Your child turns 1! What to get? Toys for 12-18 months old

One of the things that I do when Alia takes a nap is online shopping. Hehehhe, I know, such a productive way of spending my precious me time, right? :p Anyway, yesterday I came across this under the kids category on – Fun for Year Two: 12 to 18 Months

Screenshot (14)Alia is closer to becoming 2 years old, but I was curious what they’re selling. Honestly, despite the discounted price, I wouldn’t buy most of the toys there because I think many of them are overstimulating, short-lived, and serve little benefit for a child. 

So I thought that I’d give my share of opinions of things to get for children at the age of 12-18 months old. I get most of Alia’s toys either at thrift stores, consignment sales, or online (Amazon and Zuliy) when they’re on sale. And I look for these things when getting toys for young toddlers:
– purposeful: the toys that could be to enhance gross or fine motor skills, color and shape recognition, etc.
– open-ended: there are many ways of playing with the toys, using their imagination and creativity — I call these toys “passive toys” since it requires and makes an active child for the toys to come alive
– have good shelf life: the child can grow with the toys
– wooden toys (if possible): they’re more durable, have textures that feel good on a child’s hands, and since they’re naturally made things, they can be recycled. 

Here are the toys that we love and recommend because the fit some or all of the criteria above. Alia still plays with many of them, so they’re still in our toy rotation! YEAH! 😀

FYI, some of the toys are designed for older children like the Haba peg board and sorting pie. However, it all depends on the child and how we present the toys to them. So use your best parental judgment as always 🙂 

stacking ring


Stacking Rings from Plan Toys

fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, colors and size recognition, stacking




Peg board from Haba

fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, color recognition, sorting, stacking, patterns 




Mega Bloks First Builders

open ended, fine motor skills – I wrote a review of this awesome set of blocks awhile back. I feel like this is a must have toys for young toddlers. And we even found a new way of using them! IMG_20160404_112731




sorting pie.jpg

Super sorting pie from Learning Resource

sorting, matching, color and shape recognition, imaginative play, math skills (e.g., counting, patterns) – we have used this set in so many ways, including scooping, transferring, and one-to-one correspondence



Knob puzzles

fine motor skills, visual perception skills, hand-eye coordination, object recognition – here’s the review on our favorite knob puzzles


shape sorter


Shape sorter from Plan Toys

shape recognition, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination




Pounding bench from Melissa and Doug


hand-eye coordination, color recognition, fine motor skills, enhancing strength




Pound and Tap Bench by Hape 

audio recognition, hand-eye coordination, enhancing strength


I thought that I’d share some non-toy stuff that a young toddler may like. 




I wrote some suggestions on how to introduce stickers to young toddlers.




Water table 

Ours is from Step 2. It’s not only for water play, but anything for sensory activities (rice, beans, sand, etc.). This is what we do with our water table. 


Large bins 

Don’t let lack of space deter you from doing sensory play with your toddler. Get medium to large bins like the ones below and you can do plenty with them! 

Water beads

You can practice sorting, scooping, object transfer, even art using water beads! 

Animal figurines

Animals like birds, cats, ducks are everywhere! Books, songs, at the park, even at home if you have pets. So we have sets of animal figurines at home that we use to do matching activities and language activities (animal names and sounds). I buy the ones from Safari Toobs, but many prefer Schleich because they’re more realistic, anatomically and size wise (but they’re pricey). 

Art supplies

My artistic skills only go as far as drawing stick figures and … Nope that’s it! :p But I feel that it’s important to encourage kids to be artistically expressive. Plus when children doodle and scribble, they’re practicing the muscles and skills required for writing. We have crayons, colored pencils, washable markers, washable acrylic paint, brushes, construction papers, and large white papers. 

Pheew, that’s a long list! Hope this gives you some ideas of what to get for your toddlers 😀

3 thoughts on “Your child turns 1! What to get? Toys for 12-18 months old

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s