Best toys for one year old || Madison and Huntsville Alabama family photographer

We're less than one month away from my son's second birthday, and I've been thinking a lot about not only his party but what toys I'd like him to have this year. That got me to thinking about last year and all the great toys he received and the ones he played with most. Isn't that the hope for us parents? That the money we spend on toys will be well worth it. That they will play with them for a long time, and that they won't just go live at the bottom of your toy box never to be played with again. With that in mind, this blog post idea was born. These aren't just the toys that he loved when he first turned one. These are the toys he played with consistently for an entire year, and at almost two, still plays with. These are the toys that we "got our money's worth." Hopefully, this is helpful to all you mommas of one year olds or soon to be one year olds. I've linked all the toys to make it easier on you. They aren't affiliated links. I'm not getting anything out of this. Just one momma trying to help other mommas out. Let me know what you think and please, please, please let me know if you have any great two year old toy suggestions!


If you are looking for a single toy to get the one year old in your life. This is my suggestion. I thought these were pretty neat last year when I found them but little did I know they would become our most played with toy. Almost a year later, and they are still played with consistently! If I had to pick just one toy off this entire list to get my son, or as a gift, this is what I would get hands down.

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We have loved blocks in all shapes and sizes over the last year. First learning to stack one on top of the other, to now advancing to building "tall towers" almost every day. This is also a toy that I see us continuing to play with a lot in the coming year. I actually added more to my wish list for his second birthday. You can see that list at the bottom of this post. Bonus is that building blocks is an activity that we all have fun doing together! We have three different kinds, which I've linked below.

Melissa and Doug wooden blocks

Mega Blocks

Jumbo Blocks

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Puzzles and latch board:

Cantor has been obsessed with puzzles since we got our first one. If I was going to get just one, I would get the Guidecraft shape puzzle. That's the first one Cantor was able to successfully do himself, and it helped him to understand how the others work. At just a month shy of two, he's just now able to do some of the letter's on his name puzzle, and I love the fish one because we also use it to work on our colors. I also added a latch board to this list. Even though it's not a puzzle, I still feel like it goes because it's a similar quiet toy. Again, Cantor has absolutely loved it. He can do all the latches now, but we also do colors, counting, and animals/animal sounds with it.

Melissa and Doug fish puzzle

Guidecraft shape puzzle

4 piece vehicle puzzle

Etsy name puzzle

Melissa and Doug latches board

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Push Toys

Cantor learned to walk pushing his wooden wagon. Now, he loves to sit in it, or pile it full of toys and "crash" it into things. He has loved all these toys, but I would also specifically point out the wheely bug. For some reason, I don't have any photos of him playing on it, but he's played with it a lot. First pushing it as he learned to walk, and now riding it around the house like a wild boy. He also really loves that popper. Loudest toy we own. Thanks mimi and poppa ;)

Wooden wagon

Fisher Price popper

Wheely Bug

Tonka block dump truck

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Bath toys

We got this when bath time started to become a challenge. It's seriously one of the coolest bath toys I've ever seen. We trashed a whole bunch of those little squirty toys because they all eventually grow mold, and got this guy. Bath time is a joy again.. except for the hair washing.

Yookidoo spit n sort


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From the time Cantor could sit up, he has loved playing with balls. He would laugh hysterically when we would roll or bounce the ball to him. Then he progressed to being able to throw the ball himself. Now he loves to kick the ball, and play soccer. He plays with a ball every single day,

Infantino Textured multi ball set

Tie-dye ball

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Cantor played with these a lot when from 12-18 months, and then progressively less. While he has long since mastered them he does still play with them, so I added them to the list. He drives the train stacker now, and we still use the rock a stack to work on colors.

Melissa and Doug train stacker

Fisher Price rock a stack

Melissa and Doug wooden stacker

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I didn't add any specific links here, because I don't know where to start. We've read to Cantor from the very first night he came home from the hospital. Now at almost two, he loves to and look at them himself, and of course we spend hours and hours reading to him. I can (and do on occasion) recite favorites like "Snuggle Puppy" and "Dear Zoo." A few more we have loved over the year are anything by Sandra Boynton, Pop Up books in general, and Dr. Suess books. Cantor has recently started loving rhyming words and I think it's because of his love for Dr. Seuss. He runs around the house saying "up, cup, pup" and "sock, box, fox."

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BONUS: Outdoor toys

He didn't get these toys till he was a little older, but if you have a summer baby, I would suggest getting both! We've had lots of outdoor fun thanks to these too, some chalk and bubbles.

Radio Flyer wagon

Sand and water table

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Now I'd love some feedback. What did you think about this post? Did you find it interesting and helpful? Would you be interested in me doing another one next year? Here's a list of a few things I'm eyeballing for our son's second birthday next month, but I would love some suggestions on toys your two year olds have loved!!

Some sort of gears like these.

More wooden blocks. I love these rainbow ones and these mirrored ones.

Pikler triangle- probably my number one thing to get! I think our son would LOVE this.

Balance Bike. I hear great things about the strider one, but I can't help but love the look of this Biddle one and this Sprout mini one, both vintage inspired.

Lastly, I'd love to get him a kid's table and chair set. Something big enough for multiple kids and activities. Somewhere we can do play dough, and paint, but also set up puzzles and train sets. Still on the hunt for the perfect one!