Are you looking for a toy or gift for a 1-year-old boy? With so many options out there, finding the right toy can be intimidating. Luckily, we’ve researched hundreds of toys and pulled together a list of the 10 best toys that are not only super fun but also critical to helping 1 year old boys reach developmental milestones. If you’re in a hurry, skip to top toys list below. Otherwise, read on to learn about the developmental milestones children are expected to reach by the time they are 24 months old that factored in to this list.
Also note: this list is great for 1-year-old girls too. Many of the toys have girl color variations or are gender neutral.
1 Year Old Developmental Milestones
Children between 12 and 24 months make huge developmental strides which allow them to start exploring the world. In this fun year they often go from crawling to standing and walking. They develop fine motor skills like drinking from sippy cups and picking up objects. As they teeth, they’ll also eat more diverse foods which helps them develop the strength for speech.
Cognitively, a 1-year-old child is just beginning to understand everyday objects like spoons, and balls. They can follow simple directions like “sit down”. They can make the connection between words you say and the objects they represent like their nose, or a picture in a book.
Most 1 year olds will babble. They’re just starting to express themselves with real words like “no, mama”. They can recognize family members’ names as well. They experience the same emotions that full-grown humans do like happiness, sadness, and laughter. Sometimes they get frustrated when they can’t express themselves. 1 year olds still have limited social interactions with other children.
With those developmental considerations in mind, here’s our list of the top toys for 1-year-old boys.
10 Best Toys for 1 Year Old Boys Reviewed
You might be surprised to see a dump truck toy so high on our list, but don’t be fooled. This Drop & Go Dump Truck toy from VTech packs a heavy load of developmental value. The toy helps children improve their motor skills, counting, and spatial reasoning. Boys also just love dump trucks.
Toddlers put balls into the top of the red truck and watch them tumble into the yellow bucket. They can then pull the truck with a string, or push it to see the balls rumble inside the bucket. A lever lets the dump truck do what dump trucks to best – dump the balls, so your toddler can put them in again. This toy tests their ability to move objects in and out of containers.
Whether you’re buying this truck as a gift, or getting one for your own child, this toy will help your toddler develop both their fine and gross motor skills, all while having a blast.
While toddlers may still not be very skilled at speaking, they begin soaking up vocabulary like a sponge. This beautiful first words board book is great at developing that core vocabulary.
It contains 100 images on thick pages that toddlers can turn themselves. Parents sit with their toddlers and first introduce the words associated with each picture. Then they can ask the child to point to image of the word that they say. This process of learning early vocabulary is a wonderful experience for parent and child alike.
This versatile toy train will grow with your child as they transition from crawling to standing and walking. It can be used as a floor toy, with lots of learning activities to teach letters, numbers, and colors. The second train compartment comes with 13 double-sided alphabet blocks to teach the ABCs. Toddlers can sit, ride, push, and pull the train until they run out of fuel.
This car dashboard toy is wonderful at stimulating a 1-year-old boy’s imagination, as well as helping them develop fine motor control and strength. As children grow from 1 to 2 year olds, their imaginations grow stronger. This toy is great at sparking their imaginative play. Toddlers love pretending to be like their parents driving too.
If your boy is 18 months or older, they will enjoy this toy workshop. It has numerous kid-friendly tools like hammers and screwdrivers, to help your toddler improve their fine motor control. It’s highly interactive, with activities for learning shapes, counting, colors, and the ABCs. Boys will love hammering, screwing, and building. This developmental playset may be slightly advanced for some early toddlers, but they will likely grow into the toy by 18 months.
This building block set is so good, it’s not just on this list. It’s also on our list of the 10 best toys for 2-year-old boys. Kids can play with these building blocks for years. The large pieces are great for tiny toddler hands. 1 year olds will likely just put two or three pieces together. As they get older, they’ll build increasingly larger and more imaginative structures. At a reasonable $15 price tag, this building blocks set gives you a great bang for your buck.
For 6 months to 3 years old, this toy helps toddlers improve fine motor control while introducing them to animal names, animal sounds, shapes, and instruments. The toy has 5 sides that encourage hours of exploration, play, and movement.
Bath time can be great for both development and fun. This fishing toy comes with 3 beautiful floating fish, and a reel with a magnetic worm. Children move the carefully reel to catch the magnetic fish. The toy not only makes bath time a lot of fun, it helps children improve their dexterity and even learn about the properties of water.
Give your child the pleasure of wonderful baby-friendly classical music player. Children from 3 months old to 3 years old will love switching between 7 enjoyable melodies in this toy. The auditory stimulation is enhanced by blinking lights that dance across the screen.
Many parents bring this toy is along for car trips, because it’s an excellent toddler distraction and keeps them from getting fussy.
This set of 10 durable stacking cups will keep your child stimulated through many stages of development. Toddlers learn to place smaller cups on larger cups to make a big tower. They practice comparing sizes of objects and problem solving. The cups also promote dexterity. As toddlers stack higher, they improve gross motor skills and balance. They are more likely to start standing.
There are a number of stacking toys out there. We’ve picked one that is safe, cheap, well rated, and even helps teach counting. Bonus: each cup has different holes in the bottom for bath time fun.
Toys for Other Age Ranges
- Best toys for 2-year-old boys
- Best toys for 3-year-old boys
- Best toys for 4 year old boys
- Best toys for 5 year old boys
- Best toys for 6 year old boys
- Best toys for 7 year old boys
- Best toys for 8 year old boys
- Best toys for 9 year old boys
- Best toys for 10 year old boys
- Best toys for 11 year old boys
- Best toys for 12 year old boys
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list. While we don’t suggest that these are the only toys your child will ever need, we do think this list of top 10 developmental toys is a great start. If you have any suggestions or feedback, please reach out to us.
Criteria for Placement
While listing the best educational resources is never an exact science, we’ve done our best find products that rank highly on the following criteria:
- Developmental impact: Many toys out there like plush dolls are somewhat limited in their developmental impact. We’ve critically evaluated the toys on this list for their impact on physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development.
- Safety: All toys on this list are safe to use, free of toxic compounds like lead and BPA
- Durability: Toddlers love to throw, sit on, and hit everything in sight. The toys on this list are fit to withstand the bumps and hard landings.
- Price: Parenting doesn’t need to be outrageously expensive. We looked for the cheapest products that still meet our developmental and quality requirements.
- Developmental milestones for typical 1 year olds – understood.org