Choosing Toys For One Year Old Toddlers

Written By: Psychologist Natasha Tanic

Toys for one year old toddlers play an essential part in their development at this stage because kids at this age gain knowledge through play and exploration,

At the age of 12 months, your child is transitioning from an infant into a toddler.

A one year old’s brain brain develops rapidly and radically, creating millions of neural connections every minute.

In other words, your 1 year old child is a fast-learner who learns through experiences and everyday interactions.

Children learn more quickly during their early years than at any other time in life.

So first experiences provide the basis for your child’s brain’s functioning and development.

A one year old’s day-to-day experiences determine which brain connections will develop and last for a lifetime.

Play is an integral part of your child’s day now. One year old kids spend lots of time playing. They learn and discover how things in the world around them work through play.

Research shows that high-quality care and early education are the pillars of a future healthy and productive life.

So to support your toddler’s developmental milestones and learning, spend as much time as possible bonding and playing with them.

Cognitive Development

By their first birthday, most typically developing kids enjoy exploring objects and discovering the world with their senses. They learn about objects by shaking, banging, dropping, and “mouthing” them.

Your one year old toddler is starting to realize that things still exist even when they cannot see them. Your child will easily find the toy if you hide it from her.

To help your toddler master cognitive skills such as object permanence, you can use a toy or an object while playing together.

Hide the toy or object from them and then reveal the toy or object to your child. Repeat this daily.

Kids at this age can put a small toy in a container and take it out. They love pulling toys with strings or pushing a walker around.

Also, your one year old toddler can copy gestures and follow simple directions like “put your plate on the table.”

They now show a great interest in other people and kids and love playing with a variety of toys.

Social and Emotional Development

Your 1 year old is showing more and more independence and starts developing affection for familiar people.

She enjoys playing pretend games and spending time with other children. Also, at this age your toddler is starting to develop a sense of self-awareness and she’s beginning to build impulse control and empathy.

She realizes that she is separate and independent from you and other people, and this realization helps her develop empathy.

Free play and age-appropriate toys will help your 1 year old toddler to develop the ability to recognize, express, and manage emotions.

Language and Speech Development

Around her first birthday, your child should be able to say a few words and understand simple spoken requests.

She should also be able to use simple gestures like waving “bye-bye” and make different sounds by changing the tone of her voice.

She will also most likely know how to say “mama” or “dada.”

Your one year old should have a vocabulary with a growing number of single words. She can now point to things she wants. Also, she will know to say “No” and shake her head at the same time.

In addition to books, toys like wooden blocks, dolls, kitchen sets, and pretend-play toys are great for boosting your child’s language and speech development.

Fine and Gross Motor Development

Your child has now mastered crawling. Some kids may start crawling backward at this age, which is completely normal.

When reaching for objects, they will do it with controlled and coordinated movements.

Your toddler may be able to pull to stand and stand on her own. She can get into a sitting position quickly and sit without support. At 12 months, your child might be taking her first independent steps.

She can also drink from a cup, eat with the spoon, take off her shoes, scribble with crayons, and help you undress her.

Your 1 year old toddler can even walk up the stairs, run, and jump.


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