You have to be mindful when shopping for toys for your 1-year-old. By this time, they’ve started to outgrow their toys, though they may have a few favorites, like their stuffed toys. Some toys may still be a bit complex and they have to be kept away from unsafe toys like those with small parts. Toys with small parts can become choking hazards.
Some parents can find it difficult to buy toys for their 1-year-olds because they are becoming stronger and more competent. As they start talking and walking, they want to explore their abilities to pick up things, hold on to their toys and grasp things and pull themselves up.
They start challenging their physical limits. Toys such as a ball that they can kick and toys that they can pull with a string become attractive. They start playing with stacking toys by size, a busy board with lock and key, or even zippers and even cubes. They also enjoy musical toys like a toy piano, drum, and even a toy xylophone.
Features of a good toy for a 1-year-old:
- They should help them explore their physical limits.
- They should help them develop their fine and gross motor skills.
- They should be colorful to engage your child visually.
- They shouldn’t have small parts that can become choking hazards.
- They should be fun to play with.
Some of the Best Toys For Your 1-year-old
The toys below have the qualities of Montessori toys for 1 year olds:
Bubble toys are ideal because they help your 1-year-old work on their fine motor skills. When they push the bubble down again and again, not only does it keep them busy, but also controls their reflexes. It improves learning and coordinated movement. Bubbles make them move and flex their fingers, developing their grip, muscle tone, and spatial awareness. It also flexes their right and left hands. It increases their body awareness while keeping them busy, reducing the need for screen time.
Does your toddler not want to enjoy their bath time? Having a water wall on your bathroom tiles makes bath time fun and keeps them busy while you go about applying soap and bathing them. This makes them enjoy hygiene.
It not only stimulates their fine motor skills and sensory development but also increases hand-eye coordination, and improves their ability to distinguish colors, shapes, and patterns.
Pickler arches are a kind of furniture designed for kids. They can climb, hang, or even build forts with pikler arches. You can decorate it by hanging colorful toys to stimulate the child visually.
Named after Emmi Pikler, a Hungarian pediatrician, it allows children to explore and push their physical limits. They can move their bodies freely and explore their curiosity.
Pikler arches can be used till your child becomes five. The advantage is that you can install it in your kid’s room or outdoors on the sand, a blanket, or grass. Just remember to put the arches down on a padded or soft surface as your toddler will inevitably fall. Having them at home is akin to having the playground at home. Turned upside down, toddlers can even swing from it.
As your child grows, they will learn how to use it more creatively like hanging from the bars, climbing the bars, and more.
Activity cubes with Music
Activity cubes engage your toddler with lights, music, and gears. They delight and encourage curiosity. They improve your child’s sensory perception and coordination.
Cubes with sliding beads teach your child how to count, name colors, and make comparisons. Cubes with clocks improve your child’s fine motor skills as they start and stop the clock’s hands. You can also teach them how to tell time and count numbers.
Cubes with gears teach kids how things work in tandem. Cubes also help children understand how shapes fit and don’t fit together, stimulating their problem-solving skills.
Not only that, activity cubes are easy to store.
Building blocks enhance your child’s creative and problem-solving skills and keep them busy for hours, reducing the need for screen time.
Since they require a lot of concentration, your 1-year-old learns patience and how things work together. They also increase your child’s spatial awareness while testing their spatial awareness.
As your child grows, they must engage their small fingers to grasp things and understand the weights of different blocks. Building blocks help you do just that.
You can use them to teach your child about geometric shapes and as they grow, the same blocks can be used for pretend play.
Stacking games are some of the most popular toys around. Not only are they fun, but also encourage problem-solving and counting. Children enjoy stacking toys because they can stack them and knock them over for more fun. And they can stack them again and do it over and over.
It helps them understand cause and effect, all the while improving their hand-eye coordination. Since most stacking toys are colorful, they stimulate the child visually. Stacking toys of different colors can be used to teach your child about various colors.
They may also understand what goal-setting is. For example, the goal is to stack the block from smaller to bigger or vice versa. This step may require an explanation from a parent or family member.
However, ensure that the individual pieces aren’t a choking hazard.
Visual Stimulation Flashcards and education books
As the name suggests, visual stimulation cards are great to engage the child’s visual faculties. By the time your child is 1 year old, they must have developed a sensitivity to black and white. Now is the time you introduce them to other colors.
Not only do they foster visual development but also stimulate brain development. Research suggests that exposing the child to colors results in the child’s cortical development and has lasting effects into adulthood.
Visual stimulation cards stimulate vision, improve concentration and encourage motor development. It is also a great way to strengthen parent-child bonds. It is well-known that parents who play with their children have long-lasting and stronger bonds with their children.
Games to Buy when Your Kid is 2 Years and Above
You may wonder why we haven’t included jigsaw puzzles, pretend play sets, or even busy boards. They can be great toys when your kid turns a little bit older but could be over-stimulating or a choking hazard for toddlers.
- Jigsaw puzzles: Jigsaw puzzles have a lot of small pieces. Since kids of this age are in the habit of biting everything, jigsaw puzzles may be a choking hazard for 1 year old kids but will be a fun activity for kids aged 2 years and up.
- Pretend play sets: Some parents might want to stimulate their child’s imagination, but like jigsaw puzzles, pretend play sets have small parts that may be choking hazards and may lead to a trip to the emergency room. But Pretend Play becomes an important way to nurture imagination in kids aged 2 to 3 years and above.
- Busy Boards: While a busy board may teach your child how to open a zipper and push buttons, it might not be able to hold a 1 year old kid's attention for too long. But it will be a great investment after your kids turns 2 or 3 years.
Our selection of the top seven toys is essential for your 1-year-old’s brain and overall development. Healthier and well-developed children carry those qualities well into their adulthood. So, be mindful of what you expose your child’s fertile mind and body to.