As a child nears the end of infancy they start to develop a lot more interest in objects and toys. So much changes for children between 12-18 months and 18-24 months.
With the right set of toys they can explore and learn things on their own. They go from crawling to walking, or straight to running, while developing all new skills and abilities.
Your child may still seem young for some of these at first but their brain development grows so much by the time that they are 2 that you will soon find yourself looking for more ways to entertain them.
Gifts By Category
From personal experience of raising two toddlers through this stage and a little extra research, these are some of the main kinds of interests for this age. Including: musical toys, animal based toys, babies, books, anything with wheels or pull/push toys, board puzzles, bath toys, building blocks, crafts (ex: finger painting), shape sorter, walking toy, pretend play & dress-up, soft ball of indoor/outdoor use.
I combined a few of these into different categories to give you some more specific examples, although some toys fit multiple categories.
- Musical Toys
- Books & Puzzles
- Building & Stacking
- Pretend Play
- Walking & Standing
1. Musical Toys
Musical toys are great for a child’s exploration of sound. Every child needs musical therapy and you will soon find your children turning into total rockstars. Toys that make sound are great for the children but can drive us parents insane, so be considerate if you are gifting this to someone else.
2. Books and Puzzles
Board Books and Puzzles are some of my favorite kinds of “toys.” At this age not all children don’t tend to let us read to them but they are fascinated by pictures and flipping through pages and we can teach them a thing or two as they flip along.
There are several kinds of board puzzles, some with animals, some educational, some with knobs some without, and further down they have jigsaw puzzles of different stages. They’re great because our children develop hand-eye coordination.
My kids struggled with puzzles at first and now they do them very easily, in fact my 3 year old went from doing 12 piece toddler puzzles to 72 piece puzzles for 6 year olds in a matter of weeks! (Bragging rights LOL!)
3. Building and Stacking
Again on the hand-eye coordination. You may think your child is not ready for building Lego’s but those little fingers are picking up vegetables and eating them on their own.
At first they may not be building cities but they’ll be fascinated by putting two pieces together, taking them apart, putting them back…and being entertained by just those two pieces for hours.
My 3 year old builds a train with his Lego’s while his 1.5 year old sister sits nearby playing with two pieces.
4. Pretend Play
Every child likes to pretend they’re someone else, be it doctor, superhero, or putting on a backpack and saying they’re going to work or school. That’s pretend play. And every child does it their own way, with their own made up stories, or babbles at first.
They learn so much from watching us pour our coffee, prepare a meal, washing our hands, and even using the bathroom that they start to imitate everything they do, and soon they’ll be narrating everything as well.
They love observing to learn how to do our household chores because they think it’s exciting.
5. Walking and Standing
This might be your first set of go-to’s for this stage as your child is starting to stand up on their own or already may be learning to walk, the age varies based on the child. These are probably the bulkiest of toys for this age but it is good to have at least one of these. And there are so many variations of each of these walkers, activity tables, and push-to-walk toys!
Other than the Walking and Standing toys, these might be the first ones you get as well because some of the other categories are more appropriate a few months after the 1st birthday, whereas some smaller toys with wheels may be more appropriate for playing and crawling.
Balls may sound silly and generic but a lot like toys with wheels, children are fascinated by balls. Balls that roll, that bounce, that are squishy, make sound or that they can throw or kick. Balls with different shapes, textures, and colors. Some they can hold with one hand, some they balance with two. Some educational toys are even shaped like balls that teach numbers and the alphabet. And other balls are great for a ball pit!
Kids go through crazy growth spurts, sometimes it just before or just after their first birthday that they go through one. The hard part is in the sizing so be sure to check with the parents and provide a gift receipt in case of needed exchange.
I find that shirts last longer than bottoms, pajamas and socks when it comes to size. Sometimes buying a set that comes with more pieces and can be worn regularly is better for the parents than a more expensive formal outfit that will likely be worn a handful of time. But again, check with the parents on what is needed or wanted.
Sometimes it may feel impersonal to not pick out a physical gift but oftentimes money is what parents need most to sustain the child with food, diapers, clothes, medical care, etc. Sometimes toys aren’t the best gift.
Most parents have college funds for their children and this is a great way to give. Gift cards are great for parents treating their kids to what they want and need. Another form of giving in money, other than straight up cash, is in experience.
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What kinds of toys do your 1 years olds love?
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My name is Paula and I’m a mom of two scrumptious cuties. Thanks Mommy Blog became a project for me to help guide other new moms and current moms through any of my own personal experiences and struggles. My hobbies include singing, doing jigsaw puzzles, baking, designing and trying to stay creative.