The Best Toys for 1-Year-Olds to Educate, Entertain, and Engage

Keep your little one entertained with stack toys, puzzles, play tables, and more

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At around one year of age, kids start leaving the baby stage and entering the toddler stage. As they develop physically, emotionally, and developmentally, a whole new world of age-appropriate toys opens for them as well. The best toys for one-year-olds provide sensory enrichment, help develop motor skills, and encourage language learning. 

Reviewed & Approved

Our top pick, the Battat Wooden Activity Cube, is a brightly-colored toy with a wide variety of activities to keep little hands busy and engaged. Fisher-Price Baby's First Blocks and Rock-a-Stack Gift Set includes two classic sorting and stacking toys that help babies learn to identify colors and shapes.

You'll want to make sure that the toys you choose are fun and developmentally appropriate. Children this age are intrigued by colors, sounds, and textures. But they also like to put things in their mouths, so choose toys that are safe and easy to keep clean. Make sure to look for toys that are challenging—but not too advanced—by following the age recommendations on the toys you choose. To find the best toys for one-year-olds, we researched products that are safe, durable, easy to use, educational, and age-appropriate.

Based on our reviews, these are the best toys for one-year-olds on the market today.

Battat Wooden Activity Cube

Battat Wooden Activity Cube

Walmart

With five different play surfaces and a variety of activities, the Battat Wooden Activity Cube is our top pick to keep one-year-olds occupied and engaged. The solid cube features a wire bead maze, spinning blocks, sliding knobs, little doors to open and shut, and rolling wood blocks with cheerful farm animals. The cube is also mindfully designed with curved corners to help prevent bumps and bruises. 

The activities on the solid wood cube offer learning opportunities for matching, cause and effect, and hand-eye coordination. Vibrant colors, adorable pictures of animals, and the variety of activities will keep toddlers entertained for quite some time.

Melissa & Doug Safari Jumbo Knob Puzzle

Melissa & Doug Safari Jumbo Knob Puzzle

Courtesy of Amazon

Tots 1 year old and up can practice problem-solving and hand-eye coordination with one of these adorable wooden puzzles. Each piece is cut from a thick piece of wood and has a large knob on top that’s just the right size for little hands to grasp to help them guide the piece into its place. There are a variety of theme options, too, like farm animals, colorful shapes, and fish. 

Fisher-Price Baby's First Blocks and Rock-a-Stack Gift Set

Fisher-Price Baby's First Blocks and Rock-a-Stack Gift Set

Walmart

With this set, you get two classic and beloved toys that let kids sort, stack, and work on identifying colors and shapes. Both toys are made for children 6 months old and up and are made with plant-based materials that are easy to wipe down for cleaning. The Rack-a-Stack comes with five colorful rings in varying sizes and Baby’s First Blocks come with 10 colorful shapes and a carrying case with cutouts on top. 

Edushape Fun Z Balls

Edushape Fun Z Balls

Amazon

These balls are safe for babies 9 months old and up and are fantastic for sensory play. The set comes with three balls, all of which are different colors, made from soft plastic, and designed with various textures. They’re great for bouncing, tossing, and rolling, and are easy for little hands to grasp. 

Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Around the Town Learning Table

Fisher-Price play table

 Courtesy of Walmart

Little ones get to stand up while they play with this table that is broken into four play zones including a zoo, puppy house, market, and farm. Each section has different activities that let kids push buttons, flip switches, spin toys, and more. The table has lights and sounds, includes a toy phone for interactive play, and has three stages to meet your child’s developmental needs. Kids between 6 months and 3 years old are the perfect age to enjoy this table. 

Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Stack & Roll Cups

Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Stack & Roll Cups

Kohl's

Children between 6 months and 4 years old can play with this toy that can be stacked, nested, or turned into a ball. It has 10 colorful pieces of varying sizes, plus a little yellow ball, that all work together to create fun towers and other configurations. In addition to all the fun, this toy will also help kids work on color identification, counting, spatial awareness, problem-solving, and strengthening fine motor skills. 

TOMY Toomies Hide & Squeak Eggs

TOMY Toomies Hide & Squeak Eggs

Courtesy of Amazon

Unlike a typical carton of eggs, children 18 months old and up are encouraged to crack all of the eggs inside. Each egg has a removable top with a colorful face that matches the chick on the inside. When your kiddo presses down on the chick, it squeaks, which helps develop sensory and fine motor skills. 

Learning Friends 100 Words Book

Learning Friends Word Book

Courtesy of Amazon

This book is full of little activities to strengthen fine motor skills, sound bites that teach science, letters, and numbers. All of the sound features can be played in either English or Spanish mode to further develop language skills. While younger kids may want to touch all the buttons and watch the lights, this toy is best for kids between 18 months and 3 years old. 

B. Toys One Two Squeeze Baby Blocks

B. Toys One Two Squeeze Baby Blocks

Courtesy of Amazon

Tots between 6 months and 3 years old can stack, sort, squeeze, toss, and even chew these blocks, which are made from a soft molding foam. The set comes with 10 blocks in various colors that each have different images on all six sides including numbers, animals, and shapes. When they’re not being played with, the blocks stack nicely into a little plastic carrying case for storing. 

Leapfrog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo

LeapFrog Spin

 Courtesy of Amazon

This toy is more functional than it looks. Even though it's small, the buttons on the base let littles choose one of three modes of play: letters, animals, or music. When your child interacts by spinning the wheel or pushing any number of colorful buttons, they’ll be building their vocabulary, plus improving motor skills.

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Light-Up Learning Vacuum

Fisher-Price Vacuum

Courtesy of Target 

Did you know that kids learn a lot of skills simply from mimicking their parents? Foster good habits and an inclination to help around the house with this fun light-up vacuum. Your kiddo can push the vacuum around just like their parents and caregivers might, but this version plays learning songs and phrases as they push to help expand their vocabulary, too. 

Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano Wooden Musical Toy

Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano Wooden Musical Toy

Courtesy of Amazon

Little Mozarts in the making will have a ton of fun with this piano that has color-coded keys and three sheets of music that will guide them in playing melodies. The coolest part? The piano keys are all laid across a flat piece of wood, so they’re “magic.” This toy is best for budding musicians between 6 months and 3 years old.

Little Tikes Rocking Horse

Rocking horse

Little Tikes

For 1-year-olds with a little (or a lot) of extra energy, this rocking horse is a great way for them to get some of it out. It’s designed for kids between 1 and 3 years old and under 50 pounds. Its tallest point stands just over 17 inches from the ground, it’s made from strong and durable plastic, and can be played with indoors or outside.

Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone

4.5
Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone

Courtesy of Amazon

This award-winning musical toy has been praised for its colorful, wooden design and its ability to teach kids about cause and effect. Rather than push a button, kids make their own music with a wooden hammer and balls, which little hands place into the corresponding holes. In addition to fostering a love of music, the toy also teachers motor skills, problem-solving, matching, and critical thinking.

This toy is made of high-quality wood with child-safe paint and rounded edges, making it easy to clean for little hands and mouths. Our tester loved how this toy kept her son engaged and entertained for hours and how he was able to find more and more ways to play.

The only downside our tester found was that her son liked to throw the wooden balls while playing, which can be loud and even cause damage if used around fragile objects. Still, the musical toy is too engaging and multifunctional for the price to give up.

What Our Testers Say

"This is one of the few toys my son plays with every day. Sometimes he taps the xylophone itself, but he really loves pushing the balls through their dedicated slots and putting them back in."—Michelle Piccolo, Product Tester

Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy

4.5
winkel-rattle

Courtesy of Amazon

Children up to two-years-old can clutch and teeth on the Winkle Rattle all they want. It's colorful and lightweight, so it's fun to fiddle with and throw around. It's big enough to keep little ones entertained, but small enough to easily tuck into a diaper bag or under the stroller. Manhattan Toy claims that the teething tubes are made of BPA-free plastic, perfect for tiny hands and teeth.

ECR4Kids SoftZone Climb and Crawl Activity Play Set

SoftZone Climb and Crawl Activity Play Set

SoftZone

Infants and toddlers can crawl, climb, and slide on this foam play set. It comes with five pieces that have a non-slip base. Note that when assembled together, it takes up a good amount of space, so be mindful of this in case you're considering for a smaller home. Each colorful part is super soft and easy to clean with mild soap and water.

Fisher-Price Baby's First Blocks

 Fisher-Price Baby's First Blocks

Courtesy of Buy Buy Baby

This classic toy is an ultra-affordable option that won’t feel like you phoned it in. The set includes ten colorful blocks that fit into identical slots in a convenient carry case. The blocks promote a host of important skills, including matching, sorting, and problem-solving.

VTech Pull and Sing Puppy

3.3
VTech Pull and Sing Puppy

Courtesy of Amazon

If your family isn’t quite ready for a real puppy, this fun pull toy is a great alternative. This dog’s got plenty of tricks: He walks, sings, and even teaches numbers, colors, and body parts through more than 60 songs, melodies, sounds, and phrases. 

What Our Testers Say

"VTech recommends this toy for ages 6 months to 3 years. Based on my experience [with my 19-month-old son], I would recommend it for those in the younger age group."—Michelle Piccolo, Product Tester

First 100 Words: A Padded Board Book

First 100 Words: A Padded Board Book

Courtesy of Amazon

At one year of age, your child's vocabulary is likely on the verge of exploding. This comprehensive book, complete with 100 words essential to child’s daily life, provides a gentle nudge in the right direction. The board-book style makes the book easy for tiny hands to maneuver, and bright, bold illustrations keep kids engaged. 

FoxPrint Rocket Ship Space Themed Pretend Play Tent

FoxPrint Rocket Ship Space Themed Pretend Play Tent

Courtesy of Amazon

It's never too early to encourage the joy of imagination. This rocket ship play tent is out of this world and perfect for kids from 12 months to 7 years old. The tent easily fits in most corners or can be folded flat in no time. Kids will enjoy having a play space all their own and when they get older, the tent can be a cozy reading nook.

Melissa & Doug First Shapes Jumbo Knob Puzzle

Melissa & Doug First Shapes Jumbo Knob Puzzle

Courtesy of Amazon

A great introduction to puzzles, this brightly colored wooden toy has extra-thick pieces and features large knobs, so even the littlest fingers will have no trouble picking up the pieces. In addition to promoting dexterity, the toy also teaches problem-solving skills, spatial relations, shapes, colors, and basic environmental items like tree, sun, and house. 

Fisher-Price Settle & Sleep Projection Soother

Fisher-Price Settle & Sleep Projection Soother

Courtesy of Amazon

If your child has trouble falling, or staying, asleep, then this might be a solution. The Settle & Sleep Soother easily attaches to a crib, but can also be placed on a tabletop for older kids. It features 30 minutes of music and sound that transition to white noise. There's also a projection of images on the ceiling or wall for a soothing light show that will lull them to bed before you know it.

Lovevery Play Gym Activity Gym and Play Mat

Lovevery The Play Gym

Courtesy of The Tot

Kids grow so fast, so it's great any time you can buy a toy that grows right along with them. This play mat has five zones that focus on visual, motor skills, cognitive learning, and more. Accessories are removable based on the child's age and needs and parents will love the set up process takes just a few minutes.

BabyPuzzle Personalized Name Puzzle With Pegs

name puzzle

 Busy Puzzle

For a unique gift that both littles and parents and caregivers will love, try a personalized name puzzle. This artful toy is crafted with high-quality material to give it a super sophisticated vibe, but it’s functional, too. It’ll provide hours of fun that help children build problem-solving skills and fine motor function, and—eventually—teach them how to spell their name. 

Little Tikes First Slide

Little Tikes First Slide

Courtesy of Walmart

When your tot is still a little too small for the playground, this beginner-level slide is a great alternative. It’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, so you can enjoy active play no matter what the weather is like. Parents love that it folds flat for portability and convenient storage. Note that this slide is suitable for older one-year-olds, or 18 months and up.

Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center

Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center

Amazon

There’s no shortage of fun to be had with this award-winning wooden toy. The freestanding activity table, which features dozens of bead runs and gliders that facilitate grasping skills, is just the right size—small enough for the younger set to sit and play, but large enough for toddlers to tinker while standing.

Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll 'N Trike

Radio Flyer, 4-in-1 Stroll 'n Trike

Courtesy of Walmart

This ride-on toy is perfect for growing youngsters hitting new milestones all the time. It has four different ways to ride: Use it as an infant trike or a steering trike with help from adults or as a learn-to-ride trike or a classic trike suitable for more independent riders. Though this toy is on the pricier side, it’s a worthy investment—it’s suitable for children as young as 1 year and as old as 5 years.

Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag

3.4
Mega Bloks

Courtesy of Walmart

This set of 80 large-scale blocks provides the perfect introduction to building blocks. The colorful pieces easily click together, so kids can harness the power of their imagination and create any number of things—from robots, to castles, to cars, and more.

Fat Brain Toys SpinAgain Kids Stacking Toy

 Fat-Brain-SpinAgain-Stacking-Toy

Courtesy of Buy Buy Baby

This toy puts a twist on the classic stacking toy. This set of six brightly-colored, graduated discs spin down a corkscrew pole, encouraging hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and the concept of cause and effect.

Boon Building Bath Pipes Toy Set

Boon Pipes Bath Toy Set

Courtesy of Buy Buy Baby

Get those creative juices flowing and those problem-solving skills into tip-top shape with this fun bath time building set. Kids will love figuring out how to connect the pipes to create a maze of working waterfalls. 

B. toys by Battat FunKeys Toy

B. toys by Battat FunKeys Toy

Courtesy of Amazon

There’s just something about keys—little kids love them. To ensure your set doesn’t go missing, give toddlers their own special set of keys they can chew on, rattle, and carry around. In addition to the eye-catching colors, these baby-safe keys have a realistic design and a functional remote that emits car sounds and turns on a flashlight. 

VTech Drop and Go Dump Truck

VTech, Drop and Go Dump Truck

Walmart

This colorful dump truck is so much more than just a pull along toy. It’s a great tool for teaching kids basic counting—as they load the truck’s hinged bucket with rocks, the toy counts each one aloud. It also plays a variety of melodies and phrases that teach additional vocabulary words, including colors and shapes.

VTech Smart Shots Sports Center, Yellow

VTech Smart Shots Sports Center

Amazon

Toddlers are notorious for their short attention spans, but this activity center gives tots two choices—basketball or soccer—to ensure there’s no shortage of fun. The light-up scoreboard provides positive feedback when kids score and plays fun songs and sounds.

Final Verdict

For kids who have turned 1, toys should be fun and developmentally appropriate. Any of these toys fit the bill, but you’re sure to hit a home run with the Battat Wooden Activity Cube or the Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Stack & Roll Cups

How We Selected the Best Toys for 1-Year-Olds

We chose the best toys for 1-year-olds by researching reviews from customers and competitors, while studying the design and features of more than 60 toys on the market. Additionally, we monitored shopping trends to bring you the best, and most up-to-date, offerings on toys for 1-year-olds. We considered toy safety, age recommendations, ease of use, design, size, features, and value when reviewing products, and also spoke with Natasha Burgert, MD, a pediatrician in South Overland Park, Kansas, and Kristin Morency Goldman, senior advisor of strategic communications for The Toy Association, for additional information. 

What to Look for in Toys for 1-Year-Olds

Ease of Use

Make sure your child's toy is easy to use for both you and your child. You want to make sure the toy is lightweight enough for your toddler to carry and lift it while also having easy-to-use features. It's also important that it can be easily wiped clean and stored away when your child isn't playing with it.

Educational Value

It’s also beneficial to think about whether the toy you’re buying is educational. There’s a lot for one-year-olds to learn, from basic motor and language skills to letters, colors, sounds, and more. Consider what toys they already have and what skills they’re working on when you start shopping.

“I encourage toys that hit all the developmental dimensions, says Natasha Burgert, MD, a pediatrician in South Overland Park, Kansas. “Toys like books to read together or explore independently, cause and effect toys that have a light or sound when the child engages, balls to kick and throw, blocks to stack and tumble, dolls and stuffed animals, and tactile toys for texture exploration and fine motor play.” 

Age-Appropriateness

Always check the age range of the toys you plan to buy. While you may be excited to teach your little one new things, you want to find a toy that they will be able to understand, enjoy, and fully engage with safely.

Always check the labels on the toys you’re considering, particularly the manufacturer’s recommended age. This guideline is there to help you decide whether the toy is safe and stimulating enough (or too stimulating) for your child, says Kristin Morency Goldman, senior advisor of strategic communications for The Toy Association.

Safety

Babies love to grab, chew and throw things, so choose toys that are made up of safe, non-toxic materials, and have soft edges. Additionally, watch out for toys with small parts that can be a choking hazard—generally these toys are labeled 3+, says Morency Goldman.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do children benefit from playing with their parents or caregivers?

    One of the best ways for little ones to learn is by observing parents and caregivers. Littles are like little sponges, soaking in everything they see. When you play with your baby, they learn how to interact and behave by watching and mimicking your actions.

  • How many toys should a 1-year-old have?

    When it comes to toys, the number doesn't matter as long as they help your 1-year-old explore and learn. You do not need too many toys, as long as they engage your toddler's interests and allow them to work on building new skills, especially cognitive, physical, and verbal skills.

  • When should I buy toys for my baby?

    You can buy toys for your baby at any time, although newborns benefit mainly from watching parents and caregivers. Once they reach 2 to 4 months old, they benefit from toys during tummy time. From there, they gradually become more interested in playing and engaging with toys.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Ashley Ziegler is a staff and freelance writer who covers lifestyle, home, parenting, and commerce for a variety of platforms. She’s a mom to 1-year-old and 3-year-old daughters and an aunt to 3 nieces and 2 nephews ranging from 5 to 10 years old. In addition to regularly scouring the internet to find the best things for herself, Ashley spends multiple hours a week researching, comparing, and writing about products specifically for kids and families.