Moms recommend the best educational toys for 0 to 3 year olds

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Baby Yum Yum - Moms recommend the best educational toys for 0 to 3 year olds
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Can’t decide what gift to get your little one? We’ve rounded up great buys for children from 0-36 months that tie in with their developmental stage. Not only are these toys fun, they also encourage learning!

Gift ideas for newborns to 6 months

‘My three-month-old daughter’s eyes would light up whenever I put her in this play gym. She was fascinated by the music, nature sounds and lights and would spend ages trying to tug at the hanging toys. The added bonus? It kept her busy long enough for me to enjoy a much-needed cup of tea.’ – Kate, 36, mom of one

Choose baby toys that cover all the firsts, from teething to tummy-time adventures.

Fisher-Price® Rainforest™ Music & Lights Deluxe Gym, R1 499,99

Fisher-Price gift guide baby gym

  • Deluxe newborn gym with 10+ toys and activities and a removable, take-along toucan with music and dancing lights
  • Three ways to play: Lay & play, tummy time and take-along
  • Responds to baby’s movement with music and lights in short-play setting

For more info & gift ideas for 0-6 months, click here

Gift ideas for 6 -12 months

‘Mom-guilt be gone: here’s a toy that will entertain your little one while boosting their physical and mental development. Push the buttons on the sloth’s feet and your child will learn about numbers, colours and more, as the sloth claps its hand and bobs its head. You can collect the whole Linkimals ‘family’, that includes a koala, otter, llama and more, and when you put them together they put on an impressive synchronized music and light show.’ – Zinathi, 28, mom of two 

Find toys that keep little hands and minds busy, like the , that gets your baby moving and learning with exciting lights, music, songs, and groovy dance moves.

Fisher-Price® Linkimals™ Smooth Moves Sloth™, R749.99

Fisher-Price gift guide linkamls

Click here for gift ideas for 6-12-month-olds

Gift ideas for 12 – 18 months

‘My boys and I love playing with these blocks – they’re the perfect size to make it easy for small hands to stack and pull them apart, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can build (although mostly the three of us just see how high we can build a ‘tower’ before it topples over). We’ve even started watching YouTube videos for inspiration on what to create next.’ – Bhavna, 31, mom of twins

Toys that encourage hands-on play are perfect for this age. 

Fisher-Price® Mega Bloks® First Builders™ Big Building Bag, R329.99

Fisher-Price gift guide mega bloks

For more info on gifts for 12-18 months, click here

Gift ideas for 18 – 24 months

‘Here’s a kiddies’ buy you’ll get a LOT of use out of thanks to the Smart Stages technology, which means they learn different things from the toy’s various functions as they get older and enter the next development stage. So, although this toy is aimed at children aged 18 months and older, it’s actually something they can use from when they’re around 6 months old. Depending on how old your child is, they can use this toy to sit and play, or stand and walk – win-win! Sis’s catchy songs and phrases will introduce your child to the alphabet, shapes, counting and colours (it will even teach them a couple of Spanish words!).’ – Lerato, 31, mom of three

Engage those growing personalities and gross motor skills with toys and playsets that bring learning to life. 

Fisher-Price® Laugh & Learn® Smart Stages™ Learn With Puppy Walker, R749.99

Fisher-Price gift guide walker

For more gift ideas for 18-24 months, click here

Gift ideas for 2+ year-olds

‘I couldn’t imagine my daughter being any more excited about taking her first steps and learning to walk… until I bought her this. She loved the popping sound and watching the brightly-coloured balls bounce around and the faster she walked, the faster the balls popped! It was the perfect thing to encourage her to keep going as she was finding her feet.’ – Nicole, 41, mom of three

Focus on toys that encourage developmental milestones, like teaching manners, to tiny potties that make toilet training more fun or making sense of things. 

Fisher-Price® Corn Popper®, R559.99

Fisher-Price gift guide corn popper

Click here for more gifts for 2-year-olds

Gift ideas for 3+ year-olds

‘This really got my daughter to use her imagination, coming up with weird and wonderful underwater adventures. She LOVED this shark – when you pull it along, it moves its head and tail just like the real thing (it even has a cool ‘chomp action’ function!). The best bit? Press the Power Pad on the shark’s back and it opens its mouth and ‘swallows’ the scuba diver – don’t worry, you can retrieve him and start again!’ – Sibahle, 33, mom of two

Toys that encourage imagination are perfect for this age. 

Fisher-Price® Imaginext® Mega Bite Shark™, R599.99

Fisher-Price gift guide shark

For gifts ideas for 3-year-olds, click here

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