When you have a baby, you tend to want to give everything you have to make them happy. Sometimes you’re on a tight budget, but that shouldn’t stop you from spoiling your child. In these cases, looking for the best cheap baby toys can be the perfect solution.
Cheap baby toys can have the same impact as expensive ones, and babies grow really fast, which means that their wants and needs are constantly changing. As such, it is actually smarter to opt for cheaper toys as somewhere in the near-ish future they are likely to be tossed aside or simply become irrelevant as your child continues to develop.
Here’s what to look out for.
- Factors to Consider When Buying Cheap Toys
- Top 10 Best Cheap Baby Toys 2021
- Picking the Right Toy Doesn’t Have to Be a Chore
Factors to Consider When Buying Cheap Toys
The goal here isn’t to get the cheapest thing you can find, what you want to do is shop smarter. Cheap doesn’t necessarily mean low quality, so when searching for the perfect toy you need to take these things into account.
Durability and Safety
A baby’s playstyle is often chaotic. They like to put things in their mouth and throw them as far as they can, so you need to find items that are sturdy enough not to break or fall apart.
There are four materials that are both safe and sturdy:
- Wood: Wooden toys are usually painted with natural dyes. The wood is naturally sourced and oftentimes no chemicals are used.
- Natural rubbers: Rubber toys are popular choices for when your baby is teething, as they massage their gums to make teething easier.
- Safe plastics: Yes, there is such a thing as safe plastics. Our reviews detail plastic certifications, so you know your child will only come into contact with safe materials during playtime.
- Cotton: Stuffed toys are soft and can withstand being thrown around without getting damaged. With organic cotton, no BPAs, lead or other harmful chemicals are used in their production.
The trick to saving money on toys is to get ones that are good for babies, but that are also suitable for toddlers, and even older kids.
You can find toys that have bright colors and different textures to appeal to babies who are just starting to discover the world. But those same toys can also have features such as buttons to play music and say phrases.
Choosing toys with these additional features can help ensure that your baby will remain entertained as they grow and start to understand more of the world.
Some toys promote motor skills, others visual, tactile, or auditory. Your child can learn action and reaction from toys, as well as memorization, recognition, and sorting.
The goal is to find toys that do more than one of these things or even all of them. A toy that teaches something is by default more engaging and worth the money.
A pack of 8 toys for $10 is much better value than buying 1 toy for $10. You don’t have to pick quantity over quality all the time, but you can find high-quality toys that come in packs like this, such as the iPlay, iLearn Baby Rattles Set.
In this list, you will find toys that are safe and durable, that will remain relevant for years to come, that are valuable for your child’s development, and that don’t require a big investment from you.
Here are the best cheap baby toys that your money can buy.
Top 10 Best Cheap Baby Toys 2021
The iPlay, iLearn Baby Rattles Set comes with ten rattles in different shapes and all in bright colors. From an octopus to a dragonfly, your baby may find their new favorite amongst this collection.
These toys are appropriate for newborn babies up to three-years-old, so it is a small investment considering the fact that you get ten different toys.
The textures are also different between toys, which provides a varied tactile experience and make things more interesting for your little one. Plus, each toy has features that focus on helping develop different skills.
- The bowtie and teething ring focus on providing a tactile experience with varied textures and materials.
- The music note, mobile phone, and trumpet focus on hearing development and your baby can press a button, blow into, or shake to produce sounds.
- The dumbbell, dragonfly, and IQ ball focus on motor skill development and your baby needs to interact with different things to get different outcomes.
- The octopus and the candy focus on visual development, presenting a broad spectrum of bright colors, and when your baby presses the octopus’ head all the legs move up and down, teaching cause and effect.
This set of baby rattles comes in a handy storage box that can be used to tidy all the toys when not in use, but if you already have a designated toy storage space the box can also be used to store other things around the house.
The toys are made of baby-safe plastic which is BPA-free, latex-free, and phthalate-free, so you don’t have to worry about your baby ingesting harmful chemicals when chewing on the toys. The silicone used on some of the pieces is food-grade silicone which is often used on baby plates and cutlery and is the safest kind of silicone for babies.
Each piece comes individually wrapped but it’s always better to clean them before handing them to your baby. To do so, you should use a cloth soaked with a vinegar and water solution. Submerging the toys in water to clean them may cause water to get inside, which won’t be easy to remove, and it may ruin the squeaking sound some toys produce.
The Sassy Stacking Rings consist of a straight post with a sturdy base and nine different rings. The base is made of clear plastic and will keep the post from tipping to the side while the baby is playing.
Each ring is unique and displays different colors, patterns, textures, and even weights to provide a broad sensory experience for your baby. The rings are small and thin, making them easy to grab with small hands. Plus, one of the rings is made of clear plastic and has small beads inside acting as a rattle.
The pole is straight and has the same thickness throughout, so your baby can stack the rings in any order, avoiding frustration when the rings aren’t stacked in the correct order.
Stacking toys can develop early language and fine motor skills, so this toy will provide both a fun experience and an educational one. And when your baby grows older another feature becomes useful, the rings are numbered so your child can use them to learn how to count.
When it comes to cleaning, you should prepare a water and vinegar solution and rub the toy with a damp cloth. Boiling them or submerging them in very hot water may cause the post and rings to warp and become damaged.
This set of stacking rings is made by Sassy, a leader in the baby toy industry and with products made of BPA-free and phthalate-free plastic. In fact, Sassy have even stated themselves that all of their “products meet and exceed all safety standards including ASTM, CPSC, EN71, and Health Canada standards, and pass testing for the California Prohibitions of Phthalates in Toys”.
This Baby Einstein Musical Toy has a simple design with a handle that is easy to grab by young babies. The handle has four beads that the baby can touch and interact with, adding another entertaining feature to this awesome toy. The beads are safely secured and there is no risk of them coming off and become a choking hazard.
It plays seven different melodies, but not in their entirety—only a small excerpt of each is included. Here’s a list of the songs included:
- Serenade No. 13 in G, Mozart
- Nocturne No. 6, Mozart
- Waltz in GB Op. 70, Chopin
- The Four Seasons, Spring, Vivaldi
- William Tell Overture, Rossini
- Piano Sonata in A, Mozart
- The Four Seasons, Summer, Vivaldi
All songs are classical pieces, adapted into a soothing, baby-friendly version that will help calm your child down. The toy also includes lights that flash to the rhythm of the song, making it even more entertaining for the child.
Studies show that exposing a baby to music will benefit their brain significantly, so not only will this toy keep them entertained and calm them down, but it also offers health benefits such as improved mood and speech recognition.
The Baby Einstein Musical Toy isn’t dishwasher safe, so you shouldn’t boil it or submerge it in water to clean it by hand. Instead, you just need to mix water with some vinegar or anti-bacterial soap and soak a cloth in it, and use that to clean the toy.
It needs two AA batteries to work which are included with the purchase.
The recommended age for this product is 3 months to 3 years, but kids older than that are likely to enjoy it too. Even the parents can appreciate the soothing melodies played.
What makes this musical toy so special and so loved by both kids and parents, is the volume control button. You are inevitably going to get busy and need to concentrate on something, and so being able to knock down the volume a little is a nice touch.
The Nuby Silicone Teether is a super soft fish-shaped teether, made of 100% silicone with no added chemicals. It has different textures throughout, all of them suitable for the baby to chew and aid the teething process.
This product is only 6 inches by 4.3 inches and presents a friendly shape with a handle-like side. Both shape and size make this teether perfect for babies to hold comfortably.
For your convenience, this teether comes with a clear plastic case so you can store it away when your baby is not using it. That way, the teether can be kept clean and sterilized at all times, and in an easy-to-transport container where it’s always handy and ready to be used.
To clean the teether, you can use the same sterilizer you use for your baby’s bottles or boil it the old-fashioned way. However, Nuby advises against the use of a microwave to boil the water.
The Nubby Silicone Teether is a standard teether, made of solid silicone with no liquid inside. But you can still place it in the fridge or freezer to cool it down, although it may not stay cool for long.
It has bristles that massage your baby’s gums and these have a low risk of coming off so it’s highly unlikely that your child swallows them. But if your child already has several teeth and you’re afraid they’re savvy enough to tear the bristles out, it would be better to stay on the safe side and consider a different toy.
We love that these teethers come in blue, green, pink, and aqua, so you can pick your favorite color or choose the one that fits best with your child’s other items.
Nuby use BPA-free and Phthalates-free plastics, color pigments, and inks. Other harmful chemicals are also off-limits and all products meet FDA, CPSC, CPSIA, and other governmental standards and regulations.
The VTech Drop & Go Dump Truck is a fun toy for babies from the age of 6 months to 3 years old, but kids as old as five may still find it intriguing. It needs 2 AAA batteries which you need to supply, but it does come with a demo pair—these won’t last long but at least give you enough time to find a new pair.
This toy comes with three colorful balls that when dumped at the top of the truck will tumble down into the bucket. There are sound effects too and as the balls are inserted, a neutral voice will count them. It’s a great opportunity for your baby to learn how to count to three.
Another cool feature of this little truck is that the bucket is fixed by hinges and can be lifted to drop the balls. The act of reaching for it and triggering the bucket to lift will help develop your child’s motor skills.
This toy truck also includes three colorful buttons that when pressed will play melodies, phrases, teach numbers, tools, and colors. There are thirty different pieces of audio, so variety isn’t an issue here. And the melodies played by the truck are exclusive to this toy and won’t be found anywhere else.
Alongside the sound effects, some lights also flash along to the rhythm of the sounds. To keep parents happy, there is a switch that you can use to turn off the sound effects or to control the volume of the sound.
Another handy feature of this little truck is a string that can be pulled by the child to drag the truck around wherever they go. While the product pictures may appear slightly confusing, rest assured that the string is long enough to be pulled around comfortably by a toddler.
This toy is made of BPA-free and Phthalates-free sturdy plastic, and it conforms to US Toy Safety Standards.
The downside of this toy is that it’s very easy for kids to lose the balls. Thankfully, the toy can still be played with and used with balls of a similar size even if they’re not from VTech.
Importantly, although it is stated that gold balls with 1.6 inches diameter will work, that is actually not the right size—these balls are too small to trip the counting sensors when the ball enters the hole. If you end up needing replacements, balls with 1.75 inches in diameter are the correct size and can be found on Amazon.
The VTech Activity Cube is a compact toy, generously-sized with a lot of activities packed into it. There are five different sides to be played with and each is unique to encourage exploration and sensory development.
The Activity Cube is small enough that be baby can sit up to play while the cube rests between their legs. This sitting position combined with the interactive features found on the cube will have tremendous benefits to your baby’s motor skills.
To make this toy even more appealing, there are motion sensors that activate sound effects when the cube moves. This will attract your baby’s attention and even encourage them to crawl to trigger the sounds.
The activities are varied and so are the sounds and light effects. With five different fun-filled sides this activity cube presents 14 activities and 25 sounds and melodies to keep babies engaged for a long time.
It includes songs made-up by VTech that can’t be found anywhere else, and popular nursery rhymes.
The activities on each of the 5 sides are as follows:
- The top side has four different buttons. Each is a different shape and color and has an animal on it. When your baby presses a button, sound effects are activated and your baby can hear animal sounds and listen to catchy music and sing-along songs.
- One of the sides is dedicated to musical instruments. Each can be pressed, slid, or twisted to learn colors, the instrument names, and their sounds.
- Another side displays a cute ladybug that can slide from one point to another while spinning. If your baby moving the cube to slide the ladybug, it will activate the motion sensor and play music.
- The fourth side has a straight post with two symmetrical shapes fixed to it. Your baby can make the shapes spin by pushing one end, or by making the whole cube move.
- The last side has four squares fixed by posts that can also be spun around. These posts show different letters and images such as a car, a duck, and an apple.
To make your life easier this toy comes with an on/off switch and adjustable volume. It also needs 2 AAA batteries and it comes with a demo set, but for regular use, you will need to supply a new pair.
To save the battery’s lifespan, the Activity Cube automatically shuts down after 60 seconds of receiving no input, and it will come back to life as soon as any button is pressed.
The VTech Activity cube meets toy safety standards and it’s both BPA-free and phthalates-free.
This set is a real bargain. It comes with 20 different pieces that can be used for sensory exploration with very young babies, or stacking and sorting for toddlers.
This set includes eight colorful balls with differently shaped textures, eight colorful blocks (numbered, sturdy, yet soft to the touch), and 4 soft animals.
They come in packaging that is easy to wrap so it works perfectly for gifts.
Some of the toys squeak slightly, although not nearly as much as a regular squeaky toy. Instead, they all present different textures that babies will find interesting to explore, grab, roll, and throw. The material is as soft as silk and can be given to teething babies to chew on.
This set offers the opportunity to develop motor skills, but also to improve cognitive skills as the baby grows. The color variety in these pieces may be the perfect way to teach your child basic colors, as well as shapes, and the baby can be prompted to point out which ones are cubes, and which are spheres.
You can technically submerge the pieces in water, and it may seem tempting to let your baby play with them in the bath, but each piece has a tiny hole to allow airflow, which also makes the light squeaking possible. That means that if water gets in, you need to be extra careful to make sure it dries thoroughly to prevent mold from growing inside.
The only unfortunate aspect of this cute set is that the pieces you get may not match the display images. The colors can be even more varied and you may also get different animals. So if you’re buying this set with a certain animal in mind, you should understand that you may not get what you were hoping for.
If you don’t mind getting something a little different, and even like the element of surprise, this set is a high-quality bargain that will stay relevant for a long time.
The Sassy Wonder Wheel is another great find when it comes to cheap baby toys. Similar to the Sassy Stacking Rings, the wonder wheel is full of bright colors and interesting textures.
This small toy is packed with features, and its dynamic nature will flood your child’s senses in a way that will hold their attention for hours. It has a spinning wheel, cascading beads, bright colors, and different textures, so your baby is bound to love it.
The Wonder Wheel encourages babies to reach, grab, and bat which will strengthen their hand-eye coordination, and the colorful beads inside the wheel will rattle as it spins, helping your baby connect sound to sight.
This toy is suitable for babies from the age of 6 months to 2 years old. Just keep in mind that the colors may vary, so what you get may not look exactly like what you see on the Amazon display pictures.
There is a suction cup base that you can fix to most smooth, flat surfaces to avoid frustration. There’s no risk of the wheel falling to the floor or the side. You can stick it to the baby’s high-chair tray, the floor, the tabletop, or even to an airplane window if you’re traveling and need something to keep your baby happy and occupied.
Sassy’s Wonder Wheel spins very easily and quite quickly, so all the colors blend together, promoting visual stimulation.
The centerpieces present different patterns, creating an interesting effect when the wheel spins, too. One has a small mirror on one side. This will spark curiosity, especially if it’s your baby’s first introduction to mirrors. They will reach out to the mirror and interact with “the other baby” until they eventually start to develop a sense of self.
This product seems to have everything, but sometimes the suction cup just won’t work as well as it’s supposed to. If that happens, your baby may hurt their face if they pull the wheel towards themselves and it comes loose. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make it better:
- Add moisture to the suction cup by exhaling onto it.
- Briefly submerge the suction cut in hot water.
- Wipe it with a regular baby wipe.
Unfortunately, a stubborn suction cup isn’t the only design flaw. If your baby tries to hit the wheel while it’s spinning, their finger may get caught or hit and they might get scared or even hurt. However, if you’re able to supervise your child during play, this toy can offer many hours of fun and cognitive benefits.
The keychain and all three keys are equipped with a variety of textures to better assist your baby in the teething process. Teething can be painful, but the Teether Keys will help stimulate and soften the gums so teeth can erupt with ease.
Each piece is filled with Nuby’s PurICE gel, and after you place the pieces in the refrigerator to cool, it will provide a gentle cold sensation for your baby’s gums. PurICE gel is non-toxic and allows the teether to stay cold for about two hours before it needs to be cooled again.
The Teether Keys have a baby-friendly design, with a keychain that acts as a handle, perfectly sized to be held by tiny hands. The multiple surfaces will encourage the baby to explore with their mouth and hands, improving motor skills. Also, the bright colors will stimulate your baby visually, and help with hand-eye coordination.
This product is suitable for 3 month-old babies or older, and it’s also available in pink. These Teether Keys are BPA-free, phthalate-free, PVC-free, and latex-free.
Before you buy this product, you need to be aware of what can and can’t be done with it. For instance, you may be tempted to put it in the freezer to cool down quicker, but that is not a good idea at all. You also need to keep it away from the microwave and dishwasher and ensure that you do not boil it. The gel can leak and the product will become unusable.
If you make sure to follow safe practices and only clean the Teether Keys with soap and water, or vinegar and water, you shouldn’t have any issues with this product at all.
This set is offered by Fisher-Price and it consists of two toy maracas with a solid handle and a hollow capsule at the end with three small beads. On the other end of the handle, there’s a soft fabric pompom with a pretty pattern and a variety of colors.
As the baby explores the rattles, they realize that they make noise when shaken and start associating sound with movement. As the baby grabs and shakes the rattles, their motor skills are exercised as well as their auditory skills.
The handles are the perfect size for the baby’s little hands to grasp, and the soft pompom adds an interesting texture to encourage the baby to explore whether by touch or by gnawing on the soft end.
As soon as your baby realizes what the rattle can do, they will start attempting to do it themselves. The younger they are the more help they will need, but grasping and holding something is a very important skill to develop.
Utah Valley University has gathered together a list of ways to use a rattle with young babies. You can stimulate different senses and develop new and existing skills just by using this cheap rattle.
You can get this set in three different color combinations: blue and orange, green and yellow, and pink and purple. The pattern of the pompoms will also vary depending on which color set you choose.
To clean these, you can use hot water and anti-bacterial soap, or a water and vinegar solution, and then air dry it with a hairdryer. Although it would be better if you didn’t submerge the maracas completely—water may get inside and stop them from rattling, and the pompoms will be so soaked that it will be hard to dry them completely.
These are great beginner rattles, however, there are two things you should be aware of before purchasing. Firstly, the maracas are 6.5 inches in length, which may be a bit big for a small baby. However, as they grow, the size will quickly become appropriate and easy to manage. Also, the Fisher-Price tag may be bigger than pictured so you may have to trim it down a little.
Fisher-Price isn’t the most transparent brand when it comes to materials used, but we do know that their products aren’t labeled BPA-free. This doesn’t mean that their toys are unsafe, though—they have been around for a long time and built a name for themselves in the industry.
Picking the Right Toy Doesn’t Have to Be a Chore
Choosing the right toy for a baby is easier than you think and there’s no need to spend a fortune.
Sometimes babies only need something interesting to look at or touch, and thanks to their bright colors, peculiar textures, and sound effects, all of the cheap toys to make our list will do a great job.