age appropriate toys for 1 year olds

The best age appropriate toys for 1 year olds are sensory-based, open-ended, non-electronic-media, and require your participation as teacher. Electronic, media-based toys can be over stimulating and may be counterproductive. They cannot “read” or “sense” your child’s real-time needs, and many are designed to do much of the “thinking” for children. Such toys often rob young minds of important intellectual, social and emotional development. Increasingly, pediatric research shows children under 3 years old should have limited exposure to electronic media.
Fundamentally, toys can have great educational value, but without your guidance - particularly in the early years - much learning potential is lost. The best toys invite child and parent to discover the play and learning value together. Your toddler will only get as much out of it as you put into it. As you can imagine, 1 year olds require a bit of hand holding. Enjoy it! In a little over a decade, your little one may prefer the company of friends over parents. Sigh.
Toys For Sensory Development
One year olds need to be stimulated through the five senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste) to increase awareness of the wondrous world around her. Through these senses, she will organize information and begin the process of recognition, differentiation (short vs. tall, quite vs. loud, smooth vs. rough, cold vs. hot, etc.), and problem-solving.
Toys like sensory blocks that have varying textures, sizes, colors, weights, and gentle sounds are ideal. They offer lots of learning play opportunities: sensory development, building, problem solving. Since your toddler will be “clumsy” at first, model stacking or sorting with a few pieces at a time, then guide his hands to do the same. He’ll knock them down and be delighted. Be delighted back. His learning cause and effect (if this happens, that happens next), which is fundamental to reasoning and problem-solving later on. His also learning spatial awareness (body position in relation to other objects), and strengthening fine-motor and hand-eye coordination skills
In the world of sensory toys, you will find a wide array of ones made of plastic and a few made of natural materials. Preferably, choose toys that are made of natural materials like sustainable woods and water-based colors. They offer your child a natural experience (weight, sound, scent, texture). If you do choose plastic toys, be sure to choose ones free of plastic compounds (BPA, phthalates, PVC) that may interfere with your toddler’s natural hormonal or brain development.
Toys for Fine & Gross Motor Development
Physically, your child is discovering command over her body parts (fingers, hands, arms, legs, head, etc.). She will be uncoordinated, but thrilled at her attempts. Build her confidence and a foundation for learning by helping her develop gross motor skills (large muscle and body control and coordination movements like head control, crawling, sitting, standing, walking, etc.). Try pull and push toys, walkers with speed control, rocking horses, and rolling toys (like cars, trucks, balls). Such toys encourage movement, helping your child develop muscle tone, body control, and spatial awareness.