5 Best Toys for Infants Cognitive Development in 2023



Top Toys for Infants Cognitive Development in 2023

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Seeking the perfect activity center for your infant to keep them engaged, stimulated, and learning, but feeling swamped by the plethora of options available? You’re not alone. Many parents and caregivers want to find that perfect blend of entertainment and educational value to support their infant’s developmental milestones.

Fortunately, the market offers a rich array of activity centers tailored specifically for infants, combining sensory exploration, motor skill development, and cognitive growth.

Drawing from my expertise in early childhood development and play-based learning, I’ve curated a comprehensive guide highlighting the top activity centers that are currently garnering rave reviews from parents and educators alike.

Contents show

Best Toys for Cognitive Development

Editors Choice

Bumpy Ball

  • Safety 5/5
  • Developmental 5/5
  • Durability 4.5/5

Runner Up

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Number Maze

  • Safety 5/5
  • Developmental 5/5
  • Durability 4.5/5

Best Budget

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Musical Turtle

  • Safety 5/5
  • Developmental 4/5
  • Durability 4.5/5

1. The Season Toys Bumpy Ball Toy – Editors Pick

The ball is also easy to grab and move around, which helps improve a baby’s motor skills. Our baby was able to grasp the ball with ease and move it from one hand to another. We were also impressed with how well the toy held up over time, despite being used frequently.

What We Loved

  • The spectacular colors and attention-grabbing patterns of the bumpy ball baby toy will not only appeal to your baby’s sight but also keep them engaged.
  • The bumpy ball toy will reach out to your baby’s visual, auditory, and physical senses simultaneously, which is the best system for your baby to develop their cognitive abilities.
  • The bumps are easy to grab and move from one hand to another, which will improve your baby’s motor skills.

What We Didn’t Like

  • The toy may be too small for some babies to play with.
  • The ball may not be as bumpy as expected.
  • The toy may not be as durable as some other toys.

2 Teneytoyz Magnetic Color and Number Maze – Runner up

Our favourite thing about this toy is it’s versatility. Children will enjoy following the numbered sequence, matching colors, and creating their unique paths through the maze. The drawing board on the opposite side of the maze is also a nice touch, allowing kids to doodle their own imaginative world.

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What We Loved

  • The Montessori Magnetic Maze promotes cognitive development through play, teaching kids to identify colors, count numbers, and think critically.
  • This toy is designed to enhance fine motor skills in children, refining their hand-eye coordination and dexterity.
  • The Montessori Magnetic Color Maze is versatile, offering a range of activities to keep children entertained and engaged.

What We Didn’t Like

  • The magnetic wand can be a bit tricky to manipulate for younger children.
  • The drawing board on the opposite side of the maze may not be as engaging as the maze itself.
  • The magnetic beads can be easy to lose if not kept in a safe place.

Musical Turtle Crawling Toy

This turtle toy will be a great addition to your baby’s playtime. The lullabies mode is very soothing and will help baby fall asleep. The crawling mode is perfect for encouraging baby to crawl and explore. The different play modes are great for developing baby’s gross motor skills and learning numbers and letters.

Your baby will love playing with the pretend phone and dialling the numbers. It’s a great way to teach them about traditional telephones. The rotating beads and animal sounds are also very engaging for babies.

51U9WKDfEVL. SL160

What We Loved

  • The lullabies mode helps newborns sleep better.
  • The crawling mode encourages babies to crawl.
  • The various play modes help develop gross motor skills and learn numbers and letters.

What We Didn’t Like

  • The turtle may not move well on all surfaces.
  • The phone cord is a bit too short.
  • The volume may be too loud for some babies.

Top pick

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TOYLI Unicorn Pull Toy

We love the TOYLI Unicorn Pull Toy for its cute and unique appearance that captures kids’ attention. It’s great for encouraging imaginative play and promoting early development by improving balance, strength, and confidence.

Editor’s choice

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High Contrast Baby Toys

This set includes a black and white soft book, a stroller toy, a crinkle square sensory toy, and 20 high contrast baby flashcards, all designed to help improve your baby’s cognitive development and sensory experiences.

TOYLI Unicorn Pull Toy

This adorable pull toy rolls along quietly on both carpet and wooden floors, making it a perfect toy for playtime.

However, the narrow wheel-base may cause it to tip over easily, and some may find it too small for toddlers to pull comfortably. Additionally, the paint may wear off over time with frequent use.

It’s a great gift for birthdays and holidays, and its sturdy wooden construction ensures that it will stand up to years of play.

41Rh2kuw9VL. SL160

What We Loved

  • Inspires imaginative play
  • Promotes motor skills, coordination, and color recognition
  • Quiet operation

What We Didn’t Like

  • Narrow wheel-base may cause it to tip over
  • Some may find it too small for toddlers to pull
  • Paint may wear off over time

High Contrast Baby Toy Set

These soft toys are perfect for visual stimulation and help babies recognize animals and vocabulary. The crinkle toys are great for sensory interaction and can help babies develop their senses while having fun. The high contrast baby flashcards are helpful for instantaneous memory and eye-brain coordination.

This Baby Toy set includes toys that are safe, made of high quality materials, and designed to keep your baby engaged and learning.

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What We Loved

What We Didn’t Like

  • The flashcards are made of thin cardboard and may not hold up well with frequent use.
  • Some of the toys may not be as engaging for older babies who have already developed their senses.
  • The animal soft book may not be as durable as some parents would like.

Buying Guide- Toys for Infants Cognitive Development.

When looking for toys that improve cognitive development, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some features to consider when choosing the best product for your child:

  1. Safety:
    • Stable Base: The activity center should have a broad and stable base to prevent tipping or wobbling.
    • Adjustable Height: As babies grow quickly, the center should have adjustable height settings to ensure the child’s feet touch the floor comfortably.
    • Non-Toxic Materials: Any materials, especially toys within reach, should be made of non-toxic and BPA-free substances.
    • Secure Attachments: All toys and elements attached to the activity center should be securely fastened to prevent them from detaching and becoming choking hazards.
  2. Developmental Stimulation:
    • Variety of Toys: The center should offer a range of toys that cater to different developmental stages, from tactile toys to those that promote hand-eye coordination.
    • Sensory Engagement: Look for centers that offer visual (mirrors, bright colors), auditory (rattles, music), and tactile (textured surfaces, teething toys) stimulation.
    • Motor Skill Promotion: Features that encourage reaching, grasping, turning, and even bouncing can help in the development of gross and fine motor skills.
  3. Comfort and Durability:
    • Padded Seat: The seat should be comfortable and preferably padded, with a washable cover for easy cleaning.
    • Durable Frame: Given the dynamic nature of the activity center, it should be robust and durable, capable of withstanding rigorous use.
    • Ease of Storage: Some activity centers can be bulky, so models that are foldable or easy to disassemble can be advantageous for storage or travel.

Age Range

It is important to choose toys that are appropriate for your child’s age. Toys that are too advanced may frustrate a child, while toys that are too simple may not provide enough stimulation. Be sure to check the age range on the packaging before purchasing a toy.

Educational Value

Toys that have an educational component can be a great way to help your child learn while they play. Look for toys that teach skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity. These types of toys can help your child develop important cognitive skills that will benefit them throughout their life.


Safety should always be a top priority when choosing toys for your child. Look for toys that are made from non-toxic materials and have been tested for safety. Avoid toys with small parts that could be a choking hazard.


Children can be tough on toys, so it’s important to choose products that are durable and can withstand rough play. Look for toys that are made from high-quality materials and have a reputation for lasting a long time.


Toys that encourage interaction can be a great way to help your child develop social skills. Look for toys that can be played with in a group or that require cooperation between players. These types of toys can help your child learn how to communicate and work with others.

By considering these features, you can choose toys that will not only be fun for your child to play with but also help them develop important cognitive skills.


Which Infant Toys are Helpful for Progressing Gross and Fine Motor Skills?

For gross motor skills, activity gyms, baby walkers and ride on toys are great options in the first 18 months. For fine motor skills, puzzles, shape sorters and grasping toys are popular choices.

It’s a great idea to encourage sensory play for baby development, as there are normally great benefits to fine motor skills, for example holding a paint brush or bubble wand.

What are the Benefits of Sensory Toys?

Sensory toys provide numerous benefits for babies as they engage their senses and stimulate early development. These toys encourage sensory exploration, helping babies develop their vision, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.

Sensory toys also foster cognitive and motor skills, promote problem-solving abilities, enhance language development, and create a calming and soothing environment for infants to explore and learn.

How Can I Improve My Little One’s Cognitive Skills?

To improve your little one’s cognitive skills, engage in interactive play that involves problem-solving, puzzles, and shape sorting.

Read to your child regularly, introduce them to new experiences, and encourage curiosity and exploration. Offer age-appropriate educational toys and games that promote learning, and provide a supportive and stimulating environment that encourages their natural curiosity and cognitive development.

What are child development toys, and how do they help boost infants’ cognitive skills?

Child development toys are specifically designed to promote learning and cognitive development in infants. They engage babies with various sensory stimulation and problem-solving activities, fostering their brain development and cognitive abilities.

Can social and emotional skills be enhanced through play with developmental toys?

Yes, playing with developmental toys can contribute to social and emotional skills in infants. Interactive and pretend play, like using baby dolls encourages emotional development and helps babies learn to express their emotions.

Contrary to stereotypes, playing with baby dolls is also great for the emotional development of little boys.

How does sensory play benefit my baby’s cognitive skills?

Sensory play, involving different textures, objects, and music, stimulates babies’ senses, which is crucial for brain development and cognitive growth during their early developmental years.

What types of toys are recommended for boosting problem-solving skills in babies?

Toys like construction sets, board games, and modeling clay encourage problem-solving skills, spatial awareness, and creativity in babies.

How does physical development influence cognitive skills in babies?

Physical development, including tummy time and standing independently, plays a significant role in cognitive development as babies learn to explore their surroundings and interact with objects.

How can I encourage emotional skills through play while on the go?

Bringing toys like peek-a-boo games and turn-taking activities in your diaper bag allows for interactive play that enhances emotional development even while traveling.

At what age do babies begin to show interest in playing with smaller objects for cognitive development?

Around the toddler years, babies start showing an interest in exploring and manipulating smaller objects, which supports their cognitive growth and fine motor skills.

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