TheToyZone is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

20 Best Educational Toys for 1 Year Olds

Updated 21 April 2020

This post may contain affiliate links.

As babies reach the 12 months milestone, they start to show lots of advances in their cognitive skills. At this age, they typically start to shake, bang and throw objects and may be able to sit up independently or begin to pull themselves into a standing position. They may recognize simple gestures like nodding for hello or waving goodbye.

Find a toy that encourages the baby to use these behaviors — it will have a positive benefit on their development, whilst ensuring they’re having fun playing at the same time. To help you find the ideal toy for your one-year-old, we’ve collated a list of our favorite toys suitable for girls and boys alike.

1. Important milestones for your baby by one year. 2019. CDC. cdc.gov

1LEGO DUPLO All-in-One-Box-of-Fun Building Kit

LEGO Duplo offers a great introduction to building blocks for your one-year-old, and the set comes in a handy storage box so everything can be tidied away neatly. Even if your baby doesn’t quite understand the concept of putting the pieces together right away, it’s a safe activity that encourages them to develop fine motor skills. They’ll pick the concept of piecing together the site as they play with it!

What we love

  • Vibrant colors attract babies to the set
  • locks are the ideal size for little hands

We dont like this as much

  • The set could do with extra blocks

2 Fisher-Price Rock - A - Stack

This stacking toy from Fisher-Price includes 5 vibrant rings for babies to grab, shake, stack and even chew if they want to. Babies can stack the rings and then bat the base which offers a wibbly-wobbly effect which, as a result, encourages the use of fine motor skills and eye coordination in addition to being a fun and safe solo activity.

What we love

  • The rings come in a variety of bright colors
  • The set is well made and durable

We dont like this as much

  • The set could include more rings

3Hape Pound & Tap Bench

What we love

  • The balls and the xylophone are solid wood
  • The xylophone is removable to use on its own

We dont like this as much

  • the balls are difficult to push through the holes

4 Edushape See-Me Sensory Ball

At first look at this sensory ball from Edushape it provides colors that simply draw babies in, On top of that the textured surface engages your baby’s senses and tactile development. They can grab, throw, chew or squeeze this ball to work on gross motor skills, rolling, tracking and bouncing the ball, helping to develop logic and reasoning skills.

What we love

  • The small size makes it easy to hold
  • It comes in a variety of vibrant colors

We dont like this as much

  • A stronger material would hold air in longer

5Play22 Plush Talking Stuffed Animals Jungle Set

Whether it’s their first encounter with animals or they’re already familiar with them, this set includes everything they need to get to know animals from the jungle. The set Includes a jungle house carrier, Stuffed Bears, Stuffed Elephant, Stuffed Tiger, Stuffed Lion, Stuffed Zebra, and Stuffed Monkey. Squeezing each animal will make a sound for your baby to start associating each sound with the individual animals.

What we love

  • The animals are really soft
  • The set is made from durable materials

We dont like this as much

  • The noises the animals make could be more realistic

6Busy Noisy Farm: Interactive Children's Sound Book

A children’s sound book is a great way to pique your baby’s curiosity. As you read the story, you will see picture icons that inspire little ones to find the buttons and play the sound effects. They’ll hear 10 different sounds as the farmer rides his tractor around the farm, looking for a missing pig. Busy Noisy Farm helps to promote matching, fine motor and listening skills, as well as language and literacy skills.

What we love

  • Buttons are easy to push
  • The battery life is fantastic

We dont like this as much

  • The area around the sound buttons need regular cleaning

7Floating Baby Bath Books

Who said bathtime had to be boring? These floating baby bath books are great for keeping babies entertained in the bath.  Each individual book contains five pages covering a section of the alphabet. Each letter is described with simple, beautiful illustrations. These soft, squishy books all contain a squeaking noise-maker that is easily squeezed and makes silly sounds.

What we love

  • The books don’t get damaged or worn down by the water
  • They are the perfect size for tiny hands

We dont like this as much

  • An additional book could have been included

8 Vulli So Pure Sophie and Natural Soother

Sophie the giraffe and the natural soother are great for babies that like to chew things. With Sophie, babies can squeeze and chew in complete safety. Both pieces are made of 100% Natural Rubber (phthalates-free) and food paint. Squeezing Sophie makes a happy sound, stimulating your baby’s hearing to understand the link between cause and effect.

What we love

  • It’s great for babies that are teething
  • It's easy to clean after use

We dont like this as much

  • The color of the giraffe can fade

9GOODLOGO Flower Bath Toys

This fun bathtime set has everything to make bathtime a blast! Babies can fill up the watering can and pretend to water the plants like a little gardener. Your one-year-old fills cups of water to pour into the flower which rotates the propellor and leaf to create a waterfall. This toy works on hand-eye coordination and promotes shape and color recognition.

What we love

  • All pieces are vibrant in color
  • The toys are easy to clean

We dont like this as much

  • The suction cups could be attached to the toy

10Little Tikes Tap-A-Tune Drum

This drum kit is the perfect excuse for your baby to have fun and make some noise. It includes a single drum and two drumsticks which clip on to each side of the drum. Aside from beating the drum, your one-year-old could use the sticks to rub the surface of the drum to make some more unique sounds. Babies will work on their creative skills by finding their own musical sounds.

What we love

  • Babies can use drum sticks or their hands to play
  • It doesn’t take up too much space

We dont like this as much

  • The sticks could be attached to the drums to avoid losing them

11 SKYFIELD Wooden Animal Jigsaw Puzzles

These chunky puzzles are the ideal size for little hands, the pieces are chunky enough to withstand reasonable bashes and scrapes and include four packs of cute and vibrant puzzle pieces. As well as helping babies to recognize animals, these jigsaws will build on your baby’s concentration and basic logic skills. 

What we love

  • The pieces are good quality, void of sharp edges
  • A handy carrier bag is included

We dont like this as much

  • The pieces could fit more snug

12Noisy Dinosaurs book (My First)

This dinosaur-themed touch and feel book includes interactive ways for your baby to get involved with each page of the book. As well as feeling textures, they’ll also hear the sounds of dinosaurs as you continue with the story. The book includes vibrant photographs, and through the use of different surfaces, it encourages sensory development and promotes listening.

What we love

  • The sounds are realistic
  • There's a wide variety of textures

We dont like this as much

  • There could be more pages to enjoy

13Disney Winnie The Pooh Music and Lights Walker

This Winnie The Pooh walker includes 2 swing-open activity trays with 4 fun Winnie the Pooh themed toys and 12 songs. The walker holsd babies up to 30lbs and is great for strengthening the power in their lower limbs. Babies can play with the vibrant activity trays or begin to scoot around the house using their legs. When your one-year-old is tired of playing, they can use the included tray table to refuel with a snack!

What we love

  • The padded seat is machine washable
  • The wheels work on hard floors and carpet

We dont like this as much

  • Initial assembly could have been easier

14 The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys

Although the concept of stacking cups is simplistic, this set includes 8 brightly colored cups that can either be stacked on top of one another or your baby can hide things inside them. There are holes in each cup too which means they can also be used in the bath. The numbers on the cups means your baby can begin to recognize the differences and learn basic counting.

What we love

  • Each cup has large numbers printed on the bottom
  • The cups are easy to clean

We dont like this as much

  • Cups could have had a bigger range of sizes

15 Boxiki kids Wooden Stacking Toys & Shape Sorting Board

This geometric stacking and shape sorting board from Boxiki features a range of colorful wooden pieces of triangles, squares, circles and rectangles that can be matched and stacked on the corresponding rods. Using the various pieces, babies can stack them together on top of each other which helps to build early problem-solving, cognitive, shape, color, and size differentiation skills.

What we love

  • The wood is smooth, solid and well painted
  • There’s lots of color and shape options

We dont like this as much

  • The overall size of the toy could be bigger

16Stainless Steel Cookware Playset

Packed into a cute box is this 13 piece cookware playset, pots and pans are 3.7″ in diameter, while cooking utensils are 5.5″ long. The pots, pans, and utensils are essentially miniatures of what is found in mom and dad’s kitchen, and they’ve been created with little hands in mind. Babies can pretend to cook while you take care of dinner time, promoting imaginative and imitation play as a result.

What we love

  • Handles are riveted on pots and pans tightly
  • Made of high-quality hand-polished stainless steel

We dont like this as much

  • The pots and pans are not big enough for larger play food

17 VTech Pull and Sing PuppySnap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Exploration Kit

The VTech Pull and Sing Puppy has a light-up nose that flashes along with all voice, sound and musical responses to attract your little one’s attention, this promotes language development in a playful way. Using the cord, your baby can push or pull this cute pup to activate the music which works on their gross motor skills at the same time.

What we love

  • It’s well made, standing up to bumps and falls
  • The sounds, colors, and movement or great quality

We dont like this as much

  • The string could be longer

18Bright Baby Touch & Feel Baby Animals

This touch and feel book takes baby animals and puts them into a cute little story for you to read to your little one, as you turn each page they can feel the textures to get more involved with the story. 

With colorful pictures of baby animals and rhyming text to read aloud, this interactive book is perfect for your bright baby to build their reading skills, sensory skills, and their vocabulary.

What we love

  • Offers a range of different textures
  • The pages are thick and durable

We dont like this as much

  • Each page is similar textures

19 VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker

This all in one Early learning center has 5 piano keys that play music, and it features 2 colorful spinning rollers, 3 shape sorters, and 3 light-up buttons. Your baby can sit and play with the various activities. Once they’re brave enough, they can attempt to stand up and even take their first steps with this walker. This toy encourages creativity and builds on fine motor skills.

What we love

  • It works on hard floors and carpet
  • Includes 2 AA batteries

We dont like this as much

  • The small phone is unattached so easily lost

20Wooden Race Track Car Ramp

This race track car ramp is made from solid wood, it comes with 4 wooden racing cars in vibrant colors that’ll instantly grab your baby’s attention. Your one-year-old places a car at the top of the parking lot, and with a small push the car flips down each level of the lot before speeding out from the base of the lot. The toy promotes fine motor skills and also works on keeping their concentration engaged.

What we love

  • The parking lot is good quality and is built to last
  • Cars glide down the ramps without getting stuck

We dont like this as much

  • The cars go a little too fast

Buying Toys for 1-Year-Olds

Finding a toy that’s entertaining, safe and educational for a one-year-old can seem like a tough job. The toys we have suggested here have been collated from recommendations from real parents, looking for the most positive reviews to help with your search for a suitable option for your baby. If you’ve found an option on our list that’s perfect for your little one, or have a suggestion, let us know in the comments below.