13 Quality Toys Your One Year Old Will Love for Years

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My little boy had his first birthday recently! As I searched for his present, I wanted to make sure to we get toys that really help him to be creative and adventurous.  I also didn’t want to spend any money on a gift that he would only like for a few more months, so I set out to find toys that he will love now, and also cherish for many more years.

Here are some great toys that a one year old will love now and continue to love as they grow.

Tent and Tunnel Set

I used to work with one year olds in a day care. The  kids were thrilled when we pulled out a tunnel similar to this one on rainy days. They would giggle as they crawled through and watched each other. They especially loved playing peek-a-boo with each other at the ends. If a tunnel alone could provide so much fun, just imagine the possibilities with this set. Put the whole thing together, or even bring out one piece at a time. You can even add a set of balls for even more excitement. All three pieces fold up to fit in the bag shown. The best part is that kids will love this toy for many years.


Take-Along Town Play Mat

I’m a huge fan of fun toys that don’t take up a lot of space. This little town mat folds in half and becomes a tote to carry the cars!

Water Wow Coloring book

 No-mess introduction to coloring. Need I say more? It’s also nice to have a toy like this to keep kids entertained during church, flights, waiting rooms, etc. The cheapest way to buy them is in a large pack like the one I linked. We gave one to our son for our trip to Yellowstone, and one for his birthday. We’re saving the rest to give to him one at a time. It will be the gift that keeps giving!

Wooden Pull Toy

At this age, baby is experimenting with walking. It’s a new and exciting skill for them! These wooden pull toys will encourage baby to use her new skill. She will be delighted to have this cute little friend to pull around as she practices. She will love the toy for imaginative play after becoming a champion walker.

Soft Activity Book

You didn’t think I would write a list like this without including a book, did you? I think this particular book is more of a toy though. It’s another great toy to keep the little one entertained during quiet times. All of the pieces are attached (yay!), and it’s machine washable! Each unique page encourages a different skill.

Junior Basketball Hoop

This little basketball hoop is a great way to introduce your child to sports. For a young toddler, the hoop is short, with a removable rim to help each shot go through the basket. As your child grows, you can remove the rim guide and make the hoop taller.

Whale Island Bath Toy

This bath toy is a riot. Kids can arrange the island by placing a different piece in each section. Each piece has different fountain effects. A one year old will enjoy watching the water spray out, and so will older kids! I love that this toy includes a mesh storage bag to keep the pieces in too!

Instrument Set

 A great way to introduce music is to give your child an instrument set! They will love trying the various pieces and hearing the different sounds.

Shark Grabber Bath Toy

Ok, I had to include this one. Is this not hilarious? It would create hours of fun!

Indoor Trampoline

 If you’re feeling adventurous, this is another toy that kids will love for many years. It’s especially great for winter months when it’s freezing cold outside and the kids feel cooped up. The net around it makes it much safer than other trampolines.

 Foam Block Play Set

This foam block play set is also great for winter. Your toddler will enjoy figuring out how to crawl and walk over all the funny shapes, while older kids can have fun making obstacle courses and jumping around.

Pretend Play Ice Cream Set

Kids love to play pretend, and your little one will be pretending before you know it. You’ll be able to watch your little one experiment with magnets now, and set up a pretend ice cream shop when they get older!

Play Food

A classic toy, this is great for teaching about healthy foods and letting kids play chef.



  • Amanda W.
    6 months ago

    I love the bath toys on your list! They look like so much fun and will definitely last longer than just a year. They would be great for an older toddler to play with their younger sibling in the tub!

  • Rosalin
    6 months ago

    Most of these are good recommendations but if you’re wanting toys that won’t be outgrown in the near future I think the tent and tunnel, and the basketball hoop aren’t such good choices because they’ll be outgrown pretty fast or lose their novelty. My son is almost 1 and loves construction toys like wood blocks and those kids lego (megablocks?) I’m surprised those weren’t here.
    Still a good list though. I’ll have to try giving my son a pull-along, he’s been walking pretty proficiently since 9-10 months.

    • firmhappymom
      6 months ago

      I own the tent and tunnel set. I think kids can play in it until they are at least 4 and maybe until they are 5. The basketball hoop is adjustable to grow with the child, but it probably depends on the kid as far as whether it will lose its novelty. Wood blocks and Megablocks would be great additions to the list!

  • My toddlers all loved playing with pretend food. They still play with it and they are in elementary school. We also really loved our tunnel.

  • Stacy Craft
    6 months ago

    I am really considering the foam block set for Christmas. My 13 month old climbs on everything! Would be nice to have something that is ok for him to climb on!

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