Best toys for 1 year olds in 2021
With so many toys out there, it’s not always easy to pick the best toys for 1 year olds. In our round-up, we’ve included all you need to entertain, stimulate and soothe curious your child as they continue to develop and explore the world around them.
Finding a birthday gift or top Christmas toys that will engage them for longer than five minutes is worth its weight in gold. The best toys for 1 year olds are designed to be as stimulating and educational as possible to help with their development. They also promote the central most important thing – play.
Around the age of one, children are gaining more mobility and usually start to learn how to pick up small objects between their thumb and index finger. This is known as the ‘pincer grip’. This new skill will make it possible for children to start doing activities like scribbling or playing with blocks. The best toys for 1 year old children will help them practice this newly learnt skill – and others – while playing.
Health visitor and child development author Geraldine Butler told us, ‘Whether they are bottom shuffling, crawling or walking, many children will be mobile by their first birthday.’ Therefore, they are less likely to want to spend lots of tummy time on a play mat. They will be much more likely to want to start using toys that will help support themselves, standing up or even moving around.
Best toys for 1 year olds in 2021
Here’s our pick of the best toys for 1 year olds, from stackers to shakers, to music makers and the best baby walkers. There are lots of gifts and presents for 1-year-olds out there that will support early learning at home through encouraging exploration, fostering curiosity, building relationships and exploring moral dilemmas.
Howver, don’t be too worried about buying specifically educational toys for children as young as 1. As child development, expert and psychologist Dr. Amanda Gummer told us, “All toys can help children’s development. Even if it’s just a case of helping them learn about the things that they enjoy playing with and what makes them happy. The important thing is to provide children with a range of playthings and allow them to play freely with different toys. This helps with things like decision-making skills, self-awareness, emotional wellbeing, and creativity.”
1. Personalised Disney Dumbo Read & Play Gift Set
Age Suitability: From birth | Batteries required: None | Price: £41
Dumbo is a true classic Disney film – the 1941, not the 2019 version, of course. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a 1 year old or adult on the planet who isn’t moved by the tale of this adorable baby elephant. This Personalised Disney Dumbo Read & Play Gift Set makes for a cute gift and delightful keepsake, which is why we’ve included in our best toys for 1 year olds in 2021 round up.
A great way to mark a first year, the soft toy can be personalised with up to 7 characters and comes packaged as part of a box set with a copy of the Dumbo tale inside. You can read the story while your child snuggles up and enjoys listening to the journey this popular and charming Disney character makes. The thing we love most about this gift is that it is timeless and the fact that it can be kept to pass down along the generations.
2. Oskar & Catie Personalised Noah’s Ark
Age Suitability: 1 year + | Batteries required: None | Price: £49.99
This colourful Oskar & Catie Personalised Noah’s Ark wooden toy comes in two different sizes and is beautifully finished with a personalisation. It comes with seven different pairs of animals and is a fun way to introduce children to various species, while engaging them in imaginative play.
This ark toy has a range of entertaining elements – from the steps up to the ark, the drawbridge that opens to reveal the animals, while handling the animals is great for developing those fine motor skills.
3. Scottie Dog Push Along
Age Suitability: 1 year + | Batteries required: None | Price: £84.49
Parents loved this dog walker toy for its great quality and the fact that toddlers can either use it as a ride on toy or push along walker. As well as being a fluffy and loveable addition to any child’s toy collection, this walker is also great at helping little ones practice their balance and coordination as well as concentration. It’s definitely a firm favourite in our best toys for 1 year olds in 2021 round up.
4. Tidlo Wooden Activity Walker
Age Suitability: 1 year + | Batteries required: None | Price: £51.99
A durable learner walker such as this Tidlo Wooden Activity Walker has features plenty of activities to keep toddlers entertained and busy. It is of course ideal for helping 1 year olds take their first steps – if they haven’t done so already. With a spinning cage rattle, mini abacus, spinning mirror and matching blocks there’s plenty to stimulate young minds, which is why we’ve included it in our best toys for 1 year olds in 2021 round up.
5. Hape Baby Einstein Magic Touch Drums
Age suitability: 12 months + | Batteries required: None | Price: £25
A wonderful way to channel their inner Ringo Star, the Hape Baby Einstein Magic Touch Drum will nurture a child’s sense of rhythm from an early age. The drum comes with four colourful icons including a frog, bird, tiger and octopus to make it enticing to touch. As your child prods and taps the top, the toy plays realistic drum sounds.
The Magic Touch Drum features two modes – melody and drum – so children can switch between playing classic songs and drumming up their own beat. Beautifully made from wood, with a plastic trim where the on-off switch is, the top of the drums are smooth and tactile and enticing enough for a curious 1 year old to get lost in music.
6. My First Activity Pull Along Train Wooden Toy
Age Suitability: 12 months + | Batteries required: None | Price: £30
Beautifully finishes, the My First Activity Pull Along Train wooden toy is a staple first toy for any little 1 year old boy and girl. It’s also a toy you can treasure as a keepsake for them as they grow older.
The animal characters on this train and building blocks are designed to develop the pincer grip and kids can have lots of practise taking them on and off the train. Not only does it encourage learning and counting, but it is designed to keep little ones active as they pull the string and take the animals on tour from room to room.
This train is FSC-certified, which makes it a sustainable choice too, so you can have peace of mind in the knowledge that you’re buying products that not only do well to keep your child entertained, but they are kinder to the environment too.
7. SMARTMAX SMX230 Construction Toy
Age Suitability: 1 year + | Batteries required: None | Price: £21.99
My First Totem has picked up multiple awards for innovation and being a great toy for stimulating young minds. The set features 8 colourful magnetic building blocks, with different sounds, styles and textures. Little ones can combine the sensory blocks to build the coolest totem; or follow one of the 24 fun challenges.
8. m zimoon Kids Piano Mat
Age Suitability: 18 months + | Batteries required: Yes | Price: £16.99
Great for encouraging children’s creativity and musical expression, this musical mat comes with eight different piano ‘keys’. Each key makes the sound of a different instrument. Easy to use like a retro dance mat, children will love jumping around and experimenting with sounds.
9. Djeco – Topanifarm
Age Suitability: 18 months + | Batteries required: None | Price: £20.22
This cute little farm-themed set may look like sweet animals in small boxes, but this block and tower set is a great way to get small children practising their construction skills and hand-eye coordination, whilst learning about different animals and their homes.
10. Mega Bloks DCH55 Big Building Bag, Blue, 80 Pieces
Age Suitability: 12 months + | Batteries required: None | Price: £15.99
This set contains 80 multi-coloured building blocks, including distinct shapes, that are perfect for little hands and encourages hands-on play for early childhood development. They can be combined with other Mega Bloks sets too.
11. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy
Age Suitability: 6 months + | Batteries required: Yes | Price: £15.99
GoodtoKnow consumer editor and mum Heidi Scrimgeour says: “When it comes to the best toys for 1 year olds, you can’t really beat Fisher Price baby toys. Not only are they fun and educational but they’re also great value for money and built to last. What’s more, babies love them!”
12. In The Night Garden Musical Activity Bubble Train
Age Suitability: 12 months + | Batteries required: Yes | Price: £37.49
This colourful train toy includes 15 fun activities to help to stimulate senses. It’s also designed to build motor/construction skills and aid hand/eye coordination. It includes a shape sorter and a chute for Iggle Piggle and Friends to slide down. It also blows bubbles and plays music as it is pulled a long.
13. ELC Sensory Stacking Rings
Age suitability: 6-12 months | Batteries required: None | Price: £20
This classic toy has lots of textures to explore and is great for problem-solving. It’s also ideal for stimulating the senses and developing hand-to-eye coordination. This fun, colourful giraffe design will delight your little one during playtime.
14. Baby Einstein Hape Magic Touch Deluxe Piano
Age suitability: 6 months + | Batteries required: Yes | Price: £39.99
Inspire a love of music in your little one with this wooden piano toy. It’s great for children aged 1 and up. Featuring 11 colourful keys with magic touch technology, the piano comes with 5 music sheets that play 10 melodies. Simply insert the sheets inside to play along to classic tunes or compose your own tune.
15. Bernie’s Number Bus
Age suitability: 6 months + | Batteries required: No | Price: £39.99
This solid wooden toy comes in a beautiful pillar-box red finish with little wooden passengers that can sit inside. The passengers are the perfect size for little hands to grip. They can place the character in coloured, matching seats. Kids can easily lift the roof off to discover what’s inside. This encourages them to practise their number learning and encourages imaginative play. With no batteries needed, it can also be wheeled around the room freely.
16. Exploration Blocks
Age suitability: 3+years | Batteries required: No | Price: £21
While the website states that this toy is suitable from 3+ years, we see no reason why it isn’t a great choice for a 1 year old. A classic wooden toy such as this helps kids explore shapes and textures and develops their visual attention. It also helps with fine motor skills as kids pick up the pieces and explore the design. It’s a colourful toy too and finished in a range of colours. Finally, it’s made from eco-friendly wood and non-toxic paints to give you peace of mind.
17. Personalised Doll in Gingham Outfit
Age Suitability: From birth | Batteries required: None | Price: £26
Children love to mimic and copy what they see around them and looking after and caring for their very own ‘baby’ is definitely one of those things. My 1st Years Personalised Rag Doll in Gingham Dress is soft and machine washable – and can be personalised for free, making it a lovely idea for presents for one-year-olds.
18. Personalised Wooden Rainbow Xylophone
Age Suitability: 18 months + | Batteries required: None | Price: £29.90
A bright, colourful xylophone will not only delight children and allow them to express themselves, but toys like this are great for teaching early note recognition and developing motor skills. It can also be personalised which makes for a great gift.