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Best Baby Toys in 2021

Updated 17-04-2021 – Lucy Walters

Getting toys for babies can be a bit tricky if you don’t know what you should be looking for. Toys help your baby’s development, but only if you choose toys that are appropriate for their age. 

Things to Consider When Buying Baby Toys

According to expert paediatricians from Harvard Health, these toys help a child’s development:

  • Toys that are versatile and need your child’s imagination.
  • Toys that promote interaction, especially between child and parent or caregiver.
  • Toys that encourage kids to get moving.

Below are things you should look for when looking for baby toys, considering the above recommendations. 


Contrasting Colours and Patterns

Newborns don’t recognise colours just yet, so high-contrast black and white toys suit them best. However, they soon develop their colour vision, so bright colours and contrasting patterns are great to develop their vision further.

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Sounds and Textures

You want to look for toys with multiple textures, to stimulate their tactile senses. You also want to look for toys with sound features, and these need not be electronic, any sound will do to promote the development of your little one’s hearing.


Positioning and Movement

Newborns do well with toys that hang on their cot mobile, car seats, or prams as they can’t reach just yet. As they grow older, you would want toys you can position that encourages them reaching for it, and sometimes crawling after it or pulling themselves up for it.

LAMAZE Freddie the Firefly

1 Lamaze Freddie The Firefly

Best product

Lamaze is a line of infant development toys belonging to Takara Tomy, a Japanese entertainment company known for children’s toys and merchandise.

The Lamaze Freddie is a very colourful and cute fabric firefly that is jam-packed with fun-filled features.

Freddie’s tummy and wings have a mix of bright colours. The back comes in high-contrast black and white patterns, which is the perfect visual stimulator to a newborn whose vision is still in its early stages.

This firefly’s wings contain a mix of exciting play features for your little bub. There’s a peek-a-boo mirror that promotes interactive play and a squeaker to stimulate your baby’s hearing senses. One wing has layers of multi-textured fabric, stimulating your little one’s sense of touch. Another side has a pull-out ladybug-designed teether that aids in soothing your baby’s gums they reach the teething age. Its tail has clinking rings that encourage your baby to grasp it at the same time providing auditory stimulation.

Atop Freddie’s head is clip ring, which allows you to attach this toy virtually everywhere: on a pushchair, a pram, a car seat, a cot, or a bouncer. If you don’t want to get too many toys but want to keep your little one entertained anytime and anywhere, Freddie might just be your new best friend.

Portable, colourful, feature-rich, and at a relatively affordable price point, we name Lamaze’s Freddie the Firefly as the number one toy in our list of the best baby toys of the UK for 2021.

Key features:
  • High-contrast patterns and colours
  • Pull out teether
  • Clip attachment
  • Multi-texture design
Material: Fabric & silicone
Battery-Operated: No
Suitability: Newborn up
Skip Hop Bandana Buddies Activity Toy

2 Skip Hop Bandana Buddies Activity Toy

Premium product

Skip Hop is an American brand specialising in the manufacture of baby care products. They belong to the parent company, Carter’s, which is a well-known label in the US when it comes to children’s clothing and accessories.

The Skip Hop Bandana Buddies Activity Toy is a range of toy animals that promote an interactive and sensory play. You have seven animal designs to choose from: monkey, deer, dino, elephant, fox, kitty, or a unicorn.

Some features vary with each animal. However, all animals feature colourful, contrasting patterns, and a mix of textured fabric, to stimulate your little one’s senses of vision and touch. Some animals would have a rattle, while some would have a mirror.

The standout feature of the Bandana Buddies is a silicone teether, worn by all the animals as a bandana, but easily detaches to fit your little one’s arms for use when they are teething.

Another thing common with all animals is a ring clip on each animals head, which attaches to car seats, pushchairs, and even baby carriers. The animals stand at 12 inches, which your little one can adopt as their cuddly toy when they reach their toddler years. The Skip Hop Bandana Buddies is an excellent activity toy option if you’re after a toy that grows with your baby.

Key features:
  • Detachable bandana teether toy
  • Multi-fabric
  • Multi-texture
  • Choose from seven animal designs
Material: Fabric & silicone
Battery-Operated: No
Suitability: From 3 months
Kids II Bright Starts Grab & Spin™ Rattle and Teether Toy

3 Kids II Bright Starts Grab & Spin™ Rattle and Teether Toy

Value product

Kids2 is an American company producing a range of children’s toys for over 50 years. They are the parent company of infant and child toy brands such as Bright Starts, Baby Einstein, and Ingenuity.

The Kids II Bright Starts Grab & Spin™ is a rattle and teether toy in one. Its keyring design makes it easy for your little one’s hands to grab, while a mix of colours stimulates your baby’s developing vision.

A ribbed and textured design lines the handle, for your baby to use as a soother when the teething time comes. A spinning rattle comes integrated with this ring-shaped toy, to keep your wee one entertained with sounds. 

This toy is not suitable for newborns and very young babies as they have yet to learn how to grasp things.  However, it is undoubtedly an ideal starter toy to consider for babies aged three months up, especially as they come at an extremely affordable price.

Key features:
  • Textured handle.
  • Spinning rattle.
  • Bright, colourful design.
  • Keyring shape
Material: Plastic
Battery-Operated: No
Suitability: From 3 months
Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack

4 Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack

Best stacking toy

Fisher-Price is a children’s educational toy company based in the USA. Other than toys, they also develop and manufacture baby care products, such as baby potties and cots, to name a few.

The Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack comes as a set of five bright-coloured rings and a base that wobbles to keep your baby amused and entertained.

The rings are designed to encourage your baby’s fine and gross motor skills through grasping lacing the rings on the stacking pole. 

Learning to stack your rings from the widest to the narrowest ring is a great way to develop your baby’s imaginative and problem-solving skills.

To develop your baby’s skills in reaching for items, play this during tummy time. If you want to exercise your wee one’s coordination and balance skills, it is best played sitting up.

Key features:
  • Five colour rings
  • Rattle feature
  • Wobbly base
  • Easy-grasp rings
Material: Plastic
Battery-Operated: No
Suitability: 6 months up
Galt Toys Baby Soft Blocks

5 Galt Toys Baby Soft Blocks

Best baby blocks

Gal Toys is a British company operating for over 59 years and specialising in educational and imaginative toys.

The Galt Baby Soft Block set comes in a PVC bag with carrying handle that contains six colourful blocks featuring animals on each side of the cube. Each cube is a 10 cm foam wrapped in fabric, just the perfect size and texture for your wee one’s cute hands. 

There are various play options for these blocks. Your little one can stack them on top of each other (and knock them off)! When they are a bit older, they can match the 12 pairs of animals featured on each cube.  They can also complete the puzzle of the animals walking along a single path. All of these play modes encourage problem-solving, coordination, grasping, and so much more skills!

If you are looking for the first set of blocks for your little one, the Galt Baby Soft Blocks is the best age-appropriate choice.

Key features:
  • Six colourful blocks.
  • Multiple modes of play.
  • Features 12 different animals.
  • Portable carry case
Material: Foam & fabric
Battery-Operated: No
Suitability: Six months up
Baby Einstein Bendy Ball

6 Baby Einstein Bendy Ball

Best for encouraging movement

Baby Einstein is another brand that falls under the Kids 2 umbrella. The focus of Baby Einstein is on toys, baby books, and other multimedia products that encourage curious and interactive play.

The Baby Einstein Bendy Ball is a ball within a ball. The tinier ball doubles as a rattle, to stimulate your little one’s auditory senses. The bigger ball, on the other hand, is bendable, and comes with multiple holes, allowing a secure grip for your little one. 

The outer ball is soft and bendable, which not only adds to it durability but its also great for your little one’s curious little hands to play with. 

The ball also features a caterpillar with a body lined with primary colours, to stimulate your baby’s sense of vision. 

The ball is four inches big, which is big enough to be safely played by infants, yet small enough to fit a nappy bag for on-the-go play.

If you’re looking for a toy to encourage more movement in your baby who is beginning to crawl and move around, this Bendy Ball Rattle Toy from Baby Einstein may be your best option.

Key features:
  • 4-inch ball
  • Caterpillar character
  • Primary colour design
  • Integrated rattle
Material: Plastic
Battery-Operated: No
Suitability: From 3 months
Infantino Sensory Textured Multi Ball Set

7 Infantino Sensory Textured Multi Ball Set

Best for sensory exploration

Infantino is a US-based company specialising in baby toys, carriers, playmats, and so much more.

The Infantino Sensory Textured Ball Set comprises of six BPA-free plastic sensory balls. Each ball features a different colour, which stimulates your little one’s imagination and vision. 

The different texture with each ball promotes the enhancement of your baby’s tactile senses, while the varyings sizes and shapes are great for developing your little one’s tactile and gross motor skills.

When they grow older, your baby can use this as they would a typical ball, so you’re sure to see this on your child’s toy chest even as they grow older. 

In terms of portability, the balls are just the right size to fit a nappy bag. Because they come in a set of six, you can split them up between home, car, and stroller to ensure that there is one ball for every location.

Key features:
  • Six various textures and colours
  • BPA free material
  • Varying sizes
  • Easy-to-grab design
Material: Plastic
Battery-Operated: No
Suitability: From 6 months
Fisher-Price Monkey Mirror

8 Fisher-Price Monkey Mirror

Best for tummy time

The Monkey Mirror activity mat is another baby entertainment product from Fisher-Price.

It features a large mirror that is perfect for an enjoyable, interactive play. It also has a panel that contains various toys, such as a  monkey squeaker, a parrot jingle, and a banana clacker. 

The entire mat is lined with various textured fabric, to your little one’s tactile sensory play experience. This activity toy folds compact and folds out quickly for ease of storage and transport.

This mat can be played by your baby while sitting upright. But if you are looking for a developmental toy during tummy time, you may want it as one of your options.

Key features:
  • Large interactive mirror
  • Easy assembly and closure
  • Sensory and sound activity panel
  • Colourful animal prints
Material: Mixed
Battery-Operated: No
Suitability: From 6 months
Vtech Drive & Discover Baby Keys

9 Vtech Drive & Discover Baby Keys

Best sound features

VTech is a Hongkong-based company specialising in baby to preschool educational toys.

The Vtech Drive and Discovery Baby Keys feature three feature-rich keys hooked onto one equally interactive keyring with three colourful buttons.

Features in the keys include a mirror, a spinning disc, textured rollers, and rattle beads, all encouraging the development of fine motor skills.

One of the keys comes in the form of a bear and doubles as a teether for soothing your little one’s gums when they are at the teething stages.

Shaking the keys themselves and the integrated rattle creates enough sound, but if this is not enough, pressing the keyring buttons also encourage auditory sensory stimulation. These buttons play over 50 types of audio from songs, melodies, sounds, and phrases that teach first words or colour names. 

If you notice your little being fond of sounds, this may be the perfect toy for them.

Key features:
  • 50+ songs, melodies, & phrases
  • Soft bear key teether
  • Colourful design
  • Three feature-rich keys
Material: Plastic
Battery-Operated: Yes, 3 X LR44
Suitability: From 3 months
Lamaze Busy Bug

10 Lamaze Busy Bug

Best tabletop toy

The Busy Bug is another interactive toy that is the brainchild of Lamaze. It features a colourful bug, with a body full of multiple activities to keep your little one entertained.

The Busy Bug toy sways from side to side when firmly attached to a surface, so you don’t have to worry about it falling off and your baby trying to reach after it. Although a relatively compact toy, it contains various types of activities to keep your bub entertained. It features multiple shapes that slide along a circular bar, the bug has colourful arms for your baby to tug on, and various body parts that spin and rattle.

The base of the bug is armed with a strong-hold suction cup, which is perfect for sticking on high chair trays, tabletops, and other surfaces. If your little one needs a bit of entertainment while eating on the high chair, or if you want to buy a bit of time for yourself to eat after feeding your baby, you may want to consider this colourful bug to keep the little one occupied.

Key features:
  • Bendable bug character.
  • Strong-hold suction cup.
  • Bright, colourful design.
  • Multiple activity choices
Material: Plastic
Battery-Operated: No
Suitability: From 6 months


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