Which toy? 12 - 24 months

Your child is becoming more independent. They need toys that help them practise their new-found capabilities such as walking, talking and fine finger skills. They begin to learn the meaning of words such as ‘up’ and ‘down’, ‘in’ and ‘out’, ‘big’ and ‘small’, and need playthings that enable them to explore these.

Play helps your child to learn. As they start to feed themselves and are ready for potty training, they also need opportunities for messy play, as well as toys that help them get used to all the new things they’re learning to do. With the huge choice of toys available in the shops, it can be difficult to know which ones to get.

Every child is different and develops at their own rate, so be guided by your toddler and their interests. But remember it is not about having the latest toy, but about spending time joining in and playing with your child.

Toys that help them use their body and gain balance

  • sit-and-ride animals
  • push-along bike
  • tractor
  • large balls
  • rolling rattles.

Toys that help them develop fine finger skills and hand–eye coordination

  • screwing toys
  • stacking toys
  • sorting toys
  • simple jigsaws
  • threading toys
  • blocks
  • put-together train
  • bucket and spade.

Toys that help them understand different actions

  • toys with buttons, bells or levers
  • hammering toys
  • posting toys
  • nesting beakers
  • windup items such as a musical box.

Toys that help develop their imagination

  • dolls
  • teddies
  • puppets
  • playhouse
  • dressing-up clothes, hats and shoes.

Toys that help to teach about volume, weight and concepts such as floating, sinking, measuring

  • floating duck
  • beakers
  • jugs and other containers
  • straws
  • tubes
  • bubbles.

Toys that let them make a mess

  • powder paints
  • large brushes
  • coloured paper
  • wallpaper
  • lining paper
  • crayons
  • playdough.

Toys to cuddle and comfort

  • teddy bears
  • furry animals
  • cuddly fabrics.
Last updated: 15 April 2019