12 Best Toys & Gifts for 1-Year Olds in 2021
Best Toys for One-Year-Olds
November 5, 2020

Best Toys for One-Year-Olds

Best Toys for One-Year-Olds.
Photo by @nereidaaa__
Your newly minted toddler is ready to play, explore and build their imagination.Best Toys for One-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 Fun Subscription Box

What’s more fun for growing babies than an assortment of toys specifically geared to their stage of development? One that comes in the mail all year long. Lovevery’s Play Kits have four subscription boxes for the toddler years (13-24 months) that help them play and learn at the same time. All of the items in the boxes are made with with sustainably sourced wood and soft 100% organic cotton, and each box comes with a play guide of ideas backed by research (so you don’t have to figure it out on your own). We highly suggest you put this on the wish list you give to the grandparents.

A Bath Toy

Bath time is fun time for one-year-olds, and these colorful pipes and tubes will encourage creativity and hands-on learning. Little ones will love building interesting shapes and designs on the wall (these stick!), while parents will love that fact that the water from this fun stays in the tub.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines 12 months+

A Stacking Toy

The simple design makes 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 don’t hesitate to take these cups into the bath or water table—watch your kiddo learn to scoop and dump over and over again, and the holes in the bottoms make for great rain showers.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines 6 months+

A Pull Toy

This friendly crocodile is sure to keep your mobile kid moving. As they lead the croc by the string, toddlers will love to watch its body wiggle and click-clack along behind them. For a simpler, not-so-wiggly version, there’s also a giraffe and an elephant to choose from.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 months+

A Walking Toy

Here’s another toy to help your new toddler practice their toddling. This puppy 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 letters, colors, numbers, Spanish words and fine motor skills), but not so many that one-year-olds will get overwhelmed.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines 6 months and up
Product Weight 4.8 lbs
Dimensions 17.5” x 16” x 16.5”

A Baby Doll

Wee Baby Stella is the perfect first doll. Little ones will love role playing with their new BFF—attaching her magnetic bottle and pacifier and changing her clothes. And the soft, huggable fabric 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 (climbing!) skills.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines 18 months–6 years; up to 60 lbs
Dimensions 28” x 19”

Check out our Toy Shelf in the Babylist Store!

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content.