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Best Educational Toys for 1-Year-Olds

Finding for the right toys for your 1-year-old can be overwhelming. That’s why we offer an age-appropriate toy rental club where parents can try toys before they buy them, or just borrow them for 2 months. From educational toys to ones that spark imagination, discover the best toys available for your 1-year-old! These are our top picks to help your growing toddler in their physical and cognitive development.

Shape sorters.

Shape sorters are educational yet fun toys that help teach little ones how to distinguish colors and learn various shapes. With these toys, 1 year olds can practice eye-hand coordination as they slide the shapes or blocks in and out of the sorter. They'll be able to experience a sense of accomplishment every time they're able to place the object in its assigned opening! Look for shape sorters with stimulating textures, vibrant colors, and fun animals and characters to keep their attention on the game. Our faves are the Plan Toys - Sorting Bus and HABA - Favorite Animals Sorting Bus.

Sensory toys.

Sensory toys are a great way to help develop a 1 year old’s senses. Tactile toys like soft cubes or fabrics with different textures offer excellent stimulation for their hands (like the Coco VIllage - Sensory Balls), while objects

with rattles and jingles teach them about sound discovery. Our fave discovery block set is the HABA USA - Discovery Block Set. Visual development is also key in the first year of life. Flashcards like the Wee Gallery Jungle Alphabet Cards are great for their use of black and white contrasting colors alongside letters and animals. You also can promote visual development with the simplest of activities like peekaboo which can enhance focus and improve attention span while they play.

Music makers.

Music can help babies learn rhythm and tempo, as well as develop their motor skills. Encourage your one year old to explore music with educational toys like xylophones (we love Symphony Croc), toy drums, and small pianos (like this super compact one from Hape and Baby Einstein). These instruments are great for learning cause-and-effect: when they press a key or drum a beat, they will learn to recognize when something happens as a result!

We also LOVE ball runs and anything Lovevery! A crowd-favorite from our play experts is the Lovevery - Slide and Seek Ball Run. This toy is great for 13 month olds to 15 month olds and teaches them about object permanence and cause and effect: your little one needs to push the ball through the slide, watch it twirl around, and land in a box with 4 separate ways to retrieve the ball. This remains a favorite even for my 4 year old!

Toys for toddlers can accumulate clutter FAST. If you're interested in these toys but looking to clear the clutter and live a little lighter on the OG Mother (Earth), consider renting toys from [play it forward], where we will send you a curated play kit just for your kiddo for 2 months. You can swap out for the next age and stage and ensure that your toddler keeps learning through play without building up piles of clutter around your home! Learn more about our subscriptions here.

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