The 23 Best Toys for 1-Year-Olds in 2021

From wooden learning sets to bath toys for your toddler

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Entertaining your 1-year-old can be a fun challenge. Whether they're walking, crawling, or just sitting, having some toys on hand is a must for busy households. So, as you’re shopping be sure to look out for toys with a wide range of applications. 

“I encourage toys that hit all the developmental dimensions, says Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician in South Overland Park, Kansas. “Toys like books to read together or explore independently, cause and effect toys that have a light or sound when the child engages, balls to kick and throw, blocks to stack and tumble, dolls and stuffed animals, and tactile toys for texture exploration and fine motor play.” 

Shopping this way will not only ensure your child is learning all of the age-appropriate skills, but will also help keep them engaged for longer periods of time. Here are the best toys for 1-year-olds to suit all kinds of play.

Our Top Picks
In addition to fostering a love of music, the toy also teaches motor skills, problem-solving, matching, and critical thinking.
Read Review
Your 12-month-old can grab, shake, teeth on, and throw this colorful rattle around for hours of fun.
Read Review
This friendly climbing toy comes with separate pieces that can be rearranged for multiple obstacles.
Read Review
This pull toy teaches numbers, colors, and body parts through songs, melodies, sounds, and phrases.
Read Review
The board-book style makes the book easy for tiny hands to maneuver, and bright, bold illustrations keep kids engaged.
Read Review
A great introduction to puzzles, this brightly colored toy promotes dexterity and problem-solving skills.
Read Review
From tummy time to a reading nook, this tent is suitable for a variety of ages.
Read Review
Thirty minutes of soft sounds are followed by white noise, all helping your baby to sleep peacefully.
Read Review
When baby interacts by spinning the wheel or pushing the colorful buttons, they’re also developing vocabulary and motor skills.
Read Review
This easy to assemble play mat stimulates your toddler's sight, sound, and touch.
Read Review
In This Article
01
of 23

Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone

Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone

Dimensions: 9.4 x 5.3 x 5.9-inches | Material: Wood | Weight: 4.8 ounces | Age range: 1 year and up

What We Like
  • Inspires musical appreciation

  • Wooden toy is long-lasting and durable

What We Don't Like
  • Some users say it's out of tune

This award-winning musical toy has been praised for its colorful, wooden design and its ability to teach kids about cause and effect. Rather than push a button, kids make their own music with a wooden hammer and balls. In addition to fostering a love of music, the toy also teachers motor skills, problem-solving, matching, and critical thinking.

"This is one of the few toys my son plays with every day. Sometimes he taps the xylophone itself, but he really loves pushing the balls through their dedicated slots and putting them back in."—Michelle Piccolo, Product Tester

02
of 23

Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy

Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Toy

Dimensions: 5.02 x 4.04 x 3.54-inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 3.7 ounces | Age range: 0 years and up

What We Like
  • A teething and sensory toy

  • Easy to hold

What We Don't Like
  • Hard to clean

Babies up to two year olds can clutch and teeth on the Winkle Rattle all they want. It's colorful and lightweight, so it's fun to fiddle with and throw around. It's big enough to keep baby entertained, but small enough to easily tuck into a diaper bag or under the stroller. Manhattan Toy claims that the teething tubes are made of BPA-free plastic, perfect for tiny hands and teeth.

03
of 23

ECR4Kids SoftZone Climb and Crawl Activity Play Set

Dimensions: 40 x 40 x 10-inches | Material: Foam | Weight: 13.3 pounds | Age range: 6 months and up

What We Like
  • Encourages physical play

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Some users wish there was a floor mat for more security

Infants and toddlers can crawl, climb, and slide on this foam play set. It comes with four pieces that connect to each other via velcro strips on the bottom. Note that when assembled together, it takes up a good amount of space, so be mindful of this in case you're considering for a smaller home. Each colorful part is super soft and easy to clean with mild soap and water.

04
of 23

VTech Pull and Sing Puppy

VTech Pull and Sing Puppy

Dimensions: 4.21 x 7.87 x 6.69-inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 13.2 ounces | Age range: 6 months and up

What We Like
  • Can bare rough play from a toddler

  • Features fun sounds

What We Don't Like
  • String is a little short

If your family isn’t quite ready for a real puppy, this fun pull toy is a great alternative. This dog’s got plenty of tricks: He walks, sings, and even teaches numbers, colors, and body parts through more than 60 songs, melodies, sounds, and phrases. 

"VTech recommends this toy for ages 6 months to 3 years. Based on my experience [with my 19-month-old son], I would recommend it for those in the younger age group."—Michelle Piccolo, Product Tester

05
of 23

First 100 Words: A Padded Board Book

First 100 Words: A Padded Board Book

Dimensions: 5.05 x 1.02 x 5.98-inches | Material: Padded board | Weight: 8 ounces | Age range: 1 year and up

What We Like
  • Sturdy to stand against toddler play

  • Learning toy

What We Don't Like
  • Users say some words don't make sense with the pictures

At one year of age, baby’s vocabulary is likely on the verge of exploding. This comprehensive book, complete with 100 words essential to baby’s daily life, provides a gentle nudge in the right direction. The board-book style makes the book easy for tiny hands to maneuver, and bright, bold illustrations keep kids engaged. 

06
of 23

Melissa & Doug First Shapes Jumbo Knob Puzzle

Melissa & Doug First Shapes Jumbo Knob Puzzle

Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 1.5-inches | Material: Wood | Weight: 1.25 pounds | Age range: 1 year and up

What We Like
  • Extra-thick pieces

  • Jumbo knobs for little hands

What We Don't Like
  • Fishy smell from packaging

A great introduction to puzzles, this brightly colored wooden toy has extra-thick pieces and features large knobs, so even the littlest fingers will have no trouble picking up the pieces. In addition to promoting dexterity, the toy also teaches problem-solving skills, spatial relations, and shapes, colors, and basic environmental items like tree, sun, and house. 

07
of 23

FoxPrint Rocket Ship Space Themed Pretend Play Tent

FoxPrint Rocket Ship Space Themed Pretend Play Tent

Dimensions: 12.1 x 15.3 x 2.1-inches | Material: Fabric | Weight: 2.38 pounds | Age range: 1 year and up

What We Like
  • Roomy tent

  • Sturdy construction

What We Don't Like
  • Some users complain that it doesn't glow in the dark

It's never too early to encourage the joy of imagination. This rocket ship play tent is out of this world and perfect for kids from 12 months to 7 years old. The tent easily fits in most corners or can be folded flat in no time. Kids will enjoy having a play space all their own and when they get older, the tent can be a cozy reading nook.

08
of 23

Fisher-Price Settle & Sleep Projection Soother

Fisher-Price Settle & Sleep Projection Soother

Dimensions: ‎11.02 x 4.17 x 9.33-inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 2.36 pounds | Age range: Not listed

What We Like
  • Attaches to crib or can placed on tabletop

  • Easy to turn on

What We Don't Like
  • Can be too bright

If your child has trouble falling, or staying, asleep, then this might be a solution. The Settle & Sleep Soother easily attaches to a crib, but can also be placed on a tabletop for older kids. It features 30 minutes of music and sound that transition to white noise. There's also a projection of images on the ceiling or wall for a soothing light show that will lull them to bed before you know it.

09
of 23

Leapfrog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo

LeapFrog Spin

Dimensions: ‎6.42 x 6.93 x 8.07-inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 1 pound | Age range: 6 months and up

What We Like
  • Great learning toy

  • Comes in pink and blue

What We Don't Like
  • Images tend to fade after use

This toy is more functional than it looks. Even though it's small, the buttons on the base let baby choose one of three modes of play: letters, animals, or music. When baby interacts by spinning the wheel or pushing any number of colorful buttons, they’ll be building their vocabulary, plus improving motor skills.

10
of 23

Lovevery Play Gym Activity Gym and Play Mat

Lovevery The Play Gym

Dimensions: ‎‎43 x 38 x 24-inches | Material: Cotton | Weight: 7.6 pounds | Age range: 0 years and up

What We Like
  • Excellent for developing cognitive skills and play

  • Grows with baby

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Kids grow so fast, so it's great any time you can buy a toy that grows right along with them. This play mat has five zones that focus on visual, motor skills, cognitive learning, and more. Accessories are removable based on the child's age and needs and parents will love the set up process takes just a few minutes.

11
of 23

Dimensions: ‎39 x 18 x 27.5-inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 9 pounds | Age range: 18 months and up

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Older kids can also play

What We Don't Like
  • Slightly sharp edges

When your tot is still a little too small for the playground, this beginner-level slide is a great alternative. It’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, so you can enjoy active play no matter what the weather is like. Parents love that it folds flat for portability and convenient storage. Note that this slide is suitable for older one year olds, or 18 months and up.

12
of 23

Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center

Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center

Dimensions: ‎18 x 18 x 22.5-inches | Material: Wood | Weight: 10.6 pounds | Age range: 1 year and up

What We Like
  • Wooden construction

  • Keeps children engaged for hours

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult to assemble

There’s no shortage of fun to be had with this award-winning wooden toy. The freestanding activity table, which features dozens of bead runs and gliders that facilitate grasping skills, is just the right size—small enough for the younger set to sit and play, but large enough for toddlers to tinker while standing.

13
of 23

Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll 'N Trike

Radio Flyer, 4-in-1 Stroll 'n Trike

Dimensions: ‎28.7 x 22 x 41.3-inches | Material: Alloy steel | Weight: 16 pounds | Age range: 9 months and up

This ride-on toy is perfect for growing youngsters hitting new milestones all the time. It has four different ways to ride: use it as an infant trike or a steering trike with help from adults or as a learn-to-ride trike or a classic trike suitable for more independent riders. Though this toy is on the pricier side, it’s a worthy investment—it’s suitable for children as young as 9 months and as old as 5 years.

14
of 23

Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag, Classic

Mega Bloks

Dimensions: ‎5 x 12 x 14-inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 1 pound | Age range: 1 year and up

What We Like
  • Grows with your child

  • Inspires creativity improves building skills

What We Don't Like
  • Blocks don't secure tightly

This set of 80 large-scale blocks provides the perfect introduction to building blocks. The colorful pieces easily click together, so kids can harness the power of their imagination and create any number of things—from robots, to castles, to cars, and more.

15
of 23

Boon Building Bath Pipes Toy Set

Boon Pipes Bath Toy Set

Dimensions: ‎‎6.5 x 2.05 x 2.76-inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 7.1 ounces | Age range: 1 year and up

What We Like
  • Fun bath toy

  • Pipes suction to wall

What We Don't Like
  • Hard to clean

Get those creative juices flowing and those problem-solving skills into tip-top shape with this fun bath time building set. Kids will love figuring out how to connect the pipes to create a maze of working waterfalls. 

16
of 23

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Light-Up Learning Vacuum

Fisher-Price Vacuum

Dimensions: ‎
5 x 5 x 5-inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 1 pound | Age range: 1 year and up

What We Like
  • Easy to pick up

  • Makes real vacuum sounds

What We Don't Like
  • On the shorter side

Did you know that kids learn a lot of skills simply from mimicking their parents? Foster good habits and an inclination to help around the house with this fun light-up vacuum. Baby can push the vacuum around just like their parents might, but this version plays learning songs and phrases as they push to help expand their vocabulary, too. 

17
of 23

B. toys by Battat FunKeys Toy

B. toys by Battat FunKeys Toy

Dimensions: ‎2.75 x 1.63 x 7.5-inches | Material: Plastic, stainless steel | Weight: 5 ounces | Age range: 10 months and up

What We Like
  • Realistic look

  • Makes real car key sounds

What We Don't Like
  • A little heavy for babies

There’s just something about keys—little kids love them! To ensure your set doesn’t go missing, give baby their own special set of keys they can chew on, rattle, and carry around. In addition to the eye-catching colors, these baby-safe keys have a realistic design and a functional remote that emits car sounds and turns on a flashlight. 

18
of 23

VTech Drop and Go Dump Truck

VTech, Drop and Go Dump Truck

Dimensions: ‎7.56 x 9.9 x 5.43-inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 1.19 pounds | Age range: 6 months and up

What We Like
  • Batteries included

  • Can endure rough play

What We Don't Like
  • Slightly flimsy packaging

This colorful dump truck is so much more than just a pull along toy. It’s a great tool for teaching kids basic counting—as they load the truck’s hinged bucket with rocks, the toy counts each one aloud. It also plays a variety of melodies and phrases that teach additional vocabulary words, including colors and shapes.

19
of 23

Timy Baby Balance Bike

Timy Baby Balance Bike

Dimensions: Not listed | Material: Plastic | Weight: Not listed | Age range: 18 months and up

What We Like
  • Perfect size for tots

  • Small enough to fit in most trunks

What We Don't Like
  • Wheels are a bit too close together

This four-wheeled pedal-less balance bike is a great alternative to the traditional tricycle. It develops coordination in kids as young as 10 months old and instills confidence and independence. It features a sturdy carbon steel frame, a supportive seat, and wide enclosed wheels to keep baby safe while scooting along. 

20
of 23

BabyPuzzle Personalized Name Puzzle With Pegs

name puzzle

Dimensions: ‎Varies depending on name | Material: Wood | Weight: Not listed | Age range: 0 and up

What We Like
  • Custom gift

  • Doubles as decor

What We Don't Like
  • Shipping takes a while

For a unique gift that both baby and parent will oogle over, try a personalized name puzzle. This artful toy is crafted with high-quality material to give it a super sophisticated vibe, but it’s functional, too. It’ll provide hours of fun that help baby build problem-solving skills and fine motor function, and—eventually—teach them how to spell their name. 

21
of 23

Fisher-Price Baby's First Blocks

 Fisher-Price Baby's First Blocks

Dimensions: ‎8.27 x 5.51 x 5.51-inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 11.4 ounces | Age range: 6 months and up

What We Like
  • Good size for tiny hands

  • Included bucket makes for easy cleanup

What We Don't Like
  • Lid design could be better

This classic toy is an ultra-affordable option that won’t feel like you phoned it in. The set includes ten colorful blocks that fit into identical slots in a convenient carry case. The blocks promote a host of important skills, including matching, sorting, and problem-solving.

22
of 23

Fat Brain Toys SpinAgain Kids Stacking Toy

 Fat-Brain-SpinAgain-Stacking-Toy

Dimensions: ‎16.5 x 6.75 x 6.75-inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 1.39 pounds | Age range: 1 year and up

What We Like
  • Sturdy

  • Mesmerizing for kids

What We Don't Like
  • Base isn't attached to main pole

A twist on the classic stacking toy, this set of six brightly-colored, graduated discs spin down a corkscrew pole, encouraging hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and the concept of cause and effect. Parents say that even though it's simple, there’s something mesmerizing about the toy—even for adults. 

23
of 23

VTech Smart Shots Sports Center

Smart Shots Sports Center

Dimensions: ‎16.54 x 22.83 x 24.02-inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 5.7 pounds | Age range: 1 year and up

Toddlers are notorious for their short attention spans, but this activity center gives tots two choices—basketball or soccer—to ensure there’s no shortage of fun. The light-up scoreboard provides positive feedback when kids score and plays fun songs and sounds.

What to Look for in a Toy for a 1-Year-Old

Recommended Age

Always check the labels on the toys you’re considering, particularly the manufacturer’s recommended age. This guideline is there to help you decide whether the toy is safe and stimulating enough (or too stimulating!) for your child, says Kristin Morency Goldman, senior advisor of strategic communications for The Toy Association.

Safety

Naturally, you’ll want to consider safety when purchasing a toy for a 1-year-old. Watch out for toys with small parts that can be a choking hazard—generally these toys are labeled 3+, says Morency Goldman.

Longevity

Because toddlers grow and progress so quickly, you’ll want to consider how long they’ll be able to use the toy you buy. You may want to look for one that children can use as they get older, instead of an expensive toy that’ll only be used for a few months.

Educational Value

It’s also beneficial to think about whether the toy you’re buying is educational. There’s a lot for one-year-olds to learn, from basic motor and language skills to letters, colors, sounds, and more. Consider what toys they already have and what skills they’re working on when you start shopping.

FAQ
  • Where can I get age-appropriate toys for my 1-year-old?

    Choosing the best toys for your 1-year-old’s stage of development will help them practice age-appropriate skills, such as basic motor and language skills, as well as explore letters, colors, sounds, and textures. Age-appropriate toys also keep your child engaged for longer periods of time. Many toys list recommended age of use on the package, for instance: 0-12 months, 6-12 months, 12-18 months, or 12-24 months. 

  • Where can I get safe toys for my 1-year-old?

    Safety is a big consideration for 1-year-olds. Avoid toys that have small parts or pieces that might be choking hazards. Toys with small parts are typically labeled 3+. To find safe toys for 1-year-olds, look for toys that are labeled for 12 months of age or under.

  • What toys will last longer into the toddler years?

    Toddlers develop quickly and may outgrow very basic toys within months of purchase. Some toys are designed to grow with your child, offering different features for different ages. Such toys offer more value; they can be used for many years. When looking for toys that will last longer into the toddler years, choose those recommended for a wider age range that begins with your child’s age now (for example, 1-3 years) as opposed to a narrow window that your child is about to outgrow ( for example, 6-12 months). 

  • What are some sustainable options for toys for this age group?

    Sustainable toys are those made from renewable, natural materials, such as cotton, wool, bamboo, wood, paper, and cork. Eco-friendly toys may be made from recycled materials or materials that eventually break down. Many companies that make eco-friendly toys are concerned about protecting the environment, using manufacturing processes and materials that won’t harm the earth. 

Updated by Jackie Brown
Continue to 5 of 23 below.
Continue to 9 of 23 below.
Continue to 13 of 23 below.
Continue to 17 of 23 below.