Favourite Toys of a 1 Year Old

Favourite Toys of a 1 Year Old - A gift guide with hindsight
The following list is a guide for anyone looking to buy a gift for a 1st birthday or for a child who is already one. I have based it on what my almost 2 year old has played with the most in the past year. So in saying that, it is a gift guide made with hindsight and I think it will be useful for others to know what a 1 year old will actually play with. Of course all children are different and will find their favourite things to do, but I think the things on this list will be a good fit for most children.

In no particular order...

1. Wooden Blocks

The more the better and variety is great too! Pictured are Uncle Goose Spanish Blocks and Plan Toys wooden blocks. We also have Tumbling Towers and a mixed set of second hand blocks that we picked up from an op-shop. We are planning to add a large set of unit blocks for his 2nd birthday (shhhhh!!) and I have these mirror blocks, see-through colour blocks and rainbow blocks on my wish list too.... (yes, I love wooden blocks that much!!) As you can see, you can buy blocks on both sides of the price scale. While you don't need expensive blocks I do believe they are a toy that will be played with for many, many years and can be worth the investment.

2. Balls

Any types of balls will be a hit, but we particularly love this set of sensory balls that we were given for his 1st birthday. They are called Oddballs, made by B. Toys.

3. Something to ride on

Pictured is the trike he was given for his 1st birthday, it is small and light enough to be ridden inside the house which is perfect during winter. 

4. Duplo

A classic toy which will be played with for many years to follow. There are all sorts of themed packs you can buy, for a 1 year old I personally love the creative building box.

5. Musical Instruments

Our instruments were given to us from Peru so have special meaning for our family. I recommend wooden instruments without batteries such as shakers and bongos.

6. Books

Particular favourites at this age have been flap books and 'touch-n-feel' books.

7. Puzzles

Simple puzzles are great for a 1 year old. We have the Tupperware Shape-O and the wooden puzzles were purchased from The Big Rocking Horse in South Australia. The Big Rocking Horse Toy Factory is a wonderful place to find gifts, for a visiting guide I recommend reading this post from Teacher Types to plan a full-day out!

8. Stacking cups/towers

These come in so many varieties. I particularly love the Eric Carle Nesting Blocks.

9. Easel/Chalkboard

This was also bought for our boy for his 1st birthday from The Big Rocking Horse. It has a chalkboard on one side and a painting easel on the other. We choose the smallest size we could so that it would be the right height for him.

10. Toys to match a particular interest

For us this means cars. Anything with cars is a big hit in our house. For your child it could be anything, just watch and see what they tend to play with the most and extend on that.

11. Sensory Play Table

We made our own table which you can read about here. It is great as it can be used in so many ways and helps to explore and contain messy play.

12. Animals

This is not something we have yet (another thing on my wish list!) But I believe animals would be a fantastic toy for a 1 year old to explore. I think medium sized plastic animals would be perfect, especially as plastic ones can be used in sensory play like play dough and be easily washed. I love the Schleich animals that are very realistic.

13. Art materials

I know this is not actually a 'toy', but giving art materials as a gift is always a winner. For a 1 year old, paper and crayons are a great start. You can find art materials at all your local/cheap stores but for larger bulk orders I love to purchase art supplies from Clever Patch. Newsprint or Butcher's Paper is particularly good for kids who will go through a lot of pages!

Is there anything I have missed? What have your 1-year-olds loved to play with?

Please note - I am not affiliated with any of the links in this post, I am purely sharing the links as I love and use the products myself.



  1. I think that is a pretty comprehensive list! The only other thing that mine has been interested in is push/pull along things. She is almost 1 and has loved these since about 9 months and they have encouraged her to walk. #ToddlerFunFriday

  2. The stacking blocks and the wooden blocks were hits in our house too! Thanks for sharing on #ToddlerFunFriday


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