Best toys for 1 year olds

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  • With so many toys for 1-year-olds on the market, it’s not always easy to pick between them all. Which is why we’ve rounded up the best toys for 1-year-olds that will delight, entertain, educate and occupy little ones going through big changes in their development.

    12 months is an exciting age for any child as it marks the time when they turn from a baby into a toddler.

    The exciting milestones of walking and talking are both on the horizon. With increased mobility, your little one can finally get to exploring all of the things they have only been able to look longingly at from afar.

    Whether you want them to or not, 1 year olds are going to start to try and get into -and open – everything and anything. Drawers, cupboards and bookshelves beware!

    Choosing the best toys for a 1 year old won’t stop them from being interested in these things, but it will keep them occupied and out of trouble as much possible.

    What are the best toys for a 12 month old?

    The best toys for 1 year olds are usually designed to be as stimulating and educational as possible while promoting the central most important thing – play.

    This means that as well as being entertained and occupied, these toys for 1 year olds will also help with their development.

    Around the age of one, children usually start to learn how to pick up small objects between their thumb and index finger. This is known as the ‘pincer grip’. This new skill will make it possible for children to start doing activities like scribbling or playing with blocks.

    Baby playing with puzzles

    The best toys for 1 year old children will help them practice this newly learnt skill – and others – while playing.

    However, you shouldn’t be too worried about buying specifically educational toys for children as young as one. As child development expert and psychologist Dr. Amanda Gummer told us: ‘All toys can help children’s development. Even if it’s just a case of helping them learn about the things that they enjoy playing with and what makes them happy.’

    ‘The important thing is to provide children with a range of playthings and allow them to play freely with different toys. This helps with things like decision making skills, self-awareness, emotional wellbeing, and creativity.’

    How do I stimulate my 1 year old and start to teach them at home?

    ‘Whether they are bottom shuffling, crawling or walking, many children will be mobile by their first birthday,’ says Geraldine Butler, who is a health visitor and author of Teach Yourself Successful Potty Training.

    Due to their increased mobility, to help occupy and stimulate your child you should keep this big developmental stage in mind when deciding on the best toys for your 1 year old.

    For example, they are less likely to want to spend lots of tummy time on a play mat and much more likely to want to start using toys that they can use supporting themselves, standing up or even moving around.

    baby girl playing with a toy walker at home

    There are lots of toys out there that will support early learning at home through encouraging exploration, fostering curiosity, building relationships and exploring moral dilemmas. You can find toys like this, which will help you teach your one year old key skills at home, below. For slightly older children, take a look at our ideas for toys for two-year-olds and our ideas for fun gifts and toys for three-year-olds.

    The best toys for 1 year olds

    Here’s our pick of the best toys for 1 year olds, from stackers to shakers and walkers to music makers. With price points for every budget and some of them set to feature in the best Argos Black Friday deals this year, these toys make great presents for 1 years olds. Plus, good quality means you should be able to pass them along when your child grows out of them.