The Best Toys for 1- to 2-Year-Olds

Updated November 21, 2016

The best toys for children ages 1 and 2 years old are often toys that encourage developmental growth while still being fun and imaginative. Most importantly, these toys have large enough and soft enough pieces so they are not a safety hazard to toddlers.

Building Toys

Sets of large building blocks make great toys for 1- or 2-year-olds. Consider purchasing large foam blocks of a variety of shapes and colours, and allowing your child to create his own designs out of them. You can also help him build and show him how different structures --- such as homes or towers --- can be built with the blocks. Also consider blocks with a specific theme, such as blocks that build castles.

Ride-On or Push Toys

The ages of 1 or 2 is the perfect time to introduce your child to a toy she can ride or sit on. This will be training for future lessons on a bicycle. Usually a large plastic tricycle is perfect for the older range of this age group, as children are able to balance on it while learning the concept of peddling. This also will help children alternate use of their right and left feet, which helps with whole brain development. For children closer to 1 year old, consider a toy they can be pushed on --- this instils the idea of riding on something before they can manage the motions themselves.

Role-Play Toys

Role-play toys are another ideal choice for young children. These allow children to use imaginative play while learning a bit about the world their parents live in as well. Consider purchasing a play kitchen with pretend food for the children to play with --- this will help them learn the right and wrong ways to behave in the kitchen while having a bit of fun as well. You can also buy your youngster a pretend lawnmower or a dollhouse.

Sports Toys

Children who are 1 to 2 years old might also enjoy being introduced to the concepts of sports. A small introductory basketball set or a large plastic baseball bat and plush ball can help you teach your child about sports while encouraging the development of his balance, strength and hand-eye coordination. Encourage the child to play at his level and allow him to excel. Be sure that a basketball hoop is set at its lowest setting, and that a tee of some sort can be used for the baseball set. This allows the child to play the sport as best he can for his age and development.

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About the Author

Catherine Copeland has been writing professionally since 2005. Her articles have been published in newspapers such as "The Jackson Citizen Patriot" and "The State News." Copeland holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Michigan State University.