For any child, playtime also means learning time as it is a chance for them to develop their coordination skills. From clever toys made specifically for development through to basic buys that will light up their senses, we've rounded up the best sensory toys for babies through to toddlers. See top picks from the likes of Amazon, Argos and Mamas and Papas…
What age should you start baby sensory?
According to babysensory.com developmental sessions can commence from the moment your baby is born. "Your baby communicates with you from the moment they enter the world. We look at how your baby responds to the world, what they can do, what they find difficult or stressful, and how you can help them grow and develop in the first 3 months of life," says Dr Lin Day.
So, any age is perfect for baby sensory but from around six months you will notice your child become much more inquisitive with the world around them and this is when they will really benefit from sensory play.
Best sensory toys for babies
A sensory reversible ball which you can snap up for under £10. We predict hours of fun.
Baby sensory say hello discovery reversible activity ball, £9.99, Amazon
Ideal for newborns, this buggy book will help them focus and it's made in monochrome colours that they can see.
Baby Touch: A black-and-white buggy book, £5.39, Amazon
Lovevery have play kits for every age to help develop senses and coordination through play. We adore this bright and beautiful set which encourages touch which can be ordered through their handy subscription service.
The senser play kit, £80, Lovevery
A set of shapes to learn and play, these wipe-clean staples will see you through many rainy days stuck indoors. Lovevery toys are built to last and made with sustainably harvested wood, organic cotton, nontoxic paint, and baby-safe plastics!
You can now also choose to add on a Book Bundle to your subscription at £19 per bundle, providing books to suit each developmental stage and make story time more meaningful – tackling topics from baby's first words to milestone experiences, such as going to the dentist and making new friends. Simply add on at checkout to discover relatable books your little one will want to read again and again.
Soft maraca, £13.95, Toy Street
Designed perfectly for little hands, this maraca will help your baby hear and develop their hand-eye coordination. Plus, it's super soft and oh-so cute.
Playtime pals and sensory shapes activity toy set, £17, Argos
Get their hand-eye coordination going with these bright stacking rings.
Sensory stacking rings, £24, M&S
The perfect introduction to puzzles for babies, and the plus side is that the silicone shapes are safe for teething little ones to chew on.
Silicone geometric puzzle, £13.49, Etsy
A rainbow pram toy to engage your baby's sight and touch senses.
Baby sensory ribbon, £9.99, Not on the High Street
Textures and sounds to keep your baby engaged, we bet Mr Lion won’t leave their side!
Wildly adventures educational toy jangly lion, £16, Mamas and Papas
Start their musical career early with these soother toys that encourage interaction and play.
Musical soothers, £14.24, Amazon
A classic Russian doll style toy that will stay in the family for years and these nesting buddies are ideal for bath time too.
Woodland nesting toys, £22, Rosa & Bo
A simple yet genius concept, this box of wonder filled with vibrant fabrics will bring a new dimension to playtime.
Tissue wonder box, £21, Vertbaudet
This adorable koala toy has plenty of fun features and will keep your baby's little hands busy as they explore the rattles, crinkles, sounds and more. Plus, it comes with a teether.
Taf Toys Kimmy Koala Activity Toy, £16.99, JoJo Maman Bebe
This innovative hands-free sensory toy is designed to be worn on the head of parents, so they can distract and interact with their baby while changing a nappy.
Best sensory toys for toddlers
Smartmax are the pros when it comes to magentic toys and these safari animals are perfect for little ones for learn how to grip as well as master their animal knowledge.
These sponge puzzle pieces protect your floor and provide a fun game for your child. Pick them up on your weekly shop!
My First Safari Animals, £20.99, Smart Toys and Games
Soft playmat, £14.99 Aldi (available from 17 March)
Encouraging role play and hands-on fun, this long-lasting picnic set is the perfect multi-sensory buy.
Wooden picnic set, £50, The White Company
Hours of fun can be had with this activity play cube, teaching your child maths, music and more.
5-in-1 activity cube, £44.99, Smyths Toys
Ideal for one year plus, this multi-sensory toy will bring out hands-on problem-solving skills.
Janod ball toy, £32.95, Harrods
A favourite with kids up and down the country, poppers will keep their fingers busy while they concentrate on something else.
Glitter push poppers fidget toy, £6, Claire's
An outdoor addition for many days of role play. How cool is this mud kitchen station complete with every utensil they could need?
Mud pie kitchen, £324.99, Plum Play
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