If you’re pregnant or new parents, you probably know what you need to buy for your baby and when you need to buy it. But do you know when your baby will start using those items? There are so many questions about when babies start walking, talking, or playing with toys. We’ll answer all of these questions and more in our guide to baby development!
When Does a Baby Start Playing With Toys?
It’s a good question, and it’s not an easy one to answer. As a pediatric occupational therapist, I can tell you that there are many factors at play when it comes to when babies start playing with toys. If you ask 10 pediatric occupational therapists when babies start playing with toys, you might get ten different answers because while some children do start early (usually around 2 or 3 months of age), most begin around 6 months of age.
Age 1: Most Babies Won’t Play with Toys Until Age One
Different babies reach milestones at different times, so it’s hard to say when exactly a baby will start playing with toys. In general, though, most experts recommend holding off on giving babies toys until they are at least six months old. Some studies have shown that exposing infants to bright colors and different textures can be good for their development; however, there isn’t any evidence that starting playtime earlier is more beneficial in any way.
Also: Many research-backed baby activities focus on stimulating your child by using sounds or motions rather than by using toys. For example, one study found that engaging newborns for 15 minutes a day through jiggling was just as effective as having parents play with them with a mobile or cradle swing.
Age 2: At Two Months Old, your Baby Will Start Pulling Toys into his Mouth
Before your baby can hold a toy, he’s going to try and grab it. This isn’t because babies are greedy—they do it instinctively. When he gets close enough to touch it, he’ll grab at it with his hand or foot. His fine motor skills aren’t developed enough yet for him to grasp things well, so when he grabs something, his fingers may end up wrapped around a finger instead of his target.
By age two months, your baby is starting to develop hand-eye coordination and will begin trying to pick up toys as soon as you put them in front of him; when you do, keep an eye on him so that he doesn’t accidentally pinch himself with those pincer-like hands of his.
Age 3: At Three Months Old, your Baby will use his Fingers more Often Than Grabbing Objects at Random
When your baby reaches three months, she will most likely be more focused on her fingers and hands than anything else. This doesn’t mean that she isn’t still interested in toys, though. At three months old, it’s normal for a baby to use their fingers and hands as playthings. Some of these toys might even be their own feet or toes! But at three months old, your baby is most definitely not ready to focus on any form of the traditional toy just yet.
Age 4: Around Four months Old, you can Expect your Baby to Start Banging Things Together While They Explore Their Environment
This isn’t just for practice, either. Even at such a young age, your baby is starting to engage in purposeful play. This means they’re actively trying to understand their environment through exploration and active experimentation—and that will continue until around age 4. If you’re wondering when babies start playing with toys, your answer might surprise you! Not only are they beginning to get more interactive, but their brains are starting to develop as well.
At four months old, your child has already developed 80% of their brain matter—so now is a great time to expose them to new things and new experiences! But how can you encourage your little one’s budding curiosity? Here are some ideas: First of all, when it comes to children’s toys, try not to overthink them. As long as it doesn’t have small parts or breakable parts (which should be common sense), anything goes: blocks, balls, and stuffed animals can all help them learn about cause-and-effect relationships or develop spatial awareness skills.
Age 5: At Six Months Old, Your Baby Will be Fascinated by the Movement of Toy Vehicles
Once your baby reaches 6 months old, you can begin introducing simple, light toys. When starting to play with toys at a young age, it’s important to make sure that they’re of a suitable size for your baby and don’t pose a choking hazard.
Small cars or trucks are perfect since they can be pushed along with feet or fingers (and won’t hurt when they fall). Just remember: until your child is old enough to understand how not to put small objects in their mouth, keep all potentially dangerous items away from them.
Age 6: By Age Seven Months, Your Baby Will be Able to Grasp Simple Toys Like Rattles and Balls
By age six months, your baby will be able to grasp and hold on to simple toys like rattles and balls. Some babies at six months may even begin to reach for toys, but it’s unlikely that they’ll be interested in actually playing with them just yet.
They’re still figuring out how their hands work, so manipulating objects isn’t quite as interesting yet. At seven months old though, they should have more control over what they pick up (and where they put it) and might even try passing their toys back and forth with you or someone else. Keep in mind that not all babies are early bloomers—some may start touching things earlier than others—so don’t get discouraged if your child is slower than most.
Age 8+: At Eight Months Old and Up, Children can Grasp Most Toys That you Give Them as Gifts
When do babies start to play with toys?! This is a question many parents have, and it’s usually because they want to get their child an age-appropriate gift. But some new research shows that when you give your child a toy can make as much of a difference as what kind of toy you give them.
Experts are now recommending that parents hold off on giving infants toys until they’re 8 months old—and even then, only a select few types. That might seem surprising at first, but if you think about it from a developmental perspective, it makes sense. Until babies reach eight months old, they’re primarily focused on developing their motor skills—not playing with toys.: When do babies start to play with toys? It depends on when you started reading! If you started at eight months old or earlier, then please go back and read again starting at At eight months old… If not…well…I guess we’ll never know when exactly babies start to play with toys.
Whether you’re an expert in child development or just a concerned parent, you have likely heard a couple of theories about when babies start to play with toys. Some believe that babies don’t learn to recognize toys as familiar objects until they’re 6 months old; others assert that these observations aren’t true for all infants and some claim that, on average, children begin interacting with toys between 2-3 months. While some of these theories are more supported than others, there’s still no hard-and-fast rule about when babies start to play with toys. So if your little one isn’t holding their favorite stuffed animal yet, there’s no need to worry: They’ll probably get around to it eventually!