When it comes to choosing toys for 12 month old babies, you’re spoilt for choice. From the tried and true toys of your own childhood to the flashy “you need 12 batteries, but they’re not included” gadgets of today, there’s something for all types of play.
And at this exciting milestone age, with their razor-sharp senses and eyes full of wonder, you need to pick toys that’ll challenge and stimulate your baby’s ever-expanding imagination.
That’s why we’ve curated six of the best types of toys for 12 month olds. Hopefully, it’ll help inspire that first birthday shopping list!
What is the best toy to get a 1-year-old?
What toys should a 12 month old have? What do they need? Try choosing from these six categories:
1. Interactive Toys
Is it even playtime with a 1-year-old if you’re not down on your hands and knees joining in? Play peek-a-boo in a colorful pop-up tunnel, build a tower with stacking blocks, or practice hand-eye coordination (theirs, not yours!) with a hammering bench.
You’ll notice your child becoming more agile and aware as they engage their senses with these interactive and immersive toys.
2. Shapes & Puzzles
As your 12 month old grows, so too does their ability to spot patterns, shapes, and colors. Shape sorters, matching jigsaws, and brightly colored toys (mainly primary colors), are proven to stimulate and improve your baby’s eyesight, memory, and fine motor skills.
These are among the best developmental toys for a 12 month old as they enhance dexterity and help them practice problem-solving.
3. Toys for Balance
A step up from their push-along walkers, your one-year-old may now be ready to embrace the challenge of riding their very first tricycle, scooter, or balance bike.
These come without pedals, meaning they can quickly get to grips with pushing themselves around. Or if you’re looking for a slightly more stationary option that also promotes balance, exercise, and works on core strength, then a rocking horse is a classic toy for a 12 month old.
4. Musical Toys
Help your little one hit all the right notes by getting them a musical toy. Ideal for educational play and cognitive development, there’s a whole range of fun musical toys out there, such as tiny wooden pianos, xylophones, bells, tambourines, microphones, and mini drum kits.
Whether your little rock star wants to be the lead singer or a percussionist, there’s something to suit every performer.
5. Educational Toys for 1-Year-Olds
Storytime provides an excellent opportunity to develop your little one’s burgeoning language skills. Encourage their verbal, reading, and listening abilities with interactive and educational baby books. The ones with pop-ups, lift-up flaps, or lights and sounds are especially popular.
These books are great for neurological development and provide new sensory experiences thanks to various materials and features available, including soft cloth, felt, magnets, glitter, and more.
Plus, these stories can often help your 1-year-old follow along with short, simple instructions. For example, “press the button to make the cow moo” or “lift the flap to see who’s hiding behind the bush.”
6. Toys to Promote Socializing and Sharing
Up until this point, your baby may have been doing “parallel play.” This is where they play near or next to another infant. Going forward, they’ll start to socialize more with other children, whether that’s at nursery school, with siblings, or on playdates. Having toys to help with this is essential.
Some of the best toys for a 12 month old girl or boy include dolls, cars, trucks, play food and utensils, and train sets — all perfect for encouraging sharing and social interaction, even at this early age.
Have we missed any? Share your favorite toys for 12 month olds with your fellow mamas on Peanut.