15 Best Toys & Gifts for 1-Year-Olds in 2021
Best Toys for One-Year-Olds
October 6, 2021

Best Toys for One-Year-Olds

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Best Toys for One-Year-Olds.
Your newly minted toddler is ready to play, explore and build their imagination. These are our favorite toys to encourage creative play and cognitive development.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:

For Multiple Learners

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
Dimensions 14.9” x 19.8” x 16.8”

Stage-Based Suprises

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.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 months+

Baby's First Building Blocks

Stacking up towers and knocking them down is a favorite pastime of many toddlers, and if your little one has developed their coordination enough to expertly handle a stacking toy like rings or arches, it’s time to move them on to building blocks, which are more difficult to stack and much less stable (but perfect for knocking down). This six-block starter set features bright colors and fun extras like push buttons, kaleidoscope centers and jingle bells, and includes just enough blocks to build shorter towers that won’t hurt toes if they happen to fall on them.

Once your toddler is ready for a slightly larger first set, we also love this 100-piece wooden block set from Hape that includes more advanced shapes like triangles, arches and cylinders.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 months+

Xylo-fun

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

A Table for Them

A play table can be the workhorse of your kiddo’s expanding world. Sized just for them, it’s a spot where they can explore many of their toys (think puzzles, stacking toys, train sets), as well as do art projects, have snack or throw an impromptu party with their stuffies.

Smart Moves

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”

Puzzle Primer

This simple, five-piece puzzle makes a great introduction for young toddlers to build their hand-eye coordiation and understand the concept of fitting things together before they move on to more advanced puzzles. The extra-thick puzzle pieces and jumbo knobs are perfect for a tiny hand’s grip, and the design gives kiddo the opportunity to work on identifying shapes and parts of a house.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 months+

Pull-Along Pal

Once your toddler is a little more stead on their feet, a pull-along toy is a great way to encourage them to keep practicing their walking and balancing. Pull this little snail by the string and its shell rotates, making a fun visual and rattling sound as the blocks inside tumble about. The shell doubles as a simple shape sorter, and it can also be removed from the base to make the snail lighter to pull along.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 months+

Toddler's First Train

We love this bright little train not just for its colors and bobble-headed animals, but also for its versatility. Part train, part building blocks, part puzzle, part pull toy—your little one is guaranteed to get a lot of mileage out of this toy. Kiddo can remove the blocks to build a tall tower, then figure out how to fit them back together over the pegs. And the short pull string at the front of the train lets mobile toddlers drag it all over the house.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 months+

Next-Level Shape Sorting

This high-tech shape sorter has three different stages to get toddlers familiar with both shapes and colors. Start off with the push-button stage that tells the name of each shape as it’s pressed, and use the shape sorter mode that lets toddlers fit each shape into its correct spot all on their own. Once your little one has started to master their shapes, they can take things up a notch with the game mode as Yeti asks baby to find and place specific shapes and colors, then celebrates with lights and music when everything is in its correct place.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 9 months–3 years

Noisy Fun

Moo! Oink! Gobble gobble! Polish up your farm noises with these 30 unique sound buttons (including instrumental music for animals and insects that don’t make a lot of noise). And along with all the fun, silly noise-making, toddlers love learning to match the images in the book with those on the sound pad.

Sustainable Play

Sand, blocks, stuffed animals, whatever your toddler can think of to carry around, this dump truck can handle. Made completely from recycled milk jugs, this truck is fully functional, sturdy and eco-friendly. It’s a great toy for both indoors and outdoors (it works perfectly in sand, mud, water, grass and snow) and doesn’t have any small parts or sharp edges, so it’s a perfect larger vehicle for even the youngest toddlers to push around.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 months+

Totally Tubular

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 stays in the tub.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines 12 months+

All About Bodies

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.

Bath Time Bug Catcher

Just because it’s bath time doesn’t mean the learning and skill-building need to end. As your toddler tries to scoop each of the three bugs out of the water with the net, they’re working hard on their hand-eye coordination! And if you have a little one who isn’t fond of baths, it’s a great distraction for them so you can focus on getting kiddo clean.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 months+

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