9 Best Toys for 9-Month-Olds: Promote Development & Fun

9 Best Toys for 9-Month-Olds: Promote Development & Fun

Choosing the right toys for your 9-month-old can feel overwhelming with so many options out there. At this age, your baby is rapidly developing motor skills, curiosity, and cognitive abilities, making it crucial to select toys that stimulate growth and learning.

1. Sensory Balls

Sensory balls are fantastic toys for 9-month-olds, providing both entertainment and developmental benefits. They’re designed to engage your baby’s senses and encourage exploration.

Benefits of Sensory Balls for Sensory Development

Stimulating Textures: Sensory balls often come with various textures, aiding in tactile exploration and improving your baby’s sense of touch.

Bright Colors: These balls are typically brightly colored, which captivates your baby’s attention and assists in visual development.

Motor Skills: Playing with sensory balls helps develop fine motor skills as your baby grasps, squeezes, and tosses them.

Cognitive Growth: Sensory balls can foster cognitive development by encouraging problem-solving and enhancing spatial awareness.

  1. Infantino Textured Multi Ball Set:
  • Features six brightly colored balls with different textures.
  • Made of soft, BPA-free plastic that’s safe for teething.
  1. Edushape Sensory Ball:
  • Large, soft ball covered in nubs for improved tactile stimulation.
  • Great for rolling and catching exercises.
  1. Munchkin Float and Play Bubbles:
  • Clear balls with rattles inside, ideal for bath time.
  • Floats on water, adding a fun, sensory-rich experience.

Keep these sensory balls in mind when choosing the best toys for your 9-month-old, as they offer numerous benefits for their development.

2. Activity Cubes

Activity cubes are fantastic for keeping 9-month-olds engaged and entertained while developing essential skills. These versatile toys offer multiple activities to stimulate your baby’s growth.

Enhancing Motor Skills with Activity Cubes

Activity cubes are designed to enhance your baby’s motor skills through interactive play. They often feature various elements like spinning gears, sliding beads, and flippable panels that encourage your little one to grasp, push, and pull with their hands. These activities help strengthen fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Additionally, the standing or sitting positions needed to explore all sides of the cube can support gross motor development by promoting balance and stability.

  1. Melissa & Doug Deluxe Activity Cube: This cube offers five activities, including shape sorting and tracking beads, which can captivate your baby’s attention while developing their motor skills.
  2. VTech Sort and Discover Activity Cube: This interactive cube features lights, sounds, and various manipulatives like shape sorters and music buttons. It encourages exploration and aids cognitive development through sensory stimulation.
  3. Hape Country Critters Wooden Activity Play Cube: Known for its sturdy design and multiple play options, this activity cube includes a shape sorter, spinning gears, and a bead maze. The eco-friendly materials ensure safe and sustainable play.
  4. Fisher-Price Busy Learners Activity Cube: With bright colors, flashing lights, and engaging sounds, this cube provides hours of entertainment. Various activities teach cause and effect, helping to improve your baby’s cognitive and motor skills.

3. Soft Building Blocks

Soft building blocks are perfect for your 9-month-old, combining safety and fun play.

Why Soft Blocks Are Safe and Educational

Soft blocks ensure safety. They’re made from materials like foam or cloth, which are gentle on your baby’s gums and fingers. Dropping them doesn’t cause injury, and there’s no risk of sharp edges or hard surfaces.

They also offer educational benefits. Soft blocks promote motor skills by encouraging your baby to grasp, stack, and build. This playtime fosters hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills. Vibrant colors and textures stimulate sensory development, essential for cognitive growth.

Best Blocks for 9 Month Old Babies

Look for versatile options. For instance, the Infantino Squeeze and Stack Block Set is easy to hold, squeeze, and stack, engaging your baby’s sense of touch and sight. The B. Toys One Two Squeeze blocks feature numbers and animals, introducing early educational concepts through playful interaction.

Consider Eco-friendly choices. The Green Toys My First Stacking Cups, made from recycled materials, offer a safe, sustainable option that grows with your child, enhancing their stacking and sorting skills.

Exploring these soft building blocks will support your baby’s developmental milestones while ensuring a safe and enjoyable play experience.

4. Push and Pull Toys

Push and pull toys are fantastic for promoting movement and coordination in your 9-month-old. They’re designed to help your baby improve strength and balance.

Encouraging Movement and Coordination

Push and pull toys encourage movement by stimulating your baby’s curiosity. When your baby pushes or pulls the toy, they develop coordination and balance. These toys enhance gross motor skills by motivating your child to move around more. Observing their actions, such as pulling a toy behind them, helps improve spatial awareness and leg strength.

Examples of Safe Push and Pull Toys

Opt for push and pull toys made with non-toxic materials to ensure your baby’s safety. The Melissa & Doug Deluxe Chomp and Clack Alligator emphasizes both safety and fun, featuring three clacking alligators to engage your baby’s senses. Another excellent choice is the VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker, which grows with your child by transitioning from a stationary activity panel to a walker. The Hape Wonder Walker Push and Pull Toy offers a robust design encouraging early walking skills with interactive features like movable gears.

5. Musical Toys

Musical toys are fantastic for engaging your 9-month-old’s senses and encouraging early cognitive skills. They can stimulate brain development and provide endless entertainment.

Cognitive Benefits of Musical Play

Enhances Language Development
Playing with musical toys helps infants recognize different sounds and patterns. These toys often feature melodies and rhythms that mimic speech patterns, aiding in language acquisition.

Boosts Memory Skills
Musical play supports memory development. Repetitive sounds and songs help your baby remember and recognize familiar tunes, enhancing cognitive connections.

Encourages Emotional Expression
Music can elicit a wide range of emotions. Musical toys allow your child to express joy, excitement, or curiosity, helping them understand and manage their feelings.

Musical Toy Recommendations for 9 Month Olds

Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes
This handheld toy features classical music and colorful lights. It’s perfect for keeping your baby entertained on the go, stimulating auditory and visual senses.

VTech Musical Rhymes Book
A sturdy, interactive book that plays nursery rhymes. It encourages language development and introduces your baby to classic songs and sounds.

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Puppy
This plush puppy plays songs and phrases that teach body parts, counting, and more. It combines music with interactive features to promote both language and motor skills.

LeapFrog Learn & Groove Music Table
This activity table offers a variety of musical instruments and songs. The standing play encourages physical movement while developing your child’s auditory skills.

Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Xylophone
A versatile toy that combines a xylophone and a pounding bench. It encourages hand-eye coordination and introduces your baby to musical notes and sounds.

6. Board Books

Board books provide an excellent way to nurture your baby’s love for reading and offer numerous developmental benefits.

Advantages of Early Introduction to Reading

Introducing reading early boosts language skills. Babies who engage with books early tend to develop better vocabulary and comprehension. Board books also enhance cognitive skills as they encourage babies to recognize shapes, colors, and patterns. Additionally, turning the sturdy pages helps develop fine motor skills.

Board Book Selections for Early Learners

Choosing the right board books makes a significant impact. Look for titles with simple, bright pictures and minimal text. Some of the best options include:

  1. “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle – This classic uses repetitive, predictable language to engage your baby.
  2. “Moo, Baa, La La La!” by Sandra Boynton – This book combines fun animal sounds with whimsical illustrations.
  3. “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown – Perfect for bedtime, this board book’s soothing rhythm helps calm babies before sleep.
  4. “Dear Zoo” by Rod Campbell – Interactive flaps allow your baby to engage actively while developing fine motor skills.

Incorporate reading time daily to foster a lifelong love of learning in your baby.

7. Teething Toys

Teething toys can provide much-needed relief for your 9-month-old. They also promote oral development and can be a great way to practice grasping.

Teething Toy Features and Safety

Ensure teething toys are made from non-toxic materials like silicone or BPA-free plastic. Look for durable construction to withstand continuous chewing. Opt for toys that are easy to clean, since hygiene is crucial at this age. The toys should be of appropriate size, avoiding small parts that could pose a choking hazard. Consider toys with different textures to engage your baby’s senses and help soothe their gums.

Popular Teething Toys for 9 Month Olds

  1. Sophie La Girafe: Made from 100% natural rubber, this toy is soft, flexible, and easy for little hands to grip. Its contrasting spots also stimulate visual perception.
  2. Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys: These keys can be refrigerated to provide extra comfort for sore gums. They’re easy for babies to hold and help develop hand-eye coordination.
  3. Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Toy: With its maze of soft, continuous tubes, this toy is perfect for grasping and chewing. It also has a gentle rattle to keep your baby entertained.
  4. Comotomo Baby Teether: Designed to mimic baby fingers, this teether is made of safe silicone. It’s perfectly sized for little hands and helps alleviate the pain of teething.
  5. RaZbaby RaZ-Berry Silicone Teether: This berry-shaped teether is made from medical-grade silicone and has a multi-textured surface to soothe gums and promote sensory development.
  6. Infantino Cuddly Teether: Combines a stuffed animal and a teether, making it perfect for comforting and chewing. It’s machine washable and safe for babies.
  7. Green Sprouts Cooling Teether: Filled with sterilized water, this toy can be chilled for extra gum relief. The textured surface massages gums, while the ring shape is easy to hold.

Benefits of Teething Toys

Relieve discomfort, soothe gums, and improve motor skills with these carefully selected teething toys. By choosing the right toys, you can make teething a more manageable experience for your baby.

8. Baby Mirrors

How Baby Mirrors Support Self-Discovery

Baby mirrors are fantastic tools for self-discovery. They help your baby recognize their own reflection, which is essential for developing self-awareness. Watching their movements in the mirror can keep them entertained and stimulate their curiosity. This activity can also support cognitive development as babies start to differentiate themselves from others.

Optimal Baby Mirrors for 9 Month Olds

Choose baby mirrors that are safe and durable. Look for mirrors with shatterproof materials and smooth edges. The Sassy Tummy Time Floor Mirror and the Fisher-Price Rattle ‘n Rock Maracas are excellent options. These mirrors often come with additional features like rattles or colorful frames, which can further engage your baby’s senses and encourage visual tracking skills. Make sure the mirror is large enough for your baby to see their full reflection for the best experience.

9. Stackable Toys

Stackable toys are excellent for nurturing your baby’s cognitive and motor skills. They offer endless opportunities for creative play and problem-solving.

Promoting Problem Solving Skills

Stimulate your little one’s problem-solving abilities with stackable toys. These toys encourage your baby to think critically as they figure out how to stack rings or cups in the correct sequence. They help build spatial awareness and logical thinking, essential skills for their cognitive growth.

Best Stackable Toys for Age 9 Months

Choose vibrant and safe stackable toys for your 9-month-old. The Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack is a classic, with its colorful rings that are easy to grasp. Another great option is the Fat Brain Toys Tobbles Neo, designed with textured pieces that are fun to grip and stack. Opt for toys like these to keep your child engaged while promoting developmental milestones.


Choosing the right toys for your 9-month-old can significantly impact their development. From sensory balls to activity cubes and teething toys like Sophie La Girafe, each toy plays a vital role in enhancing various skills. Board books and musical toys offer auditory and visual stimulation, while baby mirrors support self-discovery and cognitive growth. Stackable toys are excellent for nurturing problem-solving and motor skills. By selecting these thoughtfully curated toys, you’re not only providing entertainment but also fostering essential developmental milestones for your little one.

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