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11 best stacking toys for babies that are fun and help with development

From soft plush toys to wooden designs that will stand the test of time

<p>We loved how some of these toys looked great on the shelf too</p>

We loved how some of these toys looked great on the shelf too

Sometimes the simplest of toys gain baby’s interest the most; from clambering inside a cardboard box to shaking mum and dad’s car keys for moments on end. The same can be said for the humble toy stacker.

Brilliant for early learning and baby’s development, stacking and organising objects allows little ones to hone in on their cognitive and fine motor skills, as well as develop their hand-eye coordination and have a good giggle along the way.

Many stackers are safe to use from as young as just a few months old, but will really come into the limelight when they turn around a year old.

By this time, your baby will begin to master building, stacking and the best bit… knocking the tower over and starting again!

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How we tested

Our 12-month-old tester was surrounded by a range of toy stackers in different shapes and sizes, which we tested over the course of a week.

We looked at how our mini-tester interacted with the toy stacker, how long it held their attention, and for fun additional features such as sensory patches and different textures. We gave extra points for sweet designs too.

The best stacking toys for babies for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Sebra Sparky the fox stacking and tilting toy: £34.30, Scandiborn.co.uk
  • Best for design – KIDLY Label silicone rocking stacker: £18, Kidly.co.uk
  • Best soft set – JoJo Maman Bebe safari plush stacking game: £28, Jojomamanbebe.co.uk
  • Best gift set – Mori wooden baby toys gift set: £42, Babymori.com
  • Best for sustainability – Janod wooden forest stacker toy: £19, Kidly.co.uk
  • Best for preschoolers – Lalaboom rainbow toy and beads stacking balance game: £17.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best for bathtime – Infantino stacking cups with water mill: £7.26, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best personalised toy – JoJo Maman Bebe wooden bunny stacker: £16, Jojomamanbebe.co.uk
  • Best value for money – Le Toy Van petilou treetop stacker: £14.95, Letoyvan.co.uk
  • Best for creativity – Chicco stone balance eco friendly toy: £9.99, Mamasandpapas.com
  • Best for timeless design – OYOY wooden stacking giraffe: £46.50, Oyoylivingdesign.co.uk

Sebra Sparky the fox stacking and tilting toy

Best: Overall

Rating: 9/10

Designed in Denmark and suitable from newborn, Sparky the fox is the crème de la crème of the toy stacker world, which we believe justifies its more costly price tag. Featuring six parts, the edge this stacker has is that it’s part stacker, part tilting toy thanks to its rounded wooden base. Our tester loved pushing the stacker and watching it wobble. Although the highlight had to be the baby-friendly mirror which features on the bottom plush ring.

It also has a textured teething tab and houses the fox’s tail which makes a satisfying crinkle sound, so this ring soon became the chosen one. The top is the fox’s head which makes a rattle sound, and the ears had the “chewing appeal” for our tester. This toy certainly has longevity and has been thoughtfully yet creatively designed, from the variety of textures to the bendy middle rod which makes it safer for playing. It captured our tester’s attention and provided plenty of layers to explore.

KIDLY Label silicone rocking stacker

Best: For design

Rating: 9/10

We’re big Kidly fans, and its own label – aptly named Kidly Label – continues to impress. The silicone rocking stacker is untraditional in the sense that it’s a stacker without a stick, which actually makes it easier for little ones to build as they don’t need to slot the pieces through the hole.

At first, I wondered whether the rings were too chunky for a baby, but it’s made from an easy-to-grip tactile silicone, which means it can be stacked in obscure ways, and there were no complaints from our little tester who stacked, wobbled, and chewed this toy. Plus, the coastal-inspired colours look stylish wherever they end up… big thumbs up.

JoJo Maman Bebe safari plush stacking game

Best: Soft set

Rating: 8/10

What’s not to love about a parrot sitting on a lion, who’s sitting on an elephant, who’s sitting on a tiger, who’s sitting on a crocodile? This plush toy set from JoJo Maman Bébé is a soft alternative to the classic wooden stackers and certainly caught the attention of our tester. The toy-shaped rings are so soft and squidgy, and we love the parrot taking pride of place at the top. It would be a smart addition if some of the animals featured sensory tabs or baby-friendly noises, but overall makes a soft substitute that is safe to use from birth.

Mori wooden baby toys gift set

Best: Gift set

Rating: 8/10

We’ve always championed organic babywear brand Mori, so were delighted when it launched its own wooden toy range at the end of 2021. In true Mori fashion, the toy range is made sustainably from FSC beechwood, FSC MDF and painted with non-toxic paints. But do its stackers live up to its sleepwear? We’re pleased to announce they do. This wooden baby toys gift set features two stackers, so baby’s morning play session is more than taken care of.

Both sets are suited for those aged 12 months-plus, with the first being the more traditional stacking toy. It features a pole, five uniquely shaped rings all in beautiful pastel shades and a wooden ball that resembles a face for the top. The super-soft edges and silk-like finish are also smooth on our little tester’s hands. The second stack is a design that is very on-trend and looks great in a nursery – with six arches that stack on top of one another to make up a rainbow. Our tester didn’t get quite the same satisfaction with the rainbow as the stacking rings but enjoyed turning the arches upside down and rocking them back and forth.

Janod wooden forest stacker toy

Best: For sustainability

Rating: 8/10

Stack not one, not two, but three objects with Janod’s wooden forest stacker. Made from FSC-certified solid wood and water-based paint, we love this nature-inspired toy which features a tree, a hive and its bee as well as a flower – with 10 pieces in total. We may have ended up with some rather abstract versions, but our little tester enjoyed stacking the pieces which are the perfect size for little hands. Suitable for those aged between one and three years old, it has plenty of shelf appeal too.

Lalaboom rainbow toy and beads stacking balance game

Best: For preschoolers

Rating: 7/10

In this 13-piece set, you’ll receive five colourful arches and eight “beads”, which is far more advanced than the other toy stackers we tested. For our one-year-old tester, the “building” element was out of his depths as this set is more geared for older children. However, he did enjoy grasping all the different elements and did begin to place the arches on top of each other.

The variety of textures is impressive, with many ending up in our tester’s mouth. For toddlers and preschoolers, this Montessori-inspired set provides plenty of opportunity for development; from fine motor skills to concentration, hand-eye coordination and creativity. We’re confident it’ll get a lot of use in the future.

Infantino stacking cups with water mill

Best: For bathtime

Rating: 8/10

This brightly-coloured eight-piece set will take baby’s bathtime fun to the next level. The star of the show is the watermill at the top, which provoked plenty of giggles from our tester. We liked that each cup is a unique shape – from fish to flower – and the bright colours caught baby’s eye. Suitable from nine months, we found the stacking worked best in an empty bath, as there’s no suction on the bottom of the stackers, but it’s also compact enough to take to the beach or the pool. And knocking the impressive pyramid over is all part of the fun.

JoJo Maman Bebe wooden bunny stacker

Best: Personalised toy

Rating: 7/10

This wooden bunny stacker from JoJo Maman Bebe is a great example of a classic stacking game. A sweet rabbit design, there are five stackable wooden rings and a cute bunny head topper complete with felt ears – which our tester loved fiddling with. He was also a huge fan of the four dangling feet attached to a few of the rings.

While the wood wasn’t quite as smooth as some of the others we tested, the illustration details on each ring are a charming touch. The winning feature for us though, has to be the option to personalise this toy. For an extra £5, this bunny can be personalised with up to 11 characters on the wooden base, making it something to treasure.

Le Toy Van petilou treetop stacker

Best: Value for money

Rating: 8/10

Le Toy Van is a brand known for its gorgeous wooden role play toys, while Petilou (the brand’s younger sister), is an educational collection specifically designed for babies and toddlers. This treetop stacker has been made using sustainable wood and decorated using water-based paints and is suitable for those aged 12 months-plus. While our tester didn’t always arrange the perfect tree, the smooth finish of the wooden objects was tactile on his tiny hands and kept his attention. The sweet bird and nature-led design means this looks lovely on a shelf when playtime is over too.

Chicco stone balance eco friendly toy

Best: For creativity

Rating: 8/10

Italian baby brand Chicco has launched a range of eco-friendly toys, so we were eager to give these a go. Made of 80 per cent recycled plastic, the set is made up of five “stones”, and each is a different size, shape, texture, and colour. Recommended for babies between six and 36 months old, we like that there’s no determined way to stack the stones as each is designed to fit on top the others. We were also pleased to see that the packaging is recyclable too, with the paper coming from responsibly managed forests.

OYOY wooden stacking giraffe

Best: For timeless design

Rating: 8/10

This Wooden Stacking Giraffe from interiors-led brand OYOY is a work of art, and something we wouldn’t mind sitting on our own shelf. Made from beechwood, this toy has a real timelessness to it, and is something you’d want to pass down to the next generation. We’re confident the toy would stand the test of time too, due to the quality feel. Divided up into baby-sized smaller stacking rings, eight pieces complete the giraffe. Our tester loved nothing more than spinning the giraffe’s head, which has a cute cheery face.

The verdict: Stacking toys for babies

While it’s at a higher price point, we think Sebra Sparky the fox stacking and tilting toy is worth every penny. It’s been so thoughtfully designed with sensory tabs, baby-friendly mirrors and fun sounds, meaning our little tester couldn’t resist going back for more.

Voucher codes

For the latest discount codes on baby tech and essentials, try the links below:

Don’t show up to a baby shower empty-handed, we’ve selected the best gifts that new parents will love

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