Baby lies on stomach playing with toys

My 1-Year-Old’s Favourite Toys

Ok, I admit it; I am in denial. But it’s hard to believe my “baby” is now 1. I know I’m not alone in wondering where the heck this year has gone! 2020 has been a strange one, to say the least. However, it has also given me so much to be grateful for. 

Since my daughter’s first birthday just passed, I wanted to share what her recent favourite toys are! I always keep an eye out for “age-appropriate” toys, especially when buying gifts for friends’ kids. So here are some fantastic toys for 1-year olds, approved by my little one (in no particular order).

DISCLAIMER: While all opinions are my own, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.

While I am sharing some toys my daughter enjoys, please know that the products listed may not be appropriate for all 1-year-olds. You can refer to the toys’ age-labels to determine whether it is suitable for your child.

1. LeapFrog My Pal Violet 

Many parents have a love-hate relationship with interactive toys, but this little pup is actually quite educational and is hands-down one of my daughter’s favourite toys. It talks, teaches, sings songs, and even has a lullaby timer for wind-down time. Since the many features keep her entertained and engaged, I’m happy with it too. 

Babies and toddlers seem to really love these interactive LeapFrog dogs. And this one is even customizable to say your munchkin’s name and other favourite things! Why not make learning fun and interesting with a talking, singing dog?

2. LeapFrog Sing and Snuggle Scout

This one is basically a smaller, simpler version of the “My Pal” toy. Our little “travel” Scout lives in our stroller as it keeps my munchkin busy and having a blast while I drag her from A to B to C. 

This toy has been such a hit in our house. It was gifted from a close friend of mine when my firstborn was around the same age! And it has been played with constantly.

It used to be the designated car toy as it keeps my little one occupied (and I don’t find the sounds or songs very irritating)! Nothing like lights, sounds, and easy-to-press buttons to keep the babies happy on-the-go! 

Another bonus is the handy little clip which makes sure we don’t lose it along the way.

3. Activity Cube

Activity cubes are great educational toys for little ones and a frequent go-to for my daughter. With so many different sides to choose from, the fun (and learning) never ends. 

The sliding beads or maze sides are great for baby’s coordination and development of their fine motor skills. As they use their pincer grasp to adjust the pieces, they are also exploring how things work and move. 

The shape sorter not only teaches your baby about different shapes but is also a beginning step to problem-solving. When they realize that the circle will not fit in the triangle hole, they are learning that the dimension and positioning matter to solve the sorting game. Hello, geometry! 

Even our 3-year-old occasionally still plays with this toy as she is beginning to learn to tell time from the simple clock face. 

4. Melissa and Doug Wooden Puzzle

These puzzles are another great way to practice problem-solving as well as refine those fine motor skills! 12 months is a little on the young-side for these puzzles but our daughter is obsessed nonetheless. 

She hasn’t fully mastered fitting the pieces in the correct holes, but she’s absolutely motivated to try! When we’re not shuffling pieces around the board, it’s also a fun game to boost their language development by rehearsing the vocabulary (animals, vehicles, and even letters). 

5. Nightlight Plush Toy

We all love this toy from Cloud B!!! Seriously, it saves us every time my baby has an early wake. I’ll pull her into bed with us and turn on this constellation light to keep her engaged while I rest for a few minutes longer. The toy’s back projects stars onto the ceiling and walls for a fun glowing night sky.

My daughter loves pushing the buttons for different colours and watching the stars fill the room. It also works well if they need some help going to sleep at night, as it even has a 45-minute automatic turn-off timer so that you don’t have to go in to manually shut it off when they’re fast asleep. 

6. Push Car

How fun for little ones to push a toy and watch it zoom across the room! These friction-powered vehicles are definitely entertaining. Bonus for mom? No batteries required!

On the more development-related side, these little push toys are great as they really start to control their fine and gross motor skills. While we see a moving plastic toy, their brains are absorbing how the world works and even the beginnings of cause and effect! “I push and there it goes!”

7. Mega Bloks Blocks

I think these should be a staple product in most homes. My one-year-old is not making towers and castles like her big sister quite yet but she sure loves trying to push these blocks together and especially knocking them down! 

I’m all for anything that holds their focus and inspires their creativity at a young age. Loose blocks can be constructed into whatever their little heart desires by manipulating each piece with another. Perhaps one day we’ll have a little engineer in the family!

As a mom, it also gives me peace of mind knowing that she can put these big pieces in her mouth all she wants without risk of choking. They’re also super easy to clean, as needed!

8. Jumbo Refrigerator Magnets

Do you ever need just TEN SECONDS to get something done in the kitchen? Yet often my little one doesn’t want to sit in her high chair when I really need her to. She’s not even interested in our Tupperware shelf anymore. But jumbo magnets have been a lifesaver as they’ll keep my daughter playing (and out of my hair) for a few minutes while I need both hands. 

At the moment we have these Christmas Refrigerator Magnets up and they are so fun to pull out every year for an extra-festive touch!

Since my daughter doesn’t play much in the kitchen (not our most baby-proofed area of the house), these seem brand new every time I pop her down to play. Brand new means more interesting for baby and more time for momma! Hurray!

9. Baby Doll Stroller

I’m not sure that my 1-year old understands about role-playing quite yet but she LOVES this baby doll stroller (as does my 3-year-old!). She’ll plop any of her stuffies or babies inside and walk around the living room like she’s on a mission! I wonder where she gets that from…

Pretend play is a sweet way for your baby to learn about imagination and develop empathy. At 12 months, this type of pretending is mostly imitation of what they see around them, but it allows them space to have curiosity and independence to gradually explore their own imaginative play.

10. Pop Up Play Tent

This is one of the most recent favourites – a pop-up play tent! My 1-year-old has been obsessed with this for the past few weeks. I’m not sure whether imagination plays a role in this one or whether she just loves any little hiding spot. But she’s in and out all day every day!

She loves playing peek-a-boo through the window, pulling stuffed animals in to cozy-up with, or just having a little hang out with her big sister. I love watching their imaginations flourish. And I also love that this toy is fun for a large range of ages! Another bonus is that it folds back down into a tiny sack if we need to put it away.

Let me know in the comments if your little one has tried any of these toys!