Best Educational Toys 1 Year Old (Top 12 Best Toys in 2023!)

Receive weekly Activity, plans, and resources tailored to boost your child’s fine motor skills, sensory exploration, and cognitive abilities. Join our collaborative community of 20k+ parents & educators.

No two 1-year-olds are exactly the same, but they all share a love for play! The best educational toys 1 year old should be safe and fit the needs of your child.

Fortunately, finding great toys for toddlers is an enjoyable task. Toddlers at this age are developing new skills, such as walking and talking, which makes the selection process exciting.

One-year-old babies have a lot to learn and milestones to achieve. They are open to new things. They are like a sponge that soaks in new information as much as they can. It is the perfect time to teach and guide them so they grow up smart, healthy, and happy. Toys are great tools for a developing baby.

When choosing toys for 1-year-olds, it’s important to consider their needs and interests.

Best Educational Toy 1 Year Old

So, what are the best educational toys for 1-year-olds? The best toy for a 1-year-old is one that helps the child develop language, vocabulary, movement, and self-expression. It should help them learn new skills like ABCs and numbers, and speak new words.  The best toy is one that teaches them basic skills like movements, thinking, and speaking.

What to Look for in Educational Toys for 1-year-olds?

Before you shop, it is important to know what to look for in toys.

Want 20 Easy & Fun Montessori Activity for Your Child?

Grab your FREE printable activity guide now!

    No spam, promise.

    There are too many choices that you have to set a standard for shopping. Before you consider what toys to buy for your tot, these qualities are the qualities to watch out for toys:

    • Safety

    Safety is a crucial element when it comes to educational toys 1-year-old. 1-year-old babies do not understand the concept of danger. They need you to keep them safe. Toys for 1 year should be those that do not have small removable parts that can be choking hazards. Avoid toys with small parts, sharp edges, splinters, pinching points, and batteries. Make sure that the toys are not made from toxic materials. Babies love to put things in their mouths so safety should be a top priority for parents.

    • Your child’s interest

    If you have noticed, your little one gravitates toward certain objects, activities, and even people. Learn what they are interested in. In the case of a one-year-old, take into consideration their current milestones like if they are crawling, standing up, or starting to walk. Buy toys based on that.

    These toys for one-year-olds are only effective if your toddler plays with them.

    It’s important to consider the educational value of the toys you purchase for a one-year-old. At this stage, children are learning various skills, including motor skills, language development, and cognitive abilities such as recognizing letters, colors, and sounds. Before shopping, make sure the toys you’re considering can support their developmental milestones and the skills they are currently working on.

    Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician in South Overland Park, Kansas, suggests selecting toys and gifts that encompass multiple developmental aspects for your little boys and girls.

    Ready to make a lasting impact on your child’s future? Download our FREE 20 Fun & Easy Montessori Activities Ideas you can use today to supercharge your child’s development. Click here to get your free printable activity guide.

    Examples include books for shared or independent reading, cause-and-effect toys that produce lights or sounds when engaged with, balls for kicking and throwing, blocks for stacking and tumbling, dolls and stuffed animals, as well as tactile toys for exploring different textures and promoting fine motor play.

    • Ease of use

    Ensure that the toy you choose for your child is user-friendly for both you and your toddler. It should be lightweight, allowing your little one to carry and lift it without difficulty.

    Additionally, look for toys with simple and accessible features that are easy for your child to operate. It’s also essential to consider the toy’s practicality, such as whether it can be easily wiped clean and conveniently stored when not in use.

    • Age-appropriateness

    It is crucial to carefully review the age recommendations of the toys you intend to purchase. While you may be eager to introduce new concepts to your child, it is essential to find a toy that is appropriate for their level of understanding, enjoyment, and safe interaction.

    Choose toys for 1 year olds that will make it easy for little hands and hit all the growth dimensions to get the best learning experience for your toddlers. Toys that match the kid’s developmental milestones are perfect for kids so that they may earn the best learning experience.

    Always take the time to read the labels on the toys you are considering, paying close attention to the manufacturer’s recommended age range. This guideline serves as a valuable resource to help you determine whether the toy is both safe and sufficiently stimulating for your child, taking into account their sensitive stage.

    • Longevity

    Given the rapid growth and development of toddlers, it is important to take into account the longevity of the toys you purchase. Rather than investing in an expensive toy that will only be suitable for a short period of time, it is beneficial to look for toys that can be enjoyed as children continue to age and progress.

    By selecting toys with versatility and adaptability, you can ensure that your child will derive extended value and engagement from them. Look for toys that offer various levels of complexity or can be used in different ways as your child grows.

    This way, you can maximize the lifespan of the toy and provide ongoing stimulation and enjoyment for your child throughout their journey. It is a wise approach to consider the long-term usability and value of toys, ensuring they continue to be engaging and relevant as your child reaches new milestones.

    Here are the Top 12 Best Toys for 1-year-olds for 2023 

    The following toys on this list are recommended toys for 1-year-olds 2023

    1. Shape Sort

    Shape sort toys are toys designed to help young children with their cognitive and motor skill development. These toys typically consist of a container or a board with holes or slots of different shapes, along with corresponding shape blocks or pieces that fit into those openings.

    The primary goal of shape sort toys is to teach children about shapes, colors, and spatial relationships. They offer a hands-on learning experience where children can manipulate and explore different shapes, enhancing their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

    By identifying and matching the correct shapes to their respective openings, children learn about shape recognition, problem-solving, and logical thinking.

    2. Building Blocks

    Building block toys are versatile toys that allow children to engage in creative and constructive play. These toys typically consist of interlocking blocks or cubes of various sizes, shapes, and colors that can be stacked, connected, and assembled in different configurations.

    Building block toys offer numerous benefits for children’s development. Firstly, they promote fine motor skills as children manipulate and grasp the blocks, improving hand-eye coordination and finger dexterity.

    As children pick up, place, and connect the blocks, they enhance their control and precision in handling objects.

    Additionally, building block toys encourage creativity and imagination. Children can use the blocks to construct various structures, such as towers, houses, bridges, and more.

    This open-ended play allows them to explore their imagination, problem-solving abilities, and spatial reasoning skills. They learn about balance, stability, and how different block arrangements can result in different outcomes.

    3. Nesting Cups

    Nesting cup toys are a popular type of toy designed for young children, typically consisting of a set of cups that fit inside one another. Each cup is a different size, often featuring colorful designs and sometimes including additional features such as stacking bases or different textures.

    They help develop hand-eye coordination, and spatial awareness and introduce concepts of size and comparison.

    4. Sensory Balls

    Sensory balls are toys designed to stimulate a child’s senses through tactile, visual, and sometimes auditory experiences. These balls come in various shapes, sizes, and textures, offering a range of sensory exploration opportunities for children.

    Soft and textured balls engage children’s senses and encourage exploration. They promote fine motor skills, tactile awareness, and sensory development.

    5. Musical Toys

    Musical toys are toys that are designed to create and produce musical sounds or to engage children in musical activities. These toys are usually targeted at young children and serve as an introduction to music and rhythm. 

    Simple instruments like shakers, drums, or xylophones introduce children to different sounds, rhythms, and cause and effect toys. Further, they enhance auditory and motor skills.

    6. Picture Books

    Picture books or board books help children understand that words convey meaning by connecting the pictures in the book with the words on the page.

    This is because pictures provide visual context for the words, which helps children to understand the meaning of the words. For example, if a picture book shows a picture of a cat, the word “cat” will be more meaningful to the child because they can see what a cat looks like.

    In addition to helping your tot understand the meaning of words, picture books can also help children develop their vocabulary. This is because children can use the pictures in the book to learn the names of new objects.

    For example, if a picture book shows a picture of a ball, the child can learn the word “ball” by seeing the picture of the ball and hearing the word “ball” being spoken.

    7. Push and Pull Toys

    Toys that your tot can push or pull as they walk help develop gross motor skills and balance while providing a sense of independence and exploration.

    Push and pull toys are types of toys that are designed to be pushed or pulled by a child while they walk or move around. These toys often feature wheels or a mechanism that allows them to move smoothly across the floor.

    8. Name Puzzles with Large Pieces

    Name puzzles and any other kind of puzzles with large pieces are specifically designed for young children or individuals who may have difficulty handling or manipulating smaller puzzle pieces. These puzzles typically feature larger, chunkier pieces that are easier to grasp and manipulate. 

    Chunky puzzles with large, easy-to-grasp pieces promote problem-solving, hand-eye coordination, and cognitive development.

    Puzzles with large pieces provide an age-appropriate challenge and promote various skills in young children, making them a popular choice for early childhood education and playtime.

    9. Shape and Color Sorters

    Shape and color sorters are toys designed to help young children develop their cognitive and fine motor skills while learning about shapes and colors.

    These toys typically consist of a sorting base or container with openings of different shapes and a set of corresponding shape or color blocks that children must match and fit into the appropriate openings.

    These toys introduce basic shapes, colors, and sorting skills. They encourage cognitive development and enhance hand-eye coordination.

    10. Stacking Toys

    Stacking toys are fun and help with hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and problem-solving. The child must learn to balance and stack the pieces in the correct order to create a tower.

    Classic stacking toys are a type of toy that allows children to stack and balance objects in various ways. These toys typically consist of a set of objects, such as blocks or rings, that can be stacked vertically to create towers or structures.

    11. Push and Pull Toys

    Push and pull toys are toys that children can push or pull along as they move. This type of toy promotes gross motor skills, balance, and coordination. It also encourages exploration and discovery as the child learns to navigate around obstacles.

    Push-pull toys are designed for young children who are starting to become more mobile and want to explore their surroundings.

    These toys are attached to a cord or a rigid handle, so children can push or pull them along. Some examples of push-pull toys include walking trolleys with blocks, toy strollers, and pull toys with animals or other characters on them.

    12. Ride-on toys

    Ride-on toys are toys that can be ridden on by children. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they can be powered by a variety of means, including pedals, batteries, or even gas.

    One example of this is balance bikes. Unlike the conventional approach of using training wheels, which involves mastering a rigid set of skills and then having to break away from them, balance bike riders can progress seamlessly.

    Though this toy needs undivided supervision and assistance, your children can acquire natural riding abilities. Unlike relying on training wheels, where they have to master a specific set of skills and later unlearn them, balance bike riders learn to lean into turns just as they would when riding a regular bicycle. 

    Best Learning Tips for Playing with Educational Toys

    Playing with toys is a fun way to teach your child valuable skills that will help them grow and develop. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your child’s learning toys.

    Encourage Exploration and Creativity

    Infants and toddlers learn best through play, and they learn even more when they are encouraged to explore and be creative. Allow your child to explore the different parts of their toy and encourage them to use their imagination.

    Offer guidance and support as needed, but allow them to independently explore and find solutions.

    For example, if your child is playing with a set of blocks with their little hands, they can create different structures and shapes. This will help them develop spatial awareness, problem-solving skills, and creativity.

    Play Together

    Playing with your child is a great way to bond and build relationships. It also allows you to guide and teach them. Pretend play is not only fun for your child but also for you. You can use toys to teach your child basic skills such as colors, shapes, numbers, and letters.

    For example, if your child is playing with a shape sorter, you can ask them to name the shapes and colors as they place them in the correct holes.

    Rotate Toys

    Children can become bored with their toys or play sets after a while, and this can lead to a lack of interest and engagement. Rotating toys is an excellent way to keep your child interested and engaged with their toys.

    It also provides an opportunity to reintroduce previously forgotten toys, allowing your child to learn and develop new skills from them. This can help your child learn the skill of focus and patience, as they wait for their old toys to become new again.

    Let Your Child Lead

    It is never too early to allow your child to lead the playtime to help them develop independence, decision-making skills, and self-confidence. Follow your child’s interests and let them choose which toys they want to play with. Follow their curiosity and engage in activities that capture their attention.

    Encourage them to make their own decisions and be creative. Letting your child lead also allows you to observe their learning style and adapt to it. By doing so, you can tailor the learning experience to their specific needs and preferences, which greatly helps them hit all the developmental dimensions of learning.

    Foster Social Interaction

    Some school toys can be used in cooperative play or shared activities. Encourage your child to play with siblings, friends, or family members. This promotes social interaction, cooperation, and the development of important social skills such as sharing, taking turns, and problem-solving together.

    Be Patient and Supportive

    Remember that learning through play is a process. Be patient with your child’s progress and provide support and encouragement along the way. Offer praise for their efforts and celebrate their achievements, no matter how small.

    Connect to Real-Life Experiences

    Relate the concepts and themes of the toys to real-life experiences. For example, if playing with a toy kitchen set, talk about different types of food, cooking processes, and healthy eating habits. Making these connections helps your child understand the relevance of what they’re learning and apply it in practical situations.

    Introduce Language and Vocabulary

    While playing with school toys, use language to describe the toy, its features, and the actions your child is taking. Introduce new vocabulary words and encourage your child to communicate and express themselves verbally. This helps build their language skills and fosters communication.

    Why is it Important to Choose the Best Toys for 1-Year-Olds?

    Choosing the best toys for 1-year-olds is important for several reasons:

    1. Developmental Stimulation: At the age of 1, children are in a critical phase of their development. Toys that are age-appropriate and provide the right kind of stimulation can support their physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. The right toys can encourage exploration, fine motor skills, problem-solving, creativity, and language development.

    2. Safety: Safety is of utmost importance when selecting toys for young children. One-year-olds are still developing their coordination and may put toys in their mouths. Opt for toys that are free from small parts, sharp edges, and toxic materials is crucial to ensure the best for kids.

    3. Age Appropriateness: Toys designed specifically for 1-year-olds take into account their abilities, interests, and sensitive period milestones. Age-appropriate toys are more likely to engage and captivate the child, encouraging play and learning.

    4. Engagement and Entertainment: The best toys for 1-year-old are those that capture their attention and provide entertainment. Toys that are colorful, interactive, and offer different textures, sounds, or movements can keep a child engaged and entertained, promoting their curiosity and love for learning.

    5. Parent-Child Interaction: Toys can also facilitate parent-child interaction and bonding. Selecting toys that encourage shared play experiences can create opportunities for meaningful interactions between parents and their 1-year-old children, fostering a strong emotional connection.

    6. Longevity and Durability: One-year-olds can be quite active and rough with their toys. Opting for toys that are well-made and durable can ensure they withstand rough play and last longer, providing continued enjoyment and value.


    In conclusion, choosing the best toys for one-year-olds can be overwhelming, but by focusing on safety, your child’s interests, and educational value, you can make the best choice for your child.

    It is always key to incorporate top toys into your tots’ early childhood development to not only keep your little ones entertained but to also open learning opportunities.

    When it comes to toys for 1-year-old, remember to look for those that hit the learning stage of your kids, promote learning and development, and always supervise your child while they play. The best toys are those that provide a fun and engaging learning experience for your child.


    How many toys should a 1-year-old have?  There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the number of toys a 1-year-old should have will vary depending on the child’s individual needs and interests. However, as a general rule of thumb, it is recommended that as young as 1 year old can have around 5-10 toys. This will give them enough variety to keep them entertained, but not so many toys that they become overwhelmed or bored. It is also important to choose toys that are appropriate for the child’s age and developmental level. For example, 1-year-olds are typically interested in toys that they can manipulate with their hands, such as stacking blocks, shape sorters, and rattles, and those that involve wooden activities.

    Where can I get age-appropriate toys for my 1-year-old? When it comes to toys, there are many places where you can get safe toys for your 1-year-old. Many toy stores have a wide selection of safe toys for kids. You can also ask the store clerk for help finding toys that are appropriate for your child’s age and interests. Further, Second-hand stores can be a great place to find safe toys for your kids. You can often find gently used toys at a fraction of the price of new toys. Just be sure to inspect the toys carefully before you buy them to make sure they are in good condition and that there are no small parts that could be a choking hazard. No matter where you buy your toys, it is important to always read the labels carefully to make sure that the toys are safe for 1-year-olds.

    What toys will last longer into the toddler years? Wooden toys are classic toys that can be used in a variety of ways. They can be stacked, built into structures, used for imaginative play, and even used as a learning tool. Wooden blocks are also durable and can withstand being dropped or thrown. Additionally, puzzles are also a great way to improve a toddler’s fine motor skills and problem-solving skills. They can also help toddlers learn about colors, shapes, and numbers. 

    What are the advantages for children when they engage in play with their parents or caregivers? Observing and imitating adults is an effective learning method for young ones. Children have a remarkable ability to absorb information, much like sponges, and playing with parents or caregivers provides them with the opportunity to learn social interaction and behavior by observing and replicating their actions.