The 11 Best Baby Toys for 1-Year-Olds in 2020

Fun for your little one!

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best for Music: Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy at Amazon

"Can help soothe them when they are cranky."

Best for the Stroller: Manhattan Toy Whoozit Baby Stroller and Travel Activity at Amazon

"Keeps them happy and engaged in the car seat."

Best Multipurpose: Bright Starts Lots of Links Accessory Toy at Amazon

"Great for hooking onto strollers."

Best for Sensory Development: Infantino Textured Multi Ball Set at Amazon

"Help him develop his sensory abilities."

Best for Standing: Baby Einstein Discovering Music Activity Table at Amazon

"Full of learning activities for kids to explore."

Best for Walking: VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker at Amazon

"Lends new walkers a helping hand."

Best for Building: First Builders First Building Bag at Amazon

"It's a tool to help develop your little one's fine motor and problem-solving skills."

Best for Fine Motor Skills: Fat Brain Toys Dimpl Toy at Amazon

"Great for developing fine motor skills and teaching cause and effect."

Best for Speech: LeapFrog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo at Amazon

"They'll discover the sounds all of the letters and animals make."

Best for Pretend Play: Little People Caring for Animals Farm Playset at Amazon

"It comes with a barn, farmer, and four animal figures to make for lots of fun imaginative play."

Our Top Picks

Best for Music: Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy

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From newborns to well past the big one, your kid will love listening to the classical music this little player plays as well as the bright lights that light up in coordination with the song. This all-time favorite is great for long car rides and it can even help soothe them when they are cranky. 

Best for the Stroller: Manhattan Toy Whoozit Baby Stroller and Travel Activity

3.4

Your child will love this wacky face. The red "nose" honks when pushed, there is a mirror for them to catch a glimpse of their face plus rattles, crinkle noises, and more to keep them happy and engaged in the car seat, stroller, or while hanging at home. When it gets dropped on the floor or spit up on you can just throw it in the wash for easy cleaning.

Best Multipurpose: Bright Starts Lots of Links Accessory Toy

3.2

This inexpensive toy will provide hours of entertainment for little ones. From basic teething on the plastic rings when they’re tiny to learning to string them together to make all sorts of fun chains, these will get years of use. They’re fantastic for hooking onto car seats and strollers, so mom and dad won’t have to pick them up over and over.

They all come in a reusable plastic bag so you can easily throw them in a diaper bag for fun on the go anytime. Simple, inexpensive, portable, fun—you can’t go wrong with these.

Best for Sensory Development: Infantino Textured Multi Ball Set

The Infantino Textured Multi Ball Set will delight them from six months on. Teething babies will like to chew on the BPA-free nubby textured balls while those getting closer to the one-year mark will learn how to roll the ball to you in a game of "catch". Your baby will love feeling all of the different textures that help him develop his sensory abilities.

Best for Standing: Baby Einstein Discovering Music Activity Table

The Baby Einstein Discovering Music Activity Table is full of learning activities galore for kids to explore. Piano keys recite words in English, Spanish, and French and play classical tunes. It's full of buttons, balls, and switches to keep them entertained and happy. It’s a great toy for those who are just learning to pull up and stand, but the legs can also be pulled off and the tabletop placed on the floor for crawlers and tummy time entertainment.

Best for Walking: VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker

A must for any household with a young baby, the sit-to-stand encourages young babies to play with all the buttons and musical keys. When they are starting to walk, this walker helps give them a lending hand.

This toy is suited for children 9 months and up, and the light-up part can be removed and placed on the floor for tummy time fun. With 70 sing-along songs, noises and sayings your baby will delight in all this has to offer.

Best for Building: First Builders First Building Bag

The First Builders Big Building Bag from Mega Bloks is more than just a fun toy for playtime, it's a tool to help develop your little one's fine motor and problem-solving skills. With these 80 colorful blocks, she can create whatever buildings she dreams up. Clean up is a breeze too—the blocks all fit neatly in their storage bag.

Best for Fine Motor Skills: Fat Brain Toys Dimpl Toy

This beautifully simple toy from Fat Brain Toys is great for developing fine motor skills and teaching cause and effect. The colorful bubbles are pushable and pokable, making for fun sensory play. It's made from BPA-free, food-grade silicone, so if baby wants to explore this toy with all their senses, it's totally safe to do so.

Best for Speech: LeapFrog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo

The LeapFrog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo make learning about letters a ball. Your little one can choose between the alphabet, animal, and music mode. They'll discover the sounds all of the letters and animals make or get up and move to Old MacDonald or the Alphabet Song. This toy helps to develop important language and speech skills, and the pushable and slidable pieces help your baby work on fine motor skills, too.

Best for Pretend Play: Little People Caring for Animals Farm Playset

Your baby will delight in caring for her farm animals with this sweet playset. It comes with a barn, farmer, and four animal figures to make for lots of fun imaginative play. The discovery buttons feature animal sounds, phrases, and songs for your child to dance along to. It's also a great tool for teaching social skills and how to be a nurturer.

Best Active: VTech Smart Shots Sports Center

Your little athlete will have a blast getting their game on with the VTech Smart Shots Sports Center. This toy features a basketball hoop on top of a soccer net and a ball for each—great for developing gross motor skills. The knobs and buttons teach shapes and numbers, and it comes with over 50 sounds, songs, and phrases.

How We Tested

We bought three of our readers’ favorite baby toys for 1-year-olds (and younger) that our reviewers tested for six hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these toys, from their targeted skills to their versatility. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Baby Toy for 1-Year-Olds and Younger

Versatility: Sleepless newborn days and nights can seem endless, but then you blink and all of a sudden that tiny baby is growing and hitting all sorts of milestones before your very eyes. When it comes to toys, consider just how long your baby will be interested in them. Some can transform and entertain them through several stages, even into the toddler and preschool years, while others focus on more limited stages. If you have more than one little one, it’s great to scoop up those that entertain them all or that can be passed down easily.

Targeted skills: Some toys help develop a baby’s motor skills, while others are more sensory based. Some provide a mix of both. Make sure you choose an assortment of toys that encourages the development of a variety of skills, and, of course, above all, look for ones that are fun and will elicit giggles, coos, and other baby good times.

Functionality: Think about how you want to use the toys. Do you need some that are easy to take on the go? Or are you looking for something to take up a permanent spot in their playroom? Beyond size, also consider how loud a toy is and how easy it is to clean. The best toys are those where fun and functionality meet.

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