Child development experts have long touted toys as crucial tools that enhance a baby’s experience growing up. Many parents with toddlers know that toys are the next important thing to a child when the basics are met. Moreover, every child wants to play, and giving them a conducive environment to play is the best thing parents can do. While toys can keep the kids busy while parents get some break or attend to other chores, it is essential to keep in mind their role in the child’s development.
As such, I wrote this article to help parents with toddlers because I found out that many new parents think that you don’t need a lot of thought to select a toy and that you can just walk up to a store and pick one within your child’s age category. However, if you want your child to get the full benefit from toys, you will need to make a careful selection by asking yourself, how will this toy help in my child’s development?
Having said that, it can be challenging to find toys suitable for one-year-olds. At this stage, your child is just graduating from being an infant, and at the same time, they are just barely toddlers. As such, toys like rattles, crinkles, and jingles are simplistic and not exciting anymore, but at the same time, many toys for older toddlers are also too challenging or unsafe for the one year old to use. Therefore, the task you have to do is finding a middle ground and get them toys that will be more stimulating and challenging enough to cultivate development at the same time without being overkill.
How To Pick The Best
As these children have just graduated from infancy, and their minds are becoming more creative by the day, you want to make sure that you utilize this stage by providing toys that promote learning. It is essential to always keep in mind that your toddler has just started to walk, so you will need toys that will encourage balance and motor skills. Besides, toys that promote social skills are a plus.
Below are some essential features that you can consider:
- Toys with vibrant colors: As their eyesight develops, children’s eyes are caught more easily by bright colors than dull colors. This means they will be more inclined to learn from brightly colored toys than dull-colored ones.
- Toys that promote coordination: Your child wants to get their hands and mouth to test everything, to crawl, and walk around to learn their environment. It is the perfect timing to introduce toys that encourage motor development and coordination. Puzzles, stacking, shapes sorters are great.
- Toys that improve balance and mobility: One-year-olds are still learning to walk correctly. Toys that include push and pull will work out their little muscles involved in these processes and encourage them to develop. You will find that the more they practice, the faster they will perfect walking.
- Toys that allow sharing: Most one-year-olds love playing by themselves while another toddler plays close to them. This behavior is normal and is the earliest stage of social development in children. By introducing toys that encourage sharing, you will be developing their social skills.
Being guided by those factors, we selected the following toys as the best toys for one-year-old children:
#1. Step 2 Splish Splash Seas Water Table
What can be more fun for kids than playing with water? This Splish splash seas water with an umbrella is our overall favorite outdoor toy for one-year-olds in 2020.
The set up allows room for multiple kids to participate. The kids can fill up the water bucket and watch as tip over to the tidal pool lagoon below. They can use the table spinner to make the water whirl and swirl into a whirlpool, a spectacle they will enjoy watching. They can send playing dolls down the slide or over the diving board.
We also love that it has an umbrella so your kids can have fun all day while being shaded against the harmful UV rays.
Splish Splash has plenty of water-oriented fun features and accessories that will enhance your child’s active imagination and creativity, excellent motor skills, and develop social skills.
- Recommended age 18- 5 years
- Weight 20.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 27 x 42.25 x 30 inches
- Adult assembly required
- Theme: seawater play
#2. Step 2 Panda Climber/Outdoor Toddler Activity Playset
Our second most favorite is the Panda Climber by Step 2. It provides the perfect ground for one-year-olds to play the most loved games- climbing, sliding, and hiding.
It has a tunnel for crawling through, archway, slide, and stairway holes to give kids the best climbing adventures of their toddler years. Kids will love to climb on the top, slide, and crawl underneath.
If you are concerned about your child’s safety, the Panda Climber has a durable poly construction that can hold a weight of up to 27.21 kgs safely. It also has a rail enclosing the climber to keep your child safe, and it has enough space for two kids to play at the same time.
Panda Climber is ideal for developing your child’s coordination, motor skills, and social skills.
- Recommended age: 1-1.5 years old
- Theme: Climbing, crawling, hiding, slide
- Dimensions: 52.5 x 33.25 x 43.5 inches
- Weight: 34 pounds
#3. Radio Flyer 4-In-1 Stroll N Trike
Stroll N Trike is our third best choice. This is the toy to give your kid awesome riding fun. The other thing we love the most about it is that by design, it will transition with your child, and they will still enjoy it when they are age five like they used to at nine months old.
It has four convertible options: infant trike to steering trike, learn- to- ride-trike, and finally a classic trike. It has a parent steering push for young babies that can be removed later once your child can ride on their own. It also has a removable wrap-around tray with a cup holder, an adjustable canopy to protect your child from harmful UV rays, and a 3 point harness for safety.
Stroll N Trike is perfect for developing your child’s balance, coordination, and motor skills.
- Recommended age: 9 months- 5 years old
- Dimension 28.7 x 22 x 41.3 inches
- Weight: 16 pounds
- Theme: Riding
#4. Little Tikes Hide And Seek Climber And Swing
Our fourth best is Hide and Seek Climber from Little Tikes. This toy climber will indulge your child with climbing fun, sliding, and swinging both indoors and outdoors.
It has a slide, a swing, a rock wall, and a large platform. The swinging equipment can is removable to provide room for the kids to climb up the rocky walls. Also, it has a three-point harness safety belt to keep your child secure when swinging.
We also love that this toy can be used by up to three kids, which multiplies the fun even more and helps develop your child’s social skills.
Little Tikes Hide and Seek climber, and Swinger toy is excellent for developing your child’s coordination, balance, and motor skills.
- Recommended age: 12 months to 3 years
- Dimensions: 53.52 x 51.91 x 41
- Weight: 27.5pounds
- Assembly required
- Maximum number of children 3
- The maximum weight limit up to 45 pounds per pound.
- Theme: climbing, sliding, and swinging
#5. Little Tikes 4-In-1 Trike Ride On, Red/White, Sports Edition
Trike from Little Tikes is our fifth most favorite toy for one-year-olds. It is designed to give your child lasting fun riding it. The Trike Ride-On is convertible into four stages.
Stage 1: Where you guide your baby using the detachable push handle,
Stage 2: Learning stage when your child is 12 months old,
Stage 3: developing stage for when your child gets to 18 months, and
Stage 4: the independent stage when your kid can ride by themselves usually at 30 months.
The seat adjusts to 4 positions.
For safety, it has a 5- point seat belt harness and protective safety bar. The detachable canopy protects your child from the harmful UV rays.
Trike Ride-On helps your child develop their coordination and motor skills. For parents, you will get a treasure of memories of your playtime when you trained your toddler to ride.
- Recommended age: 9 months – 3 years
- Dimensions: 48 x 19.5 x 38 inches
- Weight: 20 pounds
- Theme: riding
#6. Little Tikes First Slide (Red/Blue) – Indoor/ Outdoor Toddler Toy
Nothing will be more fun than when your child takes Little Tikes first slide! This outdoor toy for one-year-olds is ideal for boys and girls. It is currently the best-selling free-standing slides on Amazon in 2020.
The slide features removable steps for climbing and a sliding plane with handles on both sides. It is easy to fold and unfold, which makes it easy to store. We love that no tools are required when assembling or dismantling.
The Little Tikes First Slide is a simple design that provides so much fun while promoting fitness, balance, and coordination.
- For use indoors or outdoors
- Maximum number of kids on slide: 1
- Weight limit: up to 60 pounds
- Assembly required
- Theme: climbing and sliding
- Rated 4.6/5 by over 10,857 reviewers on Amazon
#7. Power Wheels Nickelodeon PAW Patrol Lil Quad
Our number seven favorite toy for one-year-olds is the Power Wheel Lil Quad. The Patrol car will give your child a real adventure as they drive on their own. It combines sporty ATV styles with toddler-friendly features, colors, and graphics.
It is operated using an easy-push button to start moving and stop. The footrest provides a place for your child’s feet to rest as they drive, ensuring they are safe and comfortable. The vehicle runs on a 6 Volts battery, which provides two mph maximum speed, which is fast enough to excite a toddler but slow enough for safety. It also rides low, so toddlers usually have no problems getting in or out without assistance.
This toddler vehicle has solid and wide tires, which enables it to cruise smoothly on hard surfaces and the grassy ground too.
Let your child take control of Power Wheel Lil Quad; it will boost confidence and build motor skills, balance, and cognitive skills. It also allows learning cause and effect lessons, and it is an excellent tool for role-playing too.
- PAW Patrol colors & graphics
- Recommended age: 1-3 years
- Maximum speed: 2mph (3.2 km/hr.) forward only
- Push-button operation for an easy start and go
- Built-in footrests
- Theme: driving
#8. 19 Pcs Kids Beach Sand Toys Set Sand Water Wheel Beach Molds
These toys from Fun Little Toys will give your kid (s) such joyful fun and keep them busy for hours on the beach or in the garden. The set comes with many small toys that have vibrant colors that your child will love.
It includes colorful sea mold creatures, toy digging tools such as shovels, rakes, and a bucket, and a sand water wheel. The activities they can do are endless. For instance, the kids can dig, collect, and carry sand or dirt depending on their ground. They can build sandcastles or the sea creatures or any other object their creative minds come up with. They can pour water or sand through the funnel and watch the wheel spinning it.
These toys will cultivate imagination and creativity, social skills, coordination, and mobility and needless to say much fun!
Parents will love that all these cute toys come in a mesh bag with backpack straps, making it convenient for easier storage and travel. It also prevents the loss of toys. The other benefit is that although the toys are ideal for outdoor use, kids can use them indoors too.
- 19 toy pieces
- Includes carrier bag
- No age limit
- Theme: digging and building on the beach or garden
#9. KLEEGER Baby Wading Kiddie Pool: Outdoor Squirt & Splash Water Fun For Toddlers, Simple Instant
Outdoor fun has never gotten any better than with Kleeger pool. This is perfect for relaxation, party at a lawn, garden, swimming pool, or beach when the weather is hot.
It is a fun water sprinkler that the kids can get wet and splashy with their friends, family, and pets.
To operate, you unpack it, spread it on the ground, connect it to any garden hose or PVC tubes, and adjust the water pressure to a higher or lower water splash height. Once finished, the spray mat is folded into a compact size for secure storage.
This can serve as the perfect summer gift for any kid.
- Includes sprinkler pad
- Square sea theme
- Water connection is required
- Theme: water splashing
#10. Little Tikes Rocking Horse Blue
The Little Tikes horse is a happy horse that loves to rock, and your child will enjoy rocking for hours. This horse rounds up on our ten best toys for one-year-olds.
It has smooth edges and corners with easy to grasp handles and a high seatback. The elevated seat has a design that will not allow the rocking child to fall over or behind, which is a great safety feature that any parents would appreciate.
This rocking horse is ideal for toddlers between the age of 1 and 3 years to make imaginary gallops in the house. It will also help them to improve their balance and coordination skills.
- Recommended for kids 1-3 years
- Easy-grip handles
- Smoothly rounded with a high seatback
- For indoor or outdoor use
- Maximum weight limit: 50 pounds
- Comes fully assembled
- Theme: rocking