The 9 Best Toys to Buy for 18-Month-Old Boys in 2018

Help his mind grow with these developmental picks

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By 18 months of age, your baby boy has transitioned from infant to toddler—seemingly overnight. He may be talking, express an interest in music and dance, and be endlessly curious about his surroundings. His bright, young mind can be supported by educational activities and toys aimed at 18-month-olds that promote emotional and physical development, such as hand-eye coordination. At this age, many parents also seek out toys that help toddlers with balance and walking—and at the same time are fun. If you have an active 18-month-old boy, now’s a great time and age to invest in toys that help fine-tune his motor skills or require standing. Also, seek out various puzzles and sorting toys to help build your toddler’s grip-strength.

All toddlers meet milestones at different stages, but generally, at somewhere around 18 to 24 months, your toddler may start recognizing right and wrong, mirroring what mommy and daddy do, and engage in pretend play where their young minds are on the go. These top toys for 18-month-olds are nice options for the loveable, huggable, on-the-move little boy in your life. 

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: KidKraft Deluxe Activity Cube

Popular in pediatrician’s offices, this must-have toy has five sides of whimsical fun. Each panel offers different activities to enhance and sharpen your active boy’s motor skills. By sitting or standing to play, kids will learn about shapes, letters, colors, and numbers.

The very top of the cube features three wire bead tracks. One side of the “box” has a groove track that shapes slide “down.” There is also a side with A-Z letters that spin on a bar; each letter has a picture on the back depicting a word that starts with that letter (example: The "F" plastic letter depicts a picture of a frog when flipped over). Another side has a gear crank and counting beads, and one panel has an abacus of various colors. Made of durable wood, this popular toy comes pre-assembled, keeps kids quite entertained, and is oodles of fun.

Best Pretend Play: Little Tikes® Gas & Go Mower

Kids often say they want to be older than they really are—which is why this pretend lawnmower makes a great gift for your on-the-go 18-month-old boy. Not only does it encourage creative play, but he’ll feel like a grown-up wheeling this lifelike toy around just like the adults in his life. It’s also useful for toddlers to practice their walking and coordination, since not all toddlers walk fast or with ease.

This product can certainly be used outside and comes in two pieces:  the handle and the base. When assembled, it makes a popping sound when pushed, thanks to little beads on the base that move around. Don’t worry, the colorful, plastic popping beads won’t come out—they’re tightly encased in a sturdy clear section of the base. Reviewers state that this toy is solid and simple to assemble. There are no small parts; it’s made of thick plastic, and easy to clean. Plus, it doesn't require batteries. This toy can be used from 18 months to 5 years. 

Best Tech: VTech Brilliant Baby Laptop

Vtech Brilliant Baby Laptop

Courtesy of Amazon

Kids these days are so impressively tech-savvy, so why not expose your active and curious 18-month-old boy to a toy laptop that’s both interactive and educational? There’s so much to do and see with the Brilliant Baby Laptop from industry leader VTech.

This travel-ready gadget has nine bright buttons of various colors and a realistic, movable "mouse" that makes the screen light up when moved around. Curious kids can select the laptop’s animal mode to learn about animals and the sounds they make, or the shape mode to learn about colors and shapes. The music mode setting plays a variety of merry melodies—more than 100 songs are included.

This is a nice toy for encouraging your toddler’s development since it involves hand-eye coordination and teaches the basics about colors, songs, and sounds. The laptop itself weighs just a smidgen more than 1 pound and comes with a carrying handle, so it’s easy to transport and not clunky. Two AA batteries are included, but you’ll need to update them shortly after use since they’re just demo batteries. This toy is suitable for children 6 months to 3 years.

Best Action/Reaction: BKids Fill 'n' Spill Coin Bank Toy

If you’re going to teach your child about the value of money, there should be some type of super-cute animal involved, right? This “piggy bank” is shaped like a friendly, smiley penguin and introduces your always-curious child to shapes, colors, and numbers. The plastic coins are inserted via a slot in the penguin’s head; the money lands in the penguin’s see-through belly. Kids will enjoy learning how to slide each coin into the slot. Then, the money falls out when the penguin’s wings are pressed down.

This toy teaches “action”—the physical act of inserting the money; and “reaction”—the excitement of seeing the coins released when the wings are pushed. Reviewers describe this bank as sturdy, not noisy, and great for hand-eye coordination. Comes with 10 hard, plastic coins in a variety of shapes and colors. No batteries required. This is suitable for children 18 to 36 months.

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

There’s a reason why this toy is so popular with families: it has everything but the kitchen sink, as the expression goes. The activity panel where the plastic phone and rainbow keyboard are located can be removed, so children can sit and play with all the buttons and musical keys. Or, your active toddler can use this toy as a walker and lean against it as he zooms around. Overall, this toy teaches educational and physical development in so many ways. With 70 sing-along songs, noises, and sayings, your baby will delight in all these must-have toy offers. The learn and play section has piano keys, spinning rollers, light-up buttons, shape sorters, and a pretend phone. Batteries included.​

Best for Coordination: Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo

This interactive, robot-style toy is jam-packed with fun lights, music, games, and more. Press the tummy or the buttons on BeatBo’s feet to hear fun songs, learn some dance moves as BeatBo sways from side-to-side, and even pick up some new vocabulary words. The LED grid tummy lights up in a rainbow of colors, and BeatBo—made of thick plastic—recites the ABC's, colors, and even counts and plays “Freeze Dance.”

You and your toddler can even record a few words, such as “I Love You,” and BeatBo will repeat the words back to the toddler in a song. Four AA batteries required. A great “cause and effect” toy that encourages creative play, the push of various buttons to see “what happens,” and it gets tykes' bodies moving and grooving! Suitable for ages 9 to 36 months.

Best Building: LEGO DUPLO My First Number Train

A fantastic toy for the boy in your life who adores trains, this LEGO DUPLO set is an “Amazon’s Choice,” and features a buildable locomotive along with three wagons that connect to each other with no small parts or pieces. The train wheels are sturdy but roll along nicely indoors or outdoors.

A collection of bricks labeled 0 to 9 comes with this set. Also included in this collection is a cat and two children figurines—they’re along for the ride on toddler’s first train. This great gift for your active 18-month-old encourages imaginative play, teaches counting and number sequences, and is stimulating without being noisy or overwhelming.

Reviewers liked that it’s easy for toddlers to assemble, colorful and lightweight, and is interactive, especially when teaching move forward/move backward. Larger than the traditionally sized LEGOs, LEGO DUPLO products are designed for little hands—they’re large, making them easy to grip.

Best Imagination: Little People® Travel Together Airplane

The airplane lover in your life will cherish this cute toy, which is more than just a plastic plane—it also talks and plays music. This collection comes with a durable blue and white airplane with a latch door that opens, plus two figurines: Pilot Kurt and Passenger Emma (there’s also a little briefcase included). The front of the plane features a smiley face, and when Pilot Kurt takes his seat in the cockpit, songs play, there are airplane sounds, and lights come on. Hit the button at the top of the aircraft for additional voice commands and music.

Reviewers like that it’s not too noisy and that it’s wide on top, so the figurines can easily slide into their seats. Spin the turbine and get your boy ready for some high-flying adventures. Comes with three AA batteries. Just note this toy doesn’t actually fly, but your kid’s imagination will.

Best Puzzle: Melissa & Doug 2055 Pet Animals Knob Wooden Puzzle

This classic puzzle comes with three large easy-hold, colorful, and solid wood pieces in the shape of a bird, duck, or dog. It teaches toddlers problem-solving and ways to fit shapes into spaces, and by trial and error they'll eventually get the hang of where each piece goes.

There’s no electronic noise addition to this puzzle, so use that to your advantage and teach kids yourself the various animal sounds—clap for your toddler when they make a match and celebrate by barking or meowing together. Your toddler will learn imaginative play, how to match, and hopefully, expand on their puzzle collection after they master this one. For a few dollars more you can get this personalized with the child's name on it, making it a great gift!

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