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Best Toys to Entertain a 1-Year-Old

The best toys for 1-year-olds. Gift and toy guide for toddlers.

Lovevery Play Kit Subscription

(The reason I am putting this first is that many of the items I mention below are available within the Lovevery kits. So, I’ll note if a toy on this list comes in the kits)

Lovevery play kits are basically a subscription service. You receive a box every 3 months based on your child’s age. Each Lovevery play kit comes with a mix of toys (including fine and gross motor skills, books, etc.). All the toys are made with wood and organic cotton so they are also just extremely well-made. But, what really rocks is that the toys are created based on what children need at each stage. They have child development experts on staff to curate these toys to be things that are engaging, developmentally appropriate, and Montessori-based. I am OBSESSED with these toys because Miles is OBSESSED with them.

At first, the price seems like a lot (depending on the subscription you do it’s $108-$120 a box). I got sticker shock the first time I looked at it, to be honest. But then I really spent time looking into them and each box has around 9-14 items inside. So, you’re actually paying about $9 a toy. And, when you think of it that way is not much at all for the quality of the toys you’re getting.

I think they are 100% worth the price because they are some of Miles’ most used and most engaged-with toys/books.

You can read my full Lovevery Play Kit Reviews here.

Water Table

We LOVE our water table. Miles will happily play at it for hours (seriously). It’s a great sensory play activity, and little ones love it for outside play.

Other option: Water tables are ideally outdoor toys. If outdoor space isn’t an option, a sensory table is a great option too. Many water tables double as this. You can bring the table inside it an fill it with rice or magic sand (I suggest a big sheet on the floor underneath). You can also fill it with all sorts of other things like toy cars, pompoms, dried beans, cooked pasta, etc.

Push Cart or Shopping Cart

A pushcart of some kind is a winner for pretty much every kid. Miles drives his all over the house and uses it almost every day. Sometimes he collects toys, sometimes he just drives around. It also works well beyond 1 year, most 2, 3, and 4-year-olds will love this toy, too. A shopping cart would work great, too.

The one we have is no longer in stock, but this one is almost exactly the same.

Baby Dolls/ Stuffed Animals

These are super great for pretend play. Miles LOVES to play with his animals. He rocks them, carries them around in his card, feeds them, etc.

*This comes in the 12-24 Lovevery Play Kit Subscriptions (a doll)*

Play Kitchen Items

Toddlers love to play with kitchen things. We bought Miles his own mini set of pots and pans and he loves “cooking” with them. We also give him a few rubber and wooden spoons and spatulas.

Another kitchen item little hands love is their own pitcher and cup (*This comes in the 12-24 Lovevery Play Kit Subscriptions*) They love mastering the skill of pouring from one cup to another. You can let them practice with water. But, we also use small felt toys, too, for a less messy playtime.

the one pictured here is from Lovevery play kits

Ball Drop

There are a million variations of this toy. It’s basically something that required the child puts a ball in the top and it falls down to the bottom. Typically the base has a door or doors the child has to open to retrieve the ball. Miles plays with his all the time.

*This comes in the 12-24 Lovevery Play Kit Subscriptions*

Lock Box or Lock Board

Mastering different locks is a great fine motor skill and little ones love the challenge of mastering the different locks. They have both lock boards and lock boxes. Personally, we preferred the lockbox because Miles loved putting different things inside and taking them out.

*A lock box comes in the 12-24 Lovevery Play Kit Subscriptions*

the one pictured here is from Lovevery play kits

Buckle Board

Just like with locks, mastering different snaps and locks is something that little hands love to do. There are buckle toys available in different options. You can also get something called a “busy board” which has buckles, zippers, and different snaps.

*A buckle board comes in the 12-24 Lovevery Play Kit Subscriptions*

Beading Kit

Stringing beads onto a piece of string is a great fine motor skill. It requires two steps of stringing the bead and then transferring the string to the other hand so the bead can fall down. There are a handful of different beading kits available for this age. Personally, we did like our Lovevery one best because it had a plastic needle built-in as well a wooden base to make it easy to learn at first.

*This comes in the 12-24 Lovevery Play Kit Subscriptions*

Toy Trucks and Cars

At least one truck, car, or tractor is a fun toy. Miles loves driving his all over and filling it with his other toys – this one is his favorite. We also have this larger outdoor truck set, too, which I definitely suggest for outdoor play.

the one pictured here is from Lovevery play kits

Roll and Play Cube

This is kind of like Simon Says for 1-year-olds. The cube has different small activities they can (such as “touch your nose” or “pat your head”). You roll the cube and do the activity on the cube. I haven’t seen these many places except in our Lovevery kits, and this one you can buy on Amazon.

*This comes in the 12-24 Lovevery Play Kit Subscriptions*

the ones pictured here is from Lovevery play kits

Board Books

Obviously, board books. Miles will often spend up to an hour or more a day reading his books. To see my full list of book choices, read my Favorite Books for 0-24 months.

Chunkies Paint Sticks

Miles lovessss to draw and color, and these paint sticks are brilliant and definitely his preference over crayons. They are kinda like big huge crayons, but the sticks are thick and pigmented like paint. They are super easy to clean and super easy for Miles to use. They work on all sorts of things, too, like paper, canvas, cardboard, etc.

Bonus: What he’s standing on in the above photo is a learning tower. It’s not exactly a “toy” but BOY do we use it SO MUCH for playing and different activities.

Ride-On Toy

Miles has two ride-on toys and we get SO MUCH use out of both. First is his steer and stroll trike for outside. We use this all around the yard and even take walks into town with it. Right now it has a push feature so I can push him around. But, that piece is removable for when he’s old enough to push the wheels by himself.

We also have an indoor ride-on toy. Miles’ aunt gave him this ride-on bumble bee for his first birthday and he literally plays with it EVERY SINGLE DAY. When he was younger he’d push it all around the house. Now that he’s older he rides it around from room to room. Definitely one of our most-used toys.


Need more toddler activities?

Overwhelmed by toys? I use toy rotation to keep it in check. Read all about what toy rotation is and how to use it.