Best STEM Toys for 1 Year Olds

Bright colors are important for little ones at this age since they are easy to discern and more fun to play with. Since their hand-eye coordination is developing, make sure that their smaller toys and puzzles are easy to manipulate. 

Tip: Find products that are larger than your child’s mouth to encourage sorting, balancing, counting, comparing, and discovering cause and effect. Choose toys with simple designs and fewer pieces. A toy with more pieces may seem like it has more features, but it actually takes longer to assemble. In addition, there are fewer opportunities for your child to practice their motor skills.

Let’s look at some of the best STEM toys for 1 year olds.

Stacking toys

Blocks can be used as building blocks or as vehicles. When you stack blocks together, it helps your baby learn how objects fit together. Blocks are also useful for practicing spatial awareness.

A block tower toy with different colored blocks allows children to build towers by stacking them on top of each other. The challenge comes from figuring out how to stack the blocks correctly. It may take some trial and error before they figure it out. Once they do, they’ll have fun building higher and higher stacks.

Fisher-Price Baby’s First Blocks and Rock-a-Stack

This set includes two STEM learning toys in one. This activity is perfect for developing problem-solving, sorting, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills as your toddler dumps out the bucket, then fills it back up with pieces and matches them with holes. While having fun mouthing, flinging, stacking rings, you can teach them about colors and counting.


Puzzles are fun for both adults and kids. For younger children, puzzles can teach them how to follow directions and solve problems. 

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Jumbo Knob Wooden Puzzle

The large knobs of this sweet wooden puzzle are easy to grasp for toddlers aged 12 months and up, so they can develop their hand-eye coordination as well as shape sorting. Color-coordinated shapes under each puzzle piece help little ones develop visual perception (and give them a brain boost).

Sorting Toys

Sorting toys are perfect for helping young children practice their fine motor skills while developing logical thinking. These toys have many different compartments so your child can sort items. These toys are perfect for toddlers because they have small parts, making them easy for little hands. 

Learning Resources Babysaurs Sorting Set, Dino Toy

Playing with the Babysaurs Sorting Set from Learning Resources will help your little one learn about sorting and matching. Inside this set’s five pop-apart eggs, you’ll find a friendly triceratops, a pterodactyl, a t-rex, an apatosaurus, and more!

Toddlers can match the shapes on the bottoms of the dinos with the shapes inside the eggs, sort their new friends by cool and warm colors, and more!

Tinker Toys

These items are ideal for babies because they’re easy to hold and manipulate. You’ll find that your baby will be fascinated by the different textures and colors.

Boon PIPES 5-piece Building Bath Toy

This set of colorful pipes will make a splash at bath time. They can be suctioned to the wall of the bathtub individually or connected together. 

Engineering their own toy and discovering how water trickles through pipes will be a great experience for kids. It may be helpful to add some matching gears as well, so they can master the flow.

 Hammering & Pounding Toy by Rolimate 

This multipurpose toy is great for 1-year-olds. A wooden ball can be placed in three slots on the top of the toy. Kids will have fun hitting the balls and pushing them through holes with the included wooden hammer.

While kids adore making noise, this toy serves more than one purpose. The falling balls hit the xylophone and roll down, creating a musical melody. Additionally, you can remove this xylophone and play it separately. There are two xylophone sticks included for your child to enjoy.

Various shaped holes are incorporated into the side of this toy, allowing children to sort their blocks. Each block is shaped differently and features colorful patterns on one side and numbers on the other.