12 Best Toys for 1-Year Olds

Best Toys for 1-Year Olds

August 2, 2019

Best Toys for 1-Year Olds

Best Toys for 1-Year Olds
Photo by @tonya.baker
Best Toys for 1-Year Olds

At one year old, your little one is growing more curious by the day. Encourage their natural curiosity with toys that move, make noise and mimic the world around them. Toys like walkers and pull-along toys will encourage your newly mobile baby to keep moving, and dolls, playsets and toy vehicles help them learn more about their environment.

Your newly minted toddler is becoming increasingly capable of creative thinking, so pretending will become a big part of playtime. Get ready to zoom trains across the floor and clink tea cups with stuffed animals. At this stage, everything has the opportunity to delight your child’s senses, inspire their imagination and teach valuable behavioral lessons. To help encourage their physical, mental and emotional growth, look out for these features when choosing toys for your one-year-old:

  • Toys with bright colors: As their vision develops, little ones can distinguish vibrant colors more easily than dull or pastel shades (though they won’t start to name colors until about three years old), so they’re more likely to play with and learn from a bright red fire truck or a set of rainbow stacking cups.
  • Toys that require/encourage coordination: Your kiddo wants to get their hands (and mouths) on everything, so this is the perfect time to start stocking the playroom with toys that boost fine and gross motor development and coordination. Puzzles, stacking/nesting toys and shape sorters are perfect for tiny hands to gain dexterity and growing minds to learn problem solving.
  • Toys that get them moving: Toys that baby can push or pull with a string encourage mobility, which is especially important for one-year-olds who are just getting the hang of walking. Practice makes perfect, and toys that move with them make practice way more fun!
  • Toys that introduce sharing and parallel play: One-year-olds don’t really play together just yet; instead, they do “parallel play,” playing on their own while being near another toddler. Parallel play is one of the earliest stages of social development in children, so having toys that multiple toddlers can share (like a large playset or a multi-pack of toy cars) will help get them on the path to being social butterflies.

With those features in mind, we’ve gathered a list of some of the best-loved toys for one-year-olds:

A Musical Toy

Let’s jam, baby! This brightly colored musical toy offers two ways to play: kids can use the mallet to pound the balls and send them sliding down the xylophone, or pull the xylophone out to play it solo. Either way, playing this instrument helps babies develop hand-eye coordination, dexterity and, of course, sweet music skills.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines 12 months–3 years
Product Weight 2.67 lbs
Dimensions 9.4” x 5.9” x 5.3”

An Activity Table

An activity table is a great way to keep your little one’s hands and mind busy without taking up a ton of space. With six different activities squeezed into VTech’s Magic Star Learning Table, there are lots of opportunities to build fine and gross motor skills (and there’s even room for two kids!). The legs are easily removable, making this table one that can last from infancy up through preschool.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines 6 months–3 years
Product Weight 4.1 lbs
Dimensions 14.9” x 19.8” x 16.8”

A Stacking Toy

Bright colors and a simple design make this stacking toy ideal for babies to learn to fit objects together, stack them up, flip them upside-down and hide things underneath (gotta learn that object permanence!). And the large numbers on the bottom of each cup make it easy to learn numbers 1-8 and smallest to biggest.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines 6 months and up

A Pull Toy

This friendly snail is sure to keep your mobile kid moving. As they lead the snail along by the string, toddlers will love to watch the colorful shell spin around and hear the shapes tumble inside. The shape-sorter shell is removable, too, making it a fun two-in-one toy that helps build different skills.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines 12 months–5 years
Dimensions 11.8” x 5.1” x 9.4”

A Walking Toy

Here’s another toy to help your new toddler practice their toddling. This zebra only moves by toddler power, so your kiddo can only go as fast as they can push (which isn’t very fast). It includes just enough interactive elements to be entertaining and educational (it teaches animals, music, letters and fine motor skills) and not so many that one-year-olds will get overwhelmed.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines 6 months and up
Product Weight 2 lbs
Dimensions 17.5” x 16.0” x 16.5”

A Playset with People

What toddler doesn’t love farm animals? And with a toy that’s basically a fully functioning farm in miniature, kids will enjoy playing farmer for years. Feed the animals, hatch baby chickens, turn corn through the mill and tuck the animals in after a long day, all while hearing songs about the importance of caring for others.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines 12 months–5 years
Product Weight 4 lbs
Dimensions 5.4” x 23.5” x 15.5”

A Baby Doll

Baby Stella Sweet Dreams Doll is the perfect first doll. Little ones will love role playing with their new BFF—attaching her magnetic bottle and pacifier and changing her diaper and clothes. And the light lavender scent can help your kiddo wind down for bedtime. Perfect for playtime or just snuggling, Baby Stella is soft and cozy like a stuffed animal. Be sure to check out the entire collection of dolls, accessories and clothes too.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 months+

A Play Vehicle

This is the most cheerful dump truck you’ll ever meet. Push the colorful rocks through the top of the truck into the bucket to hear the truck count “1, 2, 3, yay!” The pull-action lever dumps the bucket (watch out for scattering rocks), and new walkers will love leading the truck along with the pull string. Keep in mind, parents: this toy has limited sound options, so be prepared to have the same two dump truck songs stuck in your head for days.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines 6 months–3 years
Dimensions 7.6” x 9.9” x 5.4”

An Interactive Book

This lift-the-flap book is a fun and intuitive anatomical primer for little ones. Lift flaps to locate the baby character’s belly button, feet, hands and more. As you read it with your child, have them point out their own body parts as they learn. Continue the lesson with the follow-up book, Toes, Ears, & Nose.

A Puzzle

Nothing delights one-year-olds quite like farm animals (and we bet you’ve become quite the expert at moo-ing and bah-ing). With a barn-shaped board, eight extra-thick puzzle pieces and jumbo knobs perfect for a tiny hand’s grip, kiddos will have a blast working on coordination, grasping objects and practicing fun animal sounds.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 months-2.5 years
Dimensions 1.3 x 12 x 1.3 inches

An Outdoor Toy

At the perfect size for toddlers, a small slide in your own backyard is tons of fun for adventurous little ones, not to mention perfect for developing those gross motor skills (climbing!).

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines 18 months–6 years
Product Weight 9 lbs
Dimensions 23” x 18” x 39”

A Bath Toy

These little squirts are a splashin’ good time. While most bath toys will eventually collect mold inside (yuck!), these critters separate at the middle so you can clean and dry them with ease—they’re even dishwasher safe. Kids will have fun mixing and matching the interchangeable halves, and parents won’t have to worry about potential health hazards. Keep in mind, though: these toys need to be separated, cleaned, and thoroughly dried after every bath in order to prevent mold growth.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines 12 months and up
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