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42 best gifts and toys for 1-year-olds in 2021

These toys and books are targeted for the skills 1-year-olds are currently developing.

It can be tough to find the best gifts for children, but finding the best gift for a 1-year-old might be easier than you think: It’s that age when the box really can be more exciting than the toy inside.

That’s because favorite activities at age 1 include pushing and pulling, putting things together and taking them apart, and — yes — moving things in and out of boxes.

“It’s a very active time,” said Tovah Klein, director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and author of “How Toddlers Thrive.”

1-year-olds moving on from baby toys are also practicing speaking and recognizing rhymes, so they’re primed for books that teach words or engage them with lifting flaps. In toys, look for a variety of textures they can explore with their hands, said Marie Conti, the head of The Wetherill School in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, and a board member of the American Montessori Society.

Development experts agree open-ended toys are best. Look for something that lets toddlers do what they want instead of following specific instructions.

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Block of toys and a baby



Mini Tudou Baby Blocks

$26.99

Great for kids as young as 6 months who are teething. But 1-year-olds can also learn animals, shapes, fruit, patterns and more with these soft, durable, chewable, stackable blocks.
Green Toys Shape Sorter Truck





Green Toys Shape Sorter Truck

$26.99

This truck pulls double duty as a shape sorter and a pushable truck to help with motor skills.
little girl playing with a Hape Elephant Wooden Push and Pull Toys







Hape Elephant Wooden Push and Pull Toys

$26.99

Anything with wheels is fun to push as it moves.

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