The Best Toys For One-Year-Olds That Are Actually Toddler-Approved

Totally toy-riffic.

The best toys for one year olds

by Hannah Carroll |
Updated on

Discovering the best toys for one-year-olds can be quite a challenge. They've outgrown their tiny baby phase but haven't yet developed the strong preferences of a determined toddler... cue the threenager years. You might question whether one-year-olds truly require toys; the resounding answer is yes. The best children's toys not only aid in childhood development but also impart lifelong skills that shape them into well-rounded individuals.

Toys that stimulate the senses, promote exploration, and nurture emerging skills are perfect for one-year-olds. We've dedicated nearly a year to testing toys and attending events to ensure we recommend toys that toddlers truly enjoy playing with. There's no use selecting a stylish kids' toy if it ends up gathering dust on the shelf (think Wheezy in Toy Story 2).

The Best Toys For One-Year-Olds At A Glance:

Best soft toy for one-year-olds: Kaloo - Lapinoo, £16.99 on Amazon
Best outdoor toy for one-year-olds: Little Tikes Turtle Sand Pit with Cover, £60 on Argos
Best sensory toy for one-year-olds: TickiT Sensory Reflective Colour Burst Balls, £24.99 on Amazon

As your little one begins to master their first words and take those wobbly first steps, these toys will accompany them until you find yourself searching for the best toys for two-year-olds. Indeed, time truly flies when you're a parent.

SHOP: The Best Toys For One-Year-Olds

Best soft toy for one-year-olds

The Best Toys For One-Year-Olds: Kaloo - LapinooCredit: Amazon
Price: $24.99

A soft toy for a one-year-old? We know what you're thinking: 'How original.' However, this toy earns its spot at the top of our list due to its unique design.

The best-selling Lapinoo bunnies feature long, floppy ears, making them the perfect companion for your toddler. These ears can be tied to the pram or your little one's rucksack, ensuring you're not scrambling to find their beloved toy when it's time to pack up and head home.

Available in an array of soft colours, these bunnies are sure to charm.

Pros

  • It can be attached to prams, preventing it from becoming lost
  • Extremely sot making it the best bedtime companion
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Some colours become dirty very quickly

Best outdoor toy for one-year-olds

The Best Toys For One-Year-Olds: Little Tikes Turtle Sand Pit with Cover Credit: Little Tikes

Nothing beats a day in the garden on warmer days. While your little one spends hours playing, you can kick back and relax with this Little Tikes sandpit. Not a fan of sand? No worries! You can fill it with play balls and use it indoors, too. Plus, it has a lid to protect it from the unpredictable British weather.

Pros

  • The lid keeps sand hygienic and keeps insects out
  • Lightweight when empty, so can be easily stored away
  • Multi-purpose use

Cons

  • Requires an outdoor space

Best sensory toy for one-year-olds

The Best Toys For One-Year-Olds: TickiT 72221 Sensory Reflective Colour Burst Balls Set of 4Credit: tickit
Price: $34.95
Alternative retailers
Walmart$34.95View offer
Lowe's$49.48View offer
Macy's$49.95View offer

TickiT Sensory Reflective Colour Burst Balls are lightweight and reflective, offering an engaging sensory experience for your child. These stainless steel balls create a distorted reality as if peering through a colourful, wide-angled lens.

Pros

  • Suitable for children of all ages, making it a great investment toy
  • Can withstand the most enthusiastic play
  • Great toy for distracting at nappy changes

Cons

  • We wish they came with a storage bag

Editor's pick

The Best Toys For One-Year-Olds: Little Tikes 620171 Rocking HorseCredit: Little Tikes

Rrp: $34.99

Price: $33.05
Alternative retailers
Walmart$33.05View offer

This sturdy rocking horse helps little ones become accustomed to rocking motions as they move backwards and forward. While we understand that having a plastic rocking horse in your living room may not be ideal, rest assured, it's truly toddler-approved. We found that our little ones adored playing on it. Plus, it's lightweight, making it easy to store in a cupboard at the end of the day.

Pros

  • It can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Lightweight, making it easy to store
  • Stable design

Cons

  • No other colour options (which for some kids may be a deal breaker)

Best educational toy for one-year-olds

The Best Toys For One-Year-Olds: Learning Resources LER9125 Carlos The Pop & Count CactusCredit: Amazon

Rrp: $15.99

Price: $12.79
Alternative retailers
Walmart$12.00View offer
Target$12.79View offer
Tractor Supply$14.99View offer

This colourful cactus toy encourages little hands to grab and grow with tactile pieces made for active play. This helps them build the hand strength and coordination skills they need to do fine motor-dependent tasks such as feeding themselves and getting dressed.

Pros

  • Educational - This product builds counting, colour, and preschool fine motor skills.
  • Inbuilt self-storage makes it easy to keep all the little parts from getting lost.
  • Brightly coloured and engaging for young children

Cons

  • A few parents found that over time their child became a bit bored of the product

Best puzzle toy for one-year-olds

The Best Toys For One-Year-Olds: Janod J08000 My First Wooden BlocksCredit: Janod
Price: $25.49

Puzzles are great for toddlers because they help develop problem-solving skills and improve hand-eye coordination in a fun and engaging way. We love this wooden puzzle by Janod, which comes with six cute animals that your little one can create.

Pros

  • Colourful design
  • Multiple puzzles in one set
  • Enhances problem-solving skills

Cons

  • Does not come with a storage case which we would have liked

Best interactive toy for one-year-olds

The Best Toys For One-Year-Olds: Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages ChairCredit: Argos

With its interactive features and Smart Stages technology, this chair grows with your child, providing age-appropriate content and activities that promote language development, fine motor skills, and imaginative play. Plus, its comfy design ensures hours of fun and educational playtime for your toddler.

Pros

  • Promotes language development
  • Comfortable for little ones to sit on
  • Chair has a storage space perfect for your tots worldly possessions

Cons

  • Requires three AA batteries that are not included

Best personalised toys for one-year-olds

The Best Toys For One-Year-Olds: Personalised Kidkii Grey Ball PitCredit: My 1st Years

Want all the fun of a ball pit with a fraction of the grossness? Then, a home ball pit is a simple solution to steering clear of the cesspits at soft play centres. Ball pits are popular with toddlers because they provide a multisensory experience that engages their senses. We love this ball pit because it can be personalised.

Pros

  • Uniquely personalised for your child
  • One of the most enjoyed toys by our children when we were testing
  • Lightweight and can be stored away when not in use

Cons

  • We found that we were forever picking up the balls

Best practical toy for one-year-olds

The Best Toys For One-Year-Olds: Lamaze Freddie Fire Highchair Activity ToyCredit: John Lewis
Price: $15.99

Taking a one-year-old out for dinner can be a daring feat, but this highchair toy makes dining out much easier. We adore this practical toy that keeps little ones entertained while they wait for their dinner to cool.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Great for meals out as it can be attached to the highchair
  • Sensory elements that are good for development

Cons

  • Limited shelf life - we found that two of our children were no longer interested in this toy

Best board game for one-year-olds

The Best Toys For One-Year-Olds: Peter Rabbit™ Heads and Tails Game By Orchard ToysCredit: Orchard Toys

Orchard Toys has teamed up with the beloved children's classic Peter Rabbit to introduce a new range of engaging children's games. After having a go ourselves, we can't recommend them enough. While your one-year-old might seem far from mastering the rules of Monopoly, this simple matching game is the perfect first step towards family game nights.

Pros

  • Fun for the whole family
  • Chunky well-crafted pieces that have been made from recycled paper
  • Educational benefits

Cons

  • Better suited for children who are nearing 18 months who can understand the game better

Best bath toy for one-year-olds

The Best Toys For One-Year-Olds: Infantino Bath Robot With Cups Credit: Infantino

Transform bathtime into playtime with this toddler bath toy. Curious tots can pour water into the funnel above the robot's head and watch his eyes roll while also learning about cause and effect by turning the taps on and off.

Pros

  • We found this toy bathtimes easier and more fun for little ones
  • A great distraction for children who hate having their hair washed
  • Easy to install and does not damage the wall

Cons

  • The suction cup works best on tiles but may not work as effectively on textured bathroom walls

Best multi-purpose toy for one-year-olds

The Best Toys For One-Year-Olds: Pull Along Roland Sausage Dog ToyCredit: The White Company

This adorable The White Company pup has a good sense of adventure. With Velcro on his feet, he's ready to roll on wooden wheels, tagging along on all your little one's escapades. But when it's time to hit the hay, remove his collar, lead, and wheels, and he transforms into a snuggly friend eager for cuddles.

Pros

  • Removable wheels, so your little one can also use it as a snuggly teddy at bedtime
  • Suitable for children of all ages
  • Made from high-quality materials

Cons

  • Can be difficult to pull on thick carpets

FAQs

What toys should a one-year-old have?

There are no hard and fast rules, but when it comes to toys for one-year-olds, think fun, colourful, and engaging. Little ones at this age are curious explorers, so toys that stimulate their senses and encourage interaction are key. Here are some of the kinds of toys we recommend:

Sensory toys: Toys with different textures, sounds, and colours provide endless fascination for little minds

Multi-purpose toys: Multi-purpose toys offer children diverse opportunities for play, fostering creativity, problem-solving skills, and imaginative thinking while maximising value.

Push and pull toys: Toys that toddlers can push or pull around the house help improve balance and encourage walking.

Puzzles and games: Simple puzzles and games with large, easy-to-grasp pieces aid in problem-solving and fine motor skill development.

Musical Instruments: Instruments like drums, shakers, or xylophones introduce children to music and rhythm.

Wooden toys: Wooden toys offer the benefit of being long-lasting, providing durable play options that can withstand the test of time while having a timeless appeal.

Can toddlers get bored of toys?

Absolutely! Just like adults, toddlers can get bored with the same toys if they're always available. Introducing new toys or rotating existing ones can keep playtime fresh and exciting, stimulating their curiosity and creativity. Plus, it's a great way to keep them engaged and entertained while supporting their development.

Hannah Carroll is a Parenting, Lifestyle and Home Product writer for Grazia, specialising in product testing and reviews. With three children, Hannah loves testing the latest industry products on her own family.

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