Toy Ideas for 1 Year Old Who Doesn't like "Toys"

Updated on August 11, 2010
A.K. asks from Minneapolis, MN
16 answers

My little guy turns 1 in a couple of weeks and I'm racking my brain on what to get him. Thanks to his older brother, we have a house full of toys, but what my little one really likes is anything that is not a toy - cell phones, remote controls, pop cans, beer bottles, wine glasses, electrical wires.... ;) Anything he is not supposed to have is his absolute favorite thing.

So, any recommendations for toys that would be safe for him as a still teething 1 year old that don't look or feel like toys at all? Or really really cool toys that you just know every 1 year old likes?

Further background: he isn't walking yet, crawls everywhere and pulls up to his knees so far. We have 800 walker toys, as his brother didn't walk until 17 months and I tried every toy on the market to move that along. :) Also, we have a million books, and aren't necessarily looking to get more.

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So What Happened?

Wow! Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. For my first son's birthday, we got him a zoo pass for the year, and I had completely forgotten about that! This time around, I think we'll get a pass to the Children's Museum. We certainly don't need any more toys!! Thanks again.

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answers from Milwaukee on

A subscription to a magazine geared toward his age (search amazon) or a membership to a children's museum or a zoo-then both kids can enjoy it.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Hmmmm....what about play food & play pots, dishes, etc? Or that Tupperware shape sorter ball? There are toy cell phones out there. Toy camera? Wooden blocks?

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answers from Rochester on

My kids always try to use my cleaning supplies so they have real hand brooms with dust pans that fit them from Target. I keep them in the toys (but I borrow them from the kids once in a while, myself). When my oldest was one his favorite toy was a slightly melted spatula, which he thought was a sword. He would hold it in the air and say "By the power of Greyskull!" in baby gibberish.

Otherwise, I agree that not worrying about toys is fine. We don't have room for more toys so I'm hoping our son doesn't get much next week when he turns 2, but I'm sure he'll get a few. Either get a few extra household items that aren't going to hurt him, or just get him clothes or something boring like that. :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from College Station on

What about a remote for him? We gave each of my girls a remote that they could have instead of ours. They love it and we get to keep our remotes safe!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

Plastic or metal measuring cups and spoons; (or spoons in general);
boxes of various shapes and sizes (unless you think he will chew them, then get plastic ones);
metal mixing bowls;
sandbox (or sand basin for indoor play, or use some other substance if you don't want sand in your house, e.g. rice);
basin of water and cups to pour it back and forth
paper (if he won't eat it)

Hope that helps

K. Z.

Hope that helps

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Check out Melissa and Doug toys. I always find they have different and cool toys. Books always work too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I would honestly say dont get him anything. It sounds like you have tons around the house anyways! He will never remember. :) Go for a fun family outing to commemorate his big day instead. A trip to the zoo, the park the beach. Take some special pictures and put one in a frame.



answers from Los Angeles on

My 1 year old loves puppets! We have some very real looking animal puppets that keep trying to "bite" her. She gets the giggles every time, and our three year old is still very entertained by them as well.



answers from New York on

What about a ride on toy? Our sons ride on toys are always a hit at parties where other little ones are attending.



answers from Appleton on

My daughter is the same way and just turned 1! Her favorite toy she received for her birthday was definitely the Little Tikes Coupe car (pink of course!). It has a "floorplate" that can be removed from the floor of the car when they're older (my daughter fell through the bottom of the car when we removed it!) and she can open the door herself and climb in & out. She also pushes it across the floor which seems to get her walking more! All the other toys are still in her toybox- which she rarely touches- except the car.....she plays with it every day!



answers from Portland on

I've always thought toy manufacturers miss a bit opportunity by designing kids' toys to look like kids' toys. My grandson preferred "big-people stuff" from an early age. He treasured a dead cell phone his folks let him have (though he was never a kid who put things in his mouth).

One thing he did like from the age of one, and still plays with 3.5 years later, is a set of boomwhackers. Versatile for imaginative play, and you can actually make music with them if you're so inclined:



answers from Honolulu on

If that is not his thing, then that is not his thing.
each kid, is different.

No need to get him 'toys' if he is not into it, nor yet.
My kids liked 'real' things too... it is part of normal exploration and curiosity...

Just get him things that he (or you) can use... like clothing.

Things in the home are 'toys' too... my kids at that age LOVED to pull kleenex out of the box. Banging pots and pans. Anything in the home can be useful and learning and a 'toy.' It does not have to be store bought.

Or, give him all the cell phones you have that you no longer use etc. Or plastic cups/goblets... that aren't glass and dangerous... he likes things that you actually use, in real life... which is also normal in babies and which my kids did too. So find 'safer' alternatives for him. Or old extra keys you have laying around, and let him have it.

good luck,


answers from Los Angeles on

I would suggest a riding toy. There are a bunch out there, motorized, not motorized, ones that the parent pushes then converts as they get older. My daughter has had a Kettler tricycle since she was 1 and loves it. She also has had the "cozey coupe" from little tikes but just recently was able to figure it out (she's going to be 18 months).
for christmas we are going to get her a motorized baby moped (max speed like 2 mi an hour I think) and I read reviews on it that even babies who couldn't walk loved it.
Other things you might consider would be play food, wooden puzzles, clothes, baby safe mirrors (my baby loved those at that age and still does, I found mine at target), a solo plastic swing, clothes, hand puppets, or maybe bath toys. Kids are so unpredictible. I told my boyfriend we are going to sop buying little toys for her, all the do is sit in a pile and collect dust...she's realy into books right now, and her cozey coupe. Good Luck! =)



answers from Minneapolis on

How about a play kitchen?? they also have ones that look like a mini restaurant. if he like real things, this may be perfect for him to have replicas. also, something he can grow into and also play with his brother.



answers from Dallas on

Leapfrog has a few toys out that resemble "real" things. When my daughter was one she was obsessed with my cell phone. So she got a Chat and count cell saved my phone from being drowned in slobber. They also have some toys that look like computers and another that resembles a blackberry. He may not be able to use it the "right" way yet, but if he's like my kids, he'll enjoy mashing the buttons.

And my daughter owns a few real, but non-working remotes. I washed them with chlorox wipes and let her have them. She loved them.

My button obsessed kids loved (and still use) the Sesame street Giggle sound station. The buttons all make a different noise. I now keep it in the car, because they played with it so much (hint, tape over the speaker :) )


answers from San Antonio on

At one year, my son loved the vibrating massager hand-held thingy. He'd turn it on and off and it lit up and vibrated when he turned it on. Now he's two and I'm teaching him how to give mommy a massage! It's a great 'cause and effect' toy, but make sure it does vibrating AND lights for double the baby-entertainment.

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