Toys for a one-year-old can often be a hit or miss. Children at this age are developing quickly and something they showed no interest in one day can become their favorite plaything the next. Just keep giving your child options! 

As a child’s brain is making connections and growing, toys that help develop motor skills and cognitive development, such as cause and effect, are often great choices. Although kids love to push buttons, see flashing lights, and hear music, a great developmental toy does not need to have all of these bells and whistles. 

Below are 21 toys and gifts for a one-year-old that have been tried and tested by my own children over the past decade. There are options for every budget.

  1. Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy

The Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy was a hit with both of my children. Toddlers love pushing the buttons, seeing the flashing lights, and hearing classical music with a total of 10 different melodies to switch between. Children also gain gross motor skills pressing the buttons and develop a sense of cause and effect as they learn that pressing the buttons creates the music. From a parent perspective, the music is relaxing, rather than annoying, and there is a volume control. This is a best selling toy on Amazon with a 5 star rating and is appropriate for children from 3 months to 36 months (although my children enjoyed this toy for many years longer). 

2. Little Tikes Push and Ride Racer

Every one-year-old wants a ride-on toy and the Little Tikes Push and Ride Racer is a perfect option! The back handle will initially serve as a balance bar to help the child pull himself up to standing, and then serve as a sort-of walker as they begin to take their first independent steps. Eventually your child will begin to sit on the ride-on and even push their feet. Before you know it, they will be zooming around the house like a race car driver. This Little Tikes ride-on toy and walker in one can support up to 50 lbs. 

3. Hohner Kids Toddler Music Band

Hohner makes wonderful musical instruments for kids. The Hohner kids musical set includes a sea drum, a xylophone, and three musical shapes with bells and beads. All instruments are made easy to hold and play with and they are BPA, lead, and phthalate free because Hohner knows how your little one likes to put things in their mouths. Kids will love to bang away or rattle the bells and the sounds are not overly loud or irritating making these instruments good choices for mom and dad. 

4. Manhattan Toy Wee Baby Doll

The 12 inch Wee Baby Stella doll features a soft tuft of fleece hair, and patterned outfit with a fabric hook and loop closure easy for doll clothing changes. Stella dolls come in four fabric skin tones and hair styles, with options for both boys and girls. With their lovely smiles and outstretched arms, each Stella doll is meant to be cuddled, snuggled, and hugged. All Wee Baby Stella dolls feature magnetic pacifiers, and embroidered facial features–so no worries about small eyes or button noses that can become choking hazards. This doll inspires little ones to role-play, nurture, and care. Manhattan Toy has been a trusted source of imaginative toys for 1978 and all of their toys are rigorously safety tested. 

5. Nuby Fun Watering Can and Bath Toy

Toddlers love to help out around the house and garden and the Nuby Watering Can and Bath Toy lets your little one do just that! This watering can also makes a great bath toy or a fun toy to take to the beach or pool. In addition to the joy of pouring, this watering can helps to develop hand-eye coordination and dexterity as well as foster cognitive development. Nuby’s watering can is made from BPA plastic. 

6. Little Tikes Snug ‘n Secure Blue Swing with Adjustable Straps

This Little Tikes swing is a baby swing and toddler swing all in one. It grows with your child! The Little Tikes swing is a safe, convertible swing seat that is safe for children from 9 months old until 50 lbs. This convertible swing has adjustable stay-put straps to hold your little one in place while swinging. By moving the plastic T-bar to the bottom of the swing, you convert the swing from a baby swing to a toddler swing. 

7. Dinneractive Dining Set for Kids – 3 PC Construction Themed Dinnerware – Tractor Utensils

The Dinneractive Dining Set for Kids is a fun and clever 3-piece construction theme dining set that encourages healthy eating habits for kids! The plate consists of four divided construction zones, three plate areas and one bowl. Kids eat using their “tractor” fork and their “loader” spoon. Scooping food is made easy thanks to the ramp that leads up to the bowl! This dining set is a great option for picky eaters who like the separation of foods and it’s a fun way to stimulate the imagination while eating. Children also develop proper utensil use. All materials are designed to bend, but not break so they won’t create a choking hazard and they are made from BPA free plastics. The dining set is dishwasher safe and is free from any crevices that could lead to bacteria growth. (Available in 4 colors.)

8. Fat Brain Toys Original Dimpl Brand Baby Toy

The Fat Brain Toys Original Dimpl is a simple but brilliant attention keeping toy! The Dimpl features five vibrant silicone bubbles built into a plastic frame. You just push and pop! This toy develops the senses and encourages fine motor skills, sensory exploration, and cause-and–effect learning. The Dimpl toy is BPA free and the bubbles are made of 100% food-grade silicone, so don’t worry about your little one licking or chewing away on this toy. 

9. MEGA BLOKS 80-piece Building Blocks

MEGA BLOKS has been rated on of the #1 preschool building toys in the U.S.A. They are lightweight (so don’t worry about your little one dropping or throwing them), and they are durable. These blocks can handle the destructive play force of a one year old. Mega Bloks are ideal for children ages 1+ and they help to develop imagination and fine motor skills. 

10. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Sweet Manners Tea Set

The Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Sweet Manners Tea Set is an interactive toy tea set with a “magical” light-up teapot that plays 30+ songs, sounds, and phrases. This tea set is sure to be a hit with any toddler! The tea set’s 3 Smart Stages learning levels teach manners and sharing, counting, colors, advanced shapes, and role-play. Pour the teapot to see it light up with fun songs, sounds, and learning phrases. There are 11 play pieces in all including a teapot, 2 cups, a sugar bowl, 1 spoon, and 5 shape treats to sort on the tray for advanced puzzle play. This toy will grow with your child and remain a favorite for years to come!

11. BRIO My First Railway

The Brio My First Railway wooden toy train set includes a colorful train with reversible magnet attachments, a rattle wagon that makes sounds as you play, a special rainbow bridge, guiding ramp tracks for on and off rail play, and wooden railway tracks. This train set is perfect for the creative toddler and is compatible with other BRIO railway sets if you want to expand your set down the line. Imaginary and pretend play, like playing with a train set, helps children understand and learn about their environment in a fun way. 

12. Battat Toy Keys – 3 Keys & Remote with 4 Fun Sounds – Mini Flashlight

Toddlers want exactly what mom and dad have and the Battat toy car key and remote set will make your kids feel like they are the ones behind the wheel! This interactive toy car key comes with 3 car keys and a remote that creates 4 fun car sounds: a car starter, car alarm, horn, and doorbell. It even has a mini flashlight. This key set is designed to look and sound just like the real thing!  This key set is lightweight and portable and makes a great car or stroller toy. (2 AAA batteries are included.)

13. Robeez Baby Soft Soles Slip-Resistant Crib Shoes

Robeez soft soles slip-resistant crib shoes for girls and boys are the best indoor shoes you can purchase for your little as they are learning to walk. These soft soles mimic bare feet, supporting proper foot growth, and they flex and bend with every step to allow the full range of motion needed for healthy foot development. Their soft suede sole allows feet to grip as they begin to walk and provide room for little feet to grow. The shoes are easy to put on and take off but they don’t fall off your toddler thanks to the kick-proof, elasticized ankle that stays put. 

14. Fisher-Price Little People Toddler Musical Playset

Fisher Price Little People toys have been exciting children for more than 50 years! I loved my Little People playsets, as did my own children. Just like its predecessors, the Little People Treehouse Playset is sure to wow your little one and provide years of playing fun and enjoyment. This interactive toddler playset has a working swing and it plays fun songs, sounds, and phrases that encourage kids to share and take turns. Turn the discovery buttons to see the dog move in and out of the doghouse and drop figures through the trapdoor of the tree house. Soft, fabric leaves on the tree create great sensory play and the set comes with 3 play figures: Tessa, Jack, and the dog. This Fisher Price Little People playset helps to strengthen fine motor skills and encourages storytelling. 

15. Little Tikes Rocking Horse

My eldest’s daycare had several of these Little Tikes Rocking Horses and drop off was a breeze as my child ran for a horse and started rocking away at the start of the day. Ride ons and rockers help children learn balance and coordination and allow children to put their bodies and imaginations to good use. No assembly is required and this Little Tikes rocking horse is great for both indoor and outdoor play. 

16. Buckle Toys

The Buckle Toy Mini Buster Square is a Montessori Sensory Toy that has 3 easy buckles, decorative shapes and numbers to promote math and counting. The design of this toy is quiet and engaging and aids in the development of fine motor skills, cognitive skills, hand eye coordination, and problem solving skills. This 4×4 inch toy is easy to carry, or click to a high chair, stroller, or car seat. 

17. Fisher-Price Toddler Ride-On Learning Toy, Bounce and Spin Puppy

The Fisher Price Bounce and Spin Puppy is like a spring rocking horse on steroids. This dog-themed ride-on toy lets little ones bounce and spin 360 degrees while it plays songs in 2 musical play modes. There are over 100+ songs, sounds, and phrases that teach numbers, counting, colors, the alphabet, and first words. The easy-grip handles, sturdy base, and comfy saddle helps toddlers feel secure as they play. This ride-on toy helps build balance and coordination skills for children ages 12 months and older (up to 55 lb).

18. Pediped Unisex-Child Flex Force-K

Pediped children’s footwear is approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association for promoting healthy foot development. This athletic shoe has a flexible rubber sole allowing for natural movement and maximum flexibility. Their construction enables little ones to sense the ground as they learn to walk and develop foot strength. Pediped footwear is the “next best thing to bare feet.” A breathable mesh upper will keep your child’s foot cool and the heel cushion will protect against impact. The sneaker is water-safe and machine washable. Order a 1⁄2 size to 1 size up as the shoe comes with the flex fit system that offers a more customized fit. These sneakers are well made and your child will most likely outgrow the shoe before it shows any real signs of wear and tear. 

19. GUND Snuffles Teddy Bear Stuffed Animal Plush

Every child needs a bear to love and cuddle. The Gund Snuffles bear is made of ultra-plush fabric that feels like you are “snuggling a cloud.” The bear’s unique crescent design lets it look into your eyes with every hug. Gund has been creating unique stuffed animals for over 120 years. The Snuffles bear is appropriate for ages 1 and up. 

20. HABA Walker Wagon – First Push Toy with Seat & Storage for 10 Months and Up

Although pricey, the Haba Walker Wagon is worth every penny and will quickly become that one toy you’ll pass along for generations to come. This walker wagon aids children taking their first steps and doubles as a doll stroller. The seat allows for riders and the back storage bin lets your little one bring along all of their important belongings. The wagon’s construction offers a virtually no-tip design. I have seen children crawl through it, over it, hang on it, etc… and the wagon stays steady. The wheel speed can be adjusted to accommodate the walking speed of the child, with friction added for early walkers who require a slower pace. Silicone wheel treads allow this wagon to be used both indoors and outdoors, and it won’t damage wood floors. The Haba Walker Wagon was winner of the German Spiel Gut “Good Toy” Award, and it is made in Bulgaria from beechwood/plywood, and treated with a non-toxic, water based stain. 

21. Green Sprouts Stacking Cups made from Plants (6 cups)

The Green Sprouts Sprout Ware Stacking Cups encourage learning in a healthy and natural way and are great fun for bathtime, in the pool, or at the beach. The cups have small holes in the bottom for sifting or sprinkling water. These stacking cups also float and they fit together for easy storage. Stacking helps develop concentration and thinking skills and the different sizes and colors help teach color and size recognition.