Are you wondering what in the world you need to keep your new toddler entertained and always learning? Buying toys for a newborn is so fun, right? Just pick a bunch of soft stuff that makes sounds and as long as it’s sweet and awww-worthy then you’re good to go. Not so much for a toddler, though.
If you’re not quite to the toddler stage and you’re still wondering what you need for your new baby, check out my post on The absolute best MUST HAVES for a new baby here. And download the FREE New Baby Checklist below!
Once your baby turns one he’s suddenly morphed into a “toddler” and you start to realize that it’s more than entertainment that you need.
You have to start really thinking about developmental toys, educational toys, gifts that are actually going to keep him busy for more than 5 minutes at a time, and gifts that you can tolerable for more than a week. Not to mention, toys that they can actually use and aren’t way out of their developmental reach.
When Logan turned one, I got some of the good, great, and ‘oh thank God this thing exists’ toys for him. I figure I don’t want you to have any first birthday gift remorse so I created a list of all of the things that were a major successes for Logan this year.
I do admit that some of them, your toddler will have to grow into over the next few months but honestly, that’s the way to do it. You don’t want to buy only things meets his needs right now because they grow so quickly, he will soon grow out of those 12 month toys. Best tip ever: buy toys that your child will grow into.
This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more here.
I was so excited to receive this teepee for Logan on his birthday. We actually received it a few days early and could NOT WAIT to set it up and put it together for him. Logan loves it! It was exactly what we expected and just as fun as I thought it was going to be. Not to mention, it’s a nice place to store stuffed animals while still looking neat.
2. Toddler-Sized Table and Chairs
I wasn’t certain about this purchase at first but now I feel like this table and chair set was one of my favorite things that we got for our toddler. It became so simple to set him down for snack time or let him color without strapping him into his high chair or booster seat. He can get up on the chairs himself now! It makes him feel like a big boy and it allows mommy to have one less thing to worry about.
3. My Pal Scout
This toy is the best! It’s one of those things that I am so glad we discovered because Logan quickly became attached. You can program him with your smart phone to say your child’s name, favorite food, favorite color, and favorite animal. With those things, Scout personalizes his songs for your toddler. I just think it’s genius. Plus, there is a “bedtime music” button too, which I think is so sweet.
4. My First Smart Pad Library
My son is obsessed with this smart pad! It comes with 8 educational books to help your toddler learn their ABCs, numbers, shapes, colors, and more. Plus, if you don’t want to mess around bringing the books everywhere, the smart pad by itself is enough entertainment to help you maintain sanity during car rides.
5. Toddler Chair
Logan loves to climb into his own little chair. He snuggles up to it to read his books, he sits in it to watch a little TV, and I’ll admit, he likes to rearrange furniture, so this piece is a go-to since it’s so light weight. Whatever keeps him busy, ya know?
6. Jumbo Crayons
You baby is finally at the age where they can hold a crayon in their hand and actually point it at paper! I was so excited when my son finally started scribbling on paper. It’s a fun way to teach them colors and keep them busy.
Sidewalk Chalk is even better than crayons, in my opinion. Let your one year old go wild in the backyard and it comes right off with a good spray of the hose. It’s a toddler’s freedom toy. I’m pretty sure we color on the sidewalk at least 6 times a week. They are artists, what can we do?
8. Push Car
Such a fun way to get around the neighborhood or park. I can’t even count the number of times that we have used this car since he turned one. He loves honking the horn and steering the wheel as we walk our butts to
Starbucks the park.
9. Climber Slide
I’m starting to see a little bit of a theme now that I’m writing this all out. We love to play outside! Being outside is the best way to keep a toddler busy and that’s just a fact. Having a small slide in the back yard is so great because he has the independence of climbing up and sliding down all on his own (with mamas very watchful eye of course).
10. Mega Blocks
Another fun way to teach colors and numbers. We love our blocks. We have these mega blocks and we can’t get enough of them. They make a huge mess and then are easy to clean up with the sipper bag. We just zip it up and throw it in his cubby when we are done with them. Easy peasy.
11. Baby’s First Blocks
Another set of “blocks” but completely different. Baby’s First Blocks aren’t for stacking or building. They are for color sorting and shape learning. Logan is finally able to put the right shapes in the correct holes. He’s loving it. Plus, he carries around the bucket like a purse and keeps all of his things in it. Hilarious.
12. Wooden Blocks
I promise we aren’t block obsessed around here. Wooden blocks help perfect a skill very different from the other blocks. My son loves to balance and stack his blocks. The most I’ve seen him get is nine! Plus, eventually, it would be a great tool to learn his ABCs. Again, it comes with a pouch to keep the blocks organized. SUPER important.
This cute little caterpillar is a series of cups of different sizes that “link, stack, strain, and pour”. Logan loves his baths, so fun bath toys are always a good idea.
14. Water Table
Easier to manage and less stressful to watch than a small plastic pool, these water tables are perfect for backyard play in the summer. It satisfies their infatuation with water without the risks that come with pool play. Lovin’ it.
15. Dump Truck
I love this toy! Its such a great choice. It’s a pull toy (with a string much longer than pictured), it has music, and also, when your child puts the balls into the hole, it counts them. It’s great for counting to three, hand-eye coordination, and colors. It might be one of Logan’s favorite toys right now.
16. Animals See n’ Say
For obvious reasons, right? It’s always fun to teach your toddler animal sounds. It’s just the cutest thing. My absolute favorite is when my son does the sheep, “baa, baa” I just cannot get enough. But my other favorite is when my husband and I try to imitate an ostrich (seriously, you’ll understand when you use it). It’s hilarious.
17. Happy Apple
The picture I chose is not the best for the toy, but I promise it’s adorable. Just click here, and you will see for yourself. It has five apple slices in different colors with pictures of different fruits on them. The songs are fun to sing along to as well.
18. Mr. Potato Head
Great for hand-eye coordination, learning body parts, and recognizing where they belong. Some of Logan’s first words were nose, eyes, and toes. Thank you Mr. Potato head!
19. Teddy Bear or Doll
Honestly, anything with a face. I have a son, so dolls aren’t really our thing right now, but he wants ALL OF THE STUFFED ANIMALS. He has way too many. I love it though, really. Giving your baby a “baby” to love and take care of is good for their soul. Logan kisses his stuffed animals before bedtime and when he wakes up in the morning. Awwww.
Puzzles are great for every age. Logan has this one. It’s great for his fine motor and problem solving skills. Any puzzle will do, but they are an absolute must.
I really hope this helps! I know that we love these things, so I’m sure your little one will love them too. Just beware, no matter what you get for you brand new toddler, you’re going to cry when they actually start to act like one. It’s devastating and satisfying all at the same time. Congrats mama! You made it out of your first year alive.
Comment below if you have some other great ideas for what a one year old would love. I’m always interested in what works for you and your family!
Subscribe to my newsletter to get my Birth Plan Prep Checklist plus stay up to date on all of the tips on pregnancy, labor & delivery, motherhood and everything in between in my weekly newsletter!