Be sure to save those boxes. But by investing in the right toys and gifts, you can set your child up for years of fun. Look for toys that are open-ended, like blocks and stacking cups that can be played with in more than one way, says Sarah Cleveland, director of a child-care center near Austin, Texas. Play at this age is largely focused on sensory exploration and motor development, Cleveland points out, so toys with different textures that invite small hands and, of course, mouths to grab and investigate are good choices, as are starter ride-on toys that offer the opportunity to roam. This age is also a good time to invest in keepsake items that will remain special as a child grows up.
The Only Toy Gift Guide for a 1-Year-Old You’ll Ever Need
20 Best Gifts for 1-Year-Olds | Reviews by Wirecutter
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The 20 Best Gifts for 1-Year-Olds
Every product is independently selected by obsessive editors. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission. The key to pleasing this age, we learned, is in finding toys that will stimulate and surprise their growing minds. To that end come the following 34 suggestions, with input from professionals like MacLaughlin and Lockhart as well as a range of other discerning shoppers, from many-time grandparents to the singer-actress-mom Jordin Sparks.
Kids in this age group are no longer infants but barely toddlers. Now, 1-year-olds want a little more stimulation. But most toys that have interesting parts also pose possible choking hazards, which relegates them to kids older than 3 year old. On top of that, some toys can offer dicey marketing claims: Promises about promoting better development or being made from better, less toxic materials. That makes finding the best toys for this age group a particular challenge.