  • Bright Starts Tummy Time Prop & Play

This tummy time mat provide great support to make tummy time easier for a baby that is still building tolerance as it comes with a small bolster to help support your baby in the correct position. It also comes with attachments and a mirror to engage your baby so that they are having fun and learning all at the same time!

Here is an example on Amazon.

  • Sassy Ring O’ Links

These textured rings are a fantastic toy that can engage your baby’s visual and tactile system while having fun! Your baby can lay on their back to look up at them and reach to grab them, play with them by themselves at midline, or come up with your own way to play! They are very portable and a great toy to use in the car or within the community. 

Here is an example on Amazon.



As a parent, you realize there are endless amounts of toys, but considering the function and objective will help in your search for the best developmental toys for your child. These top 8 toys recommended by an OT are a great place to start!

Contact Chicago Occupational Therapy or call (773) 980-0300 to learn more about our services and how we can help your child flourish and grow.