One-year-olds are interested in everything. They will grab, turn, spin, drop, throw, taste, and tumble over anything they can get their hands on. This isn't chaos; it's science! What does a scientist do with a brand new type of rock? They weigh it, spin it, balance it, polish it, taste it, and find other ways to test its properties. One-year-olds are testing the properties of everything in the world; it's all brand new. This is especially true when it comes to toys and new gifts.
As the gift-giving season approaches, the question looms: what wonderful toys can you gift your one-year-old or a very special toddler in your life? With so many one-day toys on the market, how can you choose a gift that will inspire, teach, and entertain your child for months of fun early childhood development play in the next year. The best toys for toddler development are those that help them sort and play with the categories of the world around them, learning how the world works and why it works that way through sensory and puzzle play.
We love Fat Brain Toys because they always come up with a new game to play based on the principles of early childhood development. Spinny Pins is a wobbly bowl with a chime inside and five colour-coded slots. The slots, as you might guess, hold five colourful wobbly pins. Each pin sits, wobbles, spins, and has its unique texture for sensory learning. The pins can be matched to their colour slots and placed upside-down ("hiding" in the bowl) or right-side-up to sit like happy chicks in a nest.
Spinny Pins offers hours of colour-matching, wobbling, and musical fun. More importantly, it teaches hand-eye coordination, pattern matching, and the fundamental physics of differently weighted wobbly objects that are safe and fun to play with.
Have you ever watched gears spin with fascination? So do babies! Gears are inherently interesting as the little teeth line up, and the big gears spin the little gears at different speeds. With the Gears & Cogs Busy Bee Learning Puzzle, your toddler can explore the delight of gears with big, safe wooden pieces lined up on a fascinating pegboard of posts.
One-year-olds can learn how to fit gears and cogs of different shapes together, line up the teeth, and how gears turn each other. As their puzzles get more complicated, they can build and rebuild new machines, then turn the crank handle to watch their whole machine turn! This toy teaches fine motor control, visual perception, hand-eye control, and cognitive logical problem-solving at an early age.
The Inny Bin is genius in its simplicity and potential for hours of rapt play for a curious one-year-old in your life. The Inny Bin is this: a BPA-free plastic cube frame where each side has a "cage" of colourful fabric-elastic bands to form a box. This springy box is a collection of six clunky textured 3D shapes that match the colours of the bands and can - sometimes - fit between the elastic. Children can play for hours figuring out how to get the shapes into and out of the Inny Cube and learning about tension, elasticity, size, shape, and colour all at the same time.
This cube is a puzzle, toy, and clean-up box all in one, as children can load up their bright colour shapes and take the entire Inny Cube to another room without a mess as a special gift to the parents (even if that's you).
Last but certainly not least, let's not forget the Colour and Shape Sorter. Hape is beloved for natural wooden toys that teach children essential early childhood development skills. The Colour and Shape Sorter is a beautiful carved wooden board with six slots, three circles, three triangles, and three squares. It comes with nine prisms matching in shape, each a little taller than the last. Each shape-set also represents a colour palette of blue, green, and orange.
These simple pieces that fit together, stack, and match can teach a young one-year-old so much that newer toy designs can never diminish. Critical thinking, fine motor skills, pattern matching, shape and colour naming, and colour palettes can be learned with simple exploratory play with the Colour and Shape Sorter board and blocks.
Is there a special one-year-old who's going to get an exceptional gift this year? Play kits, stacking toys, Hape, Melissa and Doug, Fatbrain Toys we have them all! If you are looking for a gift guide this selection has it all for tiny hands and beautiful minds.
The best gift you can give is toys that inspire early childhood development and a lifelong love of learning.
KidzInc has the best educational toys for kids. We are here to help busy parents when it comes to selecting toys that develop their children. You can see our full collection of educational toys for one year olds here.