Best toys for 1 year olds in 2021 – choose from our favorites – goodtoknow

best-toys-for-1-year-olds-in-2021-–-choose-from-our-favorites-–-goodtoknow

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Looking for the best toys for 1 year olds in 2021? There’s a wide range to choose from this season. In our round-up, we’ve included all you need to entertain, stimulate and soothe your child as they continue to develop and explore the world around them. Read on for our pick of the best toys for 1 year olds. 

Finding a birthday gift or top Christmas toys that will engage them for longer than five minutes is worth its weight in gold. Choose the best toys for 1 year olds here, designed to be stimulating and educational to help with their development. These best toys for 1 year olds are also lots of fun of course.

Around the age of 1, children are gaining more mobility and usually start to learn how to pick up small objects between their thumb and index finger. This is known as the ‘pincer grip’. This new skill will make it possible for children to start doing activities like scribbling or playing with blocks.

Many children will be mobile by their first birthday. Whether they are bottom shuffling, crawling or walking, kids will be keen to explore more of the world around them as they are growing up fast. This means they will be less likely to want to spend lots of tummy time on a play mat. They will likely want to start using toys that will help support themselves, stand up or even move around.

Best toys for 1 year olds in 2021

Here’s our pick of the best toys for 1 year olds, from stackers to shakers, to music makers and the best baby walkers. There are lots of gifts for 1-year-olds that will support early learning at home – encouraging exploration, fostering curiosity and building relationships.

But don’t be too worried about buying specifically educational toys for children as young as 1. ‘All toys can help a child’s development,’ says psychologist Dr. Amanda Gummer. ‘The important thing is to provide children with a range of playthings and allow them to play freely with different toys. This helps with things like decision-making skills, self-awareness, emotional wellbeing, and creativity.’

Personalised Disney Dumbo Read & Play Gift Set

Personalised Disney Dumbo Read & Play Gift Set

1. Personalised Disney Dumbo Read & Play Gift Set 

Age Suitability: From birth | Batteries required: None

Dumbo is a true classic Disney film – the 1941, not the 2019 version we say – and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a 1 year old or adult on the planet who isn’t moved by the tale of the adorable baby elephant. This Personalised Disney Dumbo Read & Play Gift Set makes for a cute gift and delightful keepsake. That’s why we’ve included in our best toys for 1 year olds round up.

A great way to mark a first year, the soft toy can be personalised with up to 7 characters. It comes packaged as part of a box set with a copy of the Dumbo tale inside. Kids will love listening to you read the book and they snuggle up with this charming Disney toy. What we love most about this gift is that it is timeless, which means it can be kept to pass down along the generations.

VIEW AT MY 1ST YEARS | £41

Noah's Ark toy

2. Oskar & Catie Personalised Noah’s Ark

Age Suitability: 1 year + | Batteries required: None

This colourful Oskar & Catie Personalised Noah’s Ark wooden toy comes in 2 different sizes and makes for a great gift. It is beautifully finished with a personalisation and 7 pairs of animals. This toy will introduce kids to a range of various species and engage them in imaginative play.

This ark toy has a range of entertaining elements – from the steps up to the ark, to the drawbridge that opens to reveal the animals. Playing with the animal is great for developing those fine motor skills. GoodtoKnow mums who have bought this as a gift have told us that they love the personalised touch. ‘I love the colourful wooden finish to this toy,’ says Gemma, mum to Oliver and Sienna. ‘I think it’s great value and makes a really good present for a 1 year old who is developing their play skills.’

VIEW AT NOTHS | £49.99

Scottie Dog Push Along toy for 1-year-olds

3. Scottie Dog Push Along

Age Suitability: 1 year + | Batteries required: None

This dog walker toy is great quality and can be used as a ride-on or push-along walker. It’s a fluffy and loveable addition to any child’s toy collection. The walker will help little ones practice their balance and coordination. It’s great for concentration and a firm favourite in our best toys for 1 year olds in 2021 round up.

‘My child can spend ages going round and round our open-plan kitchen with this walker,’ says Jenny, mum to Logan and Becky. ‘The wheels are very smooth and it works well on both carpet and wooden floor.’

VIEW AT AMAZON |£105

 Tidlo Wooden Activity Walker

4. Tidlo Wooden Activity Walker

Age Suitability: 1 year + | Batteries required: None

A durable walker such as the Tidlo Wooden Activity Walker features plenty of activities to keep toddlers entertained. It is ideal for helping 1 year olds take their first steps. With a spinning cage rattle, mini abacus, spinning mirror and matching blocks there’s plenty to stimulate young minds, which is why we’ve included it in our best toys for 1 year olds in 2021 round up.

‘I like the fact that this is made from wood and makes a change from some of the bright plastic designs you can buy,’ says Gemma, mum to Oliver and Sienna. ‘I’ve decided to keep hold of it as it makes a lovely keepsake.’

VIEW AT AMAZON | £51.99

Baby Einstein Magic Touch Drum

5. Hape Baby Einstein Magic Touch Drums

Age suitability: 12 months + | Batteries required: None


A wonderful way to channel their inner Ringo Star, the Hape Baby Einstein Magic Touch Drum will nurture a child’s sense of rhythm from an early age. The drum comes with four colourful icons including a frog, bird, tiger and octopus to make it enticing to touch. As your child prods and taps the top, the toy plays realistic drum sounds.

The Magic Touch Drum features two modes including melody and drum. This means kids can switch between playing classic songs and drumming up their own beat. Beautifully made from wood, with a plastic trim where the on-off switch is, the top of the drums are smooth and tactile and enticing enough for a curious 1 year old to get lost in music.

VIEW AT JOJO MAMAN BEBE | £25

John Lewis My First Activity Pull Along Train Wooden Toy

John Lewis My First Activity Pull Along Train Wooden Toy

6. My First Activity Pull Along Train Wooden Toy

Age Suitability: 12 months + | Batteries required: None

Beautifully finishes, the My First Activity Pull Along Train wooden toy is a staple first toy for any little 1 year old boy and girl. It’s also a toy you can treasure for them as they grow up.

The animal characters on this train and building blocks are designed to develop the pincer grip. Kids can have lots of practise taking the blocks on and off the train. It is designed to encourage learning and counting and keep little ones active as they pull the string along. Kids will enjoy taking the animals on tour from room to room. This train is FSC-certified, which makes it a sustainable choice too.

VIEW AT JOHN LEWIS | £30

SMARTMAX SMX230 Construction Toy

7. SMARTMAX SMX230 Construction Toy

Age Suitability: 1 year + | Batteries required: None

My First Totem has picked up multiple awards for innovation and being a great toy for stimulating young minds, which is why it has made it onto our list of best toys for 1 year olds in 2021. The set features 8 colourful magnetic building blocks, with different sounds, styles and textures. Little ones can combine the sensory blocks to build the coolest totem; or follow one of the 24 fun challenges.

Once they get a little older, you can upgrade onto the Smartmax Megaball Run. It comes with 71 pieces that includes tubes and X-shaped bars with 4 magnetic ends. This makes it a little more challenging.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £21.99

Kids Piano Mat and keyboard toy for 1-year-olds

8. mzimoon Kids Piano Mat


Age Suitability: 18 months + | Batteries required: Yes

Great for encouraging children’s creativity and musical expression, this musical mat comes with eight different piano ‘keys’. Each one makes the sound of a different instrument. Easy to use like a retro dance mat, children will love jumping around and experimenting with sounds.

‘I love the fact that this toy encourages kids to get moving and burn some energy,’ says Susan, mum to Charlotte and Emilie. ‘It’s large enough for adults to have a go too.’

VIEW AT AMAZON | £16.99

Djeco - Topanifarm

Djeco – Topanifarm

9. Djeco – Topanifarm

Age Suitability: 18 months + | Batteries required: None

This little farm-themed set may look simple, but it’s a great way to get little kids practising their construction skills and for improving hand-eye coordination. With 5 cute animals in the set, it’s a great way to get kids to learn about the names of different animals and their homes.

Kids can nest the boxes together or stack them too. It’s colourful in design too, which will help kids with their colour recognition too. There are six animals in the set including a rabbit, dog, cat, pig, cockerel and cow, and each animal has its own vibrant colour finish. This bold design makes them very enticing to play.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £20.22

Mega Bloks toys for 1-year-olds

10. Mega Bloks DCH55 Big Building Bag

Age Suitability: 12 months + | Batteries required: None

This set contains 80 multi-coloured building blocks with shapes that are perfect for little hands. It’s designed to encourage hands-on play for early childhood development. They can be combined with other Mega Bloks sets too and kids can build towers as tall as they like. This toy has made it onto our list for best toys for 1 year olds in 2021 as it’s such a popular choice.

The colourful finishes makes the set that much more enticing as kids can build and knock down their constructions to their hearts content. ‘We’ve had so many hours of play out of Mega Bloks set,’ says Emily, mum to Bethany and William. ‘Much like Duplo in that fact that the blocks are great for little hands of under-5s, it gave my kids endless opportunity to get creative in their play.’

VIEW AT AMAZON | £15.99 

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy

11. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy

Age Suitability: 6 months + | Batteries required: Yes

All little kids love huggable presents adn this Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy provides the opportunity to do just that. On board there are 75+ songs, sounds, tunes and phrases the bear can play. The bears hand, foot, ear and heart all light up to respond to baby’s touch, all designed to encourage a 1 year old to say their first words.

‘You can’t really beat Fisher Price baby toys,’ says GoodtoKnow consumer editor and mum Heidi Scrimgeour says. ‘They fun and educational and great value for money. What’s more, babies love them!’

VIEW AT AMAZON | £15.99

in the night garden ninky nonk musical activity bubble train toys for 1-year-olds

12. In The Night Garden Musical Activity Bubble Train

Age Suitability: 12 months + | Batteries required: Yes

This colourful train toy includes 15 fun activities to help to stimulate senses. It’s designed to build motor/construction skills and aid hand/eye coordination. It includes a shape sorter and a chute for Iggle Piggle and Friends to slide down. It also blows bubbles and plays music.

‘By age 1 my daughter was completely mesmerised by In The Night Garden,’ says Jenny, mum to Becky and Logan. ‘She would smile every time she heard the theme tune and this In the Night Garden Musical Activity Bubble Train got a lot of play.’

VIEW AT AMAZON | £37.49

Early Learning Centre Sensory Stacking Rings

13. ELC Sensory Stacking Rings

Age suitability: 6-12 months | Batteries required: None

This classic toy has lots of textures to explore and is great for problem-solving. It’s also ideal for stimulating the senses and developing hand-to-eye coordination. The fun, colourful giraffe will delight your little one during playtime. Our edit for best toys for 1 year olds in 2021 includes this gift as it’s a firm favorite option. 

‘While this is such a simple toy, it is no doubt get played with time and time again,’ says Emily, mum to Bethany and William. ‘I’ve seen many versions of this stackable toy online. This design is one of my favorites as I love the giraffe themed pattern.’

VIEW AT BOOTS | £20

Baby Einstein Hape Magic Touch Deluxe Piano

14. Baby Einstein Hape Magic Touch Deluxe Piano

Age suitability: 6 months + | Batteries required: Yes

Inspire a love of music in your little one with this wooden piano toy. It’s great for children aged 1 and up. Featuring 11 colourful keys with magic touch technology, the piano comes with 5 music sheets that play 10 melodies. Simply insert the sheets inside to play along to classic tunes or compose your own tune.

Listening to music and singing is such a great way to engage children and this wooden piano toy provides such a great way to encourage them to learn the piano.

VIEW AT JOJO MAMAN BEBE | £39.99

Bernie's Number Bus

Bernies Number Bus from Great Little Trading Co

15. Bernie’s Number Bus

Age suitability: 6 months + | Batteries required: No

This solid wooden toy comes in a beautiful pillar-box red finish with little wooden passengers that can sit inside. The passengers are the perfect size for little hands to grip. They can place the character in coloured, matching seats. Kids can easily lift the roof off to discover what’s inside. This encourages them to practise their number learning and encourages imaginative play. No batteries are needed and it can also be wheeled around the room freely as because it is just the right size for little hands. That’s why we’ve included it in our round up for best toys for 1 year olds in 2021.

‘What I love about wooden toys is that no matter which brand they come from they all seem to work well together as a whole,’ says Emily, mum to Bethany and William. ‘We’ve got a wooden train track, wooden cars and a wooden bus and my kids love getting them all out to create a small ‘town’ for play.’

VIEW AT GREAT LITTLE TRADING CO | £39.99

Kidly Exploration Blocks

16. Exploration Blocks

Age suitability: 3+years | Batteries required: No

The manufacturer states that this toy is suitable from 3+ years, but we see no reason why it isn’t a great choice for a 1 year old. A classic wooden toy like this will help kids explore shapes and textures and develop their visual attention. As kids pick up the pieces and explore the design it will also help with fine motor skills. It’s a colourful toy too and finished in a range of colours and made from eco-friendly wood and non-toxic paints.

There are a number of similar exploration block toys available to buy online,’ says Emily, mum to Bethany and William. ‘I like the vibrant colorful finish of this design, however.’

VIEW AT KIDLY | £21

Personalised doll for one year old

17. Personalised Doll in Gingham Outfit

Age Suitability: From birth | Batteries required: None

Children love to mimic what they see around them. Looking after and caring for their very own ‘baby’ is definitely a popular activity for kids, which is why this toy makes a great gift for a 1 year old. My 1st Years Personalised Rag Doll in Gingham Dress is soft and machine washable. What we love most about it is that it can be personalised, making it a lovely idea for a present for a 1 year old.

‘My kids loved to put their dollies in the toy buggy and walking around and around the house,’ says Gemma, mum to Oliver and Sienna. ‘This rag doll makes a nice change from plastic baby dolls, and the fact that it can be personalised with your child’s name makes for a nice touch.’

VIEW AT MY 1ST YEARS | £26

xylophone

18. Personalised Wooden Rainbow Xylophone

Age Suitability: 18 months + | Batteries required: None

A bright, colourful xylophone always makes a great gift for a 1 year old. It’s a favorite in our best toys for 1 year olds round up. An xylophone will let kids express themselves and teaches early note recognition and develop motor skills. This xylophone design as it can be personalised, which makes for a great gift.

‘Aside from the personalised aspect of this toy, I love how colorful this design is,’ says Emily, mum to Bethany and William. ‘My kids love playing music. Our xylophone still gets a lot of use. This design comes with beaters that look just the right size for 1 year olds to hold with ease.’

VIEW AT NOTHS | £29.90

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