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.
- High-quality fabrics and stitching
- Handcrafted designs
- 15-inch tall dino house
- 80 classic-colored building blocks
- Storage bag for easy cleanup
- Perfect for little hands
- Made in the U.S.A
- Adjustable stay-put shoulder straps
- 50-pound weight limit
- Removable footrest
- Adjustable seat
- 4 ways to ride
- Fun 8 pack of squirt toys
- Affordable yet durable
- Multiple textures & materials
- Bright colors & bold patterns
- Easy-to-grasp bumps
- Huggable & soft to touch
- 3 languages to choose from
- Introduces new colors and music
- Water-based non-toxic finishes
- Promotes dexterity & hand-eye coordination
- Many different ways to play
- Easy-to-turn pages
- Bright light-up button
- Very affordable
- Lifelike doll
- Removable outfits and diapers
Review Methodology: At Mom Loves Best, we understand the importance of finding the perfect toys for your 1-year-old. Our team of experts conducts thorough research, comparing various toys on criteria such as safety, educational value, and entertainment. We evaluate products from a user’s perspective, sharing hands-on experience and quantitative measurements of each toy’s performance. Our assessment helps identify key decision-making factors, ranking the top toys based on design choices and their effect on young users. By providing first-hand evidence and analyzing data, we ensure that our recommendations for the best toys for 1-year-olds are reliable and trustworthy.
The Best Toys for 1-Year-Olds of 2023
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.
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.
Little Tikes Grow With Me 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Little Tikes 3-in-1 Sports Zone
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.
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.
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.