Looking for something to keep your baby busy so you can get a few minutes of peace? Perhaps you need something that won’t take up a ton of space either. If this is the case, stacking toys are a good way to go.
Whether you need some “me” time, want educational toys, or a little of both, stacking toys are beneficial to your baby. We’re going to go over the best stacking toys for babies and how to choose the right ones.
Benefits of Stacking Toys
There are several benefits to stacking toys, some obvious and others a little less so. In order to develop properly, babies need stimulation through toys and interaction. One of the greatest benefits of stacking toys is the encouragement of hand-eye coordination.
Hand-eye coordination is something babies begin working on at birth. By the time they reach 6-months-old, they’ll begin to learn grasping and other skills needed to stack blocks and other toys.
When it comes to block play, children are exposed to STEM concepts without realizing it. During block play, children can use their imaginations to map out what they want to build. This can help with problem-solving skills and language development, too.
Block play will continue on through early elementary school, so why not get them started early?
Different Types of Stacking Toys
There are a few different types of stacking toys ranging from classic blocks to more complex stackers. Here’s a quick rundown of the different types.
- Classic blocks: These have been the tried and true option for generations. Blocks are good for open-ended play and develop gross and fine motor skills.
- Stacking/nesting cups: We like these because they help teach your child size differences and how to sort from biggest to smallest (or vice versa).
- Stacking rings: This is a classic that you’ll see everywhere. It has a rod that you stack the rings on. Most will need to be stacked biggest to smallest, but others can be stacked any way baby chooses.
- Stacking shapes: Whether they look like gears, balls, or other geometric designs, these put a fun spin on the classic stacking rings.
Things to Consider
Before buying a stacking toy for your baby, there are a few things to consider when looking at each item.
- Size of pieces: Stacking toys come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Always pay attention to the size of the product to avoid any choking hazards.
- Hard or soft: Softer stacking toys like plush blocks are better for younger babies.
- Material: Regardless of the materials, make sure to choose one without BPA or other harmful chemicals that babies could get in their mouths.
- Versatility: Some stacking toys are super versatile and can grow with your baby. This is usually the case with building blocks. We have a set from before our daughter was born and she still plays with them three years later.
The Best Baby Stacking Toys of 2020
Now that you’re an expert on the benefits of stacking toys, it’s time to choose which one you want in your home. We perused the internet and found the best of the best to help make your decision easier.
1. Block Party Baby Blocks
Blocks don’t just have to be hard cubes. There are squishy and soft options for younger babies like this one. That way, babies can have the benefits of blocks without worrying about hurting themselves or choking.
This set comes with six soft blocks with five interchangeable inserts that each provide different sensory experiences. These blocks are great for helping introduce the alphabet to your baby with vibrant illustrations and corresponding letters.
The blocks are BPA- and phthalate-free and are completely safe for babies with curious mouths. It also comes with a recycled, reusable bag for easy storage. This block set is recommended for babies ages 6 months and up.
2. Spin Again
This unique stacking toy is the winner of the 2016 Parent’s Choice Award and is good for babies 12 months and up. It comes with six brightly colored graduated discs that the child can stack. They can then watch as each piece cascades down the corkscrew middle.
We like this toy because it doesn’t have to be arranged from biggest to smallest like other classic stacking toys. It’s really good for working on hand-eye coordination, cause and effect, and practicing dexterity. This toy is safety tested and BPA-free.
3. Wooden Mouse Stacking Toy
The Montessori method has always had a dedicated following. If you’ve taken the Montessori leap, this may be a great toy for your baby. It’s made from sustainably-sourced beech wood and also comes in several other designs.
This stacking toy is great for fine motor development and sensory skills. The way they’re made makes them the perfect family heirloom toy that can be passed down through several generations.
The cute little mouse is polished, unvarnished, and 100 percent natural. Recommended for babies ages 3 months and up.
4. Green Toys Stacking Cups
If you’re into recycling and reducing your carbon footprint, this is the perfect toy to consider. The brand makes most of their toys out of recycled plastic milk containers. They’re also really nice if you’re rollin’ with a budget.
This one comes with six graduated cups that can be stacked or nested. They’re also good for both bath time and regular play time. The bottom of each cup has a number to help with correct nesting/stacking.
These cups are good for babies starting at 6-months-old and are great for motor skill development. They meet the FDA food contact standards and are safe for the dishwasher.
5. Octopus Stacking Bath Cups
This is another good option if you want something for bath-time play. These stacking cups are made to look like octopuses with crowns. It comes with six octopus cups which can be stacked three different ways: straight upwards, back to back, or upside down.
This toy is recommended for children ages 12 months and up. Each cup is made of safe ABS material and will not mold.
This one puts another unique spin on the classic stacking toy. Each easy-to-grip piece is in the shape of a spool. They can be stacked virtually any way without falling over.
This is nice for those babies just beginning their hand-eye coordination practice. It comes with seven spools in various colors and each one varying in size. This one is recommended for babies from 10 months old.
If you’re looking for something simple and classic, consider this. It’s the one stacking ring toy you’ll see in just about every household with young babies. It’s made of plastic and comes with five colorful rings.
The rings need to be stacked biggest to smallest, so it helps with teaching sequencing. The smallest ring has beads inside and is clear so baby can see the beads rattle around as it’s shaken. This stacking toy is recommended for babies 6 months old and above.
8. Tobbles Neo
This toy is the winner of several awards and is a major hit with parents and babies. It comes with six dual-colored spheres that can be stacked on a base. They’re uniquely designed to be able to be stacked in a “wobbly” structure.
It’s safety tested and made of safe ABS plastic, making it perfect for babies starting at 6-months- old. This stacker is recommended for sensory exploration, motor skills, coordination, and visual-spatial awareness. It has a grippable texture making it easier for small hands to pick up and manipulate.
9. Manhattan Toys Wooden Stacking Toy
If visually pleasing is what you’re looking for, consider this stacking toy. It’s made completely of wood and is compact enough to fit on a shelf. There are two different options to choose from: circles and arches, or one with a rectangular design.
This toy comes with five stackable pieces as well as a sturdy rod base. The wood is made of smooth grain and is painted with non-toxic, water-based paint and finish.
It’s good for hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, and spatial perception. This stacker is recommended for babies 12 months and above.
10. Rainbow Stacking Rings
These soft stacking rings are a nice alternative to the classic plastic sets. It comes with multi-textured rings that fit around a soft base. The entire toy is made of soft fabric so it’s easier for baby to grip and will prevent accidental injuries.
The fabric features bright and bold colors and the rings make a crinkling sound to delight your baby. These rings are recommended for babies 6 months and up.
11. Rabbit Wood Stacking Toy
If you’re trying to stick to a wooden theme, consider this rabbit stacker. It has a whimsical design that would make a cute addition to your baby’s nursery. It comes with six brightly colored, polished rings and a bunny head with felt ears.
The pieces are made of sustainably-harvested wood and are painted with non-toxic and water-based paint. This is nice because you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals going into baby’s mouth. This stacker toy is recommended for children ages 12 months and above.
Stack ‘Em Up!
There are so many benefits when it comes to stacking toys for babies. From developing their hand-eye coordination to encouraging early problem-solving skills, you can’t go wrong with this kind of toy. Some even come with nesting abilities to add to their versatility.
Our favorite toy is the Block Party Baby Blocks. We like these because they encourage block play with even the youngest of builders. We’re also obsessed with the adorable illustrations on each block face to help introduce the alphabet.
Which stacking toy is your favorite? Is there one you’ve had a bad experience with? Let us know in the comments below!