How many toys do one-year-olds need?
Parenting is a minefield and it’s possible to second guess every decision from choosing nappies to picking out appropriate toys for a child aged one.
Toys might seem trivial, especially before you have children, but they are an important part of child development. Children learn through play, playing is their work and toys are their tools.
That being said however we only have so much money to spend and so much space in our homes. You might have a large dedicated playroom or you might eat, relax and play all together in the same small space.
So how do you choose the perfect toys for your one-year-old? How decide what to buy and what will just end up gathering dust? And is there such a thing as having too many toys?
Do children need lots of toys - and can they have too many toys?
Firstly while children need to play, and toys can be viewed as the tools of their trade, they don’t need toys per se, just things to play with. So while you could buy a set of stacking cups you could also give them your measuring cups from the kitchen, you could buy them a drum or you could let them play with pans and wooden spoons.
In fact making the bottom drawer in your kitchen child safe can be a great way to keep them amused and engaged for hours. And as your toddler starts to explore their surroundings they’ll discover lots of other toys you never knew could be so much fun.
So yes, children need things to play with, but no they don’t need lots of toys.
Of course, the likelihood is you are going to want to buy some toys. We certainly love toys here. And beautifully made wooden toys can be quite tempting for grownups as well. So how many do they need? Or perhaps how many can you get away with?
Research shows that in many respects less is actually more. Children who have fewer toys actually play for longer with each toy and play in a more creative way. Don’t worry if you feel like you have too many, especially if you have older siblings, you can easily overcome this using toy rotation.
Picking toys for your one-year-old is fun. You still get to choose for them at this age, it gets a lot harder as they get older and want things they’ve seen their friends playing with. But, there are a LOT of choices, so where do you start?
Choosing really is up to you, you know your child better than anyone, but if you are worried about having too many toys, maybe try and choose some that are fun for little ones but will also be loved for a few years. For example instead of buying a push along walker buy a pram or a shopping trolley that will be loved for years to come.
Open ended toys
We think children should have at least some open-ended toys. These are toys which really allow, and in fact, require children to use their imaginations instead of leading them into a particular outcome. Grimms have a fantastic range of open-ended stacking toys that are perfect for this age, plus they are a beautiful addition to your home rather than a noisy plastic eyesore.
These might come into the open-ended toys category. But they deserve their own spot as well. Building towers and knocking them down in fun and educational in equal measure especially if you build and they get to knock down.
Dolls or stuffed animals
Dolls and soft toys are great for this age as they provide comfort as well as a great playmate. You can play pretend with a doll, feed them and push them in a pram, or you can just cuddle with them while you read a book.
Arts, Crafts and Messy play
At a year your little one might not be ready for drawing but it won’t be long before they delight in making marks on paper and they will probably love some planned messy play.
Again this isn’t really about toys although a chalkboard or easel is a fun addition to any playroom. You can make playdough, get the rice or flour out, or play in the mud and sand. All of which are great fun for little ones (and you).
Next up: Best educational Toys for a 1 year old?