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The Best Gifts for One Year Olds or a First Birthday

Updated on November 21, 2011
Find help with first birthday gift idea or one year old toys.
Find help with first birthday gift idea or one year old toys.

First birthdays are causes for big celebrations. One year olds are entering a new phase in their development- outgrowing their first toys, toddling around, and developing some vocabulary. One year olds need toys that encourage their development and spark their creativity. The best toys are ones that are entertaining while stimulating development. Important concepts for toddlers to explore are cause and effect, sorting objects, and pretend play. If you’re searching for the perfect gift for a birthday or holiday, I’ve included some good ideas for first birthday presents.


Blocks are classic toys for one year olds for a reason. Babies respond to bright, colorful objects, and blocks inspire all types of creative play. Blocks can be sorted, stacked, knocked down, or emptied in and out of a bucket. Interact with your baby while playing with blocks, showing them how to build buildings or creating towers they can knock down. Playing with blocks help babies develop fine motor skills as well as shape and color recognition. Wood blocks are great options, especially if you are looking for non-toxic, all-natural toys. Many good block sets come with containers, making toy storage easier.

Gifts for One Year Olds - Blocks

Developmental Toys

Toys that grow with your baby and increase coordination are also great gifts for one year olds. My daughter got the Fisher Price Learning Home for her first birthday, and she loves it. She loves crawling in and out of the door, listening to tunes on the radio, and opening and closing the mailbox. I definitely see potential for her to continue to use this toy as she grows- the clock can help her understand time, the address will help her learn numbers, and when she’s older, she can play house with it.

My daughter also loves her ride-on horse. She presses the button over and over again to hear the music and horse sounds, and she scoots around the whole house on this toy. Ride on toys help build balance and strengthen developing leg muscles.

A tricycle that grows with a baby is another great gift. I’m a huge fan of items that have multiple uses. A tricycle with a handle that adults can push babies in is great to use right after the first birthday. Then, as children become more adept, the handle can be removed for riding on one’s own.

Gifts for One Year Olds -Developmental Toys


When in doubt, you can always get books as gifts for a first birthday or one year old. Books are crucial at this stage in a baby’s development. When children are read to, it helps develop language and listening skills, gives them information about the world around them, and helps foster emotional and social development. Board books are good gifts for toddlers, as they can hold up to rough treatment. If you’re not sure if your gift will duplicate something in their library, just enclose a gift receipt so the books can be exchanged for ones they don’t have. Sandra Boynton books are a favorite in our household. Her rhymes are appealing to young ones, and the humor infused in her books will also amuse adults.

It can be difficult to come up with unique fist birthday gift ideas, especially if you don't have any children around that age. Keep these in mind the next time you're shopping for one year old gifts. There are many classic toys and books you can buy for a first birthday present.


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