Walk in any toy store or do a quick internet search and you’ll be inundated with toy & gift ideas for that sweet 1 year old girl in your life. With all the lights and sounds and colors it’s hard to remember that you wanted to buy her something educational as well as fun.
How can you cut through the noise and cheap plastics and feel confident that you’re buying something she’ll love and something you’ll love?
Easy! Check out the 10 best toys for 1 year old girls on this list. They’re all highly rated, safe, educational, and lots of fun. Each one is also guaranteed to strengthen, improve, and encourage more than one of the developmental milestones your little one is expected to be achieving this year. And as a bonus for you, we’ve made sure they’re all affordable.
But more importantly, these toys will all give that little girl hours upon hours of fun, smiles, and even some giggles! And if you’re curious about some of the developmental milestones your 1-year-old girl will achieve this year, have a quick read below before you go through the toy list and start shopping.
1-Year-Old Developmental Milestones
Whether you’re a first-time parent or an old hat, you still always find yourself wondering if she’s learning what she needs to learn, and doing what she should be doing for her age.
While all children develop differently, especially at this tender age, it still helps to put your mind at ease by understanding the common developmental milestones children reach from 12 to 24 months.
Round about your daughter’s first birthday, she’ll be really ramping up her gross and fine motor skills. Scooting around on her bum, pulling herself up, walking, and pulling toys behind her are things she’ll start doing in this year. She may even dare to climb up stairs or help you dress her by popping out an arm or a leg!
You’ll even get to enjoy teaching her to drink from a sippy cup, pick up Cheerios, and scribble this year! But watch out because while she’ll learn to pick things up with her pincer grip, she may also use that pincer grip to pinch you! Good thing she understands words such as stop now, right?
After she turns 1, her cognitive skills will also develop at an explosive rate, and you’ll start to see her think, explore, learn, and solve new problems. Watch and remember this year as she starts doing the cutest things that make you smile: blowing kisses, using a spoon, feeding a doll, and reacting to her favorite songs and stories. But you may also have to find your patience as she learns cause and effect by throwing her cup on the floor over and over again!
Now she’ll start to babble and express herself with different sounds, point to things, and lift her arms up to be picked up. She’ll even recognize words and start to say a few easy ones such as the timeless mama.
But the best part of this year will be watching her show affection and react to the feelings of others, whether with a smile, a laugh, a cry, or a hug. And that clinginess she shows when you’re finally heading out for that long-awaited date night? It’s a perfectly normal social development skill that shows up at this age. Or that temper tantrum she threw when you gave up on the pick-up-the-cup game? Also a perfectly normal development that shows how well she’s progressing.
Now that you feel better about what you should be looking for after your daughter turns 1, read through our list of the top 10 toys that she will love to play with and you will know are helping her to learn, grow, and develop.
10 Best Toys for 1 Year Old Girls Reviewed
This walker encourages the development of every milestone your 1-year-old is working on this year: gross and fine motor skills, cognitive, language, and social skills. Few toys can make that claim, and that’s why this is our favorite toy on this list.
Your baby will love zooming around the house, faster and longer every day with the help of this durable walker. And when she gets bored with that, she can crawl or walk around to the front and find something new to grab her interest – and work on another developmental milestone. This unique walker showcases 5 piano keys that play musical notes, 2 colorful spinning rollers, 3 shape sorters, 3 light-up buttons that develop motor skills, and a pretend telephone for added fun.
This is one toy that will keep her entertained and developing for a long time to come. That’s a great investment for under $50.
Little ones at this age love nothing more than to mimic their parent or caregiver. This fun new toy lets them do that as they learn to practice their social, cognitive, and fine motor skills as they mimic and make believe. The 6 food items, 2 plates, 2 cups, 2 forks, blanket, and basket will keep them transfixed and entertained. Even lifting the lid will hold their attention because it not only has sound effects but it plays instrumental music with every opening.
You even get to join in the fun, and when you do, you can teach them about sharing, pretend, and manners. Even older siblings will love it! This one is oodles of fun for less than $20!
You may have to remember to share this one with your 1 year old because it’s so intriguing! This 6-sided cube features 6 large, easy-to-push buttons in different colors to represent different instruments. When they push one, a Mozart tune begins to play, and every time they hit another button, they can add or subtract a new instrument (harp, French horn, piano, flute, or violin). Hit the special orchestra button and they can listen to the song in its entirety. It even has lights that flash along with the tempo!
Ordinarily, musical toys drive even the most patient of parent nuts after a while – even though you know it’s an important skill they’re learning – but this one won’t with its high quality sound and classic song. For only $35, your little girl will be strengthening her hand-eye coordination, understanding of cause-effect relationships, reasoning, and interest in investigating how things work, all while fulfilling her innate desire for repetition.
Your little 1 year old is busy discovering and learning at this age, and as a result she’s learning that things that disappear really are still there – and they come back! This toy lets her play around with that fascinating new concept at the same time as it develops her understanding of cause and effect, problem-solving skills, and fine motor skills – even her memory!
With 5 different animals that pop up once she masters how to maneuver the matching buttons and disappear when she closes their lids, this is one toy guaranteed to grow with her. It’s well worth the $20 price tag!
As much as 1 year olds love to push things right now, they love to pull things just as much –maybe more! Using this new-found walking skill they’re just discovering keeps them entertained, learning, and engaged, and nothing is more fascinating than pulling along a cute little dolphin whose ball of blocks turns as his wheels turn! And when she gets tired, she can take a sit-down break and work on her problem-solving and fine motor skills as she pops the animal shapes (dolphin, coral fish, and sea turtle) into their slots. Then she can jump back up again and take her toys on a new adventure!
And you can rest easy with this fun, educational toy knowing that it cost you only $20 and is BPA-free and nontoxic.
Is bath time battle time at your house? Many 1 year olds just do not want to take a bath, whether it’s because they don’t like the water or they just don’t want to be taken from their other activities. Whatever the cause, this toy will make bath time fun time instead!
The island toy comes with 5 different figures that can be put on the fountainhead to create wondrous different fountain effects. Listen to your 1 year old giggle as they make a magic fountain!
This a great toy to teach that inquisitive 1-year-old girl hand-eye coordination and color recognition at the same time as she’s learning that water can be fun and not scary. Bath time is sure to be a more fun, peaceful experience with this toy around.
Believe it or not, a 1 year old can now enjoy creating art! They can strengthen their fine motor skills and improve their imagination when they scribble different colors and shapes on a giant piece of paper, whether the paper is taped to the floor or a table or hanging on an easel.
As parents though, we haven’t been keen on giving our little ones traditional crayons, both because of the ingredients and the size of the crayons. Now we can give them crayons in good conscience because these crayons made from nothing but 100% New Zealand beeswax! The best part is these $23 crayons (for a pack of 12) are chunky enough to fit nicely in baby’s hands, and they won’t break.
This portable update to the traditional wooden shape sorter cube comes with 12 different colored shapes (triangle, square, octagon, star, pentagon, hexagon, oval, clover, rectangle, trapezoid, diamond, and parallelogram) to fit in their matching slots. While there are lots of shape sorters out there, most of them made by well-known brands such as Fisher Price and Playskool, this one is different in its portability, durability, and the extra shape activities on the back of the container. She can even carry it with her wherever she goes!
Encourage your little one to improve her fine motor skills, visual-spatial skills, color learning, and shape matching with this under $20 investment.
What 1 year old doesn’t love a good old, ordinary ball? A toy as seemingly simple as this knobby, colorful, and translucent ball will give your little girl hours, days, and even years of fun and development.
The knobby spikes surrounding each one of these balls in the $11 set of four encourages and delights her tactile senses while squeezing, rolling, throwing, and kicking the balls teaches her hand-eye coordination and improves her gross motor skills. And she can even safely chew on them if she has some teething discomfort as they’re nice and squeezable and can be made even more so with the inflation/deflation pin. She’ll even learn social skills when you play with her!
Girls love all sorts of toys, not just dolls and dishes and dress up! They too love to dig in the dirt or sand, get dirty, and tote and push things around. Plus, while it’s important to encourage 1 year olds to develop their gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, language, and social skills, it’s also important to allow for free play so they can work on their imagination and sense of self. Besides, filling up and pushing around a dump truck actually does help develop their fine motor and cognitive skills as a secondary benefit.
The beauty of this 5-star rated dump truck is that not only does it come in different colors – including pink and purple for those really girlie girls – but it’s made from 100% recycled milk cartons. What a great way to be a role model and let your daughter’s imagination run wild for just $20!
Toys for Other Age Ranges
For more toy and gift ideas for kids, check out our other great articles:
- Best toys for 1 year old boys
- 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 the best educational toys for girls 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: Children love to throw, jump on, and touch 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