At six months, Julia is interested in books (for a second or two), and toys that rattle and light up. If it moves by itself well that’s even better.
These toys are highly rated online because those are the toys I buy in general, but we have many highly-rated toys lying around our home unplayed with and lonely. I’m getting tired of saying to my husband, “but it got such good reviews!”.
Julia’s highest rated toy is the Baby Einstein handheld music player. It’s my number one as well because it is small, has an Off button, and mesmerizes Julia in the car, at the DMV, on airplanes, etc. It is our secret weapon we bring out when nothing else works. A friend recently said casually that she didn’t have one and I ordered her one right away (not sure how I had time for that and not to vacuum but whatever).
Our second favorite toy is more for learning. I held these balls up for Julia and announced the color. When I said, “Julia pick the green ball” she did! This worked twice; the third time she bit my leg. Gently of course.
I thought for sure we would only need one set of this type of item but have changed my mind (a recurring theme here) after playing with several sets of blocks/balls/stackables together. It’s really fun to stack these on top of blocks, or the tobbles that are on every Best Toy list. Like really really fun. Also I can sort the balls, blocks and tobbles by color and teach Julia that way. Maybe one day she’ll enjoy this game (blog theme #2), but for now focuses on knocking down anything I try to pile high.
The tobbles are fantastic because as long as the smaller ones are in the base, they’ll pretty much sit straight, so you can pile the blocks below on top, and more tobbles on top of those. I like that you don’t have to have the bottom ones (just the base) because Julia can really only lift and play and chew the smaller ones. I use the bigger ones to stack occasionally and Julia won’t stop swatting them until they are apart. The tobbles make a sound when they are hit against each other which is great for the 6 month development to bang toys. These are durable and have been thrown, bitten and piled. I highly recommend them.
Squeeze blocks have a nice texture and Julia reaches for them often, even over favorite toys. I don’t grab them on the way out of the house, but they make a nice addition to our playtime at home.