How To Pick The 15 Best Toys For 18 Month Old Toddler
Playthings don’t have to be expensive as long as they’re appropriate for the age. Always look beyond what it is fun (although that’s also important) and try to think how your kid can benefit from it.
So here, I gathered the 15 best toys for 18-month-old toddler, and I guarantee, it’s both educational and entertaining for your little one.
At this age, they LOVE exploring and testing the limits of their newfound independence. My boy would barely settle down; he’s always all over the place – climbing, running, dancing or reaching out.
I assume at this time; you have already kept dangerous things out of their reach - like medicines, sharp objects, or household chemicals.
You don’t want them to feel as if you’re always hovering over your shoulder (even if you are) so make sure their play area is safe. Toddlers are always on the move – fiddling with stuff and learning how to play with their new toys.
Anything that fosters their autonomy while helping develop their mental, physical and cognitive faculties would be an ideal choice.
- Building Blocks: This allows them to stack and store the blocks. Not only will it improve their coordination but it will also strengthen their thinking because they have to figure out how it works.
- Wooden puzzles: Go for those with few but large pieces. It will make it easier for them and also provide them with small victories. Tip: Don’t forget to show your appreciation by a clapping or saying, “Good job!”
- Musical instruments: A small keyboard with large keys would be perfect. They will learn to appreciate the sounds it makes and these playthings are colorful too!
Bonus: they’ll treat you to spontaneous concerts!
- Balls: It can develop his coordination, and it’s at this age when they get a kick out of throwing things like books or household items such as TV remote control.
You can control them from randomly throwing anything (and consequently breaking or damaging) they can get a hold of if you tell them they can only throw the balls, and nothing else.
If they’re getting good at it, you can teach them how to shoot the ball and dribble it too.
- Ride-on Toys: It’s fun to have, and the happiness on their faces as they learn how to control the movement is rewarding. I prefer the simple ride-on toys than the battery-powered ones.
It’s because my son can push it with his feet and therefore it’s a holistic experience for him since he’s not just riding it (with someone else at the controls). You know toddlers love having ‘control.’
- Crayons: This is when they’d find it fun trying to ‘decorate’ your walls or any flat surface. If you don’t want the burden and hassle of trying to remove all the smudges and drawings, go for washable crayons (they’re total lifesavers, trust me).
You can just let them draw on paper because they may not yet fully appreciate coloring books.
- Stuffed animals: This will never grow old but don’t worry because it can serve multiple functions. They might use these stuffed toys as their security item when dealing with separation anxiety.
- Legos: It’s one of my son’s favorite toys. He likes stacking them on top of each other and creating a tall ‘tower.’ Then he disassembles them and does the entire process all over again.
Just be careful you don’t step on them and always choose the larger ones, not the small ones which can be choking hazards.
- Books: You can go for board or clothing books so they won’t tear it to pieces. Some even have buttons they can press or something they can touch (like a velvety cloth).
18-Month Old Milestones
If there’s one thing you should know about your kid’s development, it’s that they follow their pace. It’s just a guide; they don’t necessarily mean your little ones should have crossed off everything on the list.
But it’s good to check it once in a while if you’re confused if the toy is age-appropriate for your child.
- Likes to explore alone but also enjoy handing out things to others
- Will let you know what they want by pointing it
- Already knows the functions of simple items like telephone and toothbrush
- Can scribble without help
- Can manage to pull toys while walking
- Can walk up the stairs and even run
- Filled with curiosity, they will likely grab anything that’s within their reach
- Enjoys pushing buttons, moving handles, turning knobs (That’s their inquisitiveness at play)
- Tends to be very curious and inquisitive and will likely have temper tantrums (they will push your patience to the limits)
- Has good eye-hand coordination
- They love to investigate things, and that's the reason why you should always lock cupboards and cabinets with items which aren’t toddler-friendly
Best Toys For 18-Month Old Children
1. Mega Bloks Big Building Bag - Best Gift
These classic-colored building blocks include different shapes which will give a variety for your kid. The size is ideal for toddlers because small hands can easily hold and manipulate them.
There are limitless construction possibilities thus will help enhance your little one’s creativity.
- Has a durable and sturdy storage bag which makes cleaning up a breeze
- It’s ideal for children 12 months to 5 years old
- Can help the toddlers learn all about primary colors and even basic counting
- Can develop their hand and eye coordination
- Can be used for solitary play or interactive play with siblings, other kids or even parents
- Not a choking hazard
- The wheeled base is a great addition
- Helps with their fine motor skills
- Entertaining and challenging at the same time
- No chances of leaving out pieces when cleaning up because of its size
- The blocks are durable too (important factor because toddlers love smashing and throwing items such as these)
- Often falls apart quickly which can be disappointing if your kid is starting to build something bigger
- Needs to be stored accordingly otherwise, you might hurt yourself from stepping on them
2. VTECH Musical Rhymes Book - Best Learning Toys
It’s fun to have this interactive kids’ book. It has six classic nursery rhymes and five colorful piano buttons. You can choose whether to put it on music or learning mode. It’s suitable for children from six months up until three years old.
It has vibrant pages which are visually stimulating.
- Pages are big and easy to turn
- The buttons can act as a mini piano and helps introduce various sounds
- Keeps toddlers busy and entertained
- Handy enough to bring to travels especially when flying
- Durable enough to withstand throwing, slamming and banging and it will still work (in some cases, there isn’t even so much as a crack)
- The volume can be adjusted
- Has a variety of options: your toddler can sing along to it, play with the buttons or flip the pages
- Song changes when you turn the page
- Rhymes are elementary and easy to learn and follow
- A bit too weighty
- The sound is a bit screechy and even off-pitch at times
- Younger kids may need supervision to avoid having their fingers stuck between the pages
- Depending on usage, battery may quickly die
This fun musical instrument has soft piano keys that easily respond to your little one’s touch. It has more than 20 fun sounds and classical melodies. While the songs play, the instrument buttons at the top will light and flash thus making it more enjoyable for your kids.
- Allows you to select various modes: instrument (drum, violin or horn sounds) and animal discovery (quack, meow, and woof)
- The music is pleasant enough, and volume can be turned down
- Teaches kids to count from 1 to 5 in different languages
- Good quality and fairly sturdy since it can take a beating
- Compact and small, it would be ideal to bring during air or land travels
- Great entertainment for babies and toddlers, might grow with them
- Stimulates and enhances hand and eye coordination
- Safe even for those younger than 18 months
- Not exactly a piano so you shouldn't expect the keyboard keys to produce separate sounds like the real one
- There are no actual keys; it’s just a long piece of fabric with ‘key’ images printed on it
- Keyboard is all cloth and some might prefer it to be plastic
- The light in the buttons moves a little too fast, not ideal to play in dark or dim rooms
This set contains three different kinds of small balls: a soft one with bold hues, a plastic one with rattle beads and a squishy ball with tactile bumps. It’s easy to grasp and helps teach the child to throw, squeeze and even catch.
- Stimulates sense of hearing and touch
- Encourages crawling and therefore allows exploration
- Balls are a perfect size: not too small and not too big either
- Cleaning is a breeze – just wipe with a cloth
- Safe to bite because it’s nontoxic
- Develops child’s ability to hold and grasp
- Helps with fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
- Different textures help him explore new things
- Vibrant colors
- No choking hazards
- Excitement over these toys may eventually wear off if they get tired of throwing or squeezing
- Doesn’t roll well
- The cloth ball may come apart at the seams when handled too roughly
- Doesn’t smell like vanilla as advertised
- Depending on the baby, they might not enjoy it at 18 months. Some may still love throwing and catching it, though.
- Not washable; it might not be a good idea to play with outdoors
5. Lamaze Peek-A-Boo Forest Soft Book - Best Books
It’s one of my favorites, to be honest. You can never go wrong with books, and you should start reading to them as early as possible.
This interactive soft book is adorable and colorful – it will be visually delightful to your child.
The crinkly plush owl on the cover is too cute.
- Big flaps make it easy to turn the pages
- The bright, contrasting and bold colors are stimulating to the senses
- Each page has a peek-a-boo flap
- The fabric is washable, and the pages are durable
- Marvelous introduction to books
- They can play or chew on it because it’s safe and there are no choking hazards
- Easy to clean
- Light enough to hold and carry around
- No fading even after a few washes
- Fun, appealing rhymes
- Cute story with lovable characters
- Easy to manipulate by little hands
- Some pages look a bit dull
- Captivating to the kids – catches and holds their attention
- Not a wide variety of textures – it’s just wrinkly
- Not very engaging and interactive – aside from the flaps, there’s not much else
- Might get old pretty quick with your toddler
6. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Scooter - Best Ride On Toy
This ride-on toy can help develop your child’s motor skills. It features a motion switch which will then activate the learning content as your kid starts riding.
There are more than 50 songs, tunes, and phrases which guarantee that they won’t easily get bored of it – it will seem like there’s always something new.
- Stimulates imagination and role play
- Allows exercise and practice of gross motor skills
- Interactive dashboard helps hone fine motor skills because of hands-on activities
- Easy to assemble
- Encourages balance and coordination
- Lightweight but sturdy and well-built
- Sound can be turned down
- Easy to climb on and get off of
- Stable and good quality
- Comfortable to ride on; pretty solid bottom
- Recommended age is 12 months to 3 years old but children more than two may be too old for it
- May not be ideal for those who cannot walk steadily and without assistance because balance is essential to avoid tipping over or falling off
- Toddler should be tall enough to reach the floor so they can propel the toy using their feet
- Kids cannot maneuver the front wheel into any other direction; it only goes straight
It’s a great way to encourage kids to play outside and also helps in developing active and constructive play. I may have a bit of a bias here though because this is one of my son’s favorite playthings.
He had it when he was 12 months old and loves it until now.
- Bold, bright colors which are stimulating to the eyes
- Nontoxic finishes, durable and child-safe paint
- Helps develop creativity
- Encourages development of fine motor skills
- Thick plastic and comfortable handles
- Sturdy and may last for a long time
- The pieces are handy and small – it would be awesome to bring them to the beach or during travels
- Can also be used during bath time or any kind of play since the shovel can scoop smaller toys
- The toy pail isn’t so large (more like the size of a mixing bowl) but it won’t matter to the kids as long as they’re having fun
- May crack if toddler intentionally tries to break it (side note: my son once stood up on the curved part of the shovel and well, it cracked)
- Some may be disappointed because photos make them look larger than they are
There are three fun ways to play this adorable guitar toy.
First is free-play which allows the toddler to create the song.
The second is the play-along mode which has three built-in songs: “This Old Man”, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and “Elmo’s ABC Song”.
And third, there’s the color mode.
The recommended age is from 18 months old and up.
- Does lots of things to keep it intriguing for the toddler
- Entertaining and holds up even after child drops or throws it, may even withstand some light smashing
- Stellar way to introduce your little ones to music
- Allows kids to explore its features, and encourages them to learn how to operate it
- The guitar sounds are pretty cool
- It’s lightweight but solid
- Has three functions, thus adding variety to what your toddler can do with it
- Kid might easily get bored once they learn to master how it works
- Will randomly make noise which can be terrifying if it plays Elmo’s voice in the middle of the night (yes, it’s one of THOSE toys)
- Toddler can only play the buttons, no strumming option since the ‘strings’ don’t work
- The volume may not be loud enough for some
This basketball hoop sports center allows toddlers to play basketball or soccer. It features an animated LED scoreboard that lights up and also plays sounds and phrases.
The various shape buttons introduce the kids to different shapes and textures. The recommended age is between 1 and three years old.
- Encourages exercise and physical activity
- Help develop motor skills
- Has 2-in-1 play experience
- Has more than 50 songs, melodies and sounds
- Stimulates language development with the aid of sing-along songs and rhymes
- Small buttons enhance fine motor skills
- Easy to assemble and install but you may need a screwdriver
- It’s interactive and entertaining
- Toddlers will love the process of learning how to play and even manipulate the various buttons
- Light, portable, and you can easily move it from one room to another
- Keeps kids engaged especially because the toy “congratulates” them if they shoot a ball or score a goal
- No choking hazards
- Ideal for solitary and interactive play
- Durable, can withstand some beating
- Actual product is pretty small
- No free batteries
- May not be ideal for travels
- Some 2-year old toddlers may be too tall for it
This adorable toy truck is so realistic. In fact, it works just like the real thing! The set also contains six construction blocks and one cute figurine to take the driver’s seat. The recommended age is from 1 to 5 years old, and it’s perfect for your little builder.
- It has solid wheels and sturdy construction
- Can take some smashing and throwing
- Ideal not just for dumping soil but also sand, it would be great to bring this to the beach
- Bright and colorful
- Lightweight but durable and may last for years even with rough handling and playing
- Can be easily maneuvered
- Easy to carry for toddlers since it perfectly fits their small hands
- Tires roll over easily
- The back part can hold small stuffed toys
- Almost indestructible because it doesn’t come apart
- Encourages creativity with stacking of the blocks
- May take time for the toddler to discover and understand the stack-blocking feature on top
- Not a lot of building options
- Few blocks included
- Stickers may start to peel off within the first month of regular playing
- The top part won’t stay shut
This fun set features three wagon bases, ten numbered bricks, a dog figurine and some other assorted pieces. It’s safe for children 18 months to 5 years old. This toy will help teach your kids to learn how to count from 1 to 10 and stimulate other skills and senses as well.
- Instruct basic math skills
- Encourages creativity as it allows them to construct their train and rebuild tunnels, buildings, and even a dog house
- Sizable enough for little hands to manipulate without difficulty
- Can be challenging for the kids when they try to figure out how to connect the pieces, therefore, it can enhance their cognitive faculties
- Provides good building experience
- Solid, sturdy blocks that stack well
- Easy to separate the bricks and blocks
- Can hold a toddler’s attention for more than hour (a lifesaver when Mommy has to do some chores)
- Holds up well and may last for years
- The numbers aren’t just stickers. Instead, they’re painted on the bricks.
- Offers flexibility
- Teaches motor skills
- No choking hazards
- Not that big and when put together, the entire train isn’t that long
- Could have additional pieces so the train can be longer
There may be new and high-tech toys nowadays, but nothing beats a good ‘ole teddy bear. This adorable plush has matching satin accents that will make it more huggable, and your toddler will love cuddling with it too.
And because it’s 10 inches tall, it will grow alongside your child.
You can read more about Flipazoo at here. It's a best baby stuffed animal.
- Embroidered eyes and nose (not just buttons) so you’re assured they won’t fall off or get pulled out accidentally
- Cute, soft and the perfect size even for newborn babies
- Will grow with your child
- Handy and can be carried during travels
- A good ‘security item’ when your toddler is experiencing separation anxiety
- A helpful tool when sleep training your child
- The fur doesn’t shed as much so it can’t trigger any allergies or sneezing
- Impressive craftsmanship, high quality
- The texture is pleasant to touch
- No choking hazards
- Easy to clean and still looks good as new after washing and drying
- Small enough to be added on top of a diaper cake
- May need a second teddy bear especially if it needs regular cleaning
- Actual color may be lighter than the one in the photo
13. 2 Sets Of Baby Toddler Beginnings Board Books - Best Books
It features both Sesame Street and Mickey Mouse books which amount to 8 books in total. Variety is key in keeping toddlers interested and excited, and it’s a good way of enhancing their love for ‘books.’
Plus, these can take a beating because they’re not easy to tear and can also withstand spills.
- Have built-in handles so kid can bring it anywhere
- Helps them learn the alphabet, primary colors, numbers and basic shapes
- Books have good stories with bright and colorful pictures
- Kids will enjoy flipping the pages themselves and you don’t have to worry about torn pages
- Valuable during random reading sessions or as bedtime stories
- Durable and very educational
- Just the right size for small hands to hold (they’d love to pretend reading at times too)
- Good starter books – can start as early as 12 months
- The vibrant colors can capture any toddler’s attention
- Large print thus making the words and numbers easier to read
- Some parents may find the edges a little sharp, so you might need to be extra careful and check it first
- Pages may be thin compared to other board books
- Pages may lose color in time
14. Little Tikes Gas-N-Go Mower - Best Outdoor Toys
This fun push-toy mower has popping beads, removable gas can (they can pretend to fill it up), clicking key, moveable throttle and even features a pull cord that allows kids to hear engine sounds.
It doesn’t require any batteries and the recommended age is 18 months up to 5 years old.
- Plenty of things to touch and hear – the sounds are mechanical though
- Encourages creative pretend play – they can pull the cord to ‘start’ the mower, and ‘fill up’ the gas
- An amazing physical activity – they could be running around, pushing it all day
- Sturdy and does not tip easily
- Simple, lightweight but entertaining
- Rugged enough to withstand some rough handling (something to expect with toddlers)
- Looks realistic
- May grow with your toddler – it’s not something they will get bored of easily
- Keeps kids busy and therefore, allows you to finish quick tasks
- For those younger than 18 months old, this can help in practicing how to walk
- Wheels are too small to roll smoothly over grass, and the mower was way too close to the ground
- Can be noisy when used on hardwood floor, but it’s not that loud though
It features 18 brightly colored beads of various shapes and sizes that will swoop and slide all along the roller-coaster wires. Marble runs is a fun and educational toy to have. The colors are vibrant, and the things they can do with this maze can keep them occupied for quite some time.
- Helps them recognize various shapes and colors
- Enhances development of fine motor skills and patterning
- Wooden base is sturdy with heavy duty metal wires
- Nurtures imagination and creative expression
- Improves hand-eye coordination
- Stimulates cognitive development and visual perception
- Good interactive toy – toddlers can play alone or with siblings and parents
- A quiet plaything and one that doesn’t require batteries
- Keeps the little one busy even if they’ve had it for months, they won’t tire of this quickly
- Older kids might still find this interesting and fun
- Just the right size – not too small but won’t occupy too much space either
- May not withstand throwing and smashing since the base could splinter and it could pose a choking hazard
- Needs more beads
- Paint may chip off easily
- Watch out for any uneven or harsh corners especially in the base
Which Is The Best?
Based on the pros and cons of each product, I’d go for the “GUND My First Teddy Bear Baby Stuffed Animal” because not only does it have minimal disadvantages but it’s ideal for any toddler.
If you think 10 inches is too small for your kid, they also have 15-inch stuffed animals. But of course, your preference is always one of the key factors especially because a teddy bear isn’t exactly the most stimulating item on the list.
There are also other options if you want something that can enhance your child’s motor skills or cognitive development.
So, which one do you like best? Share with us in the comments!