Eeek, you’ve got a one-year-old! How quickly has that gone? One minute they’re a teeny tiny beanbag, the next they’re a little person ready to toddle off on their own adventures (sob). As they hit that 12-month milestone, one of the most challenging things can be choosing the right toys. They're no longer a babe who's happy with anything that crinkles, but not yet a tot who can really get stuck in. We hear you - and we hope these picks can help.
All kids are different so, whether you’re picking something yourself, or advising a friend on a gift, think about what your child likes in the real world. Lights? Colours? Your keys... you get the idea. Then translate that into toys. It’ll mean your own possessions are saved. (Well, maybe.)
Learning to toddle?
Whether they’re on their feet, cruising the furniture, but they can’t quite grasp the art of walking, or quite happy crawling, a cool walker or ride-on is perfect for helping with those first toddles. The front panel of the Le Toy Van Activity Walker has 10 different play activities, including flaps, spinning dice and moveable cogs to develop fine motor skills, while having fun too. The Moulin Roty Ride On Rabbit is a little bit different: made with a wood, with a comfortable foam seat to perch on, they can balance using the handles to support them as they take steps. As they get bigger, it'll be all about the speed!
Loves your stuff?
Why do they always want what they’re not allowed? Remote chewed on the corner, keys hidden in their nappy, camera filled up with random selfies... their tricky ways astound us. And when you try to take the darn things away, they scream the place down. Sounds familiar? You need this camera in your life. Scarily lifelike, Plan Toys' My First Camera has an adjustable focus and wrist strap, to keep it safe when they’re out and about. Every time they take a pretend pic, they can see their results through the kaleidoscope. So no matter what they capture, your blushes are spared, their creativity is encouraged and no more random selfies on your tech. Result!
Loves a puzzle?
Some babies are brainiacs from the word go and if your youngster likes nothing better than figuring stuff out, the Classic World Multi Activity Cube is a great pick. Each side provides a new way to play, encouraging dexterity, motor and visual skills. Made of sustainable wood, it will withstand the test of time and, when they're done playing, you can slip off the top and flip it into the cube for easy storage.
Got a baby who bounces to the beat, or likes to create their own tunes? There’s a whole range of musical toys out there. This cool Janod My First Confetti Electronic Piano is just one of our faves. It's an 18-key mini-replica piano designed to introduce kids to music that Includes four scores - Alouette, Au clair de la lune, Frère Jacques and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, to help them learn to play. When they're done, the piano automatically goes into stand-by mode. Noisy, yes, but so, so worth it.
If you’ve got a tot who’s happy to splash in the suds until their fingers and toes get all wrinkled, then of course they’ll need some suitably great bath toys. And guess what? We’ve got the perfect ones. Drum roll... please... introducing the Boon Tubes. In a set of three, each one makes its own whistle tone and they can be put together too. Good luck getting them out of the tub!
Loves being busy?
Got a one-year-old that’s just into everything? Keep them busy with this Janod Baby Forest Activity Table. Filled with loads of fun activities to keep them busy, such as cogs, stackers, twisters and shape-sorters - all fitting into the theme of forest animals on a textured base - it’ll help them learn animal names too. Great for one-year-olds who are learning to stand, it will keep them entertained for hours and last for years. Oh, and it’ll also stop them banging on your coffee table. Miraculous.