Best Toys For a 1-Year-Old Birthday

1 year old birthday gift ideas

As a mom of three, we’ve tried out our fair share of 1-year-old gifts in this house. My third just had his first birthday, and I was recently shopping for my nephew’s first birthday and thought I would put together a little guide of some of my favorite gifts for that 1-year-old age. If you’ve been scratching your head trying to find the perfect present for a little one’s first big birthday milestone, you’re in luck! Because in this post I’m diving into my ultimate “1-Year-Old Gift Guide” to help you choose gifts that are not only fun but also engaging and great for development. Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, or friend, I have got you covered.

Ride On/Push Toys

Around the time they are learning to walk, push toys are super great for this age. You can’t opt for something indoor or outdoor, depedning on your space.

Toddler Bike – We got this bike for my daughter when she was about 15 months old, and she uses it a ton. It’s a great segue into balance bikes.

Wooden Cargo Walker—This is a perfect first birthday present. The rubber wheels don’t go too fast on hardwood, and the weight is heavy enough that they can pull themselves to standing without falling over (my personal experience with past push walkers). The big bonus is that it’s a fun cargo cart, so even my 3-year-old and 5-year-old use this. It’s truly a gift that’ll grow with the child.

Scoot and Ride – This is a ride-on toy than then turns into a scooter. A fun grow-with-me toy, so you get two toys in one.

Bee Ride-On Toy – A classic ride-on toy. My son got this for his 1st birthday and used it endlessly and so did my second when she was the right age.

Cozy Coupe Car– Another classic that it’s hard to go wrong with.

Push Trikes

Assisted 4-in-1 Tricycle: If you’re looking for something that’s really special, this 4-in-1 trike will grow with the kid for years. The Infant Trike for children 10-36 months, then the Guided Trike for children 18-36 months, then it goes to a Training Trike for children 24-36 months, and finally a Balance Bike for children 2-5 years old.

Kids Push Car is not a trike, but this car is a classic for a reason.

Ball Drop Toys

Ball drop games are tons of fun for this age. There are tons of options out there. The Playkidz Pound A Ball comes with a little mallet to hit the ball and watch it fall down the run. And this Wooden Ball Drop is the same idea with a more classic look. Other drop toys work great at this age too like this disc drop house.

Dump Trucks and Push Vehicles

Dump trucks and push vehicles are always a win around this age. Just at 1 they’ll start enjoying to push them around, and as they get older they’ll use them even more in imaginary play. Great for indoors and outdoors. This Excavator Truck is the perfect size, not too big or to small, and there are similar options at this listing for other kinds of trucks. Green Toys makes a Dump Truck that’s sure to be a quick favorite.

Stacking Toys

Stacking cups are always a fun toy right at that one-year mark. And they are versatile too because they can be used in the tub or with your water tables.

Chunky Puzzles and Activity Boards

Wooden Sound Puzzle– Melissa and Doug make a few sound wood puzzles and my kids have always loved them. Great first puzzles.

Wooden Activity Board – This board has various locks with doors for the kids to open.

Toddler Busy Board – This one is really great for the little ages. As they get older, you can look for ones with buckles and more advanced tasks.

Buckle Toy – We have a buckle toy from our Lovevery kits that my kids have used for hours on end. This is a great option, a perfect fine motor activity and let’s them practice the various buckling skills over and over.

Barn Toys

I am not sure what it is about barn animals that have such a chokehold on little kids, but here we are lol. The Melissa and Doug Wooden Activity Barn is a classic little barn with different latch openings to put the animals in and out. I love that all the animals can be stored right inside. I’m also a big fan of the Fold and Go Wooden Barn which is more of a classic barn but it folds open to play and then easily folds closed to store. I’m forever appreciative of toys that are easy to store.

Of course, the Little People Farm is another classic. Especially if you know that family already has some Little People sets.

Shape Sorter

Shape sorters are SO fun, but make sure to get them in the right order for the age. I find not all shape sorters are created equal. A lot of the cheaper off-brand ones are near IMPOSSIBLE to get the shape to match the hole. Stick with name brands when getting a shape sorter, like Fat Brain Toys, Fischer Price, and Melissa & Doug.

InnyBin Sensory Shape Sorter – And awesome first shape sorter. It introduces kids to the idea of putting the shapes in without them having to be able to perfectly match the shapes just yet. It uses stretchy bands with varying difficulty. A perfect shape sorter for 12-18 months.

When the child is ready to move on to actually sorting shapes I love this Classic Shape Sorter. Unlike many others available, all the shapes are on the top of the bucket. For those just leanring to sort shapes, the idea that they’ll look all around an entire shape sorter box is a little advanced. This is the perfect next sorter to add.

Shape Matching Eggs – More advanced then a shape sorter box, this is a classic toy all my kids enjoyed around 18months+

Bubbles and Bath Toys

Fubbles Bubble Machine – Every kid is delighted by a bubble machine, it’s just science.

Foam Magic Mirror Shapes– Mirrors in the bath are a ton of fun and very easy clean up. These just stick right to the tub when you’re using them.

Yookidoo Bath Toys – Specifically the Submarine Spray is so fun. I’ve noticed all my kids’ favorite thing about the tub is the water coming out of the faucet. So it’s always a bummer when the water turns off. I’ve spent hours (like hours….) trying to find the perfect continous running facuet toy to use in the tub and this is the best one I’ve found as far as quality and reviews.

The Best Books

Soft Activity Baby Book – What Should Wear? – Activity books have little tasks for the kids to do inside them. I love them because a 1-year-old and 4-year-old can equally enjoy these.

Poke-a-dot books are some of our favorites for the 1-year-old.

Soft Baby Photo Book – This is a clip-on book that allows you to add your own photos. It’s SO fun to add pictures of family and friends as kids start to recognize different families.

Custom Board Book– Another option is get a custom board book of the kids’ family. We got one for my son at 1 and he has read it more than another other book.

Sound books. There are more than I could list, but books that require the child it touch or press something to hear a sound is very engaging at this age. I personally look for the ones that have the buttons ON the pages and not the ones that have the buttons on the stick-out side panel. This encourages the child to open the book and flip through the pages. It’s a really great way for them to learn how to hold a book and turn through the pages. My favorites are:

Pretend Play

Baby Stella– My daughter showed her first interest in baby dolls around 13-18 months. We got her a her Baby Stella around 20 months and it’s still one of her favorite toys at 3 years old.

Wooden Musical Llama—This is a fun musical instrument to play. I appreciate that, unlike a lot of other musical instruments, it doesn’t have 100 pieces.

Play Cooking Supplies – Play cooking is something all my kids started to do around the time they could pull to stand. I love this set because it just comes with the pots and pans and not 40 extra little cheap plastic foods you’re just going to lose. This is the exact set we’ve had in our play kitchen for 3 years now and it’s still good as new. This wooden set is another really nice option.

Outdoor Toys

Little Tikes Slide – A classic that’s hard to beat.

Roller Coaster Toy – I’ve always found this to be a super fun toy. My kids have used and loved it a lot. Personally, we don’t have anywhere good to store/keep this. But if you know someone who does its always a hit.

Water Table – A water table is basically a go-to. I’ve tried a handful and can’t say there is really ONE that’s the best. Going for a classic plastic one is easiest to keep clean. The one linked here is a pretty classic favorite from most kids. I like that it has some features but not TOO many bells and whistles that won’t get used. A few other contenders would be this one, which has 2 tiers and a built-in sprinkler, or you can also opt for a more classic, plain sensory table that can be used with both water and other sensory play as they grow (like sand, water beads etc.)

Practical Gifts

Don’t shy away from practical gifts. Especially if you’re gifting to a child that isn’t yours (trust me the parents will thank you!) I’ve found 90% of the time my kids get equally excited over a new pair of slippers or cool water bottle as they do about a toy.

Waterproof Picnic Blanket – We get SO much use out of ours.

Toddler Slippers – Kids love getting slippers and it’s a great thing they’ll actually use.

Waterproof Jacket – We’ve been gifted nice rain jackets, nice sherpas, etc. from family and it’s always great because it is nice to get a practical gift you get a lot of use from.

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I'm Kallie!

Also known as That Practical Mom

I’m all about helping you simplify the chaos of life so you can slow down and enjoy it.

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