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Play and toys to help your child develop - 1 to 2 years old

Play and toy ideas for children aged 1 to 2 years old include:

  • Soft footballs - start by kicking a ball between you or off a wall.
  • Empty toilet or kitchen rolls - use as a pirate's telescope, a play tunnel for toys or as a microphone.
  • Simple puzzles - these are great for hand and eye coordination and problem-solving.
  • Building blocks.
  • Chunky non-toxic crayons and paper.
  • Play dough - it encourages imagination and builds finger dexterity (fine motor skills)
  • Board books with short stories (1 sentence per page).
  • Toys for pretend play, like a tea set and dressing up clothes.
  • Big-wheeled toys for pushing or pulling. These include a ride-on toy, a push walker, a dolls pram or a toy shopping trolley.
  • Simple musical instruments like a drum or xylophone.
  • Household things like a saucepan and wooden spoon for banging.
  • A 'treasure' box with things like a natural sponge, soft hairbrush or a lemon.
  • Plastic jugs and a basin for playing with sand or water. This is great for sensory play and building hand-eye coordination.
  • Play simple chase games.
  • Blowing bubbles.
  • Playing peekaboo or hide and seek around the home or outside.
  • Music that encourages your child to move.

You can also try music that encourages your child to move.

Encourage your child to help tidy up toys by putting them in a box.

Developmental milestones for children aged 1 to 2 years

Find out about how to handle screen time

Learn about different types of play

Page last reviewed: 20 April 2021
Next review due: 20 April 2024

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.