Toys for 18-Month-Olds (Mostly under $50)

By this age, your baby has transitioned from infant to toddler. Toddlers learn best through exploration of their natural environment. So, teachers, caregivers, and parents can support learning by providing activities and toys for 18-month-olds that promote development.

Toddlers develop balance and coordination while playing. Toys that require standing or riding foster gross motor. Toddlers can also work on fine motor skills. Chunky pieces of puzzles and stackers help build grip-strength and hand-eye coordination. Moreover, somewhere around 18 to 24 months, toddlers start to transition into the preoperational stage of cognitive development. This is when they begin to use their imaginations to think symbolically and engage in pretend play.

Thus, good toys for 18-month-olds encourage imaginative play to support the transition to symbolic thinking.

1. Rainbow Stacker Classic Toy by Melissa and Doug

Image Source: Melissa and Doug

Rainbow Stacker Classic Toy by Melissa and Doug is a classic childhood toy. The eight colorful pieces stack neatly on the solid wood base. Also, the pieces are smooth and just the right size for little hands to grasp. So, gripping and stacking the rings on the central base helps straighten your toddler’s hand-eye coordination. Also, stacking the different sized rings is a great way for baby to develop visual-spacial awareness. Plus, they can learn about concepts like bigger and smaller.

Why We Recommend:

  • Classic childhood toy
  • Solid wood base and rings
  • Easy grip wooden pieces fit little hands
  • Eight pieces in vibrant colors
  • Promotes motor development
  • And promotes cognitive development

2. Tap & Pound Hammer Bench by Melissa and Doug

Tap & Pound Hammer Bench by Melissa and Doug has eight colorful pegs and a wooden mallet to delight your toddler. Workbenches like this one make great toys for 18-month-olds because they provide a satisfying tactile experience. Also, with each pound moves the peg a little further demonstrating cause-and-effect. So, your child can experience a combination of visual and tactile feedback. This toy comes with a colorful wooden bench with 8 pegs and a mallet to pound the pegs through the holes. Pounding at the bench promotes focus, concentration, motor skills, and hand-eye coordination.

Why We Recommend:

  • A tactile exploration experience
  • Promotes hand grip and hand-eye coordination
  • Encourages concentration and imaginative play
  • Demonstrates cause-and-effect
  • Includes bench, 8 pegs (ROYGBIV), wooden mallet
  • and made with high-quality materials for lasting durability and safety

3. Cute Dinosaur Chunky Wooden Puzzle by Melissa and Doug

This Cute Dinosaur Chunky Wooden Puzzle has easy-hold, colorful, solid wood pieces. This a simple educational and learning toy for 18-month-olds. This puzzle has colorful pieces featuring 7 different dinosaurs. The chunky shapes make it easy for little hands to grip. This toy is handcrafted from durable and sustainable wood. The pieces have smooth edges and non-toxic paint for a safe play experience. This dinosaur puzzle is a fun way to help your little one develop pattern recognition, problem-solving, and other educational skills.

Why We Recommend:

  • Supports pattern recognition and problem-solving
  • Constructed with smooth edges and non-toxic paints
  • Promote motor skills with easy-grip pieces
  • Durable wood construction
  • And a beautiful design

4. Snappy Sticks by EduShape

Image Source: EduShape

Snappy Sticks by EduShape snap together in various ways to construct free-form works of art. Kids can transform Snappy Sticks into animals, buildings, or anything they can imagine. These make great toys for 18-month-olds because they provide auditory and tactile stimulation. They also promote motor and cognitive development. Kids love hearing the satisfying snap and the pieces connect together. Open-ended, hands-on play with the Snappy Sticks promotes color matching, thinking skills, visual development, hand-eye coordination, and grip strength. This product is made from durable plastic and exceeds safety standards.

Why We Recommend:

  • Open, hands-on play promotes creativity and imagination
  • Promotes cognitive skills – color matching and visual thinking
  • Works motor skills – hand-eye coordination and grip strength
  • Tactile and auditory stimulation
  • Made with durable plastic
  • And exceeds toy safety standards

5. Mirari Zig-Zag Xylo Train by Play Monster

Image Source: Play Monster

Your 18-month-old will love making music and pulling the Mirari Zig-Zag Xylo Train by Play Monster. This pull-along train is topped with six musical keys and folds up into a xylophone toy. Children can tap the keys with a mallet or pull the train along. This toy increases motor skills by encouraging walking while pulling the train and promoting griping and tapping the notes. Toddlers will enjoy the sensory experience of colors, vibrations, and sounds. This toy provides the opportunity for self-expression through music.

Why We Recommend:

  • Promotes gross motor development of walking
  • Tapping with a mallet works hand strength and hand-eye coordination
  • Provides a sensory experience of colors, vibrations, and sounds
  • Promotes emotional development with self-expression through music
  • Innovative design combining pull along train and xylophone
  • Also made with high-quality materials and design

6. DUPLO My First Bricks by LEGO

Image Source: LEGO

DUPLO My First Bricks is a great first set of DUPLO toys for 18-month-olds. Designing, constructing, and playing with DUPLOs promotes open-ended, creative play. These brightly colored blocks snap together in a satisfying way proving sensory simulation and practice with fine motor skills. Moreover, DUPLOs promote hand-eye coordination, spacial awareness, and creativity. Some of these colorful blocks have double-sided images and a propeller for inspiration. Your child can build anything imaginable—a plane, a boat, a duck, or a little house. Also, DUPLO bricks are specially designed to be fun and safe for little hands.

Why We Recommend:

  • Promotes motor skills
  • Works hand-eye coordination and visual skills
  • Encourages creativity with open-play for imaginative designs
  • Brightly colored bricks snap together with sensory stimulation
  • A great starter set to introduce toddlers to DUPLO
  • Also, it’s designed to be safe for little ones

7. Solid Drum by Plan Toys

Image Source: Plan Toys

This solid wood drum by Plan Toys provides a nice tonal sound. Plus, the rubber head on the mallet softens the sounds so your 18-month-old can enjoy the fun of banging a drum. Using the drumstick helps develop spacial perception, arm muscles, and auditory nerves. Plan Toys uses sustainable and safe manufacturing process. Also, the toys are made from rubber wood and water-based dyes so they are safe for baby and the Earth.

Why We Recommend:

  • Develop spacial perception, arm muscles, and auditory nerves
  • Promotes emotional expression through music
  • Produces a pleasant tone
  • Rubber mallet head softens the sound
  • Made from natural rubber wood and water-based dyes
  • Also sustainable production practices

8. Sit ‘N Spin by Playskool

Image Source: Hasbro

Playskool Play Favorites Sit ’N Spin Toy is an updated version of a classic toy that uses improved technology to move more easily and can spin fast or slow. Your 18-month-old will love the whirling, twirling fun. This toy promotes balance and coordination. Moreover, playing on the Sit ’N Spin works arm strength, balance, and coordination. Also, this is a great toy to encourage gross motor development and active play.

Why We Recommend:

  • Classic childhood toy
  • Encourages active play
  • Promotes motor skills, arm strength, balance, and coordination
  • Comes with base, center post, turn handle, and instructions
  • Durable plastic construction
  • Also, it spins easily and smoothly

9. Go Grippers Bounce ‘N Zoom Speedway by Oball

Image Source: Kids II

Cars bounce, zoom, and get lifted with a giant claw on the Oball Go Grippers Bounce ‘N Zoom Speedway! This speedway offers an imaginative through play with cars. Also, a giant claw lifts the Oball vehicle to the ramp where it tumbles and crashes onto the Super Bounce Pad. Plus there are multiple ramps to keep playtime exciting as cars roll a different direction each time.

Why We Recommend:

  • Grows with your toddler
  • Encourages fine and gross motor skills
  • A tactile toy with easy-grasp pieces
  • Fosters social development through imaginative play
  • Easy setup
  • Also easy clean with a damp cloth

10. Deluxe Activity Cube by KidKraft

Image Source: KidKraft

KidKraft Deluxe Activity Cube has five sides of colorful fun. Each panel offers different activities to sharpen motor skills and learn about colors, shapes, letters, and numbers. So, the top of the cube features three different colored wire bead tracks. Also, along one side, your child can move various colorful shapes through a groove track. There is also a flippable letters A-Z spin on a bar with a picture on the back depicting something that starts with that letter. Kids will also delight in the gear crank and counting beads. This toy is made of durable wood and will last for years to come.

Why We Recommend:

  • Sharpens fine motor skills
  • Also Encourages exploration
  • Shows colors, numbers, letters, and shapes
  • Crafted with high-quality materials
  • Also ideal for homes, daycares, and preschools

11. WheelyBUG Ladybug by Prince Lionheart

Image Source: Prince Lionheart

WheelyBUG is an award-winning toy for the littlest riders. This foot-powered ride-on toy has 4 multi-directional wheels. This Ladybug fosters gross motor skills such as muscle growth, coordination, and balance. Also, the low seat and wide base make it easy for your 18-month-old to mount and ride. The fun Ladybug design encourages imaginative and active play. Moreover, the WheelyBUG is ideal for smooth indoor floors. The multi-directional casters can turn 360 degrees. Also, it comes in two sizes—size small is recommended for typical 18-month-olds.

Why We Recommend:

  • Promotes imaginative and active play
  • Also promotes gross motor development
  • 4 Multi-directional casters go backwards, forwards, sideways, and round and round
  • Cushioned body can be wiped clean
  • Also, it’s made from renewable timber

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