Let me let you in on a little secret: It’s hard to pick toys for children you don’t hang out with every day.
Don’t worry – you aren’t alone. Most adults have trouble picking out great toys for children. It’s even harder if you are buying for an infant – girl or boy. They can’t tell you what they want, and they are growing so fast what might be fun today might be outgrown in a week or two.
We’ve written this gift guide to help you out. Inside, we have high-quality, solid toys your young child will love. All have a high “replay” value – meaning they will be used for many months or even years of play. We’ve also included a guide to selecting age-appropriate toys in case you want to go to the store and shop on your own.
Best Toy For Infant Motor Skill Development
Whoozit Stroller & Activity Toy
This is hands-down the favorite toy for infants of either gender by the staff at Fractus Learning. Hanging from the handle of you car seat, it quickly becomes a member of your family. We named ours ‘Mr. Hands’ – other staffers had different names.
It’s a great toy for hand-eye coordination – infants love to grab and move the soft, smiling character to hear the rattle sound it makes. It’s also chewable, and strong enough to take multiple sibling punishment over the years.
If you don’t know whether your little girl has this gift already or not – go ahead and buy it. No one is upset to have two of these toys.
What We Like About The Whoozit Stroller & Activity Toy
- Will keep young children entertained for hours on end. It’s fun.
- Children love to grab, smack and chew on the many arms. This is great for building hand-eye coordination.
- Soft, durable, and washable. Your child should outgrow this before there’s any sign of wear and tear.
What We Would Change
- Some children become so attached to it, you’ll have trouble on your hands if you lose it.
- Not much value for most children over a year old.
Best Toy For Teething Babies
Nuby Teethe and Shake Rattle
Once your infant girl is over 3 years old, these teether/rattlers will become one of her favorite toys. She’ll be able to shake them to make sound, and explore the many different textures in this toy. There’s soft cloth, soft plastic and harder plastic – which is great depending on what type of day it is in her teething schedule.
They are colorful, and the perfect size for an infants small hands. Just don’t bring these out until she’s old enough to comfortably hold them – the hard plastic would hurt some if it hits her in the head.
What We Like About The Nuby Teethe and Shake Rattle
- Young children will love the colors, and love the teething capabilities more as they age.
- It excites many senses – sight, sound and touch.
- Enough chewing variety that it’ll become the go-to teething toy for your girl.
What We Would Change
- While the hard plastic is great for teething, it’ll sting if you or your child gets hit with it.
Top Toy For Developing Hand-Eye Coordination
Mega Bloks Big Building Bag
These blocks are a great gift for a child pushing the upper end of the 1 year category. Why? They really will grow with her. At this age, she’ll likely be able to put two blocks together after some effort. As the weeks and months roll on, she’ll have the opportunity to express her creativity through building and redesigning structures from these blocks.
Don’t get me wrong – 1 year old children will love this toy. But as they develop physically, they will be able to do more with the blocks. It’s a great success loop which will bring your child hours of fun.
What We Like About The Mega Bloks Big Building Bag
- High-quality construction means toy will grow your young girl for years to come.
- Challenging enough – but not too challenging – for average ten-month old and up.
- You’ll see hand-eye coordination and fine motor skill development from using this toy.
What We Would Change
- Will frustrate most children under 9 months of age.
- As with all hard plastic toys, there is possible injury risk.
Great Toy To Burn Off Energy
Playskool Sit ‘n Spin
This is a fun toy geared towards girls nearing the two year old category. Children control their speed through their own arm power, which both allows them to control the speed and burn off tons of energy. This is especially helpful when kids are cooped up inside during winter months.
This isn’t a new toy – I played and loved one of these as a child myself. They last for many years, and kids will play with them from the pre-2 age all the way up to 6-7 years old.
What We Like About The Playskool Sit ‘n Spin
- Self-propelled nature of toy both builds up muscle development and helps to burn off energy.
- While relatively easy to use, there is some skill needed to spin fast. This helps to keep the replay value high.
- In simplest terms: Most kids think it’s really fun to spin.
What We Would Change
- Really only approriate for children who can move about on their own – so more for 18 month and up.
- Not every child likes to get dizzy.
How To Choose Age-Appropriate Toys For Infant Girls
The song “Shake Rattle and Roll” comes to mind to describe the best toys for your infant daughter. As a newborn and infant of 6 months to a 1-year old, your daughter likes to explore with her five senses. If she can suck it, feel it with her fingers, see the contrast in color or if it rattles, you have chosen a great gift for your infant girl.
Babies love to look at your face; entertain them with different facial expressions. Her face is just as fascinating to her. She’ll stare at herself if you provide her with an unbreakable baby mirror (By the way, your son will delight as much in a baby mirror as your daughter at this young age).
From eight months onward, your baby girl is ready for experimenting with various shapes and sizes.
What Developmental Skills Are Nurtured By Great Toys
While every toy is different, all good toys help to satisfy some developmental needs for your child. These needs vary depending on the physical and mental maturity of your child.
When we created this list of the Best Toys for Infant Girls, we first looked at what skills are the most pressing at the various stages—from a newborn to 12-month old. We then looked for toys that help build those abilities while still being fun.
Here’s a list of skills we think are important for your baby girl. Our toys will help develop and nurture these skills.
During the first few months, she explores her surroundings with her senses. Before she starts sticking everything into her mouth, she will stare and listen. Her eyes and ears are the first senses she develops. Toys with textures, sounds, color contrasts, and that are safe to stick into her mouth will help stimulate the five senses.
Motor Skill Development
Infants develop gross motor skill control during the first couple of years of their life. As a newborn, they have no control over their bodies. Then they learn to lie on their tummies, to crawl and take their first step after 12 months.
Toys that require a child to use their bodies to move and grab objects are the most helpful in developing the gross motor skills and later the finer motor skills.
Babies have no idea where their hands and feet are or how it relates to their body and the environment. Initially they explore with eye movements before they discover their hands and feet and its use. Younger infants need larger toys to help build this skill.
At three-to-four months your little girl will have endless fun swiping at things. Hanging toys of different shapes, sizes, and texture will help develop hand-eye coordination. The effect when she accidentally connects with a toy, a sound, for example, will motivate her to try harder and develop better hand-eye coordination.
When older, she’ll want to grab the toy. Her coordination is still developing and lack of control results in banging the toy against her crib, her head or anything within reach. Toys like soft toys won’t hurt her while she is learning control of her hand movements.
6 Toy Qualities To Consider When Out Shopping For Your Gift
When toy shopping for your baby girl, safety is one of the most important qualities to consider. Newborns are curious and explore mostly through their mouth. Therefore, the size of the toy is important. Also, make sure the toy doesn’t break up into pieces that she can accidentally swallow.
She may seem weak, but despite her almost non-existent motor control skills she is surprisingly strong. She will pull anything she can onto her head or bang it against her head. Make sure the toy is soft or light.
Some toys may be harmless at one developing stage but could become a hazard as the child develops. Crib mobiles, for example, should be kept out of reach of the child. Remove it when the child starts moving and lifting herself. She can accidentally entangle herself in the mobile and hurt herself badly.
Infants lack any fine motor control skills, and so they knock over things ALL THE TIME! Any toy you buy will take a beating— being dropped or chewed on. Durability becomes important when choosing toys during this banging stage. Her hand-eye coordination isn’t fully developed yet, and she can hit herself accidentally with her toy—hopefully, a soft toy.
Your little girl is never too young to be challenged by a toy. She can’t fetch her toys yet, so she relies totally on your choice of toys. The toys you choose to challenge her will play an important role in how she develops age-appropriate skills.
Initially, everything will delight her, but she can get bored with too easy a challenge. She’ll also discard a too advanced toy. Pick different toys that both reward and push her horizons.
Toys that help her develops skills should be fun too. Even at a young age, she can be picky about the kind of toys she prefers.
Different shapes and sizes of the same kind of toy will bring endless fun and challenge to your child.
While an infant will move on to new toys by the time they are two, she will play hard with them during playtime. As she develops hand-eye coordination and motor skill control, she will discover new ways to play with toys.
Unless you are looking to pass the toys on to future children, the toys don’t have to last forever.
Warranty and Warning Labels
Although the warranty should be checked before purchasing the toy, don’t ignore the safety warning labels. Manufacturers place warning labels on toys because it could be harmful at a certain age. These age-appropriate warnings are there to protect your baby girl. She’s at the stage that discovery means putting it into her mouth. If it’s small enough, she can swallow it and harm her intestines. Avoid buying toys that she’s not ready for. Be patient; she will soon be old enough to enjoy the toy.
Frequently Asked Questions About Toys for One-Year-Old Girls
Are the toys safe for a one-year-old girl?
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has safety guidelines for all toys for girls and boys under the age of twelve-years-old. Manufacturers follow these guidelines when designing and producing toys for children.
Babies, toddlers, and young kids grow and develop quickly with new milestones each year. One way your one-year-old infant discovers and experiences her environment is to put objects into her mouth. She will stick anything small enough into her mouth. Therefore, toys for one-year-old girls and boys generally won’t have small pieces or loose parts that may become a choking hazard.
Although manufacturers do their utmost to produce safe toys for your baby girl, infants and toddlers should be supervised. Parents should keep an eye on their one-year-old. Playing with her is one way of ensuring her safety and bonding with your little girl simultaneously.
How can I, as a parent, ensure my little girl plays with safe toys?
As mentioned above, the manufacturer needs to follow safety guidelines. They also indicate on the toy package the recommended age for the toy and if there are safety precautions. Toys for specific age groups are designed with the safety precautions required for that age. Toys for older children may have small parts, but toys for toddlers and infants won’t because it is a choking hazard.
The materials the toys are made of should be non-toxic material. Manufactures indicate on their websites the specifications of the toy. The toy packages contain information about the safety tests the manufacturers did, whether they used non-toxic and fire-retardant materials when making the toys.
Product reviews written by parents will often mention aspects of the toy that could help a potential buyer. The age recommendation for a toy, for example, could be for a one-year-old girl, but parents who purchased the toy experienced it too complicated for a one-year-old; the toy would be better suited for a three-year-old girl. These reviews may also set your mind at ease when they confirm the manufacturer’s claims of safety and durability.
Consider the size and design of the toy. The toy shouldn’t have any sharp pointy pieces that may injure your baby girl. The sides and edges of toys should be rounded to avoid injuries. Toys should be a comfortable size for your one-year-old to grasp and hold onto. It shouldn’t be too big or bulky that she drops the toy and injuring herself. If it is the kind of toy that she can throw or bang against her head, it should be made from soft materials that won’t hurt her. Generally, toys for toddlers don’t contain small pieces that may be a choking hazard. It’s best practice to inspect the toy before you give the toy to your little girl.
Is the recommended age for these toys limited to one-year-old?
Most of the toys designed for an infant are open-ended toys that your baby girl could play with up to the age of three. The Nuby Teethe and Shake Rattle and Mega Bloks Big Building Bag are great examples of open-ended toys. The rattle will help your one-year-old girl during her teething stage. She may also enjoy hours of noisy fun when shaking the rattle. As a toddler, she will create structures with the same building blocks she pushed together as a one-year-old baby.
Infants younger and older could play with toys recommended for one-year-old children. It depends on the milestones the specific girl or boy has reached. Toys that fall in older age groups may be too challenging for a little one. They won’t benefit the full potential of the toy because they don’t understand how the toy works. There’s nothing wrong with your girl playing with toys recommended for babies. If she is having fun, why not. Toys meant for younger kids, however, may bore her, and she’ll soon discard it for a more advanced toy that challenges her.
Are these toys only for girls, or can boys play with toys for one-year-old girls?
The toys in the list and on the market for a one-year-old girl aren’t necessarily gendered specific. Most of these toys may entertain a one-year-old infant boy as it would a little girl. A useful guide for choosing a toy for a one-year-old girl or boy is to consider which type of toys the child prefers within their recommended age.
Most toys that feature in one color are available in other colors too. Generally, boys would prefer more vibrant colors than the soft pink colored toys. Toys are seldom manufactured in only one color. Some kids prefer toys in vibrant colors, while others like the softer toned colors. Manufacturers consider the preferences of children and parents and offer toys in various tones. Some toys need to blend in with the bedroom or playroom décor.
How do I encourage imaginative play in my one-year-old girl?
Infants and toddlers like to express how they perceive their environment. Toys can foster imaginative play in your one-year-old daughter, which is a tool for her to show her comprehension of the world.
She likes to mimic mommy and daddy. Imaginative toys like play phones, keys, and toy food may entertain her as she pretends to replicate mommy and daddy’s actions. The toy replicas of adult objects strengthen her perception of the world and help her grow her vocabulary too.
Imaginative toys teach your one-year-old child from a young age the ability to express herself. Dolls, stuffed animals, dress-up clothes, toy food, toy appliances, and play structures are some of the best toys for one-year-old girls that enhance imaginative play.