Best Toys for a 1 Year Old

ball pit activity center best toy for 1 year oldWhen babies turn 1, they have gone through more mental and physical growth in one year that any of the rest of their life.

What started out as life in the womb most likely has ended with a baby walking, crawling and beginning to communicate.

In order to continue that development, the toys that surround a 1 year old are critical in continuing their development.

We’ve put together a list of top rated, best-selling toys for any 1 year old for your reference.*

*Note that we don’t include pro/con lists with toys as they are much more subjective than our other baby product categories.  

One year olds are also beginning to communicate, both through words, gestures and many through baby sign language.

Many can communicate simple phrases such as “more” or “all done” and become visibly frustrated when their communication isn’t understood.

There are several things to think about when purchasing toys for this age, given that they are fast developing, both mentally and physically.

Things to consider for purchasing the best toys for a 1 year old: 

  • Hand/Eye Coordination: Learning hand-eye coordination is a big skill at this age, which is why shape sorters and other similar toys are great choices
  • Physical Development:  Toys that 1 year olds can either push or pull are all great choices, as many babies begin to focus on walking around anything from 8 -14 months.
  • Cuddle Partners: Animals, dolls or other soft items that create attachment and are good for sleeping and cuddling with.
  • Cause-Reaction: Toys where baby acts and something happens (ex: pushing buttons and music plays, etc)


Best Toys for a 1 Year Old: Hand/Eye Coordination

As we mentioned above, hand-eye coordination is HUGE at this age.  Shape sorters are super popular as are other toys that promote that type of development.

Here are some great hand-eye coordination toy choices below!

 Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Rock-a-Stack Melissa & Doug Deluxe Pounding Bench Playskool Play Favorites Busy Poppin’ Pals Sassy Fascination Station Melissa & Doug K’s Kids Match and Build Blocks

Best Toys for a 1 Year Old: Physical Development

Upon celebrating their first birthday, many babies are either walking, close to it, or crawling around intently. Either way, they are full into movement and are happiest when doing so, since it’s a brand new skill.

Toys that require pushing or pulling, or activity centers where babies can jump or play are all great choices.


 VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker Evenflo Exersaucer Triple Fun Active Learning Center Step2 Pink Whisper Ride Buggy Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo VTech Drop and Go Dump Truck Bright Starts Giggling Gourmet Shop ‘n Cook Walker

Best Toys for a 1 Year Old: Cuddle Partners

At this stage, several 1 year olds have formed attachment to favorite stuffed animals, toys or lovies.

A great gift for this age is to add to their collection. This helps create visual interest and helping them understand that they can have lots of favorite stuffed animals or toys to choose from.


 Mary Meyer Taggies Baby Doll Gund Baby Tucker Giraffe Keywind Musical Baby Plush Stuffed Penguin Singing Stuffed Animal Plush Musical Monkey Toy

Best Toys for a 1 Year Old: Cause/Reaction

These are some of the best toys that can teach 1 year olds!  When they cause an action (such as touching, pushing, or dropping something), that they have an effect on the toy. 

We’ve rounded up some of the best-selling, top rated toys that showcase this development skill!

Fisher-Price Little People Animal Friends Farm
 Infantino Grow-with-me Activity Gym and Ball Pit The First Years Stacking Up Cups Liberty Imports Rainbow Xylophone Piano Bridge Step2 Cozy Kitchen Melissa & Doug Stack and Sort Board


Be sure to check out our best toys for a 6 month old, 18 month old and 2 year old! 

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