Best Toys For Your Toddler’s Development From 1 to 2 Years of Age

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Blowing the first candle on a cake is one of the most important milestones for you and your baby. She’s now a toddler on the move, eager of discovering the world. Independence has new meanings day after day, and throughout the toddler years, your child will gain more autonomy and confidence. 

It is safe to say the first birthday roughly marks the moment when your toddler understands she’s a completely separate person from you, and she’ll start building a personality. 

Development from First to the Third Birthday

Between the first and the third birthday, your baby will learn the notion of owning and will slowly start to understand abstract concepts, such as happiness or sadness. She’ll start to discover the world around her, improve balance, and become faster.

Prepare to catch your breath while you’re chasing her and don’t underestimate the power of will of a growing toddler when it comes to reaching those ‘unreachable’ drawers or kitchen cabinets. 

During these years, your child will also develop on a social and emotional level, will work on improving language and physical skills, and develop her cognitive skills and memory. 

The best toys for your toddler development, therefore, are those capable of stimulating speech, abstract and creative thinking, and motor skills. 

When to Introduce the Toys? 

Pediatricians and psychologists recommend the introduction of toys in the first months of life, so your toddler should be fully aware of what toys are by this stage. 

Certainly, infant toys are quite different from the ones she’ll play with from now on. Toddler toys increase in complexity as the child grows, so the best way to know when to introduce them is by looking at the recommended age indicated by the manufacturer. 

In rough lines, you should introduce the first toddler toys when your baby’s around 12 months old. 

However, keep in mind that children develop differently and guidelines can sometimes fail. If your child is already bored by infant toys, you can introduce toddler toys earlier. Likewise, you can introduce them later if your baby’s development is slower. 

At 36 months, you should make the transition from toddler to preschooler toys, to address the new needs of your growing child. 

How Many Toys Should a Toddler Have? 

Most parents find it hard to decide how many toys a toddler should have, and some even fall into temptation and buy as many as they can. However, it is crucial to find the right balance. In fact, too many toys could be detrimental actually. 

If your child has too much choice, chances are she’ll never draw the expected benefits from any of the toys (ScienceDirect, The influence of the number of toys in the environment on toddlers’ play)

As a rule of thumb, your kid should have two toys from each category of developmental and learning toys described in this article. Two is the golden number not only because one toy can break, but also because playing with the same item over and over again is boring. 

The secret to keeping your child entertained with a few toys is buying those that are multi-functional. 

A few examples include sensorial books, building blocks, and shape-sorting toys. 

It is also essential to buy age-appropriate toys when you want to introduce a new item to your child. Giving your kid a toy suitable for older children means that it could contain smaller parts that pose a choking hazard or it may be too complex for the toddler to understand and enjoy. 

Best Toys For Your 1-Year Old 

Toddlers this age can only be described as active. Your child has just learned to use the legs and is making the most out of it. Swings, tiny climbing sets, and balls are just a few toys that can keep the kid entertained. 

Coordination also improves; some good toys for 1 year olds include sorters, blocks and building toys, and drawing boards. 

Children also discover experimentation and start learning about problem-solving at this age, but because their memory isn’t well developed, they don’t mind repetition too much. Common activities include sorting toys, stacking, pushing buttons to see what happens, or searching for hidden objects. 

Towards the 18 months, your child will also start to try out what she sees you doing. Toddlers learn by imitating adults, so introducing role play toys now or at 24 months is a great idea. Below, the most important toy categories for 1-year olds. 

Toys for Language Development

Your toddler has probably said the first words by now, but it is essential to develop his language and speech skills through reading. Toddler books are different than infant ones, focusing on both storytelling and illustrations rather than just the latter. 

Simpler picture books are ideal for toddlers up to 18 months. Your toddler will enjoy colorful pictures showing familiar objects, and these illustrations may also enhance her imagination.

Illustrated storybooks can introduce the child to new words and concepts, developing not only speech but also cognitive skills. 

Toys That Stimulate Creativity and Imagination 

Children start to develop their artistic talents from an early age. Perhaps yours is not the next Picasso, but why clip his wings? 

Toys that stimulate creation and imagination also contribute to the developing of cognitive skills. Scribble sets, child-safe crayons, coloring books, and erasable doodle boards are just some example of excellent toys. 

Not only you’ll give your child a way to unleash her creativity, but you’ll also save your walls or furniture – and ultimately your sanity – from the artistic expression of a yet undiscovered talent. 

Toys for Hand-Eye Coordination 

These toys not only improve hand-eye coordination; they also improve fine motor skills and teach the child about shapes and sizes. 

Sorting toys, four or five-piece puzzles, nestle toys, and blocks and building sets are just some of the toys you can introduce at this age. Regardless of the hand-eye coordination toys you choose, remember that it is crucial to buy age-appropriate items. 

Your toddler is not old enough to understand risks and hazards, so steer clear from toys with small pieces or that can be disassembled. 

Toys for Muscle Development 

Do you remember when we said that there is only one way to describe a 1-year old toddler? That’s right; your kid is active. She probably started climbing on chairs and sofas already, so why not give her a muscle development toy? 

From nursery trampolines to indoor and outdoor activity centers, oversized building cubes and age-appropriate climbing toys, the options are endless. 

Best Toys For Your 2-Year Old 

Your toddler is now two, and from active, she’s become assertive. She’s testing her limits and grows her independence day after day. By now, your child should have more expanded language skills and should be able to tell you what she wants. 

She also starts understanding abstract concepts, such as too fast or too slow. 

Because memory and cognitive skills also developed in the past year, she’s now able to organize toys by shape, size, or color. 

This is the right age to start teaching your kid the alphabet and counting while still stimulating her imagination. The toys must also give 2-year olds a way to channel their energy and develop their mind. 

From 24 to 36 months, you should prepare your child to get ready for more challenging toys.

Children this age have loads of energy and become increasingly imaginative. Some of the best toys for 2 year olds include scaled-down sports equipment, music instruments, simple board games, and role-play toys. 

Toys That Stimulate Thinking and Problem Solving

Your toddler has gained a lot of dexterity in the past year and learned how to sort toys. New items should be able to stimulate her thinking and teach problem-solving. 

The best toys for a toddler up to 30 months include basic jigsaw puzzles, sorting toys with smaller or more complex pieces, and blocks. 

Between 30 and 36 months, introduce the child to simple board games or card games designed to boost brain development. Memory games are extremely fun for toddlers and also stimulate brain development and problem-solving skills. 

Role Play and Building Toys 

Toddlers love to imitate mommy and daddy and are also masters of stacking blocks. Role play toys, alongside building blocks, are essential for your child’s development at this age. 

By now, toddlers can also express their will, so when choosing role play toys, it is highly recommended to let the child say what she wants. Don’t fall victim of gender biases. There are many girls who love playing with trucks and many boys who adore dolls. 

Most manufacturers propose a wide selection of unisex role-play toys, such as kitchen sets, housekeeping sets, doctor kits, as well as many dresses up kits that are suitable for kids of both genders. 

While these toys teach youngsters the basics of household chores or professions, building toys improve hand-eye coordination and can teach your toddler about balance and the basics of physics. 

Toys That Promote Creativity

Another important type of toys for your toddler are those that promote creativity. From musical instruments to more complex coloring books, drawing sets, and art supplies, you have quite some choices. Playing with crayons and markers is particularly important at this age, preparing your child for learning how to write. 

Collage basics, construction paper, and finger paint sets are also excellent options for 2-year olds. 

Chalkboards and chalk also represent a great option for both indoor and outdoor fun. Percussion instruments may not seem creative at first, but stimulate your child to find new rhythms. 

Toys for Fine Motor  and Muscular Development 

At two years old, children continue to develop their fine motor skills and boost muscular strength. Introduce your kid to more complicated fine motor development toys, such as lace tying or lacing beads to boost their hand-eye coordination and dexterity. 

Magnetic mazes deliver loads of fun while boosting concentration, dexterity, and coordination. 

Bowling play sets combine the benefits of a fine motor skills toy with those of a toy built for muscular development. There are many sets you can use both indoors and outdoors, and they will surely provide hours of entertainment for the years to come. 

Outdoor activity centers, slides, climbing walls, swings, toddler trampolines, and down-scaled sports equipment can drain your child’s energy while improving her muscular strength, balance, and coordination. 


Children grow fast, and your toddler will change a lot between his first and third birthday. With the help of the right toddler toys introduced at the right time, you’ll contribute to the healthy development of your bundle of joy. 

A new toy also excites the youngsters, stimulating their interest in learning new things in a playful way. 

We hope this article inspired you and that you now know which are some of the best toys for toddlers of 1 or 2 years old. 


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