Trying to figure out the best toy for a 1 year old?

Before I had kids I would just go a to supermarket and pick up something that looked fairly age appropriate for my friend's kid's birthdays, I had no idea! Now I’m a Mum I know parents often have to deal with an excess of toys that clueless-but-well-meaning-gift-givers have purchased, even though they know they probably won’t get used.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to be that person!

Read on to see my top picks for gifts for a 1 year old that will be appreciated by baby and parents alike.

How I Choose the Best Baby Toys for 1 Year Old

Picking out a toy gift doesn’t need to be stressful, but its easy to be overwhelmed with all the options out there. Toys can be fun, educational AND great for the environment (ie, not landfill within a few months) if you just do a little research.

But don’t worry, I’ve done all the research for you! I’ve spent countless hours reading through reviews written by other parents, not to mention I have an almost 1 year old myself so I know what works and what doesn’t with first hand experience, having recently been through it.

So What toys are best for 1 year old?

Check out my top picks below!

SHIERDU Wooden Hammering and Pounding Toys

Best toy for bashing

SHIERDU Wooden Hammering and Pounding Toys

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Why Parents Love It

This SHIERDU Wooden Hammering and Pounding Toy has stood the parent test with many saying their kids love it and one stating ‘1 year old loves playing with the gears on the side and hammering the ever-loving bejesus out of the pegs on top’.

Parents say it is visually appealing, durable and Great for working on kid’s fine motor skills. Some parents did suggest removing the pull string for younger babies.

What You Need to Know

Size 24 x 15.2 x 15 cm

Made from wood

Suitable for 12 months plus

To clean, wipe the surface gently with a dry cotton cloth.

Toy includes a number maze game, hammering stakes game, colorful gear game and elephant ear castanets game.

LEGO DUPLO My First Number Train

Best toy for stacking

LEGO DUPLO My First Number Train

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Why Parents Love It

Duplo is a favorite with parents because kids love playing with it from an early age (my baby has been playing with it since age 9 months) up to 4 or 5 when they graduate to the smaller legos. It can be connected to other sets so you’ve got your gifts sorted for the next few years with this!

Aside from building fine motor skills with the blocks, parents also commented how Dupo is great to help little ones learn their numbers too.

What You Need to Know

Size 35.5 x 19 x 9 cm

Made from plastic

Suitable for 18 months plus

Comes with 10 number bricks carried in the push-along train’s carriages, plus boy, girl and dog LEGO DUPLO figures to inspire imaginative role play

Dreampark Wooden Shape Color Recognition

Best puzzle toy

Dreampark Wooden Shape Color Recognition

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Why Parents Love It

Parents love this toy for its quality and durability and report their kids love playing with it. Some parents commented that it is smaller than they thought it would be but it’s great for developing fine motor skills.

Another plus is that this is considered one of the coveted green toys, being a wooden toy instead of plastic.

What You Need to Know

Size 17.5 x 14.5 x 1.2cm

Made from wood and water-based paint

Suitable for 12 months plus

Wipe clean with a damp cloth

Helps to cultivate baby's hand-eye coordination, exercise color recognition and fine motor skills.

CoComelon NO Spill Musical Bubble Machine

Best toy under supervision

CoComelon NO Spill Musical Bubble Machine

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Why Parents Love It

The first time I was gifted a bubble machine I thought it wouldn’t get my baby’s attention for long, how wrong I was! This little toy was probably one of the best toys my 1 year old ever got (even though mine was annoying musical toy) and it looks from all the reviews I’ve read that I’m not alone!

Parents love that you can turn the music off (unfortunately on the one I was gifted, you couldn’t and I can verify this would have been a very welcome additional function!).

Parents also noted that kids need to be supervised with this toy.

What You Need to Know

Size 16.5 22.820.3cm

Made from plastic

Suitable for ages 3 years plus but younger kids love watching this even if they’re not playing with it themselves.

Includes 20oz of non toxic bubble solution.

Plays an exerpt from the CoComelon Wheels on the Bus which you can choose to turn off.

Fat Brain Toys SpinAgain Kids Stacking Toy

Best toy to keep kids entertained for hours

Fat Brain Toys SpinAgain Kids Stacking Toy

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Why Parents Love It

The main feature parents love about this new take on a classic toy is the hours of fun their kids can have with it in one sitting, as a parent I know these toys are few and far between! Most parents noted that they didn’t expect the hours of joy their kids got out of it but were very pleasantly surprised!

If that wasn’t enough parents also noted that their older kids loved playing with it too!

What You Need to Know

Size 42 x 17 x 17cm

Made from coated ABS plastic, BPA-free

Suitable for age 12 months – 4 years

Good to develop hand-eye coordination, sorting, color-recognition and has a sensory aspect with unique textures to inspire tactile exploration.

Bundaloo Basket of Babies with Realistic Giggling Sounds

Best doll toy

Bundaloo Basket of Babies with Realistic Giggling Sounds

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Why Parents Love It

This Bundaloo Basket of Babies with Realistic Giggling Sounds was a hit with parents due to the cute, soft nature of the dolls. It makes a cute alternative to stuffed animals.

The parents loved that the dolls are multi-cultural and you can remove their clothes (am I the only one whose kids loves to play with naked dolls?!). They report that the giggling sound is really cute and a bit hit with their kids who learn to engage in imaginative play.

What You Need to Know

Size 23 x 21.5 x 7cm

Made from plusg fabric that is carefully stitched to ensure that the head, arms, legs, and other tiny accessories won’t fall out

Suitable for ages 6 months and up

Comes with three adorable dolls and a soft 30 x 25cm basket


Are you looking for the best baby toys for your 1 year old? It can be difficult to know which toys are safe, age-appropriate, and will help your little one learn and grow.

With all of the different baby toys on the market, it can be hard to figure out which ones are best for your 1 year old. It's important to find toys that are fun, stimulating, and safe, but it can be tough to know which ones have all of these qualities.

We've compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about baby toys for 1 year olds so you can know more about these products.

What do 1-year-olds play with?

Surprisingly they spend a lot of time playing with their bodies - exploring them, manipulating them, and watching how they work. They'll also play with anything and everything else within reach, from toy cars, a ride on toy and dolls to pots and pans.

1-year-olds are just starting to learn about the world around them, so their games revolve around discovering new things. They'll touch everything within reach, put things in their mouths, and experiment with how things work. They also love imitating grownups, so you'll often see them pretending to cook or drive cars.

What are the best outdoor toys for a 1 year old?

The best outdoor toys for a 1 year old is dependant on the individual child's preferences, skill level, and size. Generally speaking, some of the best options include buck ride-on toys, water tables, tricycles with push bars or training wheels, playhouses and tents for imaginative play, sandboxes for sensory exploration, climbing frames such as a slide or mini jungle gym set up with soft mats underneath for safety.

Most of these designs also come in fun colors and shapes to engage your little one even more! If you want to see a comprehensive list of the best outdoor toys for 1 year old, check out this blog on The Best Outdoor Toys for 1 Year Old.

How do I get my 1 year old entertained?

One thing you can do is give them toys that challenge them mentally or physically, such as puzzles or balls. You can also take them outside to explore and play, or read stories to them. By keeping things varied and engaging, you can help keep your 1 year old entertained.

What should a 1 year old know educationally?

According to the report "The Early Years Foundations for Lifelong Success" published by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), children should be able to do the following at age 1:

-Say several words and phrases, including names of family members and some common objects

-Understand simple questions and respond appropriately

-Follow one or two-step instructions involving pointing or taking action in response to a verbal command

-Participate in routines, including morning and evening rituals such as being dressed, eating breakfast, and being put to bed

-Engage in pretend play with dolls, toy cars, blocks, etc.

-Demonstrate interest in books and pictures

How many words is a 1 year old supposed to say?

A one-year-old child is typically able to say about 50 words. However, the number of words a child knows can vary widely depending on their exposure to language and other developmental factors.

Some common words that a one-year-old might say include "mama," "dada," "bye bye," and "dog."

I think its worth noting here that my almost one year old is still grappling with Mama and not much else!!

What are red flags in child development?

There are many red flags in child development that could indicate a problem. Here are some of the most common ones:

- marked delays in any area of development, such as speech, movement, or social skills;

- problems with coordination or balance;

- inability to feed or dress oneself;

- difficulties with toilet training;

- poor eye contact or interaction with others;

- constantly seeking attention from others;

- persistently clingy behavior;

- excessive crying or irritability;

- aggressive behavior towards others (e.g. biting, hitting); and

- self injurious behavior (e.g. head banging).

If you notice any of these you should consult your pediatrician.

What should I teach my 1 year old first?

There's no one definitive answer to this question, as every child is unique and will learn at their own pace. However, some basic things that most children should learn by the age of 1 include how to identify common shapes and colors, how to count up to 10 or 20, and how to say the alphabet.

In addition, it's important for children to be exposed to different types of music and learn about other cultures. Some other things that can be taught at a later age include how to read and write, basic math skills, and scientific concepts.

What milestones should a one year old meet?

Milestones can vary from child to child, but there are some general milestones that a one year old should meet.

Some developmental milestones that a one-year-old may reach include: crawling, cruising (walking while holding onto furniture), saying a few words, waving goodbye, picking up small objects with fingers, and taking steps while holding on to someone's hand.

What do 1 year olds understand?

1 year olds understand the basics of communication – that when somebody talks, they want to share something with somebody else. They also understand some simple concepts about the world around them, such as that objects still exist even when they can't see them (this is sometimes called "object permanence"). And finally, 1 year olds are starting to learn how to interact socially – for example, by following basic social cues like pointing and looking.

Do I have to entertain my 1 year old all day?

No, you don't have to entertain your 1 year old all day. However, it is important to provide a variety of activities for your child to engage in throughout the day in order to help them learn and grow.

Some ideas for activities include: reading stories, playing with blocks, going for walks, ride on toys, dancing around the house, painting, and exploring outside. Be sure to mix things up so that your child doesn't get bored, and make sure they have plenty of time to rest and relax too.

How can I stimulate my 1 year old brain?

There are lots of different things you can do to stimulate your 1-year-old's brain. Here are a few ideas:

1. Read to your child.

Reading is a great way to stimulate your child's brain and help them learn new things. Reading aloud also helps improve vocabulary and speech development.

2. Play educational games with your child.

There are lots of fun, educational games that you can play with your child to help them learn toy association like play food. These games can help improve problem solving skills, logic, math skills, and sensory toys.

3. Sing nursery rhymes with your child.

Nursery rhymes are a great way to introduce children to music and language skills and you can use props like the fisher price laugh & learn toy which has over 75 songs (you can see my blog on that here).

So What toy should I buy for a 1 year old?

Its good to get something appropriate for the child's age,  you might want to try a toy that is colorful and stimulating or educational toys. Some good options include stacking cups, balls, and dolls. These types of toys can help promote hand-eye coordination and cognitive development. Any of the toys mentioned above are great gift ideas.

I hope you’ve found the information above useful, as a first-time parent I often wish I had access to information like this so I want to help other parents through the minefield that is parenthood!

All of the toys above are available on Amazon so click ‘Check price on Amazon’ to see which toy will be the best gift idea for a 1 year old. .

Thanks for reading!