What are the best toys for 12 to 18-month-old babies?

Imitating phone call

Increasingly, these children can walk without support. However, they are still unsteady on their feet. Now they want to explore everything; though their curiosity far outweighs their judgment for predicting outcomes or foreseeing dangers.

Children of this age can recognize the names of familiar people, objects, pictures, and body parts. They often imitate common actions they see, such as talking on the phone, “drinking” from a bottle or cup.

They can sing to themselves and will move their bodies to music. Since they are more mobile, they can self-select toys that were once outside their reach. They find basic grasping easier, and can manipulate toys that require simple twisting, turning, sliding, and cranking.

Through trial and error, they continue to explore cause-and-effect relationships like dumping and filling activities, and now they enjoy a variety of actions with objects, such as pressing, pushing, pulling, rolling, pounding, beating, clanging, fitting, stacking, marking, scribbling, carrying, and poking their fingers into objects.baby-imitating-mower

They delight in the many effects their actions cause, and enjoy toys that take advantage of this by the use of, for example, various sounds, blinking lights, and spinning wheels. Simple toys that encourage pretend play, such as dress-up materials, dolls, stuffed animals, and small vehicle toys, are appropriate.

What to Avoid:

  • Toys with small parts that can be swallowed
  • Stuffed animals with loosely sewn-on parts that can be easily removed
  • Sharp-edged toys