I'm starting to think about pounding and hammering toys for Otto (nine months) and I'm also starting to get some ideas for his first birthday! We have the Hammer Game with Balls (#3), c/o Manine Montessori). A few of my Montessori friends have used the Plan Toys Miracle Pounding toy (#5) and have recommended it to us. Otis used the Melissa and Doug Pound and Roll Tower (#9) in his Montessori toddler class and loved it so much we got it at home, he used it for almost a year, it was so worth the money. I'm also loving the look of Goki Hammer Ball Track (#7) and the Plan Toys Pounding Toy (#8). My boys have used the ball pounding toys more than their peg hammering toys but it's still something I'm considering for Otto.
The benefits of hammering and pounding toys include hand-eye coordination, building arm strength, concentration and focus. We've found them a lot of fun too. Some of these (#1, #4 and #6) also assist with understanding object permanence.
9. Melissa and Doug Deluxe Pound and Roll Wooden Tower (Australia here)
Let me know if any of these are your children's favourite!