I have been asked many times about what Joshua was doing at one and what are appropriate gifts for a one year old. This stage is very much much hands on and all about real life experiences. Many of Joshua’s experiences at this age were all about learning twisting, turning, stacking and learning to concentrate.
The items I have listed are those that Joshua was interested in at around this age and is not a prescriptive list. You should follow what your child is interested in and at this age some children may work more on other skills, such as gross motor but each of these are what I consider to be age appropriate and beautiful. At this stage, Joshua was extremely interested in stacking and happy to sit and work on tracking and shape sorting toys. We started introducing a chair and table to work at at this point in time to work at, as well as other experiences such as drawing with crayons and painting.
Small yellow wooden stacking boxes – These are so beautiful. was walking and starting to stack things and these are a good size for a small toddler to carry about.
Shape sorter – I really like this sorter. At a basic level I know that the shape sorter that we had was a little complicated for Joshua so if I had to choose another one this is the one I would pick. This one is nice and basic and allows for the toddler to get shapes out of the sorter independently. It also focuses the child on just a few very basic shapes.
Geometric sorting bricks with numbered pegs – Joshua couldn’t get enough of this. He spent lots of time at his grandparents place on a similar toy and we had one of these at home.
Large wooden stacking rainbow – These are great for stacking and not necessarily in the rainbow shape. These are beautiful and offer the opportunity to explore colours and how to fit different shapes together.
Block Crayons – This age is ideal for introducing crayons and paper. We started with very basic crayons but we very quickly moved onto good quality crayons after I realised how important first art experiences are. Joshua loves art now and is now starting to colour in and draw pictures and adores his crayons, we have the stick ones now, not the block ones.
Single Shape Puzzles – These puzzles are a good introduction to the world of puzzles. After mastering basic shapes you can move a child onto multiple piece puzzles. Joshua was doing 2 shape puzzles at 22 months which you can see here. He then moved quickly onto multiple shapes in puzzles which you can see here. I also really like this one.
Posting – We started Joshua in his Montessori toddler group around 14 months old and I remember his teacher introducing him to posting. He loved it! This is a particularly lovely posting toy but you can make your own at home, we made one out of a spice jar with the lid on and I got some matchsticks for Joshua to post through the little holes. This helped Joshua to focus on an activity. A variation on this box is this which helps the child understand the concept of object permanence.
Pound and roll tower – Lots of energy and working on coordination. We had a little pounding bench but this one has some height and has the balls which roll for a bit of variety.
Ball tracker – this is great for tracking objects and this is a wonderful large tracker for your toddler to work with. We had a smaller tracker that Joshua was using that had cars on it. In Australia you can get this here.
Table and chairs – I love this set. We didn’t have this set for when Joshua was small but this is ideal for a toddler.
Cube chair – this is so useful for independence. We started toilet learning in earnest around 14 months after a gradual introduction and this was a really good item to have. It is also a good as a little weaning table if you turn it on its side and pair up with another small chair.
Wooden trike – Joshua was given a wooden trike for his first birthday and he has enjoyed it. Something like this one is lovely, it is sturdy and beautiful. He mostly rode his inside.
We also started adding practical life items after this age too, the focus for the next year was on toilet learning and practical life so these are great gifts to include as well.