Educational Toys For 1 Year Old (5 Top Recommendations)

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One-year-olds are transitioning from being a baby to becoming a toddler. They become more independent and curious. Their bodies are also developing. They are ready for bigger and greater things. As they develop physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially, they need more tools and support. Toys are essential at this age to help them meet their developmental needs.

Educational Toys For 1 Year Old

What are the best educational toys for 1 year olds? The best educational toys for 1-year-olds provide sensory enrichment to develop their language, movement, cognitive, and social skills. The toys should teach them about colors, sounds, and textures. One-year-olds need toys that will challenge them while they are having fun. Toys need to be age-appropriate and there should be a good balance of fun and challenge. If the toy is too challenging, chances are your baby will get frustrated and give up. If the toy is too easy, they will get bored fast and will abandon the toy.

What to Look For


One-year-olds love to put things in their mouths. It is their way of exploring and inspecting things. They also love to grab, throw, step on and chew things. This is why safety should be the priority.

Choose toys that are non-toxic and safe enough if ingested. Make sure the toys do not have sharp edges, small removable parts, pinching points, and batteries.

Ease of Use

Toys should be simple and easy to manipulate no matter the degree of difficulty. If toys are hard to move or hold, a one-year-old will quickly discard the toy and move on to the next.

The best toys that are easy to use are usually wooden Montessori toys. They are not complicated and are easy to use while delivering great learning value.

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    Educational Value

    Does the toy have an educational value? Does it teach a lesson or a skill? These are questions you should be asking before buying a toy.

    Toys should not just help children pass time. Toys should be stimulating to the senses, body, and mind.

    Pick toys that will develop fine motor skills, and language skills, and teach young children about colors, letters, numbers, shapes, sounds, and many more.


    Although children develop and grow at different paces, there is an age range in which they are expected to reach certain milestones. Check toy labels for age suggestions. Toys always come with the manufacturer’s recommended age for the user.

    Picking age-appropriate toys ensures that you are giving your one-year-old a toy that they will understand, enjoy, and engage with.

    Encourage Independent Play

    Educational toys should encourage independence. While they should be under strict supervision, parents should give babies at least an hour of independent play. This is one way one-year-olds can develop independence, focus, and concentration at an early age.

    Simple and Interactive

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    Educational toys for one-year-olds need to be simple without any distracting designs, colors, or noises. The simpler the toy, the better they learn. Avoid distracting lights and music that make babies passive participants. Toys should encourage participation and exploration.

    Stimulating and Multi-Sensory

    Toys should stimulate the body, mind, and senses. Toys should be purposeful and multi-sensory. Toys should stimulate movement, balance, and the sense of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.

    Encourage Social Interaction

    Educational toys for one-year-olds should encourage social interaction. Through play and social interaction, babies learn language, movement, and behavior. The most essential part of play should be the interactions between you and your baby. Play is how they learn, develop, and feel loved, nurtured, and secure.

    3 Types of Educational Toys for 1 Year Olds

    One-year-olds are highly active and can easily be distracted. They cannot focus for long periods. Choose toys that will help them develop focus and concentration among other skills.

    Physical Play Toys

    Toys should help one-year-olds physically. It should help develop their muscles, especially in the legs, arms, and abdomen. This will help them crawl, climb stairs, pull to stand, and walk.

    Examples of these toys include:

    • Pull up bar with a mirror in front
    • Push/Pull wagon
    • A ride-along car or bus where they can ride and push with their legs to move
    • An obstacle course where they can crawl, climb, walk, etc.

    Close-Ended Educational Toys

    Close-ended toys provide structure. Playtime with parameters promotes better executive function. It also teaches young children to control and manage their thoughts and emotions.

    Some of these toys include:

    • Wooden Puzzles
    • Wooden Stacking Tower
    • Sorting Cups
    • Object-to-Picture Matching Cards
    • Wooden Bead Maze

    Open-Ended Educational Toys

    Open-ended toys foster curiosity and imaginative play. Open-ended toys can easily be commandeered into pretend play like tea parties, pretend cooking or anything your child can dream of.

    • Wooden Block Set
    • Wooden Train/Car
    • A Bouncy Ball
    • Wooden Peg Dolls
    • Bean Bags
    • wooden Art Easel Set

    Educational Toys for 1 Year Old

    We have come up with a list of the top 5 educational toys for1-year-olds that will help them move, think, and speak like big kids.


    Flashcards with realistic pictures of animals and simple objects are great for introducing new things to your child. Flashcards with numbers, shapes, and colors are good too.

    Use it repeatedly until they master the words, sounds, shapes, letters, colors, etc. It is a good activity to prepare them for bigger activities like visiting a zoo, counting, and reading. Flashcards help one-year-olds improve their language and pre-math skills among many other skills.

    Walker Wagon

    A walker wagon is perfect for pre-walkers and new walkers alike. Having something to push and lean on and having their toys along with them, encourages one-year-olds to stand and walk without fear of falling.

    A wagon is a toy that will grow with your child. When they master their walking skills, the wagon can be used for creative and imaginative play.

    Wooden Block Set

    This is a basic toy that all one-year-olds should have. A wooden block set provides sensorial experiences while. It is an open-ended toy that offers opportunities for creative and valuable learning.

    It gives one-year-olds the freedom to explore their creativity, imagination, and construction skills. Wooden building blocks promote self-expression, creativity, and physical development, and boost self-esteem. It also develops math skills, problem-solving, communication, and literacy.

    Stacking Tower

    A stacking tower is a closed-ended toy that will teach one-year-olds about shapes, colors, and spatial relationships like under or on. Closed-ended toys like a stacking tower teach children through repetition. Your child will develop their fine and gross motor skill and develop their hand-eye coordination by stacking and sorting..

    Art Set

    The best thing to encourage creativity and imagination is through arts. Your one-year-old is not too young to have their own art set that can grow with them as they develop. Have fun with your little one finger painting, drawing, and creating colorful masterpieces. Making art is a great way to keep young children engaged and focused while having fun.

    Shape Sorter

    A shape sorter toy helps develop fine motor skills and shape recognition. It challenges toddlers to match different shapes with corresponding holes, promoting cognitive development and problem-solving abilities.

    Sensory Balls

    Sensory balls with various textures, colors, and patterns stimulate tactile exploration and sensory development. They enhance motor skills and hand-eye coordination while providing a fun and engaging sensory experience.

    Nesting Cups

    Nesting cups are versatile toys that promote stacking, sorting, and nesting skills. They help develop fine motor skills, spatial awareness, and introduce concepts like size and volume.

    Musical Instruments Set

    Introduce your little one to the world of music with a set of musical instruments. From shakers to drums, these instruments encourage rhythm exploration, sensory stimulation, and auditory development.

    Bath Toys

    Make bath time educational and enjoyable with bath toys. Floating alphabets, numbers, and animal-shaped toys engage toddlers in water play, promoting early literacy, numeracy, and imaginative play.

    Shape Puzzle

    A shape puzzle introduces basic geometric shapes to toddlers. It enhances problem-solving skills as they figure out where each shape fits and improves hand-eye coordination and spatial reasoning.

    Soft Building Blocks

    Soft building blocks are safe and easy for toddlers to handle. They promote creativity, imaginative play, and spatial awareness as children stack and construct different structures.

    Stacking Rings

    Stacking rings offer a classic and engaging activity for 1-year-olds. They help refine fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and introduce concepts like size, color, and order.

    Busy Board

    A busy board is a sensory-rich toy that features various textures, buttons, zippers, and latches. It encourages fine motor skills, problem-solving, and independent exploration.

    Magnetic Fishing Game

    A magnetic fishing game provides a fun and interactive way to improve hand-eye coordination and concentration. Toddlers can “catch” fish with magnetic rods, enhancing their motor skills and concentration abilities.

    These are the in our opinion some of the best educational toys for one year olds. These toys also make amazing educational gifts for 1 year old and both the child and parent would love it.


    Do parents need to participate in playing with educational toys? Yes. Toys are better when shared and played with others. Children learn by observing adults and other people around them. Play becomes more meaningful when they are done with loved ones. When you play with your one-year-old, they will learn to interact and behave in a social setting. You will also form a stronger bond. Although it is important to give one-year-olds time for independent play, social play is crucial to their development too.

    How many toys should a 1-year-old have? The number of toys does not matter as long as they are learning. We do recommend not giving your child too many toys. Having few choices allows them to focus and play with their toys longer. Give them one or two toys at a time to play with. Do not give them access to all their toys.

    When should I buy new toys for my one-year-old? Buy only when necessary. If they have outgrown their toys, it might be time to get new ones. Do not buy out of impulse. Observe your child. If they are still interested in their toys, do not buy new ones. If they have mastered the use of the toy and are getting bored with them, it might be time to buy new ones.


    The best educational toys for 1-year-olds provide sensory enrichment to develop their language, movement, cognitive, and social skills. The toys should teach them about colors, sounds, and textures. One-year-olds need toys that will challenge them while they are having fun. Toys need to be age-appropriate and there should be a good balance of fun and challenge. If the toy is too challenging, chances are your baby will get frustrated and give up. If the toy is too easy, they will get bored fast and will abandon the toy. These toys are great educational gifts for 1 year old.