16 Cheap Baby Toys for Parents on a Budget

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best baby toys budget

Parents want their kids to grow into responsible members of society. They dream of their babies turning out to be more successful than they ever were. As such, it is quite understandable why parents can get so anxious about how to teach their babies the right things in life.

Babies, Their Development, and Their Toys

Did you know that in the first few months of life you are your baby’s most important “toy”? Child psychologists believe that first month of a child’s life is still pretty much reflexive, meaning your baby is not yet processing things. Everything is still pretty much automatic for the neonate.

However, by the time your baby reaches his or her 2nd month, he or she begins to explore his or her body and those things that are around him or her. Babies by this time use their acute senses to register in their tiny brains your smell, your voice, and even your touch. They also begin to make slightly conscious efforts of associating your face with the feelings they get although, it will not be until they reach 1 year that they begin to really establish this connection between you and their feelings of contentment and trust.

Very young infants first learn through sensory experiences and as such it is very important to provide your baby with the right kind of toys that will stimulate his or her senses. It is also for this reason that psychologists and pediatricians alike strongly recommend cuddling and playing with your baby because these are some of the ways you can provide sensory stimulation.

Our Top 16 Cheap And Inexpensive Baby Toys

1Developmental Bumpy Ball by Sassy

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Age range: At least 6 months old

They don’t make playful and colorful balls like the Developmental Bumpy Ball from Sassy. Your baby will get a very colorful and soft ball with 12 soft and equally colorful “bumps” or protrusions resembling an oversized stress ball. The bumpy protrusions are easy to grasp and while the manufacturer says it is recommended for 6-month old kids, there are parents who report that even their 3-month old were able to gain as much fun from it as older kids. It has 2 clear bulbs that contain colorful mini balls for a rattle effect.

What We Like about It – The bright colors help stimulate the eyes of your baby while its soft texture helps strengthen his or her tactile senses. It also provides excellent auditory stimulation. 

(Like This Product? Then Check Out Our: Best Musical Toys For Babies)

2Octoplush by Baby Einstein 

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Age range: At least 3 months old

Who would not love the soft blue-and-yellow huggable octopus that is the Octoplush? This baby toy comes complete with soft Baby Einstein melodies in 3 different languages – English, French, and Spanish. The Octoplush’s wide smiling eyes and soft tentacles make for a perfect naptime companion in addition to being your baby’s favorite plaything. The toy is designed to stimulate as many senses of your baby as possible.

What We Like about It – The Octoplush can help stimulate auditory, tactile, and visual perception in your young baby. It is soft enough to be included in your baby’s bedtime essentials.

3Floor Mirror by Sassy

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Age range: As early as 2 months old

Remember what we said about your baby trying to memorize your face every time you cuddle up to him or her? The same can be said when your baby sees himself or herself in the mirror. With the Floor Mirror from Sassy, you can now make this activity more amusing. This floor mirror can be propped with its back stands. It comes with a ladybug whose body contains a 2-color ball which can be spun. The mirror also has the familiar yellow and black stripes of a bee which your baby can click or rotate.

What We Like about It – Aside from the fact that the mirror is a unique way of introducing your baby to his or her own looks, the interactive bee and ladybug additions can help further stimulate visual and tactile senses.

4Strawberry and Corn Baby Teething Rings by TL Outfitters

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Age range: At least 3-4 months old

Although teething typically begins at age 6 months, it is not unusual for some babies to start teething as early as 10 weeks. The Strawberry and corn Baby Teething Rings from TL Outfitters can help you stimulate the development of your baby’s deciduous teeth. This teether is made of soft yet firm surface to help your baby get through the discomforts of teething.

What We Like about It – It has several textures allowing for tactile stimulation. It also comes in bright colors for added visual stimulation.

5Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Activity Toy by Manhattan Toy

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Age range: From birth to 24 months

The Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Activity Toy is a 2-in-1 baby toy designed to help in your baby’s sensory development as well as getting through the discomforts of teething. This activity toy is composed of colorful rings that form a maze resembling the structure of an atom with the nucleus or the center being composed of a soft colorful cube. The cube is where little balls are confined to give it its rattling sound effects.

What We Like about It – It is small enough to be handled like a ball. It is great for stimulating visual development for younger children and developing fine motor skills for older babies.

6Take Along Tunes Musical Toy by Baby Einstein

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Age range: At least 3 months old

Studies show that music is one of the essential keys to unlocking the full potential of the child’s brain. Giving your baby the Take Along Tunes Musical Toy will help stimulate optimum brain development at an early age. Your baby will be able to conveniently hold the colorful caterpillar body that serves as the toy’s handle. The musical toy comes with 7 classical and baby-friendly melodies that is accompanied by light effects from its colorful LCD.

What We Like about It – The toy can function as your baby’s MP3 player and rattle at the same time. Without the battery, your baby can simply shake the toy to produce the rattle effect. Put in the batteries and your tot may well be on his or her way to becoming the next Mozart.

7Baby’s First Blocks and Rock Stack Bundle by Fisher-Price

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Age range: At least 6 months old

Building toys are known to be one of the most educational toys around. You can begin by giving your baby the Baby’s First Blocks and Rock Stack Bundle. It comes with 5 stackable rings and 10 different shapes and colors to be inserted through the holes on the convenient toy box.

What We Like about It – It is an excellent way to start developing your baby’s problem-solving skills, spatial intelligence, and fine motor skills. He or she will learn how to stack, sort, take, and put the different components of the toy. And because the toy comes in different colors, this can also help in his or her visual development.

8Touch and Swipe Baby Phone by VTech

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Age range: 6 months to 3 years old

What better way to introduce your baby to the wonders of today’s technology than by giving him or her a Touch and Swipe Baby Phone? This kiddie smartphone is more than just a toy as it comes with 12 different applications that are intuitively integrated into its kid-friendly user interface. These Apps all light up when activated simulating their functions in the real world. It plays 15 baby-friendly melodies as well as sing-along songs and phrases.

What We Like about It – VTech is primarily known for technology in toys. With the Touch and Swipe, your baby will be able to develop his or her hand-eye coordination, alphabet and numerical skills, and even first words.

9Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks by Fisher-Price

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Age range: 6 months to 3 years old

Building blocks play a variety of roles in your child’s development. Giving your baby the Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks will help him or her lay the foundation for creativity, imagination, and problem-solving skills. The toy comes with 10 blocks in 5 different shapes and colors. These are stored in a colorful toy box that has a fun animal decal for added visual stimulation.

What We Like about It – The toy is perfect for introducing the concept of colors and shapes to your young baby. For older infants, they may benefit from its shape sorter functionality while at the same time reinforcing the development of spatial intelligence, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills.

10B. One Two Squeeze Blocks by B. Toys

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Age range: 6 months to 3 years old

Babies learn best using their senses. However, it is also crucial to have a toy that your baby can use even when he or she is already a toddler. That is the aim of the B. One Two Squeeze Blocks. The set comes with 10 colorful, hand-sculpted, blocks that can be stacked, floated, and squeezed. Each block has reliefs of an animal figure and a number to aid in your baby’s learning. The blocks are soft and squeezable and are made of safe materials so your baby can even chew on them.

What We Like about It – The animal and number relief on the blocks make for excellent tactile stimulation while the bright colors can help in visual development. The toy is soft and can be played with in your baby’s crib, playpen, or even the bathtub.

11Laugh & Learn Click ‘n Learn Remote by Fisher-Price

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Age range: 6 months to 6 years old

It may look like the real thing but the Laugh & Learn Click ‘n Learn Remote is anything but real. Nevertheless, this toy replica of a real remote control is quite effective in its make-believe play functionality. It plays 25 baby tunes, sing-along songs, and useful kid’s phrases all controlled by your baby’s nimble hands.

What We Like about It – It is very useful in stimulating early brain development in your baby through the use of highly interactive tactile, auditory, and visual stimulation. The melodies and tunes help your baby learn the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and even colors. Older infants will benefit from their understanding of cause-and-effect relationships.

12Clack and Slide Activity Ball by Bright Starts

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Age range: at least 6 months

The Clack and Slide Activity Ball provides a lot of play activities to keep your baby busy while at the same time developing his or her sensory perceptual abilities. The activity ball from Bright Stars features a caterpillar bead chaser, a squeaker, a spinning frog, a spinning paddle complete with mirror, a multi-textured handle, and a roller ball that contains highly colorful beads that elicit the rattle effect.

What We Like about It – The design might seem complicated but the toy manufacturer packed in several playtime activities into one convenient ball. This allows for optimum development of your baby’s auditory, visual, and tactile senses as well as his or her gross and fine motor skills.

13Star Bright Symphony Toy by Baby Einstein

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Age range: From birth to 2 years old

The Star Bright Symphony Toy can be played as is or be attached to your baby’s crib for some fun musical entertainment. This toy plays 6 classical baby-friendly melodies and some spectacular light effects. It can be activated either by parents or by babies themselves.

What We Like about It – The star is composed of 5 colors with a bright smiley in the middle which can help in the development of your baby’s visual skills in addition to the light effects that accompany the melodies. More importantly, the melodies can provide for excellent brain development.

14Baby Lil’ Critters Moosical Beads by VTech

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Age range: 3 months to 2 years old

The Baby Lil’ Critters Moosical Beads comes with a multi-textured surface and more than 30 children’s songs, sounds, and melodies. It can be played as is or as a useful accessory to your baby’s crib. The musical stuffed toy is composed of a spinning square and a bead ring that accommodates light-up buttons for more interactive play.

What We Like about It – The melodies are excellent for brain development while the spinning squares can be great for the development of your baby’s fine motor skills.

15Turn and Learn Driver by VTech

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Age range: 6 months to 3 years old

Designed to introduce babies to the concept of driving, the Turn and Learn Driver hopes to accomplish more than that. The toy features a lot of interactive buttons for imaginative play. The buttons come in different colors together with a turning signal lever that activates playful sounds and melodies.

What We Like about It – The toy is perfect for developing your baby’s hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and, of course, imaginative play. This is in addition to the sensory stimulation the toy actively provides.

16Spin and Learn Color Flashlight by VTech

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Age range: 1 to 3 years old

Consider the Spin and Learn Color Flashlight as a kiddie handheld projector and you will begin to appreciate why babies and toddlers love this. This projector-flashlight also plays 50 melodies, sing-along songs, phrases, and other sounds to make learning more fun. It introduces your kid to animals, numbers, and colors.

How We Arrived at Our List

Many individuals believe that expensive toys mean high quality. This is not necessarily true all the time. In fact, our extensive research has shown that you can have the best baby toys for under $15, at most $18. This is almost equivalent to 3 McDonalds’ Quarter Pounders.

Additionally, our research has produced a listing of the 16 most inexpensive yet equally educational baby toys by also considering the toy manufacturer’s reputation and credibility especially in the production of safe and quality toys. Lastly, we have factored-in what other parents are saying about these products and whether they would also recommend such baby toys to other parents like you.

The result – our list of 16 cheap baby toys for parents on a budget.

Making The Right Choice

Of course, you will not be able to stay with your baby 24/7 so you will have to choose the right toy for your baby’s developmental age. This is very important because you would want to stimulate the development of the correct skills appropriate for your baby’s age. For example, before you can expect your baby to master fine motor skills, he or she needs to master his or her gross motor skills first. Additionally, the very first part of the body that develops is the brain and this progresses towards the limbs.

Now, in choosing your baby’s toy, it does not have to be very expensive. Remember, the key is to provide sensory stimulation especially for very young babies. For older babies, you can start thinking about helping them develop their beginning problem-solving skills, hand-eye coordination, and spatial intelligence.

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Selina Marie
Selina Marie is our head of content for MyKidNeedsThat.com, mum of two and a self proclaimed toy geek. When she isn't juggling the madness at home, on a school run or baking her world famous blueberry muffins, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest toys and fun for our readers!
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