19 Best Toys for One-Year-Olds
My daughter just celebrated her first birthday (sob!). She’s our third child, and as you can imagine, we have no shortage of toys around our house. Trying to think of creative gift ideas – especially when there are older siblings in the family – can be tricky. To make your lives easier, I thought I would share our family’s list of the 19 best toys for one-year-olds. These are the toys that have been popular with our three kids and have stood the test of time.
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1. Little People. Little People deserve first place on this list – they have been a HUGE hit around here. My daughter received the Surprise & Sounds Home (Canadian link) for Christmas, and will choose it over any of the other toys 90% of the time. At this point she’s just chewing on the figurines and activating the different sounds in the house, but she will happily play with it on her own for 5-10 minutes, which is FOREVER in baby time. We also have and love older versions of the school bus (Canadian link), and farm (Canadian link), and some other sets that have since been discontinued. The most recent addition to our collection is this (Canadian link) figurine set, which I couldn’t resist for my daughter for her birthday.
2. Cozy Coupe. We got my younger son a Cozy Coupe (Canadian link) for his first birthday, and to this day it’s one of the best reactions I’ve ever seen to a gift. He LOVED it from the moment he saw it. The Cozy Coupe has had excellent longevity in our house – my boys are 3 and 5 now, and still play with it regularly.
3. 4-in-1 Trike. The Radio Flyer Ultimate 4-in-1 Stroll ‘n Trike (Canadian link) was our “big” gift for my daughter’s first birthday. Time will tell whether it’s as beloved as the other items on this list, but so far it’s been a winner (Update: 6 months later – she LOVES this thing!). Check Costco for this one – we found it at our local warehouse for a great price.
4. Table and chairs. This isn’t a toy per se, but a child-sized table and chairs will get a lot of use over the next few years. They will likely be a little bit too young for this on their first birthday, but will quickly grow into it in a couple of months. IKEA has a ton of options for durable, pint-sized furniture – we have the Sundvik table and chairs.
5. Water Table. We got my oldest son a water table (Canadian link) for his first birthday almost 5 years ago, and all of my kids still love playing with it during the summer months. Veteran mom tip: the actual model you get doesn’t matter much. Instead, go to the dollar store and buy some fun accessories for them to play with – cups, funnels, dish wand, squirters, sponges, turkey baster, etc. This will provide HOURS of entertainment.
7. Tunnel. A tunnel, like this one from IKEA, is a great toy for one-year-olds, and can be incorporated into all kinds of fort-building as they get older.
8. Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone. This (Canadian link) is one of those less-common items that is a great unique gift idea for younger siblings. When the balls are tapped with the hammer, they fall through and roll down the xylophone. The xylophone can also be pulled out and played separately. Kids are always drawn to this toy.
9. Music Set. All of our kids have loved playing with musical instruments from around 9 months on. We have an older version of the B. toys drum that the kids love. We also bought our 3-year-old this (Canadian link) Melissa & Doug Band-in-a-Box for Christmas, and our 1-year-old plays with it just as much as he does.
10. BeatBo. Continuing the musical theme, this (Canadian link) little guy is a lot of fun. Our favourite features are the freeze dance song (which always gets everyone up and moving), and his repeat-back setting (older kids find this hilarious).
12. Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Home. We have an older version of this, which is a hit with crawling babies and toddlers. It’s a big toy, so it’s not one to purchase if you’re short on space. It’s one of those items that we rotate in and out, and every time we bring it out our older kids still play with it. There are lots of interactive features to explore, and it lends itself well to imaginary play when the kids are older. This is a good one to pick up used if you can.
13. Books. Books are always welcome, and are a great option when you’re stuck for an idea for a child with older siblings. These are some of our favourites for babies and young toddlers. If you’re buying for a child outside of your family, we always appreciate being introduced to other people’s favourite books.
14. Beginner Puzzles. A simple wooden puzzle is another item that one-year-olds will grow into over the course of the year. We love this simple shape puzzle (Canadian link), and these three-piece puzzles for beginners (Canadian link).
15. Bath Toys. Bath toys are another good option when you’re buying for a child with older siblings, because many of them have a limited lifespan. We particularly love Boon bath toys (Canadian link), Yookidoo bath toys (Canadian link), and Green Toys bath toys (Canadian link).
16. Green Toys Vehicles. These vehicles are a toy that children will grow into shortly after turning one. We have a few of these in our house, and have been very impressed with the durability. The recycling truck (Canadian link) is a favourite.
17. Plush Doll. Wee Baby Stella (Canadian link) is a sweet little first doll. She’s soft, perfectly sized for little ones, and comes with a magnetic pacifier that my daughter finds quite entertaining.
18. Doll Stroller. This is another fun toy for new walkers, and an excellent gift to go alongside a new doll. My daughter received this one (Canadian link) for her birthday, which is absolutely adorable!
19. Duplo. Duplo (Canadian link) is a fantastic building toy for babies all the way up to ages 5 or 6. My daughter has loved playing with Duplo for a few months now (although at this stage playing largely entails throwing blocks around and chewing on them!), and my 5-year-old still plays with it. Start with a basic set to see if your child takes to it.
What are your favourite toys for one-year-olds?