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From crawling to walking, from babbling to chatting, from tummy time to real fun—a lot has happened this year! The first birthday is a big milestone and the start of a new season of discovery and joy as your baby becomes a toddler. Between now and their next birthday, your tyke will learn and grow so much. Age-appropriate toys foster imagination, sensory stimulation, and physical development in ways that intrigue your toddler.
Bright colors are important for little ones this age, as they are easy for them to differentiate and more enticing at play time. (Pastels and muted shades are still good for sleep spaces, but stock up on rainbow-hued and primary color toys to stimulate that growing mind!). Music and movement are two other pillars of the perfectly stocked 1-year-old play space. Their hand-eye coordination is blossoming, so make sure that their smaller toys and puzzles are easy to grab and manipulate. To get more specific, here are some of the best toys for 1-year-olds.
If there’s one word to describe 1-year-olds, it’s busy. Put that energy to good use with a table that has lots of buttons, levers, screws, and cranks to explore. A grow-with-me table that starts out for sitters and can have legs added later on will be good bang for your buck, Both of these offer visual stimulation and hands-on fun that will keep your tot entertained endlessly, while standing and strengthening those little legs.
Pushcart or Push Walker
At the start of walking, and for months after that milestone is reached, a toy that your little one can push is important. This helps them gain confidence in walking and provides lots of fun. You can also use a sturdy wood doll stroller to fit this need. From a simple push wagon or charming doll stroller, to a sensory walker that features activities, moving balls and so on at its front .
Doll or Stuffy
Play-acting as Mommy or Daddy starts young, even before 12 months. Your 1-year-old will benefit tremendously from having a baby doll or human-inspired stuffed animal to tenderly care for. At this age, a soft (machine-washable!) doll is best, and one that has simple accessories like Velcro-on diapers and a plastic bottle, is even better. The doll shown with a removable pacifier is a perfect example.
Toys that can be pulled are important. Moving around the room promotes gross motor skill development while tots flex their fine motor skills as they hold onto the toy’s string. The pull toy also teaches them that their movement and actions can affect those around them; they see their own hand pull the string and an item moves as a result.
It’s one of those things you probably dreaded when becoming a parent, but the fact is musical toys are so important for your baby’s development even if it’s a pain in your ears. Your tyke will love the cause-and-effect of a xylophone, like shown, or the Baby Einstein piano, which are perfect for hand-eye coordination and also not nearly as loud as electric toys that play music on their own. Wander up and down the toy aisle or scroll the online offerings for all sorts of musical toys, because whether your little musician is banging it on their own or pressing a button to get the good stuff, this is one toy type that is essential at age