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As a mom of three, we've had a LOT of toys cycle in and out of our house over the years. I wanted to share some tried and true gift ideas for a 1 year old as we approach the holiday season. These toys have all been loved by my children and continue to be played with years later.
1. Push Toys
Around age 1, most babies are just learning how to walk and getting steady on their feet. Push toys that they can stand against and use for support while walking are always a huge hit, such as a shopping cart or sturdy stroller. One handed push toys are also a favorite once they are walking, especially if it makes noise or mimic real life, such as a vacuum cleaner.
2. Ride-On Toys
Babies love to rock, roll, and ride. Try a sit and ride toy like a little bike or cart. For outdoor use, a stroller with parent guided handle makes walks way more fun than a stroller. Rocking horses are great too! Ride-on toys like these were always a huge hit and continue to be used years later by my much older toddlers!
3. Stacking Cups
Babies can begin building towers with stacking cups around this age. They also really love putting objects into and out of things. A set of versatile cups for open-ended play are used on a daily basis.
4. Water and Activity Tables
Water play never gets old for children - our water table is a summer staple! There's something extra fun about standing while playing and exploring that makes other sensory and activity tables a hit.
5. Kitchen Inspired
While a 1 year old may be too young to use imaginative play with play food, there are several kitchen inspired toys that are more fun and age appropriate. A working sink allows babies to explore water and mimic actions they see in real life. Matching eggs are a cute toy that can be used for years later. Pots and pots and appliances are great for making music and opening and closing their lids.
6. Making Music
Speaking of music, babies love to make noise. We have a full sized keyboard that we allow our toddlers to play with, but a toy one works just as well. Toys that can be hit to make interesting sounds are always a favorite. Electronic toys can be hit or miss, but ones that not only make sounds and music, but that have alphabet buttons will get the most use because of their learning opportunities.
7. Interactive Books
Books with flaps, pop-ups, music, or touch-and-feel are the most fun books for babies this age.
Friction propelled cars that can roll across the floor are fascinating to babies. While their motor skills are not great, a large ball to roll or kick is a great start to developing their skills. Any toy that allows them to drop or roll balls along a path are also a hit.
9. Tunnels and Tents
Exploring new spaces is easy when they are pop-up houses, ball-pits and tunnels. These items also age well as children develop their imagination skills.
10. Active Play
An outdoor swing is a staple item we use all the time. Babies (and kids) love to climb and be active, so slides, play couches, and pickler triangles are always a favorite.