At just 7 months, many babies are already crawling around on their tummies, recognizing familiar faces, and becoming attached to certain things. So surrounding them with playful, interactive, colorful toys is an effective way to boost brain development, motor skills, and identification capabilities.
Toys provide children with a chance to explore their environment and observe how the world works. Some can teach letters, numbers, and shapes, while others activate their sense of touch and improve physical dexterity. In the process, your baby gets a boost in self-confidence, feels happy and engaged, and begins developing language and social skills. Consider trying the following types of playthings to satisfy your little one’s curiosity.
1. Action toys
At this stage in life, your child is becoming attracted to different sounds, picking up small objects, and starting to understand specific words. Action toys with flashing lights and lots of colors and sounds will fascinate them, while also enhancing cognition and refining motor skills.
Educational action toys for 7-month-old babies include:
- Toys featuring lights and sounds
- Squeaky toys
- Building blocks
2. Moving toys
Whether it’s a miniature car, spinning ball, or doll with flexible parts, toys that demonstrate movement are a smart option. Apart from stimulating your child’s brain, they boost hand-eye coordination, motor skills, and flexibility.
Educational moving toys for 7-month-old babies include:
- Toys which can be pushed and/or pulled, like cars
- Dolls with flexible arms and legs
- Spinning balls
There’s one moving toy, however, that you should avoid under all circumstances: the baby walker. Annually, as many as 9,000 children in the U.S. alone sustain some form of injury after using baby walkers. According to experts, they allow dangerous items and places to become far more accessible to children, and increase their likelihood of falling down the stairs. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly urges parents not to use baby walkers.
3. Noise toys
Noise-making toys which have to be touched, pushed, spun, or shaken to give off different sounds delight 7-month-old babies. Products that move around and/or emit light are especially appealing. They’re a wonderful way to introduce your child to music and dancing that promotes learning and gross motor development.
Educational noise toys for 7-month-old babies include:
- Toys featuring buttons to control sound
- Squeaky toys
- Toys with bells or rattles
With every turn of a page, you’re stimulating your baby’s cognitive functions and establishing a love of reading which could last a lifetime. Books build their capacity for language and spark their imagination, as well as sharpen hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. In general, the best books for 7-month-old babies contain colorful pictures and produce various sounds.
Playing ball is an exciting, hands-on method for increasing coordination, gross motor skills, and spatial awareness. Don’t hesitate to incorporate ball-related activities into your baby’s playtime, or to use a range of styles and sizes.
Educational ball toys for 7-month-old babies include:
- Soft balls that light up or rattle
- Bouncy beach balls
- Plastic balls
7. Building blocks
Blocks have always been a favorite among children simply because they’re both fun and challenging. The act of grasping helps with manual dexterity, while the process of building and toppling offers mental stimulation. Furthermore, building blocks let 7-month-old babies tap into their creativity and also encourage sharing and cooperation with others.
Educational building toys for 7-month-old babies include:
- Wooden blocks with letters, numbers, or colors
- Squeaky blocks
- Blocks used to assemble structures
8. Soft toys
Do you remember your favorite teddy bear? A furry stuffed animal is a cherished friend that provides the comfort and sense of security babies long for. 7-month-olds love to touch, feel, and explore new textures with their tiny hands. Soft playthings also aid in sensory development at a time when your child is learning about the different textures, colors, and shapes around them.
Educational soft toys for 7-month-old babies include:
- Stuffed animals, especially interactive ones
- Soft dolls and puppets
- Soft pillows and balls
9. Household items
Everyday objects are surprisingly entertaining, not to mention great for sharpening motor, sensory, and communication skills. Plus, there’s no need to feel anxious about letting your child play with household items if you know which ones are safe at this age.
Educational household toys for 7-month-old babies include:
- Cardboard boxes
- Storage containers, including milk cartons
- Kitchenware like spoons, spatulas, or bowls
- Plastic water bottles
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One thing’s for certain: the best toys for 7-month-old babies will have countless long-term benefits for growth and development. Just remember to keep the following safety measures in mind.
- Check the age recommendation on toy packages and stay realistic about your child’s abilities.
- Examine all products for loose buttons, battery covers, or any small parts that could dislodge and present a choking hazard. This includes magnets, which — if swallowed — may create holes, blockages, or infections in the intestines.
- Size matters: look for toys that are too large for your child’s mouth. A good rule of thumb? If an object fits inside a roll of toilet paper, then it’s not safe for a 7-month-old.
- Select soft, colorful, and lightweight toys free of sharp edges to reduce the chances for injury.
- Stick with products made from nontoxic materials. Scan labels for phthalates, lead, mercury, and arsenic, which are sometimes found in children’s toys.