I have seen so many people in different moms groups or on Facebook ask what are the best toys to buy for a 1 year old. I decided to make a post about what you should be looking for when buying toys for a 1st birthday or Christmas! Below you can find my criteria for a good toy, my favorite brands, and shop-able links for toys that meet my 1 year old's approval.
Here are the things to keep in mind when shopping for a 1 year old:
1. They still chew on things and usually have teeth. Aim for wooden, or silicone toys rather than foam or plastic. They can eat the foam toys, the plastic can be bad for their teeth, and the wood and silicone holds up better.
2. They aren't at the age for imagination play but you can help facilitate that:
Dress up clothes are still a year or more away, but some good imagination based toys would be play kitchens, play food or career sets (doctors kit, etc.). They won't be able to pretend play jobs or cooking yet, but it can help bring those skills to fruition sooner if they have access to it. A friend of mine's 1 year old has the Melissa and Doug wooden food that you can pretend to cut apart (linked below) and she loves them! Little People also makes sets that teach about different careers. Oliver has the firetruck with a fireman and a firewoman that he pushes all around the house. 1 year olds also like to copy their parents, so toy cleaning sets or play mail can help them enjoy mimicking.
3. Big Items:
If you are looking to purchase a large item, some good items would be a push wagon or truck, indoor slides, a water table, or indoor sports sets. Oliver got his red truck that I'm sure you have seen on social media from his grandparents and it is his favorite toy!
4. Make parents happy with snacks:
A great 1 year old present is snacks or eating related goodies. If you know a family well enough to know what their child is and isn't allergic to, a parent would be thrilled with a gift full of puffs, yogurt bites, snack packs, or sippy cups! Baby and Mom will love you forever.
The best books at this age are board books (thick cardboard rather than paper), books that make noise, or books with things to feel (sensory). I linked some great books below. A brand called Lit Books makes baby board books from classic literature novels! I am obsessed with them.
Kids at this age are just starting to recognize characters. Oliver has tons of Superhero stuff and he always goes for Superman over the others so we know he has chosen a favorite! Funko Pop toys make great little characters from just about every tv show or movie that are the perfect consistency for little hands and mouths.
I can't speak to girl specific toys, but for little boys, trucks, cars, and balls are always a hit.
8. Bath Toys:
Another thing you can't screw up with is bath toys. Any bath toy will be a hit and will keep parents happy when bath time is a success.
1. Wooden Toys- Mellisa and Doug or Finn and Emma (see wooden came below as an example)
2. Silcone toys- B Toys (found at Target) or Little People
3. Characters- Funko Pop
4. Snacks- Plum Organics, Earth's Best, or Happy Baby
If you stick to these guidelines, your present will be a success! Here are some shop-able links to make your present buying process quick and easy:
* thank you to Finn and Emma for the products mentioned in this post. There are affiliate links above.
Affiliate links mean I get a small profit if purchases are made through my site.
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I am 25 years old with a 2 year old son and a wicked handsome husband living in Birmingham, Alabama.