10 Best Toys for 18-Month-Olds for Fun and Learning

Published October 7, 2021
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Toddler boy enjoys playing with toys

When your baby reaches eighteen months, their world suddenly breaks wide open. They are moving and exploring the environment that surrounds them in whole new ways. To support their learning and growth, provide them with the best toys to encourage development and entertain them. You can't go wrong with any of these ten toys for tots.

Best Fun & Learning Toys for Tots

Best Classic Toy Pick for 18-Month-Olds: Battat Big Red Barn

There is very little that 18-month-olds love more than repeatedly saying farm animal sounds to loved ones over... and... over again. The big red barn toy is a classic pick! Read more.

Best Toy to Extend Learning: Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn: Learning Piggy Bank

While this toy looks simple in nature, parents and caregivers can create ample extension activities in using it. It allows tots to grow and develop past simply putting coins in the bank's slot. Read more.

Best Toy to Take Outdoors: Little Tikes Cozy Coupe 30th Anniversary Car

The Little Tikes Cozy Coup is another classic toy that never goes out of style. Take to the outdoors and let your baby get all of their pent up energy out while they scoot around in this brightly colored car. Read more.

Best Bargain Toddler Toy: LEGO Duplo My First Alphabet Truck

The LEGO Duplo My First Alphabet Truck is a great toy at a low cost! All the winning is happening here. Read more.

Best Toddler Toy for Future Artists: Honeysticks 100% Pure Beeswax Crayons Natural

If you are planning on raising the next Picasso, you better buy some crayons sooner rather than later! Read more.

Big Blocks for Budding Builders

Mega Bloks Big Building Bag

18-month-olds have started mastering the motor skills needed to put things together, making building blocks excellent toys for motor development. These big blocks are large enough for tiny hands to readily grasp, and they will help to develop hand-eye coordination in young children. Kids can get creative and build just about anything they can dream up, and parents will love that the many pieces come with easy storage after the fun is done for the day.

What we like
Encourages hand-eye coordination
Comes with storage solution
What to keep in mind
Not BPA free
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A Classic Toy That Still Brings Joy

Battat Big Red Barn

I actually can't recall if I have ever stepped foot in a home or development center that does not contain this classic toy. The Battat Animal Farm Playset is an excellent toy for little ones interested in imaginary play and animals. Kids this age likely know many animal sounds, and now they can put the sound with the tangible animal and the classic barn the animals live in. Childhood isn't complete without this toy.

What we like
BPA Free
Barn and animals create opportunities for creative play and imagination
More than one child can play with the toy at a time
What to keep in mind
Toy contains small pieces that may be considered a choking hazard

A Toy for Little Problem Solvers

Melissa & Doug Wooden Knob Puzzles

Puzzles are wonderful additions to the playroom, and children around 18-months-old may start to master the skill of simple puzzle solving. These puzzles are prime choices because they are not overwhelming in size, shape, or quantity. They create a perfect balance of what kids can handle while still expanding their brain. The wooden knobs allow for easy grasping while preventing fine motor frustration.

What we like
Easy to grasp pieces
Recognizable puzzle pieces
Enhances motor skills, vocabulary, and coordination
What to keep in mind
Once kids master the puzzle, they can become bored with the simplicity of it

A Toy to Extend Learning

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn: Learning Piggy Bank

While this toy can be used simply by having tots put the coins in the bank, caregivers can create extension activities using the materials provided. As kids grasp the concept of colors, ask them to put specific colors in the piggy bank. If they are learning to count, be sure to say numbers in order as they put coins in the bank.

What we like
Allows for learning of colors, counting, and fine motor skills
Brightly colored for engagement and fun
What to keep in mind
If you lose pieces, you lose the ability to create extension activities.
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Toys for Budding Musicians

Ehome Toddler Musical Instruments

Toddlers love music. They like listening to it, dancing to it, and creating it. The Ehome Toddler Musical Instrument Set allows tots to experiment with making a variety of fun sounds. The set comes with 15 different instruments, making sure kids never tire of the same old thing.

What we like
Includes a variety of instruments
Brightly colored designs
What to keep in mind
Small pieces can be easily lost

A Toy to Take on the Road

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe 30th Anniversary Car

The Little Tikes Cozy Coup is one of those toys that screams early childhood. Kids can spend countless hours puttering back and forth and up and down the sidewalk. If you're lucky, they will run themselves out of energy, and you will get to enjoy a long period of silence as they snooze away the next part of the day. I'd spend sixty bucks on a toy that might bring forth a solid nap session.

What we like
Easy for children to maneuver in
Removable floorboards so kids can move independently or parents can push the car
What to keep in mind
May be heavy and cumbersome for small tots to independently move

A Toddler Toy That Won't Break the Bank

Lego Duplo My First Alphabet Truck

My nephew loves nothing more than trucks and letters, so when I found this gem of a toy, I nearly did a cartwheel down the store aisle. When I later read the price, I really thought this might have been one of the very best days of my life. It's a great toy at a really low price.

Toddlers can enjoy the LEGO-like alphabet blocks or create their own truck design. If you are vying for the title of Best Aunt in the Universe, buy this item STAT. Should they decide trucks are so yesterday and shift interests immediately, no worries, it didn't break the bank.

What we like
Multiple uses for play
Encourages use of motor skills
Inexpensive toy
What to keep in mind
Letter towers tip over when the truck is moved
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Crayons to Get Tots Coloring

Honeysticks 100% Pure Beeswax Crayons Natural

Every kid needs a pack or two of crayons, but with so many brands to choose from, how do you know which is going to be the best for your budding artist?

Honeysticks 100% Pure Beeswax Crayons Natural are an excellent choice for parents who know their kids will probably spend more time gnawing on the crayons than putting them on paper.

What we like
Non-toxic
Designed for little fingers
What to keep in mind
Expensive
Only 12 colors included

A Climber for Movers and Shakers

Simplay3 Young Explorers Adventure Climber

Some kids are more than happy to sit on the living room floor and play with books and puzzles. Other kids (like mine) need to move... a lot.

The Simplay3 Young Explorers Adventure Climber is a great item to add to your daily playtime circuit. Kids can climb, slide and scoot through openings all day long. While the climber will undoubtedly take up space somewhere, it is compact enough to put in a basement or playroom or keep outside to use when the weather is agreeable.

What we like
Excellent for gross motor development
Can be used indoors and outside
What to keep in mind
Expensive
Will take up more space compared to other toys

Top Toy Pick for Vocabulary Development

LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book

18-month-olds often begin to ramp up their vocabulary, going from knowing about five to 20 words at 18-months, to hundreds of words during their second year of life. The LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book helps children learn and recognize 100 essential and age-appropriate words. The toys covers the categories of pets, colors, animals, and activities. Nothing beats a good learning toy, and this one is a great way to introduce the concept that learning is fun to your young child.

What we like
Inexpensive
Bilingual function
Covers 100 age-appropriate vocabulary words
What to keep in mind
Requires batteries (which us parents NEVER seem to have on hand, no matter how hard we try)
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Stocking up on toys for your growing baby is a great way to give them opportunities to use their brains and bodies as they put pieces together to figure out the world around them. While play items are wonderful additions to learning and growing, remember there is never any substitute for engagement and interaction with caregivers. You are your child's first teacher and their most important teacher. Always use toys as a means to supplement, never replace what you yourself can provide for your child.

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10 Best Toys for 18-Month-Olds for Fun and Learning