The Best Toys for 7-Month-Old Babies
Has your little one hit the seven-month mark? Congratulations, you’ve officially passed the halfway point of baby’s first year on planet Earth. At 7 months old, baby is starting to make connections and has a greater awareness of the world around them. In practical terms, this means baby will actively seek out their favorite toys, explore items with their mouth and begin to babble while they play. Baby’s physical development has also emerged in leaps and bounds, as they learn to sit upright independently and start to make purposeful movements. This exciting stage brings a lot of change. Fortunately, you can help support new-found skills by filling their toy box with age-appropriate toys for 7-month-olds.
Keep reading to learn more about the key milestones to expect at this age, then browse our list of the best toys for 7-month-old infants, chosen by a panel of early childhood experts. Like to be prepared at playtime? Browse our toy guides for 8-month-olds and 9-month-olds too.
In this article:
Baby’s development at 7-months-old
What are the best toys for a 7-month-old?
What to look for in toys for 7-month-olds
Best toys for 7-month-olds
How we chose the best toys for 7-month-olds
The seven-month mark is an exciting time for new parents. At this age, babies are increasingly aware of their surroundings. “You’ll start to notice that baby will look closely at objects, bang blocks together, [search] for things they’ve dropped and seek out toys after seeing them hidden,” says Alexis Phillips, DO, a pediatrician at Memorial Hermann Medical Group Pediatrics in Atascocita, Texas. Baby will also begin to express their excitement with happy squeals, shrieks and babbling sounds. “Play will become more verbal and interactive as babies will begin to take turns making sounds with you, and discover how to blow raspberries,” explains Kristen Miller, director of education for Celebree School, a nationwide franchise that provides early childhood education for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. This level of communication sets the stage for early language skills, so encourage them by talking back and describing everyday activities. Beyond vocal skills, 7-month-old infants will give non-verbal cues—like smiles and body language—to share their emotions, says Jana Sarno, BCBA, a board-certified behavior analyst and the chief clinical officer of Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers. Encourage this by setting baby down in front of a child-safe mirror, and pointing out their facial expressions. Here are a few more developmental markers to bear in mind when shopping for toys for a 7-month-old:
- Rolling from front to back and back to front
- Sitting upright without support
- Reaching with one hand
- Transferring objects from one hand to another
- Using a raking grasp with the whole hand
- Developing full color vision and visually tracking objects
- Responding to their name and simple words like “no”
- Finding partially hidden objects
- Exploring objects with their hands and mouths
Remember, every child goes at their own pace, and they may not have achieved all of these milestones at 7 months. If you’re concerned about baby’s development, check in with your pediatrician for advice.
The best toys for 7-month-olds support healthy development and meet a child’s growing need for communication. According to Philips, at this age baby is ready to engage in simple reciprocal play, so try rolling a ball back and forth between you. It’s also a good idea to sing songs and read to baby, as their favorite sound is most likely your voice. Miller also likes to use puppets and mirrors as conversation starters—basically anything that gets baby babbling is great for language development.
It’s also the perfect time to introduce baby to a musical toy, like a mini keyboard or maracas. You could even go old-school and give them a pot to bang with a wooden spoon (with adult supervision, of course). “Parents can use these toys and objects to talk about the sounds with interjections like ‘shake shake,’ ‘bang’ and ‘ding.’ Even though baby won’t be old enough to repeat them yet, it helps expand their understanding of language,” adds Sarno.
Toys that teach simple concepts like cause-and-effect are also particularly helpful at this age. If baby wants to make a pop-up toy appear, they’ll have to press a button or crank a handle to make it work. It’s early days for this type of lesson, so demonstrate how to use the toy and give them plenty of praise when they get positive results.
Before we get into our list of the best toys for 7-month-olds, here are a few expert tips on what to be aware of when browsing options:
Size of parts. Avoid items with loose parts as well as toys that are small enough to fit inside baby’s mouth, as they could pose a choking hazard.
Go bold with color. Baby is naturally drawn to bright colors at this age. Why? By the time they reach 7 months old, babies can distinguish between various hues like green and purple. “Incorporating a lot of color and patterns stimulates baby’s visual sense, so consider toys with stripes, polka dots and other prints,” says Sarno.
Choose baby-safe materials. At 7 months, baby will put everything (and anything) in their mouth. With this in mind, Miller advises parents to buy toys made from natural materials and check to make sure objects are free from sharp edges. Also steer clear of hand-me-down toys or anything with chipped paint, as the finish may contain lead.
Follow safe sleep guidelines. According to Sarno, infants may become attached to a lovey or blanket at this stage of development. However, it’s important to note that baby should never sleep with soft bedding or a plush toy in their crib.
Ready to start your search? Check out our expert picks for the best toys for 7-month-olds, from interactive toys to basic wooden playthings.
First up on our list of the best toys for 7-month-olds is the VTech Wiggle and Crawl Ball. Recommended by Phillips, this ball packs a serious punch in terms of sensory stimulation. Push the buttons to trigger different sounds and songs for a quick lesson in cause and effect. Then, roll it across the floor and watch the five flashing lights capture baby’s attention. It even wobbles and spins on its own to entice baby to chase after it once they start to crawl.
Push and pull vehicles are another great toy for 7-month-olds. According to Miller this type of toy gives both fine and gross motor skills a workout. Holding onto the top of the car helps develop baby’s grip, while pushing the car back and forth strengthens the arm muscles. Made from chewable natural rubber, this pair by Sophie la Girafe is lightweight, pliable and easy to maneuver.
Musical toy set
At the seven-month mark, musical instruments are a great addition to playtime. “In addition to learning about various sounds and cause-and-effect, instruments encourage motor skill development as baby learns to bang on drums or shake a maraca,” explains Sarno. This starter set by KiwiCo is a great choice as the shakers make a pleasing rattle sound and the Xylophone has colorful, easy-to-press keys.
Blocks are a classic toy for babies—with good reason. Building blocks allow for open-ended play and help with shape and color recognition. Phillips recommends this set as they’re chunky, colorful and easy to hold. Better yet, the included bucket doubles as a shape-sorter to work those hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills.
Bilingual board book
Young children love books with tons of repetition and rhyme, and they're great for speech and language development too. Sarno recommends this bilingual collection of well-known nursery rhymes. “Use these books to build additional language opportunities by pointing at the various pictures, or act out the songs with your body to see if baby tries to imitate you,” suggests Sarno.
As baby strengthens their core and sitting skills, it could be a good time to introduce a swing. “Many babies enjoy the motion of the swing, which can serve as a calming tool,” explains Sarno. Plus, getting out into the fresh air is beneficial for you and baby. This option is suitable from 6 months on, thanks to a five-point safety harness and a removable headrest—and it can be adapted to suit children up to the age of 8.
At 7 months, baby is now more aware and loves to look at themselves in the mirror. “A mirror is also a great conversation starter, as you can point out facial features and emotions,” says Miller. This option by Manhattan Toy is large enough for babies to take in their full reflection and has bold black and white graphics on the reverse.
Repetition board book
Next up is another book recommendation from Sarno: Five Little Ducks by Raffi. The classic counting song is filled with repetition and helps with early numeracy skills. “Repetition is fun and educational at this age as babies may start to recognize certain words,” explains Sarno.
One undisputed fact we can all agree on is that kids love bubbles. So why not invest in a bubble wand or machine? “Not only do bubbles create a wondrous sensory experience, but if you set baby up in a tummy time position with the bubble maker out of reach in front of them, they may practice early crawling skills by bouncing back and forth to try to reach them,” says Sarno. Granted, at 7 months, baby is still too little to actually blow bubbles, but that won’t lessen their enjoyment.
The best toys for 7-month-olds grow with your child. Versatility is key as “toys that work in a variety of ways meet baby’s needs in different stages of development,” explains Phillips. Case in point: The Explore & More Let's Roll Activity Table by Skip Hop. It offers two modes of play and is packed with developmental activities—including a light-up piano and swirl slide—to keep baby occupied. Set it down on the floor for seated play, then attach the legs for tabletop play once your child can stand upright.
Sensory toys for 7-month-olds should be small, squishy and easy to grasp. Check out these Rollable Farm Friends by Melissa & Doug. Roll them back and forth, and do your best barnyard animal impression to get baby giggling.
Lovey blankets are safe to gum on and offer comfort in times of stress, making them good toys for 7-month-olds. This pick by Little Giraffe is incredibly soft thanks to the silky faux fur and satin trim, which also introduces baby to new textures.
Crawl and explore toy
According to Miller, sitting on the floor across from baby and encouraging them to come over is the best motivator for little crawlers. That said, many toys for 7-month-olds are designed to encourage early crawling skills. This sweet beet-shaped ball rolls along and plays music to help get baby moving.
Dive into playtime fun with this interactive toy by Baby Einstein. Shaped like a stingray, it has six silicone poppers on its fins and light-up buttons on the body that trigger a music and light show. Plus, the curved tail doubles as a grab handle. Who said educational toys for 7-month-old babies had to be boring?
Montessori toys for 7-month-olds are a good option if you don’t want to overstimulate baby. This wooden rainbow drum illustrates the concept of cause and effect. When baby spins the drum by hand, two bells make a delicate chiming sound inside. Simple yet effective.
Everyday tasks and play aren’t mutually exclusive. Take bathtime for example. Water, bubbles and a caregiver’ touch are already enough to make baby feel happy and content, but add a few bath toys to the mix and you’re in for boatloads of fun. We like this easy-to-grasp bath ball that floats on water and rolls on land. Use it to scoop and strain water for a quick lesson in cause and effect.
Realistic finger puppets
Last up on our list of the best toys for 7-month-olds is this finger puppet set. Puppets are a great way to get baby babbling and work those early language skills. Miller is a big fan of this set, as it depicts a diverse group of people.
We get it—parenting requires a lot of gear, and it can be hard to find the best fit for your family. We do the bulk of research for you by considering a list of criteria when sourcing products, including quality, cost, entertainment-value and, last but definitely not least, safety.
To decide which toys are the best options on the market, we leverage our familiarity with leading baby brands to make sure items are from reliable manufacturers, and read user reviews to get the lowdown on how these products work for families. And since many of us are also parents, we rely on our team’s personal experiences.
To make sure we’re highlighting playthings that are safe and age-appropriate, we spoke with a pediatrician and two early childhood experts to understand key developmental priorities and safety considerations to keep top of mind. We also followed toy safety recommendations outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.
About the experts:
Alexis Phillips, DO, is a pediatrician at Memorial Hermann Medical Group Pediatrics in Atascocita, Texas. She earned her medical degree at Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens.
Kristen Miller, director of education for Celebree School, is a leader in early childhood education.
Jana Sarno, BCBA, is a board-certified behavior analyst and the chief clinical officer of Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers.
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