Best baby toys (12 to 18 months)

It seems that my son can make anything and everything into a toy. He has way too many toys. But I justify all this mayhem because most of them are hand-me-downs or garage sale finds. (I am a garage-sale/mom-to-mom sale maniac.) But there are many toys that he still plays with every day. These are the ones that have stood the test of time.

This iPlay Funtime Tractor son’s favorite toy of all time. At first, he was happy to push the animals down and hear their individual sounds. Then, he’d love to watch it move across the floor. Now, he throws the animals aside and “rides” the trailer as the tractor attempts to ride. He has played with it every day since his great-grandma bought if for his first birthday. (iPlay also makes an awesome sounds Noah’s Ark toy as well.

The best toys for one year olds are ones that mimic an action they will see an adult doing. My son absolutely loves using his Dirt Devil Vacuum, both while I’m vacuuming and while I’m not.  I only wish this thing actually worked.

My son got some Mega-Blocks for Christmas and absolutely loves them.  He does have some Duplo (big) legos, but these Mega-Blocks are so much easier for him to handle.  He is beginning to make his own creations and he is so proud of himself.  I cannot emphasize how much he loves these and I think they should be a staple in every home.

Little People are always a great go-to toy brand.  We only have a few items, including this Little People school bus, but my son loves taking the people in and out, driving it around, and hearing all the different noises it makes. He loves anything and everything that will make sounds.

This Melissa & Doug Fruit Cutting Tray also mimics adult action.  He loves to act like mommy and daddy in the kitchen and could play with this for 30 minutes at a time.

I bought this Fisher Price Laugh and Learn “cd player” at a local store (not at this crazy price on Amazon).  But my son loves any sound-maker, so this was his only Christmas present from us (besides a couple of Schleich animals — amazing, true to life animals made in Germany — for his ever-growing collection).  It is simple, but he enjoys it and plays with this every day.

And the best garage sale finds are:

  • All the books you can find (that are high quality, both board or hardcover or even paperback).
  • Trucks, trucks, and more trucks: I have grown to not care if these are plastic, made in China, whatever; my son plays with these all day, and it feels great that I have only spent about $5 on his collection of about 10 good-sized tracks, tractors, taxis, etc.
  • Riding tractors or cars
  • Wood blocks can be very expensive if you buy them from a store.  However, I have found some great brands (Haba!) at garage sales.  Also, recently, I found an awesome farm blocks set that I know will be a favorite for years to come.

Of course, you have probably noted that this is a boy list, as the distinctions in toy lists become apparent around one year, but I think girls can play with all of the above too!

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