My gift ideas for a one year old!

Having two kids of my own AND seeing (and sometimes reviewing) the newest and hottest toys for my website, I get asked a lot for gift ideas. Sometimes at Christmas, but usually for birthdays. Especially when kids are little, a lot of family and friends of the parents get invited and they might not have kids of their own… many have NO idea what to get. I’d say I have some experience there and do know about a lot of brands and products that a lot of people have probably never heard of. So, here it goes… gift ideas for a one year old:

gift ideas for a one year old

gift ideas for a one year old

gift ideas for a one year old

The Patchwork Bear

LOVE this. You’ve probably seen or heard of the idea of taking old t-shirts and creating a memorable quilt, right? While Patchwork Bear does make quilts like that, they also make the most adorable teddy bears! You mail in baby clothes or any other special fabrics (like a blanket or nursing pillow cover, etc) and they’ll create something that will be a special keepsake forever. Giving it as a gift? Order their Gift Kit!

gift ideas for a one year old

Paper Coterie

This company creates personalized items that capture memories and they make GREAT gifts. While they don’t have something for a one-year-old to play with, a 1st birthday party is the perfect time to give a gift to the parents. They have journals to capture first moments and adorable photos, but what I recommend as a gift for a 1yo party is a Memory Keeper. It’s a large, well made box that opens like a book and you can personalize it with text and photos. Parents can fill it with special items from baby’s first year–maybe an outfit, photos, first haircut, favorite toy, birth announcement, birthday party decor items… it displays wonderfully on a bookcase or baby’s dresser.

gift ideas for a one year old


They make personalized books (among other things like t-shirts and water bottles). You submit a photo of your kid and they fill it in all over the book for something extra cute… if you don’t want to use a photo, you can just use a name, too. The photo above is actually a book I made for Rebecca. They even have a baby board book that’d be perfect for a 1st birthday gift.

gift ideas for a one year old

I See Me!

This is another one with personalized books. Instead of a photo, you just use your child’s name. We were gifted the book above when Ryan was born and I know it’s how he learned to spell his name! Each page is a different letter (with fun animals and text) and it goes through his entire name–first, middle, and last. I LOVE it and it was also Ryan’s first favorite. There are a ton more books to choose from too–ABCs, fairy tales, pirates, sports, outer space, etc. They also have board books. I bought Ryan the Super, Incredible Big Brother book when Rebecca was born and we also have Who Loves Me? that’s filled with names of family members, it’s too cute.

gift ideas for a one year old

Leap Frog

I can’t even pick just one product because they have so many I love and that are wonderful for one year olds. Browse all of them, but I’ll recommend my favorites. Both of my kids have the My Pal (Violet and Scout) and we’ve given it as a gift. ((Fisher-Price has something similar that’s also great–we have it too–the Love to Play Puppy)) One-year-olds love “in and out” so toys like jars or boxes or purses that you can fill and remove items are fun (and keep them busy)–so things like the Cook & Play Potsy (we have this!) or Shapes & Sharing Picnic Basket.

gift ideas for a one year old

Push Toys

Ryan waked at 10 months, but Rebecca didn’t walk until 14 months. Either way, gift ideas for a one year old have to include push toys! They’re great for stability and learning how to walk (and getting better at walking). Plus, they’re always full of other toys. We have the Rattle Rumble push toy from Melissa & Doug. This Chomp and Clack Alligator push toy looks fun, too, or the VTech Sit-to-Stand because it converts for floor play.

gift ideas for a one year old

Activity Tables and Blocks

If the new one-year-old doesn’t already have one of these, they’re great! The activity tables help them practice standing and supporting themselves… some of them convert for floor play, too. Activity blocks have 5 sides of fun. For activity tables, we have the Fun with Friends table from Fisher Price and the Animal Adventure table from LeapFrog. For activity blocks, we have the Anatex Deluxe mini play cube… the one by ALEX Toys looks good, too.

gift ideas for a one year old

Developmental Toys

Any toy that helps motor development is a wonderful idea. One year old kids love to explore and try things (over and over), they’re learning how to make more precise movements, handle different shapes, etc. Some ideas: a hammer and peg bench like this one from Melissa & Doug, things to stack like cups or these rings from Melissa & Doug, shape sorters (again with the “in and out” idea as well as learning fit and shapes), and chunky puzzles.

gift ideas for a one year old


Finally… you can never go wrong with books! Even if the family happens to already have a book you buy for the birthday party, doubles aren’t bad! Pages tear (or get eaten lol) and board books are always handy. We  have books up in the children’s bedrooms, in our porch, and in the basement! We LOVE the Sandra Boynton books, the personalized books (of course) that I mentioned above, the interactive books by Matthew Van Fleet, and all the classics.

Have your own favorite gift ideas for a one year old??? Let me know!!! I’m still attending lots of 1 year old birthday parties and am always on the lookout 🙂 I actually have a (cute) one-derland party next week… now to figure out which of these gifts to buy!

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