Best Educational Toys for a 1 Year Old

What are the best educational toys for 1-year-olds that will encourage development through play?

At a year old your baby is entering toddler territory with full force and they are still developing at an incredible rate, learning to walk and talk and climb and play in new ways. As parents, we want to encourage our little ones every step of the way so you may well be looking for educational toys for 1-year-olds.

Toddlers are naturally curious and are drawn to colour, noise and texture. They are discovering their feet so they love walkers and toys they can either push or pull. Their coordination and fine motor skills are developing so toys that utilise and encourage this are perfect for this age. And as a year old children are beginning to develop pretend play and mimicking the things they see in the world around them so toys like cars, dolls, tea sets and toolsets are all popular choices.

The best educational toys for different developmental needs

Toys that engage the senses

Toddlers are drawn to bright colours, toys that make noise and toys that are tactile. Encourage them to explore and learn with all their senses by providing percussion toys to make noise with, toys that have different textures, and toys that are colourful and fun to look at.

Think about play silks, wooden toys, making playdough, get the paints out, play in the mud, splash in the bath, anything that engages the senses while you play.

Educational toys that encourage coordination

Toys that involve stacking, be it rings, blocks, or animals, are great at this age as toddlers get to develop their hand-eye coordination skills, fine motor skills and develop stability and core strength.

Little ones of this age also love posting things so shape sorting toys are perfect as are big chunky peg puzzles. They get to practise fine motor skills while developing shape and colour recognition and language skills.

Toys that get them moving

A walker can be a great toy for a 1-year-old, and while it might not at first seem educational, encouraging their physical development is also vital at this stage.

You could choose an activity walker that will also encourage fine motor skills and problem-solving, a traditional walker with building blocks (and every child should have a set of blocks) or opt for something like a trolley, a pram or a ride-on toy that will be loved just as much once they have mastered the art of putting one foot in front of the other.

Pretend play toys

By a year old babies or toddlers love to mimic others and this is a great way for them to build social skills and learn more about the world around them.

They probably won't play together much with other toddlers yet but they will be starting to play alongside each other so having toys that more than one child can play with at a time, like a set of cars or a tea set and multiple dolls or teddies can be really nice for playdates.

Next up: 1st Birthday ideas

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