Toys for 1-Year-old

Updated on August 26, 2008
B.R. asks from Albany, NY
22 answers

I am looking for suggestions for toys for a 1-year-old boy. My husband and I have recently realized that most of the toys he has now are too young for him and so he doesn't really want to play with them. We prefer toys that encourage thinking and creativity through open-ended play, but suggestions for any toys that he will have a lot of fun with over the next few months would be appreciated.

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N.M.

answers from New York on

My sons favorite toys from 8 months to 2 years old was a small hand held drum and an "egg shaker", he loved to make his own music!

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A.B.

answers from Glens Falls on

My son will be two in October and I've been right there with you. Fisher Price (I think) makes these awesome little cars adn trucks, they come in a set of five for like $8 at Walmart and are soft on the top. The wheels can't come apart. He loves them> he also loves puzzles and is forever driving the pieces of his puzzles (fire trucks, cars, school bus) etc around on the floor. Good luck, it's such a fun age when they start to discover things!!

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M.R.

answers from New York on

My son Jack turned 1 on July 28. He has a few toys that he loves, loves, loves. The leapfrog learning playground - hard to find but it is a great learning toy and is perfect for this age (look on www.leapfrog.com). The Parents Zoo cube (www.Target.com) wooden cube. Leapfrog Fridge Farm, and he also loves the Laugh & Learn Learning Home by Fisher Price, it is a door with all activities on it, check it out at www.fisherprice.com. Hope this helps!!!
M.

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A.G.

answers from New York on

Dear B., The most "brain building" activity for one year old is to have regular, safe household items available for his exploration and a place where he is free to move and play at movement. Therefore, all your plastic containers/ pots/baskets/small buckets with handles, wooden spoons, cotton, silk and other cloth larger than 12"x12", and smaller items that are swallow-safe- small balls of varied textures (made from cloth, plastic, etc.)/pine cones/corks. These items he will be able to place in the larger containers; the containers he can cart around, empty, fill,empty. Have large pillows on the floor and allow him to crawl and climb and walk where ever he wants to. Movement is critical to building integrated brain function for the foundation of cognitive abilities- ages birth to three years.
Emmi Pikler was a Hungarian pediatrician who made ground breaking work in this area in the 1940s. MAgda Gerber brought her work here. See Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) for more info; also books, Dear Parent, by Magda Gerber. The other great resource is Sophia's Hearth.org. Also, The Early Years Matter.org

all the best,
A. G, E.C> specialist and mother of 3

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B.H.

answers from New York on

i don't think people mentioned the stand up music tables- leapfrog makes one. this was a great toy for awhile for my son and his bff. they last pretty well, so you could look for a used one. when he starts walking- the little stroller is a fave, and my son also got a small wood rider toy when he was one that he still rides around on (he's 2 1/2). i just also wanted to second the house items- i kept various plastic containers in a bottom drawer so the wee man could get them out when he wanted to- big fun! and musical instruments are fun too (which i think someone else mentioned). have fun!

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S.R.

answers from Albany on

Hi B.,

My boys will be 3 and 1 in September, and I've been noticing that same transition in my little guy to the "older" toys. I've noticed that recently, Leap Frog came out with a whole bunch of new toys that are just awesome. My boys are quite fond of the fridge farm and the small fridge phonics (my oldest now explores with the Word Whammer - spelling 3 letter words at age 3!

We're also loving the Fisher Price counting/sorting toys like the cookie jar, piggy bank, pots & pans, and the gumball machine (for put & take play).

My oldest received the Elmo Tool Bench & tool belt for his first birthday and absolutely loved it. It did come with a couple of big, plastic screws & nuts that I put aside. It's been a big hit for both boys!

Happy 1st Birthday to your little guy!

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A.D.

answers from New York on

Hi B., You are right, babies get bored of toys that they have out grown. If you go to toys-R-us the Fisher-Price section will have age appropriate toys. There are also other Educational toys. Have fun shopping just save some for the Holidays!!! Grandma Mary

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G.P.

answers from Utica on

We recieved the Leap Table as a present for my oldest daughter - she loved it and my now almost 1 yr old is crazy about it and any kid we've had over likes to play with it. It encourages them to stand to play with it and does colors, music and letters.

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G.C.

answers from New York on

My 14 month old likes those big chunky wooden knob puzzles, pull toys that move when you pull the string (brands include Haba, Selecta, Plan Toys, Melissa & Doug), shape sorters, stacking cups, Playskool Busy Poppin Pals, all kinds of balls, and things from the kitchen--my tupperware containers, plastic bowls, spatulas. If you don't have a cart or wagon for him to push around, he'd probably like that. Little Tikes makes a great plastic shopping cart that's sturdy. My DD likes to put things in her cart and wheel it around the house. Also lift-the-flap and touch & feel books are fun.

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A.M.

answers from New York on

melissa and doug piano is great as are other musical instruments for kids. we used the parents drum at target filled with instruments, it was for 3 and up but we only found the xylophone stick too young.

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S.B.

answers from Albany on

Hi B.!

My girls LOVE[D] the sit n spin zebra and also the fisher price laugh and learn chair. My older one is obviously too big for both now but when she was younger enjoyed both also!! My little one still plays with both and she is 20 months. I also recommend leap frog, wooden blocks, stacking cups (especially those made for the tub).

S.

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J.H.

answers from Syracuse on

check out Discovery Toys...they're great.

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L.B.

answers from New York on

I am the mother of four children ages 14 down to 15 months. I have 2 daughters and 2 sons. My two sons ages 5 1/2 and 15 months both enjoy cars, trucks, trains etc and sport things such as balls and frisbees. They also enjoy the v tech toys and also any toy that is educationalThe baby loves the bouncing zebra. I believe that fisher price makes it. Hope this helps

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K.H.

answers from Utica on

Hi B.
Good observation! Kids do outgrow toys and that is why they label them for ages.
As for recommendations I love "LEAP FROG" as far as which ones; go by age on toy. When your child is 1 year, buy toys that say 1-3yrs. That way they will not outgrow them as fast. If yours has outgrown toys that say 6-18 months, adjust accordingly. Those are afterall suggested ages, not engraved in stone.
Enjoy, your time is the most valuable thing you can give them so don't discount it. Talking to them and reading to them are so important. Crawling increases reading skills so even if he is walking playing crawling games is a good idea.
God bless you
K.
SAHM of 4, 37,32(he and his wife just made us grandparents in July), and twins 18. Married 38 years.

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B.E.

answers from New York on

Tangiball and Measure Up Cups from www.toysofdiscovery.com are two toys that my son got a lot of mileage out of when he was a year old. The ball is a turquoise nubby ball that provides lots of sensory stimulation. He'll be able to roll it, and eventually throw and catch it. When it's time to start connecting bat to ball, this one is soft and large enough to make slugging safe and do-able.

As for the set of 12 cups, they are volumetrically correct...that is, each cup has been measured in such a way that its volume corresponds to its number. So, for example, if you are in the bath tub, and you fill cup #1 and pour it into cup #2, and do that twice...you son will see that 1 + 1= 2. 3 + 4=7, etc.
They can be used in the kitchen, too! Cup #12 is an 8-oz. measuring cup for recipes. Cup #6 is a half a cup, and so on. These cups were also great for our son at the beach for building sandcastles. There are tons of other ways to play with them...they are truly open-ended.

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M.D.

answers from New York on

my son just turned one also!
he is very into the push, scoot, ride type toys (he got WAY too many for his birthday, he has 4 different kinds!)
boys all just want to make a lot of noise so music toys are usually a safe bet!

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M.N.

answers from New York on

Hi B., My son is 16 months old. He absolutely loves the Fischer Price car garage and the cars that go with it (we have the older version). He wants to sleep with the cars and once he's up in the morning he starts looking for the cars and the garage to play with. He also loves bubbles. We got him a big bubble wand and he actually learned how to use it to make his own bubbles, too cute! Have fun with your little guy!

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B.F.

answers from New York on

Dear B., children's play is mostly an imitation of the world around them. A child will imitate the mother's work around the house or the father's daily activity. With this it relates himself to the world around him in other words, it learns to know where he is in relationship to the world around. The best toys are "NO" toys. A wooden box can become a closet, a bed, a car, a house. Make him a simple doll out of soft woolen material, with a very simple face, only a hint of eyes and mouth. The child will use its own imagination and add a happy face or a sad face whatever it needs to experience in that moment. Make it simple, this will fire the imagination. And this is what it is all about to become human. Bring to your child only things that are worthy of imitation.If your friends and family insist buying "TOYS" for birthdays and holidays, ask them to buy things made out of natural materials. Another tip: No TV. About me: I am 60 and a mother to three children. I am a movement and sound therapist. My children went to a Waldorf School. Greetings, B.

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A.P.

answers from New York on

I'm not too experienced, because my son is only 20 months. But at one year, he REALLY liked (and still does) stacking blocks--you can buy a cardboard set, and the boxes nest inside each other (they have designs, like numbers, letter, nursery rhymes, etc.), and they cost about $10-$15 for the set. Just for the record, I ordered mine online from Lillian Vernon Kids http://www.lillianvernon.com/catalog/product_display.jsp?...
He loves to stack them with me, and then knock them down, and I read that this is one of the best toys for this age, because they learn size relationships, and a sense of control over being able to stack and knock down, learn cause and effect, etc. My son also has a little set of stacking cups he loves. He also loved balls (and still does). Also, one of those toys where beads can be moved along wires (attached to a piece of wood). And I also got him the bounce & spin zebra by Fisher Price (got it cheap on Craigslist), and also a sand and water table. He still plays with all of these toys. A few months after turning one, he got into cars and trucks.

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J.Z.

answers from New York on

My daughter is turning one this week, and I know what you mean by being done with certain toys. I also have a background in early childhood, and from that experience, and knowing what my daughter likes (that a boy will also like), I can suggest: any cause and effect toys, like the fisher price pop-up toy (other brands make it too) that has different knobs to push or turn, etc and a character or animal pops up, until the child pushes it back down for more, at first you might have to push or turn the knobs for your child,and they will enjoy the effect of the "doors" popping up, and push them down, but they will eventually will learn to manipulate the knobs on their own as their small finger muscles keep developing. Another cause and effect toy is a classic jack in the box (that I have seen at toys r us in the educational section)- Other suggestions are soft foam blocks, (your child will love when you build a tower and they can knock it down, and they will also learn to build as they grow), musical instruments, simple 1-3 piece knob puzzles, bubbles, activity tables (battery powered or not), where they can stand at and manipulate the toys, the fisher price classic pop-corn popper toy is also fun for this age. Ok, hope that helps, have fun!!!!

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S.L.

answers from New York on

I second the recommendations that others have given. My daughter is 21 months now but she still plays with most of these toys. She too loves the Parents Drum, all of the Leapfrog products especially the maracas, Fisher Price Sit and Spin Zebra, and the FP Laugh and Learn House. She actually received all of them as 1st birthday presents. She also likes the Fisher Price Amazing Animals Sing and Go Choo Choo. That one doesn't have much educational value other than learning the animals and their sounds, but it plays music and the animals all make a clicking sound when their limbs are moved that my daughter really enjoys! One more thing, I'd like to add books to the list. Around 1 year old my daughter really started to enjoy the books with different textures in them, usually different animals to feel. Right around 1 yr. old she learned to turn the pages herself and would actually sit with a book for 10 minutes or so. She still loves books and now is interested in pop-ups and ones with parts that move. In my opinion it's never to early to give a child a book. :)

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A.Y.

answers from New York on

Dear B.:

I recently starting selling toys made by a company called Discovery Toys. They are really great toys and are all geared toward learning and education. Please check out the website, I'm sure you will be interested. www.discoverytoyslink.com/ayuhas

A. Y.

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