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toys 12-18 months

toys buyers guide

toys 12-18 months

Your baby is now officially called a toddler, but even though they're steaming ahead in terms of development and understanding the world around them, they'll still enjoy quiet time and a cuddle with you. Your little one will begin to talk and will have developed many other ways of expressing themselves; sometimes laughing, crying and very often shouting. They will become much more mobile, and as soon as they can walk confidently, they will begin to run, jump and climb. Safety becomes even more important as your toddler's curiosity and new skills put more things within reach. It is important to make the most of this curiosity by introducing new and challenging toys to extend their physical abilities, solve puzzles and act as props in the imitative games they play.

age and skills

  • Improved wrist control means your baby will become more skilled at shape sorting and stacking and will begin to scribble and throw a ball.
  • Your baby will be gaining more control over their body and will enjoy pushing, pulling and riding on things.
  • They will start copying what you do ??be careful!
  • They will be able to put ideas and actions into a sequence, like throwing a ball and running after it.
  • They will begin to play with more purpose.

Suitable toys - balls, activity and construction toys, push along and ride along toys, interactive toys, colouring and painting equipment


Large, soft balls, such as the Soft Noisy Football, will help your toddler learn to throw.

Activity toys

These include more complex sorting and matching games and pop-up activity toys. The Sunshine Garden Wooden Push along Activity Cube is actually 5 toys in 1, with different activities on each side of the cube.

Construction toys

These include bricks and stacking rings. The Mothercare Wooden bricks are a fun toy which your child can begin to stack and sort with.


Choose wooden bricks, plastic blocks or something a bit softer like the Silver Cross Soft Activity Blocks. At this stage, your baby will only stack two or three blocks at a time.

Push along toys

These include brick trolleys, activity walkers and prams. The VTech First Steps Baby Walker is perfect, with shapes and light-up musical keys introducing letters, words, numbers, animals, colours and more, whilst being sturdy enough to support your little ones adventurous steps.

Activity centres

Activity centres are single units that combine several toys that move, spin and make a noise. They provide a great variety of play and some even fasten to the side of the cot.

Ride-on toys

Toddlers enjoy ride-on vehicles they can push along with their feet, with many to choose from including the ever popular Little Tikes Cozy Coupe.


Children love to imitate the world around them so plastic tea sets, washing up and cleaning sets, telephones and tool benches all equip toddlers for pretend play.

Role play toys

A hammering bench, toy telephone like the cute little Vtech tiny touch phone and buckets and spade will encourage your baby's hand-eye-coordination as well as getting them used to handling different shapes and textures.

safety first

  • Depending on your child's development, you may be tempted to offer toys labelled for an older age group. If the label says the toy is unsuitable for a younger child, then take notice, as it may actually be harmful.
  • Choose large, soft balls.
  • Keep push along and ride on toys away from unguarded stairs, split level floors, public roads and pools. And always ensure your child is being supervised by an adult.
  • Avoid toys with small parts that a toddler could choke on.