The 7 Best Toys for 18 Month Old Toddlers (to REALLY Keep Them Busy)

At 18 months old, your baby isn’t such a baby anymore. Suddenly, you look across the room and your little guy isn’t toddling anymore… he is running!

He is getting curious and into everything. It’s getting harder and harder to keep him entertained for long periods of time with his baby toys. Finding the best toys for 18 month old toddlers can be a challenge!

This can be a difficult age because toddlers are busy but aren’t great at solo play or immersed in pretend play yet.

For toddlers, you want a toy that entertains, excites, and educates. This can be a recipe for a house full of toys that lay in the toy box and clutter the closet.

Instead of spending hours at the local box store scouring the shelves in an effort to find the perfect toddler toy, keep reading for my list of the top 7 best toys that will capture your toddler’s attention and really keep him busy!

(Note: This post contains affiliate links. See affiliate disclaimer at the bottom of the page.)

Best Toys for 18 Month Old #1: Vtech Go! Go! Smart Friends Twinkle the Magical Unicorn

This Vtech Magical Unicorn toy is a crowd pleaser for sure! She’s a little loud (so parents beware), however, there is a lot of interactivity AND it coordinates with other Go! Go! Smart Friends sets. I love a toy that pairs with others, it really helps keep each toy relevant for a longer period of time.

The Vtech magical unicorn’s horn lights up and she walks which is sure to capture your little guy or gal’s attention. The small fairy that accompanies her talks and lights up as well.

I enjoyed playing with this one myself, so I know your kids will!

Click here to read more about the Vtech Go! Go! Smart Friends Twinkle the Magical Unicorn.

Best Toys for 18 Month Old #2: Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table

The Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark from Little Tikes is one of our favorite toys in the summer time. It’s a great way to keep my toddler entertained while I read a book or catch some rays nearby.

He can stay cool, splashing and playing with all the accessories, and it keeps him entertained for hours.

It’s the best of all worlds: he gets to play in the water, and I’m not worried about his safety. That alone makes it one of the best toys for an 18-month-old toddler!

FYI: The toy is a bit of a pain to put together, but once together, it is a blast.

It comes with all the accessories, water cup, and the small round squirt toys.

One of my son’s favorite toys on this is the spiral in the center. You can place the squirt toys in the top and watch it go around the track and fall into the water. He does it over and over again, giggling every time with the same enthusiasm.

Click here to read more about the Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table.

Best Toys for 18 Month Old #3: Vtech KidiBeats Drum Set

Music is a great way to keep your toddler busy. Especially making music and being loud! This Vtech KidiBeats drum set is a loud, yet effective method to keep your toddler busy for long periods of time.

My son loves to play with this toy and he loves to play the games that are programmed into it. My favorite game is a sort of “follow-the-leader” type game. In one mode of this game the drums or cymbals light up and you have to hit the lit-up area to proceed. The second mode is a pattern game, the drum cycles a song and corresponding lights in a two or three step pattern.

I like this toy because although it makes noise, it does keep him entertained. I like to think it is teaching him a little about patterns, music, and coordination.

Click here to read more about the Vtech KidiBeats Drum Set.

Best Toys for 18 Month Old #4: Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo

One of my favorites on this list is the Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo. This this is straight-up adorable! There are many different tunes and the dancing really inspires toddlers to get up and move.

Little BeatBo is a great toy to grow with your toddler as there are 3 modes for different levels of play. I also like that you can record a personal phrase and BeatBo will repeat it.

Isn’t that cute?

Click here to learn more about the Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo.

Best Toys for 18 Month Old #5: John Deere Monster Treads Deluxe Lightning Wheels Tractor

If your little one is into cars and trucks like my little guy, this John Deere Monster Treads Deluxe Lightning Wheels Tractor  just the ticket. My son lays on the floor for LONG periods of time and just watches the giant light up wheels.

It’s a simple toy and the forward and backward moving activates a light up feature within the giant wheels and the motor sounds. No glitz and glam, just good clean fun.

It’s actually amazing, I didn’t know he could sit still for that long!

Click here to read more about the John Deere Monster Treads Deluxe Lightning Wheels Tractor.

Best Toys for 18 Month Old #6: Melissa & Doug K’s Kids Take-Along Shape Sorter

I bought this Melissa & Doug K’s Kids Take-Along Shape Sorter for a road trip we were taking. I did not know it would end up being one of my son’s favorite toys!

It has been a great toy for travel, doctor’s visits, and intermittent learning time. This toy keeps him quietly entertained when I need him to be, and it gives me a good way to work/talk/watch TV/eat (enter other normal human function here) while he is learning and not stuck in front of a screen.

It has given me lots of opportunities to teach shapes and colors in short snippets of time, bonus!

Click here to read more about the Melissa & Doug K’s Kids Take-Along Shape Sorter.

Best Toys for 18 Month Old #7: Vtech Sit-to-Stand Ultimate Alphabet Train

This is the ultimate toy on our list of best toys for 18 month old toddlers and beyond. The Vtech Sit-to-Stand Ultimate Alphabet Train is big, but it does everything!

It has all the alphabet blocks and a slide for shooting the blocks into the caboose. Plus, it’s a ride-a-long, sing-a-long masterpiece designed to keep your toddler busy for many hours and many months to come.

My son has been playing with this for almost 2 years, and it’s still his go to everyday. Definitely one you’ll want to get for your toddler!

Click here to learn more about the Vtech Sit-to-Stand Ultimate Alphabet Train.

That’s all! Now go pick one for your toddler…

That’s it for my list of the best toys for 18 month old toddlers, sure to keep your little one busy. This toy list has a little bit of something for everyone, and you are guaranteed a little quiet time with any one of them!

What’s your toddler’s favorite toy to play with? Tell me in the comments!

We've put together a list of the best toys for 18 month old toddlers - ones that will entertain, excite, and educate your child - to help you avoid spending hours shopping and eventually buying toys that will just sit on the shelf. We've put together a list of the best toys for 18 month old toddlers - ones that will entertain, excite, and educate your child - to help you avoid spending hours shopping and eventually buying toys that will just sit on the shelf.

About Eric and Tiffany Matthews

We're Eric and Tiffany, the parents behind Cynical Parent. We're just normal parents who are navigating parenthood with both eyes wide open (probably because there's a kid yelling nearby). And of course, we're pretty cynical. Don't believe everything you read or hear, whether it's on the internet, or from a close family or friend (or even from us!). Every child is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Sometimes you just need to try and see for yourself. :)

2 comments

  1. Hey there!

    You did a great job with this post! I will definitely be checking out these toys for my 19-month-old, we need some new ones in our toy rotation.

    The Vtech Sit to Stand Train is a great one, we’ve had ours for 4 years and it’s still going strong 🙂

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