Something about a first birthday is just the best, am I right? Maybe you’re the proud parents in search of first birthday gift ideas for your son or daughter. Or maybe you are getting ready to help a little one in your life celebrate their first birthday and you want to find the perfect gift? Either way, we’ve got all the first birthday gift ideas you’ll need right here.
First birthdays are a big deal. It’s a huge milestone for the baby, but also for those parents! I remember my husband and I turning to each other and toasting the fact that we kept our daughter alive for an entire year. But what birthday celebration is complete without the perfect gift?
You want to make sure you have first birthday gift ideas that will be enjoyed for months (or years!) to come. Whether you want to go the toy route, the clothing route, books, or something else entirely, let’s find the perfect first birthday gift for the little in your life.
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1st Birthday Gifts Ideas
Toys for a One Year Old
When thinking about what toy to get for your one year old, I first suggest taking some time observe them and brainstorm. Think about what they love to do, what really makes them tick? Do they love to be outside? Are they really into farm animals or dogs? Do they love experimenting with sound and shaking? Are they starting to show an interest in fine motor activities like stacking?
Another good place to start? What toys or activities do they gravitate towards time and time again when they are spending time at a friends’ house, daycare, library or other play space?
My last piece of advice? Think about toys that will provide open-ended play and fun or are considered a “classic toy”. I’ve often found that toys (with a few exceptions) that just make noise when you push a button, are fun for the first few days but wear off quickly. Whereas toys that are more open-ended are revisited again and again.
I don’t know what it is about this toy, but my daughter has been consistently playing with this toy from about 10 months old until now (2 years old) with no sign of stopping!
This set of blocks are high quality and really piqued the interest of my one-year-old. She spent countless hours manipulating the various sounds each block made, figured out how they worked, stacked, knocked over and more. Sure to be loved!
When your little one gets to about 12 to 13 months of age, they will start to have a curiosity in manipulating objects. Blocks such as these are great in allowing your baby to get some hands on experience with how things work. While your little one may not be building things with them right away, you can expect them to pick them up, observe them, and maybe even chuck them around the room. They may even play a simple game of “here you go” with you or a sibling by picking up blocks and bringing them over.
Colored blocks and blocks of all shapes and sizes are great for your baby to experiment with different types of objects. If you have older siblings at home, these can also serve a great purpose for them too as they can help them lead younger sibling in a proper game of blocks.
Every little one just loves a pretend kitchen! Nothing gets their imagination going like this! It’s the perfect first birthday gift idea because it will be enjoyed for literally years to come. My one year old was a later walker (14.5 months!), but at 12 months loved using her kitchen to pull and stand at.
What pretend kitchen would be complete without a food set? I love this food set because even without a kitchen it’s a fun motor skill activity, and works for pretend play. Your little one will love practice cutting with the wood knife and cutting board. Even just pulling apart and putting the Velcro food pieces back together is entertaining when you’re 12 months old. Another toy that will be enjoyed for years.
As you may or may not know, animal sounds are quite popular among 1 year olds. Indulge this early love of animals and way to communicate with realistic farm figurines. We decided to invest in high quality, realistic animals and sure enough N is still playing with them daily more than a year later.
Go the whole nine yards and get those farm animals a home! We love our Melissa and Doug wooden barn for lots of imaginary play. The little shelves are also a great fine motor skill activity your 1 year old will love. Putting the animals in, taking them out, and closing the door will all be fun for them!
Lastly, don’t forget to play a friendly game of name that animal. You can do this by pointing to different animals and making that animal’s sound. By doing so your little one will learn about the different types of creatures and how they communicate. This communication is key in the building blocks of allowing your baby to understand the world around them.
There’s a reason you see these in every pediatrician office 🙂 Little ones love them! They will keep their interest time and time again as they learn and explore different aspects of this activity cube.
1 year olds and beginner walkers love the challenge of any pull along toy. We especially love this pull along snail because the snail’s “shell” comes off and doubles as a shape sorting puzzle.
Music Themed Gifts for 1 Year Olds
Yet another awesome first birthday gift idea that will be loved for years to come! Every one year old loves to shake, strum, bang and explore with music. And as they get older the love continues to grow!
We’ve also found that giving our 1 year old real and/or high quality “play” instruments has really fostered a love and appreciation for music. Why not give the one year old in your life a real instrument like a Ukulele or percussion drum?
A full set to get the little one started with their own band!
Drum, drum, drum away! Any child that likes to bang will love this. And the large drum acts as storage for the other percussion instruments included.
This is a great toy that will allow your little one to build their hand eye coordination skills. By grabbing different pieces and then banging them with one another, your little one gets a sense of the different noises that happened when different objects collide. Additionally, this is a great toy for helping your little one develop an understanding of cause and effect. With enough practice and play, you can even get into the routine of letting your baby know that when it is time to listen up, a simple bang of the toys all that is needed.
This is an affordable ukulele that many of our friends have and love. It’s a real instrument that sounds beautiful, but isn’t so expensive that you’d mind your little one banging it around a bit.
Oh boy. One of N’s friends has this at her house and it is SUCH a favorite that it will surely be joining our collection of instruments in the near future…
Inexpensive but an all time favorite of every baby and toddler I know. Shaker eggs never get old 🙂
A classic kid’s toy! And this version is beautifully crafted and sounds amazing to boot.
Clothing Ideas for a One Year Old Birthday Gift
Another route you can take with your one year old birthday gift is clothing/outdoor gear. Some of this will depend on the time of year of the birthday. But I do think seasonal clothing, outdoor gear, and even just a cute outfit is always loved and appreciated.
Some stand out ideas for a one year old winter birthday?
- Toddler Mittens that will actually stay on and keep snow out
- Baby Bogs boots that will keep their feet dry and warm in the snow
- Fleece Hooded Jumpsuit for girls or boys
Stand out clothing ideas for one year old summer birthdays?
And you can never go wrong with a cute outfit, cozy jammies, or comfy play clothes like some of these.
Book Ideas for a One Year Old Birthday Gift
My one year old was all about books with lots of real life pictures, or books that she could interact with. Think lift a flap and sensory pages. Here are some PERFECT books for the birthday baby:.
Other One Year Old Birthday Gift Ideas
Award Winning Toys for 1 Year Olds
When I’m choosing a toy for my child, a great place to start is with award winning toys. I especially love Oppenheim’s Toy Portfolio “Best Toy Awards” for 2017 and 2018. Here are a few of their Gold Seal Awarded toys for 1 to 2 year olds that I also totally love.
Toys for 1 Year Old Boys
I always like to put a note that I’m not big on adhering to gender norms. I would buy many of these gifts for my daughter! But for the purposes of organization I’ve included these categories. But don’t feel like they are here to exclude or that you couldn’t get it for the other gender 🙂
Gift Ideas for 1 Year Old Girl
Happy First Birthday, Baby!
There are so many great toys that you can purchase for your little one on their first birthday. Your little one is sure to love whatever it is that is on this list. For the most part, whatever age range you shop for (as long as it is within the infantile to toddler range), your little one is sure to make use out of it and have plenty of fun learning and growing with it. Toys can be a great source of understanding the world in which they live. The best part is you do not have to invest a lot of money and purchase a new toy for them. Gently used toys and even hand me downs are great options to go with if you are looking to save some money. After all, your little one is sure not to know the difference.
Of course, along with your purchase, what matters is that when it comes time to play, you take the time and interact with your little one as he or she interacts with their toys. When you do this, you become the greatest advocate for allowing your baby to have proper motor skill development.
With this guide, you have tons of great 1 year old gift ideas! There’s something here that will surely delight your little one.
We hope you have the best time celebrating that special baby’s first year of life and that you can rest assured they will love your gift for months (or years) to come.
Have another suggestion to add to the list? Feel free to leave a comment below!
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