The Best Gifts for 1-Year-Olds, According to Parents Who Know
Take it from both of us, one mom of twins and another mom of two girls, watching a one-year-old play with toys is a joyous experience. Everything is new and exciting to them, and they can be enthralled by even the simplest toy. At this key developmental stage, play is serious business. And we’ve each experienced first hand the difference the right toy can make in the hands of a little one. But we also know that every child is unique. And so, in compiling this ultimate list of toys, we took varying interests and abilities into account.
What to Look for in Baby Toys for 1-Year-Olds
One-year-olds are all about exploring the world around them, and it’s important to give them toys that help them safely do so. Many one-year-olds still put a lot of things in their mouths, so always choose toys that don’t have small pieces. Kids in this group have varying abilities; some are pros at walking while others are still crawling. They are also rapidly developing and refining skills they’ll use for the rest of their lives.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children recommends toys for one-year-olds like board books, things to create with, toys that promote imaginative play, and toys that engage children’s small and large muscles. So for our list we include toys that help develop language, gross motor skills, and fine motor skills.
This is the age where children really start to show their personalities, though, so most importantly we encourage you to take your child’s lead when searching for toys they might like.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick is the Pop2Slide Kids Indoor Slide ($29.99), which is also our top choice for the best toy to give a kid on their 1st birthday. Little kids love slides, but they’re particularly great for help one-year-olds who are learning to walk and climb and need some help to develop their gross motor skills. The Pop2Slide is affordable, collapsible, and way sturdier and more durable than you’d think. It’s perfect for families living in small spaces — or just families who don’t want an indoor slide to take up a ton of space. If you’ve got stairs and a bigger budget, by all means upgrade to this StairSlide, but if you want it keep it simple, it’s hard to beat the Pop2Slide
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