The Best Educational Toys for Babies: 0 to 3 years

The Best Educational Toys for Babies: 0 to 3 years

From the moment we are born, we start learning about the world.  Many studies out there even conclude that we learn things about language and our environment even before we are born.  There is a lot to think about when you have a new baby.  You have to feed them, clothe them, bathe them and provide them with countless types of gear and furniture to make sure that their lives are safe and comfortable.  Among those things to think about is just that – their thinking.  Educational toys for babies are essential for their cognitive development, and it’s really never too early to get them started on the path of intellectual curiosity. 

One of the many missions we undertake at The Essential is to provide parents with information that makes their jobs easier.  Especially with firstborns, babies can be a proverbial tsunami on your life, as it completely and totally changes how you live, how you sleep (or don’t) and what you think about.  It’s impossible to describe this transformation, but it’s a time when it’s easy to overlook certain things.  Educational toys for babies may seem like something that isn’t a priority, but it should be.  We’ll help you save some time by providing you with some examples of what we feel are the best options in this regard below. 


For the purpose of this article, we’ll think of newborns as being no older than two months.  During this time, it’s important that your baby experiences muscular development as much as anything else, and this can be accomplished with visual and audio stimulation.  Specifically, we’re talking about tummy time.  It’s hard for babies to maneuver when they’re all cartilage, but a receiving blanket is where you need to start.  In order to encourage your baby to look and ultimately to try to move around, add some type of visual or audio device.  Activity mats are great for this purpose, as they provide a soft foundation for your baby to lay on over the blanket and moving parts along with music.  This will keep your peanut interested in what’s going on and moving his or her head in an attempt to see what he or she is hearing.  BuyBuy Baby offers a nice mat that serves as a good example. 

2 – 6 Months

Now that your baby is a little older and wiser, he or she may be more interested in moving around and grabbing things to check them out.  This is the perfect time to get the little one something that can take a bit of a beating, as it’s also possible that your baby will start teething before too long.  That means that everything is going to go into his or her mouth, regardless of what it is, how it tastes or whether or not anyone else on the planet would want to know how that certain thing tastes.  We love something like this, sold by none other than The Essential, that’s soft enough for a baby’s mouth but that still makes entertaining noises when shaken. 

6 Months – 1 Year

At this point, your baby may be sitting up without much if any help and he or she is probably already scooting from place to place at the very least if not starting to crawl around in some form or fashion.  It’s definitely a game-changer when mobility comes into play, but it may also be a good time to introduce a companion into his or her life to stimulate identification.  Once again, The Essential comes through with a nice option in our plush toys, as your baby will recognize them and look to cruise with them wherever he or she goes. 

1 – 2 Years

This is about as big a year as you’ll ever experience as a parent.  It’s the year when your baby begins to transform into a child.  Many babies start walking during this year, which once again only raises the required level of play and parenting.  The cognitive development of your baby is also growing at a break-neck rate during this year, which is why it’s time to start introducing toys that encourage applied thinking and logic.  While this may seem like an old-school choice, good old-fashioned wooden musical instruments do the trick every time.  They can be played, banged on, thrown around and used to make all sorts of different sounds that will teach your little one something just about every time.  Take a look at The Essential’s offering here.   

2 – 3 Years

You’re fully into the toddler stage now.  Everyone seems to fear “The Terrible Twos” before they get there for the first time, but for a lot of parents, this is actually a wonderful year of learning and growth without too many level-5 grease-fire meltdowns.  Your child is starting to use his or her voice and try to communicate, and he or she is much more aware of surroundings than ever before. It would be a very good time to introduce more interactivity with your toys, as that’s going to stimulate that toddler’s quickly developing cognitive capabilities.  The Essential offers a musical duck that provides hours of stimulation for your child.  He or she is going to find new ways to entertain him or herself with it, and as is a clearly non-accidental theme here, it’s quite durable.  After all, a toddler is going to play violently with toys from time to time, regardless of his or her basic nature. 

There is never one solution for finding the best educational toys for babies.  Every child is different much like every person is different.  However, babies and toddlers develop at relatively similar stages and their capabilities tend to expand at relatively regular intervals.  That means that certain modes of entertainment come at certain times, and every parent should look to incorporate learning into this development.  The Essential is here to help you find what works best for you, so feel free to take a look at all of our offerings as you encounter new needs.

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