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Best Toys & Gift Ideas for 1-Year-Olds of 2023

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 5pc Stuffed Animal Gift Set: Dinosaur Plush Toys for Kids 3-5...
First Dinosaur Toy
Prextex Dinosaur Volcano
  • High-quality fabrics and stitching
  • Handcrafted designs
  • 15-inch tall dino house
Product Image of the MEGA BLOKS Fisher-Price Toddler Block Toys, Big Building Bag with 80 Pieces and...
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 Snug 'n Secure Blue Swing with Adjustable Straps, 2-in-1 for Baby...
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 Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll 'N Trike, Red Tricycle for Toddlers Age 1-5, Toddler...
Best Assisted Ride
Stroll 'N Trike
  • Removable footrest
  • Adjustable seat
  • 4 ways to ride
Product Image of the Munchkin® Farm™ Animal Squirts Baby Bath Toy, 8 Pack
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 Bumpy Ball | Easy to Grasp Bumps Help Develop Motor Skills |...
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 Musical Octopus Stuffed Animal Plush Toy, Age 3 Month+,...
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 with Slide Out Xylophone - Award Winning Durable Wooden...
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 Manhattan Toy Baby Stella Soft First Baby Doll for Ages 1 Year and Up, 15'
Best First Baby Doll
Stella Nurturing Doll
  • Ultra-soft
  • Lifelike doll
  • Removable outfits and diapers

The Best Toys for 1-Year-Olds of 2023

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

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

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7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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!

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. 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

18. 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.

19. 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.

20. 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.

21. 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.

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.

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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.