9 Best Toys for 1 year olds

Lately I've had toys on the brain... Can you blame me? It's practically Christmas, and I have yet to finish shopping for my boys! Figuring out what to get the boys can be challenging for me. As a twin mom, it's so easy to be inundated with toys--ALL THE LOUD, NOISY TOYS, that we mamas just love. We decided long ago that two of everything wasn't going to work for us. And we agreed that our boys need a ton of toys, we'd like them to value the ones they do have. So we've carefully selected toys that have a good lifespan, meaning our boys can't {easily} destroy them and that they will hopefully enjoy playing with for a long time.

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Honestly, this has been a tall order so far. Some duds have definitely slipped past our radar. Seeing as I'm probably not the only one who has a tough time finding quality toys for this age group, I thought I'd share with you the toys that have been hits with our now 17.5 month old twin boys.



Toys we own and love: 



1.  Melissa & Doug Caterpillar Gear Toy**. This is BY FAR my boys' favorite toy. If I took everything else away and left them with this, they'd still be two very happy boys. This is one of the very, very few toys we actually have two of. We take it with us on trips to grandma's and hotel stays. They love it that much!


2. Fisher-Price Classic Infant Trio. There's a reason this is a classic. I remember playing with all of these as a kid. My boys love sorting the blocks {and chewing them}. They love the stacking the "donuts" as we call them, and they really love balancing them on mama's head. BUT their favorite is definitely the xylophone. Yes, it's noisy, but they are making their own music. I love that the cord on the xylophone is short, so that they can't bang each other with the stick.


3. Melissa & Doug First Bead Maze. My boys love things that spin! We actually earned one of these by saving up and redeeming our diaper points. Score!! I love that it has suction cups on the bottom. We suctioned it to our french doors, to encourage the boys to practice standing.


4. O-Ball Infant Rattle. This was one of the very first toys they actually played with. Those little holes are perfect for little hands to grasp and shake. My boys still love playing with these. They are great for throwing and rolling practice, because they are flexible and light. I don't have to worry about them hurting each other or damaging things in the house. This is another product we have two of.


5. Melissa & Doug K's Kids Pull-Back Vehicle Set. These little cars are adorable. My boys haven't quite mastered the pull-back idea, but they love pushing them around the house. They think it's hilarious when we adults pull-back and let them go. I love that they are soft, I don't have to worry about the boys falling on top of them as my wobbly new walkers do often.


6. Early Years Roll 'n Swirl Ball Ramp. This one is prefect for teaching cause and effect. My boys love dropping the ball down the ramp and hearing it plunk-plunk-plunk down the ramp. They love playing together with this one, thankfully it comes with 3 balls- one for GummyBear, JellyBean and Mommy.


7. Bright Starts Lots of Links Accessory. Technically this isn't a toy, but my boys have been playing with these since they could grab them. We used them to attach extra toys to our play gym and infant chairs. But our boys loved grabbing them and waving chains of them back and forth. They also happen to be my boys preferred teether {haha}. Bonus use! They can still be found in our play room. In addition to chewing them {molars, anyone?}, they love collecting them and putting them into containers. They also love when mama helps them make long chains of them.


8. Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Workbench. Another big time favorite in our house. This is the toy that encouraged both my boys to sit up on their own, just so they could play with it. This one has all the bells and whistles, but the volume can be turned down or off. Also there are three settings that change the songs, so that you aren't constantly hearing the same song over and over. I actually find the songs to be cute and some are even educational (ABCs, counting, size, colors). I appreciate that the boys can still enjoy it when mama turns the sound off, since all of the moving parts still work without power. I'm going to be honest here... my boys were super rough on this toy, because they loved it so much. I mean they literally spent hours ramming that poor little drill press lever up and down very rapidly, multiple times a day for extended periods {they would sit there and take turns with it, giggling away}. And between the two of them it was just too much for that poor little drill press lever to handle. A spring in the mechanism broke, and the drill press stopped spinning. I honestly think it was a freak thing, because I've read many reviews and I haven't heard of this happening to anyone else. Fisher-Price customer service seemed surprised too. They were great and sent a check to pay for a replacement. We definitely bought a new one, because my boys just adore it! We'll let you know how this one holds up!

9. V-Tech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker. Okay, let me start by saying this was not my favorite toy to begin with, but it's grown on me since my boys LOVE this thing. Initially we used it in the "sit" mode, and basically it's your typical noisy and flashy toy, with very repetitive songs {thankfully they can be turned off} and some "educational" toys (shapes, gears, and a piano}. My boys liked the moving parts but it really didn't hold their attention for long. When they started cruising, we switched it to "stand" mode. That's when they absolutely fell in love with this toy. In fact they love it so much, that their first and only biting incident was because one of them tried to steal it from the other! We were lucky to a have friend who offered to let us borrow a second one, but we definitely would've purchased a second one if she hadn't offered. It has been such a great tool for encouraging walking and for their independence. They love racing around the house and following us around too- it's so much faster than crawling.


And just for you a bonus idea! 



    10. Books. They're not technically a toy, but my boys LOVE, LOVE, LOVE reading. They love when we read to them and they love to "read" them independently. Seriously nothing melts my teacher heart more than peeking into their room and hearing them "read" aloud. Those little babbles as they turn the pages are so, so precious to me. Now, I could link to a million books, but I'll limit myself to our top 2- Little Blue Truck and Peek-A Who. These are the ones we all go back to over and over. Currently they are also loving touchy-feely texture books and flap books, some of the best are from Usborne Books and More. {I'm not a consultant and I'm not being compensated for linking, I'm just a big fan}.
    So there you have it, our twin-tested, mom-approved toys!

    I hope you found this list helpful, if you did I would appreciate you sharing it with your friends. Comment below with your must-have toys for 1 year-olds!

    **Disclaimer** This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission through when purchases are made by using the link. Regardless, all product reviews are my honest, unbiased opinion. If I share it, it is something I have honestly used and loved. Otherwise I wouldn't share it!


     
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