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21 Best Toys & Gift Ideas for 1-Year-Olds: 2024 Picks

21 toy ideas to keep your 1-year-old happy and learning.

Past the age of 12 months, toys become more diversified and should help your little one reach their developmental milestones. But it can be hard to know what skills a toy will promote. Just because a toy plays music or speaks doesn’t mean it’s teaching your child language or music skills.

We’ve studied the make-up of a wide range of toddler toys to find the very best toys for 1-year-olds. We focused our search on toys that encourage the skills a 1-year-old should be developing. These include physical, movement, language, emotional, social, and cognitive abilities.

Understanding your child’s progress is vital in picking the most adapted toy. We’ll discuss typical milestone goals for a 1-year-old and share our selection of the best toys on the market. Let’s get started.

Our Top Picks

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Product Comparison Table

Product Image of the Prextex Dinosaur Volcano
First Dinosaur Toy
Prextex Dinosaur Volcano
  • High-quality fabrics and stitching
  • Handcrafted designs
  • 15-inch tall dino house
Product Image of the Mega Bloks Building Bag
Blocks for First Builders
Mega Bloks Building Bag
  • 80 classic-colored building blocks
  • Storage bag for easy cleanup
  • Perfect for little hands
Product Image of the Little Tikes Grow With Me
Top-Notch Swing
Little Tikes Grow With Me
  • Made in the U.S.A
  • Adjustable stay-put shoulder straps
  • 50-pound weight limit
Product Image of the Stroll 'N Trike
Best Assisted Ride
Stroll 'N Trike
  • Removable footrest
  • Adjustable seat
  • 4 ways to ride
Product Image of the Munchkin Squirt Toys
Fun 'N Educational Bath Time
Munchkin Squirt Toys
  • Fun 8 pack of squirt toys
  • Brightly-colored
  • Affordable yet durable
Product Image of the Sassy Developmental Ball
Best Ball for Small Hands
Sassy Developmental Ball
  • Multiple textures & materials
  • Bright colors & bold patterns
  • Easy-to-grasp bumps
Product Image of the Baby Einstein Octoplush
Best Animated Plush
Baby Einstein Octoplush
  • Huggable & soft to touch
  • 3 languages to choose from
  • Introduces new colors and music
Product Image of the Hape Pound & Tap Bench
Great Introduction to Music
Hape Pound & Tap Bench
  • Water-based non-toxic finishes
  • Promotes dexterity & hand-eye coordination
  • Many different ways to play
Product Image of the VTech Rhyme and Discover Book (Frustration Free Packaging)
Most Interactive Book
VTech Rhyme 'N Discover Book
  • Easy-to-turn pages
  • Bright light-up button
  • Very affordable
Product Image of the Stella Nurturing Doll
Best First Baby Doll
Stella Nurturing Doll
  • Ultra-soft
  • Lifelike doll
  • Removable outfits and diapers

The Best Toys for 1-Year-Olds of 2024

Here are 21 great toys and gifts for 1-year-olds.

Prextex Dinosaur Volcano House

My First Dinosaur Toy

Boys or girls, every child seems to go through a dinosaur phase. At this stage, any dinosaur-related toy should guarantee excitement.

This volcano house is home to five plush dinosaurs and could be the root of the most creative playtime. The open volcano becomes a refuge for the dinosaurs. Young toddlers should have an easy time taking the dinosaurs in and out, working on their coordination skills.

Once safely zipped inside the volcano bag, a convenient handle makes it easy to carry the set to grandma’s house. It’s also easy to store until the next use.

User Experience

My experience with this stuffed animal set has been fantastic, as it quickly became a favorite for both my son and my niece. The attention to detail on the animals is impressive, making it easy for kids to identify each one. They particularly enjoyed the interactive aspect of the shark's zipper mouth and the surprise kittens inside the large cat. These stuffed animals are soft, cuddly, and well-made, even holding up after a trip through the washing machine. This toy set is perfect for young kids who love sea creatures, dinosaurs, or simply have a big imagination.

Mega Bloks Building Bag

Best Blocks for First Builders

Mega Bloks are the ideal first set of building blocks for your child. They come in a variety of bright colors, so you’ll be able to introduce your little one to the spectrum, including red, yellow, purple, and more.

Mega Blocks don’t only come in the standard rectangular shape. These blocks will take the challenge to the next level and allow your child to build the most innovative towers.

Designed to fit small hands, the blocks in this set should help your toddler develop fine motor skills. When it’s time to pack up, all 80 blocks nicely fit in the included bag for easy storage until the next playtime.

Personal Perspective

My experience with these jumbo Legos has been fantastic, as they've provided endless entertainment and education for my children. The vibrant colors and durability make them ideal for teaching colors and sparking creativity, even surviving through my daughter's toddler years and now being used by my younger son. They're easy to clean and have become a versatile learning tool in our household, even being used for teaching word formation with a little Pinterest inspiration.

Little Tikes Grow With Me Swing

Top-Notch Swing

This outdoor swing should entertain your 1-year-old for a few years.

We love that it’s made in the United States, and the secure straps and “T-bar” will comfortably but securely hold your child while swinging.

This swing can safely hold kids weighing up to 50 pounds, making it suitable when your child grows older too. Simply rotate and attach the T-bar underneath the seat with the straps. Hooks are included, although this set doesn’t include any other mounting hardware, such as anchors.

Your child will enjoy many happy hours of fun in this classic swing.

Community Feedback

I'm thrilled with this Snug 'n Secure swing for my little one, who absolutely adores it. The installation was a breeze, and the vibrant color hasn't faded over time. I appreciate the easy-to-clean material and the swing's durability. The only minor drawback is that the plastic snaps can be a bit tricky to remove, but overall, it's been an excellent addition to our swing set.

Stroll 'N Trike by Radio Flyer

Best Assisted Ride

This ride-on toy combines four types of rides in one tricycle. Your little one can use it from 9 months on, and it should accommodate their riding needs for the next few years.

Use the parent handle to assist your child in pedaling while they master their gross motor skills. A high backrest and 3-point harness will keep them safe. They can place their feet on the footrest if they’re too small to reach the pedals.

During break time, a tray is available to place toys and a drink, and a removable canopy will keep your toddler in the shade. As your child grows, you can remove the footrest, adult push handle, and tray to create a real tricycle. A small storage bin is located in the back for any on-the-go necessities.

First-Hand Impression

I've been using this ride-on toy with my little one since they were 9 months old, and it has been a great investment for their growth and development. The convertible tricycle offers safety features like a high backrest and 3-point harness, as well as a removable canopy for shade and a tray for toys and drinks. As my child has grown, we've been able to adapt the tricycle by removing the footrest, adult push handle, and tray, turning it into a real tricycle for independent riding. The added bonus of a small storage bin in the back has made it convenient for carrying our on-the-go essentials.

Munchkin Squirting Bath Toy

Fun and Educational Bath Time

Are you having a hard time getting your little one to take a bath? This bath toy set might require good negotiation skills to get them out of it!

These eight animal toys are designed to perfectly fit small hands for a firm grip and squeeze. A sheep, cow, horse, duck, frog, pig, chicken, and owl can make bathtime not only full of laughter but educational as well. This toy set should promote pretend play and fine motor skills and make both mom and baby happy.

Made of high-quality, child-safe materials, they’re super cute and ready for barnyard imitation sounds.

User Experience

These rubber animals have become a favorite toy for my 16-month-old, providing both entertainment and educational value. The animals are durable, well-made, and soft to the touch, making them ideal for little hands to grasp and safe for teething. Although they are not suitable for bath time due to holes that could lead to mold, their bright colors and realistic shapes make them enjoyable for playtime outside the tub. As a learning tool, my son has already begun identifying several animals by name. While they may be considered expensive, the quality, versatility, and appeal to a wide age range make these rubber animals a valuable addition to our toy collection.

Sassy Developmental Bumpy Ball

Best Ball for Small Hands

Grabbing a ball might not appear like a challenge for adults. But when it comes to tiny 1-year-old hands and fingers, it can become a frustrating experience.

This ball is covered in colorful, multi-textured patterned “bumps” stitched on the outside of the ball. They make it easy to grab and throw, developing fine motor and gross motor skills.

Two rattles make a gentle noise to keep your child engaged and entertained. The ball is small and easily transportable to conveniently use during travel. We appreciate the variety of tactile experiences this ball offers.

Personal Perspective

Bought this toy for my young grandchild, and it quickly became a favorite due to its bright colors and engaging rattle sound. Initially, it was a bit challenging for the child to grasp, but once they got the hang of it, they couldn't put it down. The variety of textures and slight bounce make it an excellent choice for sensory development. Although it's super easy to clean, I am a bit concerned about its durability as the fabric began to rip at one of the nubs after just a few uses. Nonetheless, I have requested a replacement in hopes that it will last longer.
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Baby Einstein Octoplush Plush Toy

Best Animated Plush

This toy isn’t a simple decorative plush. The cute octopus has a bit more under his belt than that.

With the help of a gentle squeeze on any of the legs, the octopus teaches your child colors, not only in English but also in French and Spanish. Press its head to hear classical music. To complete the learning process, each leg features an embroidered object of the given color.

When parents need some quiet time, they can adjust the volume. If your little one grows fond of this cute octopus, its compact size makes it easy to tote around.

Community Feedback

In my experience, this toy has been a delightful addition to our family, providing comfort and entertainment for our little ones. The soft texture and attached sand dollar teether are perfect for babies to chew on, and the mirror adds an interactive element. One concern is the use of button batteries, which can be hazardous for children, so make sure to keep an eye on the toy's backing. The bright lights and various tunes make it a fun plaything, although the volume can be a bit loud and lacks adjustable settings.

Hape Pound & Tap Bench

Great Introduction to Musical Sounds

This multi-functional musical toy should captivate and distract your child in a few ways. By hammering the balls, your little one will create musical melodies. The toy will also get your child running (or crawling) after the balls, providing physical exercise.

The removable xylophone can be used separately to play customized melodies using the individual notes. This non-toxic toy is built with safe, round edges and has won several awards, making it one of the most popular toys in its category.

First-Hand Impression

My experience with this toy has been overwhelmingly positive, as it has provided endless entertainment for my young ones. They love using the mallets to chew on, tap on various objects, and play with the xylophone. Although the xylophone can be a bit tinny and off-pitch, the kids don't seem to mind, and the toy has proven to be quite durable. The only minor issue was the included song sheet, which was on thin paper and easily torn; thicker material would have been more suitable.

VTech Rhyme and Discover Book

Most Interactive Book

Bedtime reading is a special time for parents and toddlers to bond.

The thick pages of this book are easy to grab and turn, even for the youngest hands. Each of the three tabs displays cute characters, lighting up as they’re pressed.

They also play melodies and pronounce animal names, sounds, and other simple words. This sturdy electronic book is made of high-quality plastic and is designed to withstand rough play. Parents will enjoy the volume control and automatic shut-off features.

User Experience

Excellent interactive book for young kids, as it offers a fun way for them to learn and enjoy at the same time. I appreciate that this book has two volume settings, making it perfect for different situations. It's also durable, having withstood my child's rough play, and it still works perfectly. However, I do wish the book played the full rhymes instead of just the first two lines, as I find myself having to finish singing them for my child.

Stella Nurturing First Baby Doll by Manhattan Toy

Best First Baby Doll for One-Year-Olds

This soft doll should be perfectly safe for 1-year-old toddlers. It even features embroidered details of a real baby — belly button, toes, and fingers. Your child should have a great time pretending to nurture their little one, acting like mommy or daddy.

You can change the two-piece outfit easily, and the magnetic pacifier makes role-play more realistic.

Personal Perspective

My experience with this Baby Stella doll has been delightful, as my daughter absolutely adores it and carries it everywhere. The doll's magnetic pacifier and weighted bottom for sitting up are clever features, and its soft and cuddly nature makes it perfect for snuggling. The quality of the materials and craftsmanship ensures that it's both durable and safe, making it a cherished toy for our little one.

Melissa & Doug Push Toy and Activity Walker

Best Push Toy

First steps aren’t easy to take, and a little extra help can build self-confidence. This push walker is made of sturdy wood to handle your kid’s first steps. Your little one can hold on to the handle and wander around on their own, even though it might take some time to adjust.

As your child walks around, the three alligators on the toy open and close their mouths. Four fish — located on each spinning wheel — try to escape.

When your child needs a break, they can sit down and play with the wooden insects that spin around on a pole. It’s built with non-skid wheels, so your toddler can safely walk at a steady pace — without leaving marks on the floor.

Community Feedback

I've recently tried out this alligator walker for my one-year-old, and it has exceeded my expectations. The vertical support and longer wheelbase provide excellent stability, preventing any face-first crashes. My child loves the colorful design and the alligator clackers, making it a fun and engaging walking aid. One minor issue is that the low clearance and extended back base can make it difficult to pull back on plush carpets, but it doesn't detract from the overall value of the toy.

Buster Plush Buckle Toy

Best Travel Toy for 1-Year-Olds

Are you planning to visit grandma, do some grocery shopping, or go on a family vacation? Keeping our toddlers entertained while on the go isn’t always easy.

Buckles seem to fascinate most children. This soft and colorful traveling toy features six bright and matching belts to keep your little one busy buckling.

A happy face is embroidered on one side with numbers on the other side. An inside zipper makes this traveling toy an excellent hiding place for small toys.

First-Hand Impression

My experience with this toy has been fantastic, as it successfully kept my baby entertained during long trips and provided a fun way for my grandson to practice buckling skills. The toy's versatility appeals to a wide age range, and it has proven to be an excellent learning and fidget tool for my little ones.

Top Bright Activity Cube Toy

Best Educational Activity Cube

Looking for the best educational toy that combines multiple developmental milestones? This wooden cube gathers five activities to keep your child entertained while learning. It features rainbow spinning gear, a turning wheel, color counting beads, and a rotatable and detachable bead maze.

These activities are designed to enhance your child’s logical thinking and coordination, among other benefits. It’s also made with non-toxic paint and has smooth edges to avoid injury.

User Experience

Got this toy for my baby, and it offers a variety of engaging activities. The removable bead maze on top is a bit wobbly, and I wish it could be securely attached. One minor issue is the ball and rope, which is too hard for a young child to pull, but the rest of the features are enjoyable. Although the toy is smaller than expected, it's still a cute and entertaining option for little ones.

Beach Sand Toys Set

Digging and Building Beach Time

For a successful day at the beach, sand toys are essential to keep a toddler entertained. All in all, there are seven pieces included in this set.

It contains tools that are easy to grab, even for 1-year-olds. The set also includes more advanced tools, such as molds for construction. As your kid grows, the elephant bucket should make beautiful sand castles. Don’t forget the camera!

Personal Perspective

My experience with these sand toys has been quite positive overall, as they are made of durable, high-quality plastic and come with a variety of fun animal molds. The size of the bucket was smaller than expected, but it was just right for my young toddler's little hands. I appreciated the different colors, even though they were not exactly as shown in the photos. These toys have been great for sandbox play, and I look forward to seeing how they perform at the beach during the summer.

Fisher-Price Caring for Animals Farm Playset

Best Animal Toy

This toy isn’t only the best toy to learn the animals’ names and sounds. It also teaches your little one how to care for animals, including a chicken, cow, and more.

The farmer character might play the main role in your little one’s stories. At the push of a button, songs, sounds, and lights make this farm interactive and easy to use for the youngest ones.

Play accessories, such as a blanket, food for each animal, and a discovery button for egg hatching, will make the role-play more realistic.

Community Feedback

Great interactive farm set that has quickly become a favorite among young children. This farm set is fantastic for teaching kids about animals and their sounds, with perfectly sized figurines for little hands to grasp. My child absolutely loves the shoot in the middle and enjoys finding new ways to play with it as time goes on. The set also includes fun songs, lights, and a barn door that opens with the push of a button.

Fat Brain Toy's Child's Personalized Name Puzzle

Customized Puzzle for a Special Gift

This personalized name puzzle can become a treasured keepsake when your child outgrows it. It creates memories and introduces your kid to spelling in a personal way. The bright and colorful letters are easy to grab by the smallest hands.

As your toddler grows and becomes old enough to handle more complicated puzzles, this makes a great decorative accessory in a child’s bedroom. Made with high-quality wood and safe, non-toxic paint, this beautiful wooden will make a delightful personalized gift.

First-Hand Impression

I've purchased these puzzles for my nephew, grandson, and daughter, and they're simply perfect for teaching kids how to spell their names. The quality is impressive, with thick, sturdy letters that are easy to remove and replace on the board. These puzzles are not only educational but also visually appealing with their colorful and well-made design.

Hape Wooden Toddler Mini Van

Sturdiest Wooden Toy

Plastic toys are great, but they often don’t last long. Looking for a sturdy wooden toy that can withstand rough play and maybe survive a few more years?

This high-quality wooden vehicle comes already assembled and without any small pieces. It’s made with non-toxic paint for worry-free playtime.

The holes in the van make for easy hand grips for little hands

User Experience

In my experience, this wooden car has proven to be a charming and durable toy for my little one. Its bright color and easy-to-hold design make it perfect for those crawling kiddos learning to explore their surroundings. My child enjoyed pushing it along the floor and discovering its smooth rolling motion, which added an extra layer of engagement to playtime. The toy's sturdy construction ensures that it can withstand the typical wear and tear that comes with toddler play, and the added possibility of transforming it into a pull toy only adds to its appeal.

Disney Go Grippers Collection

Best Disney-Themed Toy

These two Disney gripper cars are conceived using the “Oball” design. This consists of hollow grooves carved out of the side, which little fingers can grab easily.

Pooh, Tigger, Mickey, Minnie, Sully, and Mike are ready and waiting. You can easily take these adorable characters on the road. They could become the start of a themed collection of fun vehicles for your toddler.

Personal Perspective

My little one started playing with these cars at 7 months old and absolutely adores them. The wheels move smoothly, making it easy for my child to push and throw them around. However, I was slightly disappointed to find that the "oball" part was made of hard plastic instead of the rubber material I was expecting. Despite this minor drawback and the occasional high-pitched wheel squeak, these cars have been a durable and entertaining addition to our toy collection.

Hammer House Montessori Toy

Montessori Education Style

Montessori toys are designed to teach one skill at a time, encouraging independent play. They usually represent real-life objects and are made of natural and safe materials, usually wood.

This house has everything Montessori aims for. Made of high-quality wood, this ball and hammer play unit should withstand years of hammering.

The toy’s concept is simple. It develops matching skills, coordination, and more. Made of non-toxic, water-based paint and consisting of rounded shapes, it can be safely used independently and without parental supervision.

Community Feedback

Definitely a fun and engaging toy for both younger and older children. My grandkids, aged 1.6 and 2, as well as their big sister, enjoyed playing with this wooden toy, and it seems to be of high quality. However, the paint may chip with use, and the red ball appears more orange, but these minor issues don't affect the overall enjoyment and educational value of the toy.

Crayola My First Finger Paint Kit

My First Paint Kit

You might be hesitant to let your child go to town with paints, but hold up a moment. This washable fingerpaint set encourages your child’s curiosity and creativity. With a bit of planning ahead of time, it may not be the nightmare you’re imagining.

This set includes four paint tubes: green, red, blue, and yellow. They’re easily squeezable, even by the smallest hands. The best part is that it also includes 10 sheets of glossy finger painting paper to complete the set and start painting.

Your little one can paint safely with these non-toxic paints, freeing their imagination.

First-Hand Impression

I was initially worried about my child making a mess with paint, but this washable fingerpaint set turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The set comes with four easily squeezable paint tubes in green, red, blue, and yellow, perfect for tiny hands. It also includes 10 sheets of glossy finger painting paper, so your little one can dive right into their creative endeavors. The non-toxic paints allowed my child to safely explore their imagination without any concerns.

Little Tikes 3-in-1 Sports Zone

Summer Kick-Off

Most kids love summertime. For parents, our role in keeping our children busy gets slightly more challenging. This multi-functional sports center allows your child to choose between basketball, soccer, or even bowling.

It teaches numbers, shapes, how to follow directions, and more. Each sport comes with its own ball.

An interactive scoreboard contains three modes — move, learn, and games — producing 75 sentences and sounds. It also indicates the number of goals, keeping your toddler engaged as they score.

The basketball hoop is adjustable in height, so it should grow with your child. Last but not least, the unit is foldable in case you need to free up some space.

User Experience

If you're looking for a fun and engaging toy for a young child, this basketball and bowling set has its pros and cons. On one hand, children as young as one or two years old seem to love playing with it, and it can withstand some rough play. The bowling pins have a unique feature where they can be pushed down and pulled back up, which adds a new dimension to the game. However, the set has some stability issues, as it can tip over when a child tries to stand up while holding the basketball net. Additionally, some users have found it to be less durable than expected.

Developmental Milestones of 1-Year-Olds

Babies might not seem to do much during the first year of their lives. However, their brains are developing rapidly, and learning is continuous. When they hit 1 year, they kick it into high gear.

Gross Motor Skills

By this age, most babies are crawling, and some may be taking their first steps. Because they’ll start scooting on their own, it’s important to ensure your home is childproof (1).

Fine Motor Skills

Their little fingers should be able to turn the thick pages of a kid’s book. A 1-year-old will also attempt to eat independently and try to hold and use objects, such as a hairbrush.

Cognitive Skills

By 12 months, a baby’s brain has doubled in size. They’ll understand an object can be thrown or dropped and will be more than happy to test your limits. They begin to imitate adults and should be able to play hide and seek.

Language and Communication Skills

At the age of 12 months, a toddler should start understanding you. They are also becoming aware of their surroundings and may pronounce their first words (2).

How to Choose Toys for 1-Year-Olds

Besides selecting a toy that will help your little one reach their developmental milestones, here are a few other things to consider before choosing.


At this age, kids tend to explore the world around them via their mouths. Because of this, products suitable for 1-year-olds shouldn’t contain small pieces that could be choking hazards.


Most toys are either made of wood or plastic. Wood is usually sturdier but often comes at a higher price point. Plastic is lightweight but less durable and can also contain harmful additives, such as BPA.

Toys That Grow With Your Kid

Toddlers grow fast, and their abilities evolve rapidly. Investing in a toy that could remain with your little one for a few years might be preferable.


How Do You Celebrate a 1-Year-Old Boy’s Birthday?

Celebrate a one-year-old boy’s birthday with a small party or gathering that suits their nap and feeding schedule. Consider a simple theme or favorite character, a cake or special treat they can enjoy, and a few engaging toys or activities.

How Many Presents Should a 1-Year-Old Get?

A one-year-old doesn’t need many presents. One or two special toys, plus a few smaller items or clothes, are usually plenty. At this age, they’re often more fascinated by the crinkly wrapping paper and empty boxes than the gifts themselves!

What Toys Should You Put Away When a Baby Turns 1?

When a baby turns one, put away toys that are too simplistic or not developmentally appropriate. This might include newborn toys that no longer engage them or any items with small parts that could pose a choking hazard.

What Games Can I Play With My 1-Year-Old?

Play simple games with your one-year-old like peek-a-boo, pat-a-cake, “catch” with a soft ball, or stacking blocks. Singing, dancing, and reading stories are also great activities.

What Can I Let My 1-Year-Old Watch?

Let your one-year-old watch short, high-quality, educational programs designed for young children if you choose to introduce screen time. Limit the duration and ensure it’s interactive, like singing along or naming objects on the screen.

Is it Normal For My 1-Year-Old to Not Play With Toys?

It’s normal for some one-year-olds to show more interest in people or other non-toy items. Each child is unique in their interests and development. Offer a variety of toys and play together to encourage engagement.

How Do I Encourage My 1-Year-Old to Play Independently?

Encourage independent play by providing a safe environment with a selection of age-appropriate toys. Sit nearby and supervise but allow the child to explore and play on their own. Gradually increase the time as they become more comfortable.

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Edited by

Shannon Serpette

Shannon Serpette is an award-winning writer and editor, who regularly contributes to various newspapers, magazines, and websites. Shannon has been featured on Insider, Fatherly, SheKnows, and other high profile publications. As a mother of two, she loves to write about parenting issues and is dedicated to educating other parents at every stage of their child's development.