This guide provides the best toys and gift ideas for 1 year old boys.  Included are the top toys and unique gifts, as well as an explanation of the developmental stage at 12 months.  

Developmental Stage for 1 year olds


What They Like to do

When thinking about what toys to buy for a one year old, we first need to understand what they like to do.  

Right now 1 year olds love to explore – open drawers and cupboards.

They can now bang things together, hold cups and use things as they were intended (example run a brush through their hair or hold a phone to their ear).

Physically they can sit on their own, crawl, stand and maybe even cruise along furniture or walk a few steps on their own (source).

Toys that encourage exploration and help them perfect their new found mobility will be their favorites.

Best Toys for 1 year old boys

Developmental Differences – 1 year old Boys

There are natural differences between little boys and little girls preferences at twelve months,  which can translate into which toys they like to play with. points out that toddler boys love action and are more engaged when watching mechanical motion over human motion. 

 A one year old boy can be two months ahead of a little girl when it comes to understanding motion and would rather watch windshield wipers going back and forth then looking at people moving.

Toys with movement (balls, wheels, etc)  will likely be their favorites.

Click here for our Gift Guide: Best toys and Gift Ideas for 1 year girls

Gift Guide:

Toy and Gift Ideas for 1 Year Old Boys

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Best Toys for 1 Year Old Boys

Selected based on what your little boys likes to do at this age.  This list contains classics and new brands you can be confident in gifting.

LEGO DUPLO My First Number Train

Lego® has a line of brick building toys for younger children.  This Learn to Count Train will help fine motor skills. At first the baby may only be able to bang the pieces together, or take them apart, but as he gets older he will begin putting the pieces together.

Shape Sorter

Another fine motor skill developer, this classic toy from Fisher Price® introduces shapes and colors.

Melissa & Doug 20 Animal Magnets in a Box

These animal shaped magnets are bright and colorful, they help your little one learn his animals and (bonus!) they don’t contain a small magnet that can come loose.

Little Tikes Light ‘n Go – Activity Garden Treehouse

Little Tikes® have made a wonderful multi-function activity center.  One year olds can crawl under the giraffe, walk through the door and play with all the balls.  Babies on the move will love practicing their new skills here. Also folds into a square to take up less space.



Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Chair

Give your little boy a chair to call his own. The Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages chair is the perfect place for him to read his books, practice counting and learn how to go from sitting to standing.

Kiddzery 3pc Kids Play Tent Crawl Tunnel and Ball Pit with Basketball Hoop

This ball pit features a playhouse, crawl tunnel and basketball hoop.  Hours of fun for your little boy. Ball sold separately.

VTech Pull & Learn Car Carrier

This pull along toy includes buttons to introduce numbers, colors and animals.  The three animal characters are recognized when placed in the driver’s seat. 

VTech Turn and Learn Driver

The fun baby car toy design encourages imaginative play with a traffic light, a signal lever that triggers fun sounds and music; gear shifter that pushes and pulls to introduce opposites

VTech Smart Shots Sports Center

2-in-1 kids basketball hoop sports center.  This great activity center allows for practice gripping and kicking a ball, as well as fine motor skills when turning knobs and pressing buttons.

Award Winning Toys

These toys have been awarded prizes based on their design.

Hape Walk-A-Long Snail Toddler Wooden Pull Toy

Hape has amazing wooden toys and doesn’t disappoint with this pull along snail that includes a shape sorter.  Winner of a Parent’s Choice Award.

Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone

Another Hape toy – this xylophone is also a pounding toy, making this musical toy a fine motor skill builder as well. 2018 Cribsie Award of favorite first musical toy suitable for ages 12 months to 3 years

Simplay3 Trail Master Wagon

Winner of a Parents Choice Approved Award in 2018, this wagon is easy for parents to pull and maneuver. Its space saving design is great for storage or transporting.

Unique Gift Ideas for 1 Year Old Boys

For the 1 year old who has everything. If this gift is for a second, third or fourth child, then something unique to just them will be even more special.  

Subscription Box

Monthly subscription boxes are becoming very popular.  You receive a package each month and can choose between getting toys or books.

Our favorites are these two:

1. – The Board Book Box is great for children aged 0-3. In each box, you will find four perfect reads that will bring so much joy to the baby or toddler in your life!


2. Bluum –  Books, age-appropriate, high-quality toys, apparel accessories, all natural home and body care items and gear are just some of the types of products included in the Bluum box.

Educational Toys

STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math toys can be given as early as 1 years old. STEM Toys are gaining momentum as parents want to expose their children as early as possible to these concepts.  The US Bureau of Labor estimates that there will be 9 Million jobs in STEM by 2024, a 1 million increase over 2012 jobs. (Source)

Melissa & Doug Rainbow Caterpillar Gear Toy 

This toy gives toddlers an opportunity to color-coordinate, rearrange and rotate gears so the caterpillar “moves.”

The First Years Stack Up Cups

8 brightly colored cups that stack together with numbers on the bottom for number practice. Simple, but loved by one year olds.

HABA Mod Blocks

21 Colorful Wooden Building Blocks with Varying Shapes & Unique Designs.  Young architects can build and engineer many delightful towers with these colorful building blocks.

Gifts that Give Back

Give your little boy a gift, while supporting charities or company’s that are environmentally conscious.

Busy Book

These handmade busy books are made by Canadian grandmother’s to support grandmother’s in Africa who have lost their children’s to HIV/AIDS and are raising their grandchildren. The Grandmothers Campaign is an initiative of the Stephen Lewis foundation.  The Busy books come in two versions – A Counting Safari and Safari train. They both are interactive.  The train book has a little finger puppet that can be taken out and go from page to page.  The counting book has a little elephant that velcros onto each page as you do the activities. Wonderful books to take on car trips with lots of gross motor skill practice.  Both are $45.00 CDN Contact:

Tegu Magnetic Wooden Block Set

These blocks have built-in magnets so they won’t fall down as easily when your one year old is playing with them.  They are also made in Honduras with the goal of creating fair trade jobs for local residents.

Green Toys Dump Truck in Yellow and Red

Not only does this truck improve fine motor skills it is also environmentally friendly. Made using environmental friendly materials and does not contain BPA, phthalates or PVC. The packing of this truck is made with recycled, recyclable materials, printed with soy inks