What Are The Best Cheap Baby Toys? – 2020 Guide
Raising a child certainly isn’t cheap. You want to save money wherever you can. The good news is you don’t have to spend a lot in order to give a child high quality toys.
The best cheap baby toys aren’t poorly-made, dangerous or devoid of fun. Instead, cheap baby toys are often simply the right toy at the right price for the right stage of development.
Your complete guide to the best cheap baby toys for 2020 starts here:
- Baby Einstein Octoplush Plush Toy
- Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks
- VTech Touch & Swipe Baby Phone
- The First Years Finding Nemo Squirt Toys
- Oball Toy Ball
- Melissa & Doug Rainbow Stacker
- Manhattan Toy Atom Rattle and Teething Toy
- Munchkin Wind Up Swimming Penguin Bath Toy
- The First Years Stack Up Cups
- Peek-a-Boo Forest Soft Book
- Best Cheap Baby Toys FAQ
- What Types of Toys Does Your Child Like?
- Are Toys Safe to Buy Second-Hand?
- How Important are Brand Names?
- Should My Child Know Their Toys are Cheap?
- What is the Difference Between an Educational Toy and a Regular Toy?
- What Types of Toys Help Support Motor Skill Development?
- Are Homemade Toys Good to Give my Baby?
- All in All
Baby Einstein Octoplush Plush Toy
- Smiling octopus plush pal
- Teaches colors and languages
- Speaks English, French and Spanish
- Plays classic melodies
- Not machine washable
The Octoplush Plush Toy from Baby Einstein is eight times the fun of other stuffed toys! This happy blue octopus is soft and cuddly. Kids can squeeze each of his colored feet to hear a melody and the name of the color in three different languages. Teaches color names in English, Spanish and French. Squeezing his head plays classic melodies.
This eight-legged friend can grow with the child from babyhood into toddler ages. Soft to the touch but durable enough to last for years. A great language and color teaching tool and also a great value.
Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks
- Durable basic block set
- Colorful blocks engage baby’s vision
- Includes bucket with carrying handle
- Lid can sort blocks by shape
- Lid doesn’t always stay attached
This simple set of high quality blocks from Fisher-Price are a cheap toy which kids will likely play with for years. Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks includes 10 colorful blocks in five different shapes. Also includes a bucket with a carrying handle and shape-sorting lid.
The bright blocks are easy to hold but impossible to swallow (with a recommended age of six months and up). Babies develop hand-eye coordination as they sort, stack and match.
VTech Touch & Swipe Baby Phone
- Includes 15 educational songs
- Helps kids play pretend
- Introduces letters and numbers
- Requires batteries
- Not waterproof
Kids often want to imitate whatever they see their parents doing, and that includes using a phone. While you don’t want to give a baby or toddler a smartphone, you can give them the VTech Touch & Swipe Baby Phone. This toy phone includes 12 pretend apps which light up. Also plays a variety of phone noises and 15 different melodies.
A toy phone is great for role-playing, which helps kids learn by doing. Playing with the Touch & Swipe also introduces babies to letters, numbers and simple words. Designed for ages six months to three years.
The First Years Finding Nemo Squirt Toys
- Three fan-favorite Finding Nemo characters
- Each toy floats and sprays water
- Lightweight and durable
- Parents will likely get sprayed with water on occasion
Brighten up bath time with these Finding Nemo Squirt Toys. Includes Nemo, Dory and Turtle. Each toy can be filled with bathwater and then squeezed to emit a delightful spray. They float, too!
Designed for kids between six and 18 months, these toys help develop motor skills in the hands. Plus also helps turn bath time into fun time! Each toy is four by two by four inches and accurately detailed to the character.
Oball Toy Ball
Oops! Looks like this toy is sold out.
- Colorful, flexible and durable
- Large handholds for easy grip
- Develops muscle coordination and control
- Child might get frustrated if he can’t crawl after toy when rolled
This flexible open ball from Oball is fun for kids six months and older. Bright colors draw the baby’s attention. Plus, the large handholds are perfect for little ones just learning how to grasp and throw.
This is an inexpensive toy which requires no batteries or electricity. Keeping it clean is as simple as placing the ball in the top rack of the dishwasher.
Melissa & Doug Rainbow Stacker
- High-quality all-wood construction
- Eight rings with different colors and sizes
- Teaches a variety of spatial concepts
- Probably only entertaining for kids under one year
- Rings can roll away rather easily
Quality construction makes this Melissa & Doug Rainbow Stacker stand out from similar toys. Includes eight easy-to-grasp rings which fit on a solid base. The rings progress in size in uniform increments, although kids are free to stack them in any order. Teaches size comparisons, object balancing and more.
The entire toy is made from wood. Each piece is sanded smooth to prevent splinters and cracks. The rings are all painted different bright colors with safe, non-toxic paint. Total size is eight and half inches tall with a three-and-a-half-inch base.
Manhattan Toy Atom Rattle and Teething Toy
- Cool atom design
- Includes teething stems
- Rattles and moves
- Contains no small or loose parts
- Only makes one type of noise
This is an affordable rattle and teether suitable even for newborns. The Manhattan Toy Atom includes slidable rings, flexible teething stems, a pleasant rattling noise and more. The bright colors and moveable rings immediate draw baby’s attention. Plus, the toy is shaped like an atom for your younger science star-to-be.
Helps develop vision, motor coordination and more. Passes all CPSC, ASTM, EN71 and Health Canada safety standards. The size is roughly larger than a tennis ball but smaller than a softball. An ingeniously simple design built to last through even the toughest of teething times.
Munchkin Wind Up Swimming Penguin Bath Toy
- Wind-up toy which swims in the bathtub
- Fun design with a friendly face and goggles
- Easy for kids to operate on their own
- Does require fairly frequent winding
This little guy has his goggles on and is ready to swim. Simply wind up flippers and let him loose in the tub. This lightweight penguin pal actually swims through the water on his own power. Safe for kids ages nine months and older.
Available in blue and pink, the Munchkin Wind-Up Swimming Penguin is fun for boys and girls of practically every age. Encourages imaginative play. Wind-up function also introduces kids to the idea of cause and effect.
The First Years Stack Up Cups
- Simple, safe and durable play cups
- Multiple ways to play
- Safe and fun for babies as young as six months
- Play makes a lot of noise (more of a negative for parents)
For just a few bucks, you can get these eight brightly colored cups. Although they’re not particularly fancy, babies and toddlers love them! They’re recommended for kids six months and older.
Durable and easy to hold, kids can stack them, turn them over, roll them around and more. They have numbers on the bottom so older kids can practice counting.
They’re made from BPA-free plastic with no lead, phthalates and other harmful toxins. They’re safe for kids to play with and even put in their mouths and chew on.
Peek-a-Boo Forest Soft Book
- Cloth book engages baby’s eyes, ears and sense of touch
- Story features a variety of friendly forest animals
- Introduces basic reading concepts
- Must be washed by hand
Introduce young ones to the basics of books and reading with this soft book from Lamaze. Made from soft cloth, it’s durable and colorful. Each page has a peek-a-boo flap which the baby flips open to reveal an animal or another fun surprise.
The Peek-a-Boo forest is a simple, friendly story about animals living in the forest. It’s filled with colorful, fabric-based illustrations of animals which kids are encouraged to touch. Plus, the pages have multiple textures including crinkling.
Best Cheap Baby Toys FAQ
Cheap baby toys might not sound very ideal. But cheap doesn’t have to mean the toys are in poor condition or subpar. Cheap toys can still be high quality, educational and fun. Finding inexpensive baby toys is actually pretty easy once you know how. Here are the answers to common questions about finding the best cheap baby toys in 2018:
What Types of Toys Does Your Child Like?
Your child will always have a few favorite toys. But many other toys will likely have a relatively short period of time where they’re played with regularly. Kids develop rapidly during their first few months and years. A toy which is fun and stimulating for the first six months can become boring practically overnight.
Children’s interests change based on their development. For instance, newborns have poor vision. So they often respond well to toys which play songs or make noises. Also, they like toys which have bright colors and lots of different textures.
However, as kids grow, their senses develop. Starting around six months to a year old, kids typically want toys which involve more interactivity. Parents.com suggest children around the age of one should be given toys which require motor skills and show cause and effect for actions.
One important key to finding cheap baby toys is estimating how long your child will play with the toy. Spending lots of money on a toy which will hold your child’s interests for just a few months often doesn’t make much financial sense. This is especially true for the relatively simple toys given to newborns.
Are Toys Safe to Buy Second-Hand?
You can often find good deals on used baby toys. But are they safe? They can be, but you want to check them out carefully. A hand-me-down toy from a friend or relative is probably fine. Just make sure you clean and disinfect the toy properly.
Toys purchased through Craig’s List or otherwise from strangers can be a bit riskier. Generally, you want to know a bit of the history of the toy. Stuffed animals are usually okay if you know what the stuffing is made from. Just run the toy through the wash before giving it to the child.
Second-hand toys with electronic parts, such as the Baby Einstein Octoplush or the VTech Touch ‘n Swipe Baby Phone, are usually best avoided. Even if the toy works during the transaction, there’s no way to know if the electronics have suffered long-term damage. When buying a toy from strangers, focus on toys with few moving parts and which can be thoroughly cleaned.
Many communities also have toy library, which act like traditional libraries but for toys. While usually some type of organization is monitoring the quality of the toys in the library, you’ll also want to examine any check-out toys for small pieces or potential hazards. As with all second-hand types, wash any borrowed toys thoroughly first before playtime.
How Important are Brand Names?
There’s something reassuring about finding a toy with a brand name you recognize as a quality manufacturer, or perhaps even remember from your own childhood. While Fisher-Price, Melissa & Doug and VTech are all trusted toy manufacturers, brand names aren’t a requirement for a quality toy.
Many toys for kids and babies are relatively simple, so manufacturing isn’t necessarily complicated or expensive. Trusted brand names often providing reassurance about quality, but you can also find perfectly safe and fun toys from lesser-known brands.
The key with this tip is understanding how to spot safe toys. Guidelines from Safe Kids Worldwide include checking toys for potential choking hazards and hinges. Also, you want to store the toy safely so it doesn’t become a tripping hazard. If a toy from a lesser known brand is safe, you can often save big by avoiding name brand prices.
Should My Child Know Their Toys are Cheap?
Bargain hunting for quality toys is a great way to help children learn the value of money. Even toddlers are capable of understanding the basic concept of how much things cost. Of course, you never want the child to feel as if they don’t deserve nice toys. Instead, treat bargain hunting as a fun game where the goal is to find the best value for every dollar spent.
Is it alright to let my child play with my old toys?
While the experience of passing some of your old toys down to your child can be incredibly sweet and sentimental, keep in mind that safety standards have changed significantly in the past ten years, even more so since you were a child.
When you were young, people didn’t know as much about child safety. Many old toys contain lead paint and harmful plastics. Plastic can also become brittle with age, and small pieces could break off toys and cause choking hazards or even create sharp edges that the children can injure themselves on.
Old cloth toys can harbor a lot of germs that could get your baby sick, or they can become dry-rotted and fall apart. If you feel strongly about an old toy, make sure it’s clean and make sure you check it regularly for breaks or rips and tears.
It is also important to think about where the baby is in his or her development. You should resist the temptation to give your baby toys they are not ready for and wait until they are a little older and can appreciate them more.
What is the Difference Between an Educational Toy and a Regular Toy?
While all toys can teach children something, educational toys are more deliberate in trying to teach children. Educational toys teach or practice a specific skill or skill set while regular toys are more open-ended.
Educational toys for babies usually involve music and other sounds as well as offer various tactile experiences. These types of toys help begin building language skills and develop sensitivity to different textures and materials. Some educational toy designs support the development of fine motor skills like grip and hand control.
An ordinary toy is designed for enjoyment, while an educational toy also offers educational enrichment. However, this doesn’t mean educational toys are not as fun. It simply means that while they are having fun, they are also developing specific skills that they will use throughout their lifetime.
What Types of Toys Help Support Motor Skill Development?
To help support your baby’s fine motor skill development, look for toys that require them to move their hands, fingers, wrists, and follow objects with their eyes. Rattles, soft books, and different types of balls help them develop their grasp and move objects.
Pop up toys with buttons teach children how to push objects down. Toys that they can bang or pull apart are also great for developing motor skills by helping them strengthen their muscles and improve their coordination. Toys that stack or fit into each other are also great for developing fine motor skills and problem-solving.
When it comes to gross motor skills, inexpensive balls, or a set of beanbags is a great way to go. Putting a ball or other toy they like just out of their reach encourages them to crawl to get to the desired toy. If your baby is a little older, you can show them how to pick up and throw a beanbag or roll a ball to start developing coordination and muscle strength. For small children, larger lighter balls like beach balls are better because they are easier for them to see and grasp.
Are Homemade Toys Good to Give my Baby?
The beauty of homemade toys is that they are cheap, and many are quick to make. Most of what you need to make them you probably already have in the house, or can easily get at a local craft or bargain store. The other advantage of homemade toys is that you know exactly where they come from and can control the materials used.
Things like shakers and sensory bottles are easy to make out of some old water bottles with some dried oatmeal, or rice inside or add a little water and food coloring and let them shake it up or roll it on the floor. Or give them an old cardboard box and let them go to town. Sometimes the simplest things can offer the most entertainment and joy to a child.
You can find a lot of ideas for homemade toys online, many of which can be educational and help your baby develop motor skills and cognitive skills. Just be aware that the same rules apply to homemade toys as store-bought ones. Examine them regularly to make sure they are still in good condition and always supervise your child while they play, especially if the toys contain small objects.
All in All
There’s a difference between toys which are cheap because they’re poorly made and toys which are cheap because you know how to find a good bargain. Using the tips above, you can easily find the best type of cheap toys – ones your kids will love.
Buying cheap toys for your baby doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality or safety. The secret to success is finding toys which are age appropriate. Inexpensive toys which have bright colors and simple functions can delight a child for hours at a time. High-quality cheap toys have all the same development benefits as very expensive toys, so don’t be afraid to look for the very best price when shopping.