playing and learning:
the best toddler toys for one to two-year-olds

By now your little one will be very keen on exploring the world around them through poking, grabbing, tasting and having lots of fun. Between one and two years old, playtime still serves as an important growing process for your toddler, as they learn new games and improve their skills and abilities.

This learning curve still has its frustrations and the odd temper tantrum involved, so it’s good to have parents on hand to help them play and learn safely. Here are our favourite toddler toys for this period in your little one's early years, and a few tips to keep them safe during playtime.

find the best toddler toys for your little one at mothercare
 

push along and ride on toys

While your baby is learning how to walk and waddle around, they might want a little bit of support. Baby walkers provide a fun little vehicle to let them bounce and zoom around during this unstable time as they find their feet. Choose from the likes of brick trolleys, activity walkers and pushchairs. Your little one can even multi-task by using a walker with inbuilt shapes and musical light-up keys that can help them learn colours, numbers and letters.

Your toddler might also like to try a push-along, ride-on vehicle, which can help muscle development. There are both outdoor and indoor options available in various shapes and sizes.

sand and water toys

Sand and water are simple, natural materials for your toddler to build with and explore. Play together with your toddler to show them how to make sand castles and shapes, and help them destroy them with plastic spades and other tiny tools. Remember to always stay with your baby when they are playing in or near water, even if it's just in a shallow bath.

activity toys

Your little one is currently absorbing information like a sponge, and there are so many games and activities available to help them learn and grow. Activity cubes, tables and centres combine colours and noises to create sorting and matching games to get your baby's cogs turning. Pop-up games also help to develop their understanding of cause and effect, and provide hours of easy fun!

puzzle and construction toys

Opt for old-school learning with your little one by providing a set of stackable wooden bricks. Building them up into towers can become a fun activity for baby and parent to do together, whilst knocking them all down will make your little one shriek and giggle with laughter. As their tiny thumbs and fingers get stronger, change the blocks to other simple construction toys and puzzles (just keep an eye on all the pieces).

arts and crafts

By the time they reach two, your child may be able to hold a pencil and begin to make marks – in this way creating their first masterpieces. Little hands can start grasping crayons and paint brushes, and can even start moulding small sculptures out of play dough – just make sure you lay down some protective newspaper first!

 

dressing up and role play toys

Whether they want to copy the grown-ups, or the fictional characters they see in books and on the TV, little children love to imitate the world they see around them. Help their imagination grow with a dressing-up box filled with pirate, wizard and princess costumes or with little plastic tea sets, dolls, tool kits or magical items. Just make sure there are no loose strings, ribbons or plastic pieces to put a stop to the fun.

interactive and electronic toys

Any toys with lights, sounds and pop-up moving parts will be an instant hit with your toddler, and can also help improve their knowledge of colours, animals, numbers and letters. Now that computers and keyboards are so common in our daily lives, it also won't hurt to get them used to a bit of modern technology (without them handling your more expensive gadgets!).

books

As well as the bright and illustrated classic story and picture books, your baby will love any novelty tales that also come with fun squeakers or pop-up pages. Some books are especially designed for babies to 'read' and play with, with durable fabrics and even bath time options.

playing safe

 
  • keep your baby's toys clean, as they have a tendency to be chewed and sucked
  • always check plastic toys for sharp or roughened edge and make sure they are safe, non-toxic and durable
  • always stay with your little one when they are playing 'banging' games or using hammers
  • keep fabric toys away from fire or other heat sources
  • remove hanging mobiles and activity centres from the cot as soon as your baby can sit up onto hands and knees
  • make sure that the batteries of any toys are secured before use
  • always look to make sure toys conform to British Standard BS EN7
 

view all our toddler toys for 1-2 years here >>