Updated: Nov 17
One of my favourite elements to running a toy shop is helping parents and gift givers to decide which toys to buy for a little one. In the 12-24 month age group, my default is always: something that moves, something to aid communication and something to help them explore physics (connecting together, balancing, dropping, cause and effect) and something for sensory play either indoors or outdoors.
Here are my best-buys from Timeless Toys within this age group that fulfil these key elements and make the ideal gift and toy box essential.
Lanka Kade Farm Animals.
Sold as a set of 6 or they can be individually bought. These are suitable from 10mths old.
By encouraging children to copy animal sounds we are enabling them to practice their communication skills. These animals are great paired up with favourite books and songs and places they visit. At this age they are beginning to understand that the things they see have names and are different to each other.
2. Grapat Seasonal Set
These are Waldorf designed and come in four colour choices: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter and are suitable from 12mths.
My nickname for these is 'fiddle sets' because that's exactly what they encourage. Children will be engrossed in exploring how the pieces stack and connect together. They can count and sort the pieces by shape and colour and explore how they connect together. These are great paired up with exploring outside and finding natural items in the same colours. The items also work really well with household items like the rings are particularly great paired up with a mug tree or kitchen roll holder or threaded on a big bit of ribbon. The coins can be 'posted' into holes in a box. Boundless possibilities! BUY HERE
3. Gears & Cogs Busy Bee Set
A bright & beautifully illustrated 7-gear set suitable from 12mths.
This toy is great for developing those fine motor skills and childen enjoy the cause and effect element of this toy. This puzzle is not as tricky as stacking toys with long poles, as the cogs all fit onto little pegs so this is perfect for practicing this skill. They can practice their colour matching. Children will love learning to make the cogs connect together to make them spin. BUY HERE
4. Wee'UN pikler Climbing Frame
These are designed to encourage movement and development of a child's physical boundaries, strengthening their all important (and often overlooked) vestibular system.
First designed by Hungarian paediatrician Dr Emmi Pikler, over 100 years ago based on naturally paced motor development and free self-directed movement. She observed that children who had the freedom to climb and jump to their hearts content, tended to be more physically capable, and had a greater self-awareness and understanding of their body and limitations.
5. Push Along Vehicles
Vroom, Vroom! Encourage movement and navigation around the home with push-along vehicles. Chunky push along vehicles are the perfect size and design for small hands to grasp and push.
Vehicles are also great for encouraging communication skills as children make the motor noises as they play. BUY HERE
Other popular choices in store to also consider are:
Pound and Tap Bench
Children at this age like to engage in repetitive play, making sense of the world and how it works, especially 'cause and effect' toys. Simply hammer or push the balls through the holes and watch and listen to them roll down the xylophone. All the pieces can be played with separately or together. It is an ideal gift for those aged 1-3 years and is one of our bestselling first birthday presents.
Pepe Pull Along Dog
As a nation of animal lovers, with dogs the most owned pet in the UK, it's not surprising that Pepe with his wobbly wagging tail is incredibly popular. With this age wanting to be on the move, they are attracted to toys that move too, so pull and push along toys with a string or a stick are ideal as gifts. BUY HERE
Silicone Buckets, Spades and Watering Cans
Roll them, fold them, scrunch them, pop them in your backpack, squish them under the pram. Made from 100% silicone which is derived from sand, they are environmentally friendly, reusable, super strong and you no longer have to abandon your beach items on your holidays. They will last a whole childhood and make a great present for family beach days, holidays and play park sandpits. They are simply so practical for family life, they will be appreciated as a gift all year round regardless of season or weather! BUY HERE