Baby’s First Toys

November 20, 2006

Maya and I were at Baby Leo’s first birthday party in Pennsylvania this weekend. Leo, Maya and 7-week old Baby Jack are all related through their college-buddy moms and were collectively the center of attention at this mostly-adult event.

What was so amazing is that these three kids are at most two and a half years apart, an age difference that will surely become unnoticable as they grow older. Developmentally they are light years from each other! While Maya, at three and a half, is getting ready to try her hand at 100-piece puzzles, Leo was just beginning take an interest in 4-piece wooden peg puzzles. Jack can barely see whoever is holding him, let alone play with toys.

That got me thinking! It is so important to aid children’s development with age-appropriate toys instead of rushing ahead. I made the mistake with Maya on many an occasion and realized too late sometimes that the toy she wasn’t interested at two would probably rock her world at three. There were some other toys I know I should have kept from her early days since they were probably the best first toys. In retrospect of course.

Here you’ll find some of our favorites from the first six months of our baby’s life. They all stood the test of time and drool, and are probably filling some other baby’s mouth as I write this.

1. Whoozit by Manhattan Toy (as seen above) is $18.99 at It was one of the first toys that grabbed Maya’s attention. It was easy to throw into the diaper bag and guaranteed a good twenty-minute break when I needed one. Easy to wash and also attach to the stroller, the Whoozit is the real deal! Definitely splurge for the big one. It is the more durable version. From 3 months.

2. Another great first-toy maker is Sassy. This 5-piece baby set gets five out of five stars on and was one of Maya’s favorites too. Priced at $14.99, the set is a huge bargain considering you’re only paying about $3 per toy and each one will last through several babies’ teething craze. Durable and clean, this set is a must-have for any diaper bag. From 3 months. Also available at Target.

3. Finally the Miniville stacking puzzle from Haba Toys ($32.99 at Oompa Toys) was Maya’s favorite from the time she could sit up. Based in Germany, Haba Toys are made of the highest quality materials and last for generations. Known to produce age-appropriate yet innovative designs, the company has been using maple and beech wood from European forests to make heirloom-quality wooden toys since 1938. The more recent baby collection also utilizes natural materials including felt and leather.

So definitely check out the huge variety of Haba gems at the amazing online toy boutique Oompa Toys. They’re worth every single penny.


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