50 Best Toys for 1-Year-Olds That Are Engaging and Fun

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The Spruce / Amelia Manley

Whether your one-year-old is walking, crawling, or happy to sit—having some toys on hand is a must for busy households. So, if you’re shopping for your kid or looking for a birthday gift for a one-year old, we have suggestions for a wide range of toys that will inspire their senses and help them hone their growing skills.

When buying a toy for a one-year old, Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician in South Overland Park, Kansas, encourages parents to consider "toys that hit all the developmental dimensions." This could mean wooden blocks that can help with both fine motor skills and the concept of cause and effect or a ride-on toy that works those growing gross and fine motor skills.

Colleen Mason, a preschool teacher with a Masters degree in early childhood recommends, "simple cause and effect toys, pop up toys, instruments, pull toys, etc. Toys that help children understand that their actions have meaning and empower them."

It is also important to think about the lifespan of toys in your house. It is best to consider toys that target different growing skills and will be a favorite for years to come. Wooden blocks, ride-on toys, or books are always a winner and will be popular for years on end.

Our editors tested the best toys with their little ones, considering the recommended age, educational value, safety, and longevity of each.

Here, the best toys for 1-year-olds.

What We Like
  • Great introduction to a baby doll

  • Comes with a magnetic pacifier

What We Don't Like
  • Not machine washable

12-month-olds might not be ready for big kid dolls, but a plush version, like this one from Manhattan Toy, is a great introduction. The Wee Stella doll comes with a magnetic pacifier, a diaper, and an outfit, so little ones can work on their fine motor skills as well as having a new friend.

Price at the time of publish: $20

Dimensions: ‎4 x 2.5 x 11.5 inches | Material: Polyester | Weight: 3.8 ounces | Age range: 1 year and up

VTech Pop-a-Balls Push and Pop Bulldozer

VTech Pop-a-Balls Push and Pop Bulldozer

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Encourages motor skill development

  • Teaches numbers, letters, and colors

What We Don't Like
  • Noisy

If your child loves tooling around, this bulldozer is a great toy as they're on the move. When they push the bulldozer across the room, the chimney pops out balls and drops them in the bucket. For more learning, the toy comes equipped with buttons that teach colors, numbers, phrases and music when pressed.

Price at the time of publish: $28

Dimensions: ‎6.18 x 6.18 x 6.3 inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 2.44 pounds | Age range: 1 to 3 years

Crayola My First Palm Grip Crayons

Washable Palm Grip Crayons

Crayola

What We Like
  • Washable

  • Easy for little hands to hold

What We Don't Like
  • Some users say they're a little heavy for 12-month-olds

Creating art is a great activity for little ones, but it's hard when supplies aren't made for their little hands. These Crayola Palm Grip Crayons are the perfect introduction to drawing for your 12-month-old since they're easy to hold and washable.

Price at the time of publish: $12

Dimensions: ‎‎2.06 x 7.25 x 7.5 inches | Material: Wax | Weight: 14.9 ounces | Age range: 1 year and up

Playskool Critter Building Blocks

Playskool Critter Building Blocks

Amazon

What We Like
  • Great for shape and animal recognition

  • Encourages fine motor skills and number recognition

What We Don't Like
  • Some users wish the numbers were easier to see

For noise-free blocks that grow with your child, these critter blocks from Playskool include animals, shapes, and numbers to practice with your child. We love that they're easy to clean and durable for baby and toddler play.

Price at the time of publish: $16

Dimensions: ‎2 x 9.12 x 4.87 inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 15.1 ounces | Age range: 6 months and up

Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano Wooden Musical Toy

Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano Wooden Musical Toy

Amazon

What We Like
  • Includes 3 sheets of music and 6 different songs

  • Volume control allows you to set the music to “low” or “high”

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Can be noisy

If your child is a maestro in the making, this piano is the perfect place to start. With 3 sheets of music and 6 available songs, there is plenty of fun to be had with this toy. Your child also has the opportunity to make their own musical composition by playing the keys. Parents will love the option of setting the volume at low or high, depending on location, and little ones can practice their colors by matching the color-coded notes on the music sheets to the piano keys.

Price at time of publish: $21

Dimensions: ‎12 x 5 x 9 inches | Material: Wood, Plastic | Weight: 1.98 pounds | Age range: 6 - 36 months

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Count & Rumble Piggy Bank

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Count & Rumble Piggy Bank

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Includes 40+ songs, sounds and learning phrases

  • Comes with 10 colorful coins with numbers or animals on each side

What We Don't Like
  • Noisy

Your one-year-old will love the 40+ songs, sound and learning phrases found in this piggy bank. The coins are great for hand-eye coordination and when your child is ready, you can move on to level two which includes fun questions, prompts, and bilingual counting in English and Spanish.

Price at the time of publish: $18

Dimensions: ‎6.69 x 6.1 x 6.3 inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 6.2 ounces | Age range: 6 to 36 months

GUND Baby Tinkle Crinkle Jumbo Caterpillar Sensory Stimulating Plush

 GUND Baby Tinkle Crinkle Jumbo Caterpillar Sensory Stimulating Plush Toy

Amazon

What We Like
  • Includes a squeaker, crinkle, and rattle

  • Promotes tactile and sensory stimulating play

What We Don't Like
  • Not machine washable

This soft and plush caterpillar is 40 inches long and full of sensory fun with a squeaker, crinkle, and rattle all included. It's great for promoting tactile and sensory play for your little one and makes a great addition to any playroom.

Price at the time of publish: $65

Dimensions: ‎41 x 8 x 8 inches | Material: Fabric | Weight: 1.1 pounds | Age range: 0 to 2 years

Fisher-Price Rollin' Rovee

Rovee Interactive Musical Activity Learning Toy

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • 4 modes of play from infant to preschooler

  • Each play mode encourages movement

What We Don't Like
  • Some users say the toy isn't as durable as they would like

This toy can do it all: clap, play peek-a-boo, roll over, and even throw the ball. While your child is working on their motor skills, they're also learning numbers, the alphabet, opposites, and more. With four stages that grow with your child from infancy to the preschool years, this toy will be a favorite for years to come.

Price at the time of publish: $73

Dimensions: ‎22 x 13 x 8 inches | Material: Not listed | Weight: 2.3 pounds | Age range: 6 months and up

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Pull & Play Learning Wagon

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Pull & Play Wagon

Amazon

What We Like
  • Great for developing gross and fine motor skills

  • 135+ songs, sounds and phrases

  • Pull the wagon or sit and play with a shape-sorter lid, puzzles, or the light-up buttons


What We Don't Like
  • Noisy

As your 1-year-old starts to grow, this wagon from Fisher-Price can grow with them. Loaded with 135 songs, sounds, and phrases, your little one can work on gross motor skills by pulling the wagon or can sit and interact with the light-up buttons, learn to sort shapes, or work on puzzles. With three different learning stages, your child can practice numbers and counting, shapes, colors, the alphabet, and Spanish words.

Price at time of publish: $49

Dimensions: ‎11.42 x 16.54 x 9.45 inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 5.99 pounds | Age range: 6 to 36 months

Playskool Chase 'n Go Ball Popper

Playskool Chase N Go Ball Popper

Amazon

What We Like
  • Encourages activity and movement

  • Great for practicing fine and gross motor skills

What We Don't Like
  • Noisy

This toy will have your little one on the move. Watch as the elephant sends balls popping and your kiddo goes chasing them. Parents can adjust the play, sending the balls across the room or simply up and back down in the toy.

Price at the time of publish: $33

Dimensions: ‎21.46 x 14.61 x 17.56 inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 3.12 pounds | Age range: 9 months and up

Cali's Books Patty Cake Nursery Rhymes Baby Book

Patty Cake Nursery Rhymes Baby Book

Amazon

What We Like
  • 6 songs are included

  • Board books tend to be more durable

What We Don't Like
  • Noisy

From Patty Cake to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, your family will be singing along to your favorite nursery rhymes with the help of this book from small business, Cali's Books. Great for ages 1-5, this board book can help engage your little one and help them learn to sight read words down the road. With 6 songs included, this battery-operated book is sure to become a family favorite.

Price at time of publish: $25

Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 1 inches ‎| Material: Paper | Weight: 1 pound | Age range: 1 - 5 years

Fat Brain Toys SpinAgain Kids Stacking Toy

 Fat-Brain-SpinAgain-Stacking-Toy

Courtesy of Buy Buy Baby

What We Like
  • Great for hand-eye coordination

  • Discs spin as they stack

What We Don't Like
  • Some users say the base isn't sturdy

Keep your little one entertained with this stackable disc set. The difference? These brightly colored discs spin as they stack, delighting one-year-olds as they work on hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

Price at the time of publish: $30

Dimensions: ‎16 inches tall | Material: Not listed | Weight: Not listed | Age range: 1 year and up

Manhattan Toy Musical Lili Llama

Manhattan Toy Musical Lili Llama

Manhattan Toy

What We Like
  • Doubles as nursery decor

  • Includes 4 spinners, 2 gears, 1 maraca tail, a 5-bar xylophone, and more

What We Don't Like
  • Noisy

This beautiful Toy of the Year Finalist is as pretty as it is fun! This musical llama comes with 4 spinners, 2 gears, 1 maraca tail, a 5-bar xylophone, and more for hours of music-making fun. Plus it's designed so well, you won't have to worry about putting it away in the nursery.

Price at the time of publish: $58

Dimensions: ‎12.25 x 7.25 x 10.5 H in | Material: Wood | Weight: Not listed | Age range: 1 year and up

Big Jigs x pbk Triangle Activity Center

Big Jigs x pbk triangle activity center

pottery barn kids

What We Like
  • Noise and screen free

  • Made with sustainable wood and features counting and animal-sorting boards, plus picture blocks and a chalkboard

  • Great for developing problem solving and fine motor skills

What We Don't Like
  • Chalk is not included

This beautifully-made toy is perfect for growing kiddos — it includes counting and animal-sorting boards, plus picture blocks and a chalkboard for plenty to do. Watch as your little one spins the numbers, learns their animals, and works on fine motor skills.

Price at the time of publish: $59

Dimensions: ‎ 10.5" W x 9" D x 12" H | Material: Plywood, beechwood and stainless steel | Weight: 5 pounds | Age range: 1 year and up

Skip Hop Baby Walker Explore & More 4-in-1 Toy Walker

 Skip Hop Baby Walker, Explore & More 4-in-1 Toy Walker

Amazon

What We Like
  • Great for gross motor skills and balance

  • Removable toy panel for floor play

What We Don't Like
  • Noisy

We love a toy that can do more than one thing. This walker from Skip Hop has a removable toy panel for floor play that includes a wobble plane, spinner, rotating gears, and a detachable phone for hours of fun. There's even a keyboard to practice on too.

Price at the time of publish: $70

Dimensions: ‎18.7 x 18.3 x 16.4 inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 1.1 pounds | Age range: 6 months to 4 years

Little Tikes Hide and Seek Climber

Little Tikes Hide and Seek Climber

target

What We Like
  • Includes a rock climbing wall

  • Gentle slope slide

What We Don't Like
  • Assembly required

If your baby is ready to be on the move, this play set is a nice introduction to the playground. Your little one can crawl under the slide, try out the rock wall, or slide down the gently-sloped slide.

Price at time of publish: $140

Dimensions: ‎23.27 x 51.91 x 39.76 inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 9.31 pounds | Age range: 1 to 4 years

Personalized ABC What Can I Be Book

Personalized ABC What Could I Be Book

Uncommon Goods

What We Like
  • Customize book with your child's name

  • Explore career options from electricians to bakers

What We Don't Like
  • All orders are final

Take your bedtime stories up a notch with a personalized "ABC What Can I Be" book featuring your child's name. Explore different careers from dancers to electricians and the wide world of possibilities for your child when they grow up.

Price at time of publish: $38

Dimensions: ‎8.5" L x 8.5" W x .25" H; 20 pages | Material: Paper | Weight: Not listed | Age range: 0 and up

Uncommon Goods Vibrating Guitar Grasp Toy

vibrating guitar grasp toy

Uncommon Goods

What We Like
  • Soft and plush exterior

  • Toy vibrates when you pull the cord

What We Don't Like
  • Kids may lose interest as they grow older

For musicians in the making, this vibrating guitar provides hours of delight. The vibrations can help soothe your little one, and the guitar tuning pegs and strings are super soft to the touch.

Price at time of publish: $30

Dimensions: ‎14" L | Material: Polyester | Weight: Not listed | Age range: 0-3 years

Skip Hop 3-in-1 Ride-On Unicorn

Skip Hop 3-in-1 Ride-On Unicorn

Courtesy of Skip Hop 

What We Like
  • Transitions from a push walker to a scooter for toddlers

  • Seat doubles as storage

What We Don't Like
  • Can be noisy with sound effects

Who doesn't want a unicorn scooter? This 3-in-1 toy is perfect for one-year-olds as a push walker and wagon. When they get older, it doubles as a ride-on toy and finally converts into a scooter when your child is ready to be on the move. The seat also doubles as storage for toys, and a button controls fun sound effects and the headlight.

Price at time of publish: $64

Dimensions: ‎13.5 x 20.5 x 22.75 inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 5.4 pounds | Age range: 1 - 3 years

What We Like
  • 4 instrument sounds, including piano, organ, bass, and drums

  • Scratchable record

What We Didn't Like
  • Noisy

This DJ Learn to Mix & Spin Set is a mic drop. The toy includes an 18-key synthesizer, 4 musical-instrument sounds, including piano, organ, bass, and drums, and 18 sound effects, including meows, so you can work on sound recognition. You can even scratch the record like a real-life DJ.

Price at time of publish: $31

Dimensions: ‎13.4 x 7.4 x 1.7 inches | Material: plywood, assorted electronics, PP and PE, batteries | Weight: 0.7 pounds | Age range: 1 year to 5 years

Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone

4.5
Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone

Amazon

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, which little hands place into the corresponding holes. In addition to fostering a love of music, the toy also teachers motor skills, problem-solving, matching, and critical thinking.

This toy is made of high-quality wood with child-safe paint and rounded edges, making it easy to clean for little hands and mouths. Our tester loved how this toy kept her son engaged and entertained for hours and how he was able to find more and more ways to play.

The only downside our tester found was that her son liked to throw the wooden balls while playing, which can be loud and even cause damage if used around fragile objects. Still, the musical toy is too engaging and multifunctional for the price to give up.

Price at time of publish: $23

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

Hape Pound and Tap Bench

 The Spruce / Michelle Piccolo

"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

Melissa & Doug Rollables Wooden Ocean Slide

Melissa & Doug Rollables Wooden Ocean Slide

Amazon

What We Like
  • Inspires kinetic play

  • Good for fine motor skill development

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Nothing delights a child more than watching something fall, and this Melissa & Doug Wooden Ocean Slide is great entertainment for little ones. It comes with three Rollables (shark, crab, and octopus with chime) to send down the slide, and it also includes a bead maze, and plenty to turn, grab, and press. Little ones will be able to work on fine motor skills and be introduced to cause and effect.

Price at time of publish: $55

Dimensions: 6.5 x 12.51 x 20.51 inches | Material: Wood | Weight: 3.2 pounds | Age range: 12 months - 3 years

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Scooter

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Scooter

Amazon

What We Like
  • 3 learning levels to teach letters, numbers, shapes, colors, and opposites

  • Great for motor skill development

What We Don't Like
  • No seat back

  • Can be noisy

If your one-year-old is on the move, this scooter is the perfect companion. It comes with an interactive dashboard and 50+ songs, sounds, and phrases, so there's always something to learn. While it's great for motor skill development, we also love that it has 3 different learning levels, so it can help your child learn things like colors, shapes, and numbers while they play.

Price at the time of publish: $45

Dimensions: 9.50 x 22.40 x 16.10 inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 6 pounds | Age range: 12 to 36 months

Lovevery The Babbler Play Kit

Lovevery The Babbler Play Kit

Lovevery

What We Like
  • Great for balance, object permanence, and spatial awareness

  • Multiple toys in one box

  • New box ships every three months

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • May have too many toys for small spaces

There are subscription services for food, pets, and coffee, and now there's some for your kids' toys too! The Babbler Kit is perfect for 13 to 15 month olds and filled with toys that will help them learn everything from fine motor skills to spatial awareness. It also comes with a treat for the parents too — a play guide that describes why the toys were created and how to play and help your child's development.

Price at time of publish: $120 per play kit

Dimensions: None Listed | Material: Multiple | Weight: None Listed | Age range: 13 months to 15 months

Radio Flyer Busy Buggy Sit to Stand Toddler Ride On Toy

Radio Flyer Busy Buggy

Target

What We Like
  • Helps develop gross and fine motor skills

  • Multiple ways to play

What We Don't Like
  • Noisy

We love toys that can grow with your child, and this Radio Flyer Busy Buggy is no exception. Recommended for ages 1 -3, this toy doubles as a push walker, ideal for helping your child learn to walk. If your child is more into riding the toy at this stage, it can do that too!

Horn noises, interactive dashboards, and gears can help develop fine motor skills, plus there's under-seat storage for extra toys.

Price at time of publish: $34

Dimensions: 21.5" L x 10.5" W x 16.3" H | Material: Plastic | Weight: 4.5 lbs | Age range: 1 to 3 years

Melissa & Doug Wooden Shape Sorting Grocery Cart Push Toy and Puzzles

Melissa & Doug Wooden Shape Sorting Grocery Cart and Puzzles

Macy's

What We Like
  • Helps develop fine and gross motor skills

  • Includes a push walker and puzzles

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

We're big fans of Melissa & Doug for their old-fashioned (and sound-less!) wooden toys. This grocery cart and puzzle set can help your little one practice running errands while learning to match shapes and helping to learn how to walk. This set comes with a wooden cart with built-in matching game roller drum and cup holder, two wooden chunky puzzle boards, 12 wooden chunky shape-sorting puzzle pieces, and a play coffee cup with lid (a must-have for any errand!)

This toy can help your toddler get familiar with shapes, colors, imaginative play, sorting and sequencing and, of course, problem solving. The best part? It's easy to clean by just wiping it down.

Price at time of publish: $56

  • Dimensions: 11" L x 7.75" W x 15.6" H | Material: Wood, Plastic, Steel, Paper, Paint | Weight: 7 lbs | Age range: 1 to 2 years

Power Wheels Thomas & Friends Thomas with Track

Power Wheels Thomas and Friends Thomas with Track

Power Wheels

What We Like
  • Includes Thomas sounds and phrasing

  • Includes track

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

If your child is a huge Thomas fan, this Power Wheels toy may be a perfect fit. It comes with 18 feet of easy-to-assemble track and a push button so your child can easily stop and start the vehicle. If you're not interested in the track, it can also be used off-track.

Price at time of publish: $165

Dimensions: ‎27.75 x 13.1 x 17.5 inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 12.11 kilograms| Age range: 1 to 3 years

ECR4Kids SoftZone Climb and Crawl Activity Play Set

SoftZone Climb and Crawl Activity Play Set

SoftZone

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 five pieces that have a non-slip base. 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.

Price at time of publish: $146

Dimensions: 40 x 40 x 10 inches | Material: Foam | Weight: 8.6 pounds | Age range: 6 months and up

Color the Ocean Color Magic Bath Book

color the ocean color magic bath book

Amazon

What We Like
  • Colors appear when the book gets wet

  • Great for all ages

What We Don't Like
  • Can take awhile to air dry

Bath time can be tricky, but finding something to hold your child's attention can be trickier. This ingenious book from Mudpuppy changes color when it gets wet, delighting children of all ages. With a sea creature on every page, there's plenty to learn in this book from marine biology to colors.

Price at time of publish: $10

Dimensions: ‎6.85 x 1.1 x 6.75 inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 14.1 ounces | Age range: Baby and up

Fat Brain Toys Suction Kupz

Fat Brain Toys Suction Kupz

Amazon

What We Like
  • Can play anywhere, even at bath time

  • BPA-free

  • Dishwasher safe

What We Don't Like
  • Storage not included

Sometimes simple play is the best play. These silicone cups are BPA-free with a suction cup on the bottom, so little ones can use them to drink or to play. Encouraging creativity, independent play, and problem-solving, these cups are made to stack, roll, and stick at bath time or in the playroom.

Price at time of publish: $20

Dimensions: 10 x 9.6 x 3 inches | Material: Silicone | Weight: 9.7 ounces | Age range: 12 months and up

VTech Pull and Sing Puppy

3.3
VTech Pull and Sing Puppy

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Can handle 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. 

Price at time of publish: $18

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

VTech Pull and Sing Puppy

The Spruce / Michelle Piccolo 

"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

First 100 Words: A Padded Board Book

First 100 Words: A Padded Board Book

Courtesy of Amazon

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. 

Price at time of publish: $5

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

Skip Hop Explore & More Pop-Up Toy

Skip Hop explore and more pop up toy

Amazon

What We Like
  • Encourages fine motor skills and hand eye coordination

  • Helps illustrate cause and effect

What We Don't Like
  • Noisy

For little ones, pop up toys are always a delight. This one from Skip Hop features a fox, bee, yeti, and hedgehog, each with their own personality and skill. Kids will love pressing, sliding, toggling, and turning the buttons; there are multiple ways to practice their fine motor skills.

Price at time of publish: $18

Dimensions: ‎11.75 x 6.5 x 5.12 inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 1.43 pounds | Age range: 6 months and up

Melissa & Doug Pull-Back Vehicles, Soft Baby and Toddler Toy Set

Melissa & Doug K's Kids Pull-Back Vehicles

Courtesy of Kohls

What We Like
  • Soft, fabric toys

  • Pull-back mechanism is easy to use

What We Don't Like
  • Works best on hardwood, not tufted carpet

Soft toys are great as littles get comfortable moving around, and this set from Melissa & Doug is no exception. Kiddos can experiment with pulling the cars backwards to "rev up" the engine and watch them zoom across the floor. The set includes 4 fabric cars including a family vehicle, police car, fire truck and school bus.

Price at time of publish: $24

Dimensions: 8.75 x 11.75 x 4.75 inches | Material: Fabric | Weight: 1 pound | Age range: 9 months - 4 years

Melissa & Doug First Shapes Jumbo Knob Puzzle

Melissa & Doug First Shapes Jumbo Knob Puzzle

Courtesy of Amazon

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, shapes, colors, and basic environmental items like tree, sun, and house. 

Price at time of publish: $12

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

FoxPrint Rocket Ship Space Themed Pretend Play Tent

FoxPrint Rocket Ship Space Themed Pretend Play Tent

Courtesy of Amazon

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.

Price at time of publish: $24

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

Fisher-Price Settle & Sleep Projection Soother

Fisher-Price Settle & Sleep Projection Soother

Courtesy of Amazon

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.

Price at time of publish: $40

Dimensions: ‎11.02 x 4.17 x 9.33 inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 2.37 pounds | Age range: 0 to 3 years

Baby GUND Animated Flappy The Elephant Stuffed Animal Baby Toy Plush

What We Like
  • Comes with two play modes

  • Soft and plush

What We Don't Like
  • Noisy

Perfect for kiddos 6 months and older, Flappy the Elephant is the perfect bedtime companion. He's able to play peekaboo if you press his left foot and can also sing with your toddler too. With enhanced volume control, parents will be happy too.

Price at time of publish: $40

Dimensions: 7.7 x 10.5 x 12 inches | Material: Fabric | Weight: 15 ounces | Age range: 6 months and up

Fisher Price Build 'n Play Bag Building Set by MEGA BLOKS

Fisher Price Build 'n Play Bag building set by MEGA BLOKS

Amazon

What We Like
  • Comes with reusable bag for easy clean-up and storage

  • Good for developing fine motor skills and creativity

What We Don't Like
  • Lots of pieces to keep track of

Though some blocks are too small for a 1-year-old, this Fisher Price set is designed for your 1-year-old in mind. We love that the blocks come inside a reusable bag for easy clean-up, and your child will love the 60 colorful pieces included in the set.

Price at time of publish: $22

Dimensions: 13.15 x 5.24 x 12.6 inches | Material: Plastic | Weight: 1.85 pounds | Age range: 12 months - 5 years

Leapfrog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo

LeapFrog Spin

 Courtesy of Amazon

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.

Price at time of publish: $22

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

Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center

Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center

Amazon

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.

Price at time of publish: $88

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

Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll 'N Trike

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

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Ride-on toy

  • Grows with your child

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

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 1 year and as old as 5 years.

Price at time of publish: $80

Dimensions: ‎28.74 x 22.05 x 41.34 inches | Material: Alloy steel | Weight: 18.96 pounds | Age range: 1 year and up

Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag

3.4
Mega Bloks

Courtesy of Walmart

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.

Price at time of publish: $17

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

Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag, Classic

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Light-Up Learning Vacuum

Fisher-Price Vacuum

Courtesy of Target 

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. 

Price at time of publish: $17

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

B. toys by Battat FunKeys Toy

B. toys by Battat FunKeys Toy

Courtesy of Amazon

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. 

Price at time of publish: $11

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

VTech Drop and Go Dump Truck

VTech, Drop and Go Dump Truck

Walmart

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.

Price at time of publish: $13

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

BabyPuzzle Personalized Name Puzzle With Pegs

name puzzle

 Busy Puzzle

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 love, 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. 

Price at time of publish: $5

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

Fisher-Price Baby's First Blocks

 Fisher-Price Baby's First Blocks

Courtesy of Buy Buy Baby

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.

Price at time of publish: $10

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

Fat Brain Toys SpinAgain Kids Stacking Toy

 Fat-Brain-SpinAgain-Stacking-Toy

Courtesy of Buy Buy Baby

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. 

Price at time of publish: $30

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

VTech Smart Shots Sports Center

Smart Shots Sports Center

Courtesy of Barnes & Noble

What We Like
  • Provides positive feedback to kids

  • Fun sports toy

What We Don't Like
  • Noisy

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.

Price at time of publish: $45

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

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, Kristin Morency Goldman says, 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+, Goldman says.

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.

Think about buying “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,” Burgert explains. 

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 and can be found at major retailers like Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Barnes & Noble, and locally-owned toy shops.

  • 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. 

Why Trust the Spruce?

This article was written by Julie Evans, a writer and editor who has worked with a host of diverse companies including Microsoft, USA Today, Realtor.com, Brit + Co, CafeMom, and SheKnows among others. She started writing for The Spruce in August 2017. Additional reporting was done by Shanon Maglente, senior editor at The Spruce, covering all things toys, gifts, and holiday, and Caroline Utz, the associate editorial director at The Spruce.

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