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Top Ten First Birthday Gifts

Updated on September 3, 2014
First Birthday Gifts
First Birthday Gifts | Source

Gift Ideas For A One Year Old

If you're looking for a birthday or Christmas gift for a little boy or girl who just turned one, this is the place to be! I have toys listed for all price ranges and interest levels. These toddler gifts are listed in order of my preference (my favorite toy is at the bottom) but it doesn't mean that one is better than the other, it depends completely on the child in question!

I first created this article as I prepared for my daughter's first birthday. People were asking me for gift ideas and I had no idea what toys would be good for a one year old.

So, I did some research, learning more about a one year old's development. I want toys for my daughter that will help her grow and learn as well as keep her active and engaged in what she's doing.

After I researched the things my one year old would be learning in the year to come, I started looking for age appropriate toys. I found a lot of great toys for one year olds and in this lens I'm featuring my 10 favorites!

#10 Knob Puzzles

Those big knobs are perfect for little hands.
Those big knobs are perfect for little hands. | Source

Puzzles are great for helping little ones learn how shapes fit together. Knob Puzzles have small knob shaped handles on each piece which are easier for toddlers to grasp. The knob allows children to slide the piece into place rather fit it into place.

Here are some of my favorite knob puzzles. My daughter loved them when she was younger and they have now been passed down to my one year old son who is learning and having fun with them too.

Melissa & Doug Classic Wooden Peg Puzzles (Set of 3) - Numbers, Alphabet, and Colors
Melissa & Doug Classic Wooden Peg Puzzles (Set of 3) - Numbers, Alphabet, and Colors

There are so many fabulous knob puzzles available now, it's hard to choose one favorite. Melissa and Doug makes many wonderful wooden puzzles that are perfect for one year olds with many different styles: farm animals, vehicles, princesses and more!

With the 3 puzzle pack featured here, kids can learn letters, numbers and colors! These puzzles are great for toddlers!


#9 Shape Sorters

Colorful shapes with fun textures and designs will delight toddlers
Colorful shapes with fun textures and designs will delight toddlers | Source

Amazon Review

"Best shape sorter ever. Wish I had found it sooner! Tote is sturdy so it maintains its shape. This makes it easy for my 17 month old to put the shapes in. "

Shape Sorters are a great developmental and educational tool for toddlers who will improve their motor skills as they have fun finding where each shape fits.

There are so many different varieties of shape sorters available now! We actually have 4 different sorters at my house!

My favorite is the Take Along Shape Sorter shown below. This one is perfect for taking along to a doctor's appointment or restaurant to help keep your toddler entertained. The bag has a fun peek-a-boo activity on the back too!

Melissa & Doug K's Kids Take-Along Shape Sorter Baby Toy With 2-Sided Activity Bag and 9 Textured Shape Blocks
Melissa & Doug K's Kids Take-Along Shape Sorter Baby Toy With 2-Sided Activity Bag and 9 Textured Shape Blocks

Shape sorters are perfect for developing fine and gross motor skills, logical ability, sensorimotor skills, self confidence and more.


#8 Fisher Price Little People

Little People are always a popular gift for toddlers
Little People are always a popular gift for toddlers | Source

Little People have been around for years and the reason is simple - they are fun and educational! Little People provide hours of imaginative play and are the perfect size for little hands. There are so many different Little People playsets available, you're sure to find something for every toddler on your list!

One of the favorite sets in our house is the Little People Fun Sounds Farm. This cheerful red barn plays animal sounds and music. Your Little People barn comes with Farmer Eddie and 3 animals; sheep, horse and cow. The rooster sits proudly in the loft (but does not move), ready to wake the farm in the morning. Don't forget the fence pieces for keeping the animals in check! The silo is a fun place to store all of the accessories and kids will love letting the hay and the animals slide out.

As you can see in the photo above, there are plenty of of additional sets you can get to add to the fun down on the Little People farm!

Fisher-Price Little People Animal Sounds Farm
Fisher-Price Little People Animal Sounds Farm

Ages: 1 - 4 years Believe me, this farm will entertain your kids for a long time to come!


#7 Sand and Water Table

Sand and Water Tables offer kids the chance to explore new textures and sensations. How does sand feel when you pat it with your hands? How does water feel when it slips between your fingers or splashes your face? These tables are very versatile and offer hours of fun! My kids love to play in the sand with their trucks or take the Little People to the beach!

Step2 787800 Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center
Step2 787800 Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center

Colorful fun for your toddler! Crazy sounds make playtime fun! Plays 8 songs!


Amazon Review

"My daughter received this for her first birthday and she loves it! This little doll has become one of her favorite "buddies"! "

#6 One Step Ahead Dress Up Doll

This soft doll is great for girls and boys! It helps teach important dressing skills and helps improve a child's dexterity. Buckle, zip, button, snap... your child will have fun dressing and undressing this doll!

There is also a female version of this doll available. The girl doll has pigtails with removable ties so your daughter can practice doing hair too!

Dress Up Doll Boy
Dress Up Doll Boy

This little doll is a lot of fun and will help teach your child how to dress himself. My mom has a degree in early childhood education and she's always buying these dolls for toddlers because they are so important in a child's development!

Toddler pushing her corn popper
Toddler pushing her corn popper | Source

#5 Fisher-Price Corn Popper

Encourage walking with this classic push along toy! Balls pop as the wheels roll and music plays to help teach counting skills. The Fisher Price Corn Popper is a classic toddler toy that is still loved by kids all over the world!

Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Corn Popper
Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Corn Popper

There must be some unwritten law that every toddler has to have one of these. And with good reason. They're still fun! --Chris Livesay


#4 LeapFrog My Pal Scout or Violet

My pal Scout is a cuddly learning tool from LeapFrog. Scout connects to your computer so you can enter your child's name, favorite food, animal and color. Scout will use your child's name and teach them how to spell it! Scout teaches early words, numbers, daily routines, feelings and animals.

Scout also comes preloaded with 5 different songs. You can download more learning songs and lullabies from an online list of 30 songs.

Scout is recommended for kids 6 months - 3 years old, although I think they're going to get much more out of it when they are at least one and can start repeating words.

My Pal Scout also has a friend named Violet who is just like him in every way except Violet is purple and of course, female :) My Pal Violet Review

Amazon Review

"I like the chunkiness of this toy. It makes it easy for my 2-year old grand daughters to handle and build with. Like the bright colors. Durable plastic makes it easy to clean when needed!"

#3 Mega Bloks!

Construction blocks like Mega Bloks are excellent toys for helping a child develop hand-eye coordination. They are also a great tool for imagination and creatiity, allowing your child to build whatever he would like.

We got our first set of Mega Bloks when my daughter was 1 and they have gotten lots of love. My kids play with them every day. They build towers, castles, fences, rocket ships and so much more. It's amazing to see what they imagine when the Mega Bloks come out!

Mega Bloks 200 Piece Duffle Bag
Mega Bloks 200 Piece Duffle Bag

Mega Bloks are bigger than Duplos and lock together so you can build, build, build! These are sure to be a favorite toy for years to come! This duffle bag comes with 200 colorful blocks.


#2 Stork Craft Rocking Horse

Rocking Horses are another classic toy for toddlers and this one has a classic look too! This heirloom-quality rocking horse is constructed with solid wood and has a non-toxic cognac finish. The mane is double stitched to keep the yarn in place and the runners are extra long to prevent tipping.

#1 Little Tykes Cozy Coupe

The Cozy Coupe recently celebrated it's 30th Anniversary! This little red car has been a must have of toddlers since before I was born! And, it's still just as popular today as it was 30 years ago.

Cozy Coupe Features:

Removable Floor means that kids can motor the car themselves or they can safely rest their feet on the floor when an adult is pushing the car

A handle in the roof of the car makes it easier for parents to push A moving, clicking ignition and open-and-close gas cap for imaginative play Optional lock on door to prevent a child from falling out Built in cup holders in the back of the car

My son received this as a gift for his first birthday and he LOVES it! Our 3 year old daughter really has a blast with it too... when she gets a turn!

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe 30th Anniversary Car
Little Tikes Cozy Coupe 30th Anniversary Car

For 3 generations, children have been taking adventure & imagination on the road with one of the original ride-on toys - the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe. This is a fun classic that your one year old will enjoy for years to come!

One Year Old Boy on a Ride-On Toy
One Year Old Boy on a Ride-On Toy | Source

Your 1 Year Old's Developmental Needs

Tips For What To Look For In A Toy

Babies learn a lot their first year of life but of course we know they don't stop learning after their first birthday! There is a lot to learn as your little one crawls, toddlers or walks into full-fledged toddlerhood! It's important to get toys that offer new learning experiences, more activity and have potential to continue to grow with your child.

One year olds are busy, busy, busy! If she isn't walking yet she will be soon and before you know it she will be running! One year olds have a lot of energy and if that energy isn't focused it can lead to a meltdown for your toddler and for you! Toys that your child can ride or push around the house are perfect for expending extra energy on rainy days!

One year olds like playing with things that demonstrate cause and effect. He will learn that when he tips the bucket of blocks over the blocks spill out! Then he will do it again and again!

Children at this age love to experience the world around them using all five senses! It's important to find toys that fulfill her need to see, feel, hear, taste and possibly even smell. Yes, that means your one year old will still want to put things in their mouth! So, be sure that nothing has small pieces which are a choking hazard at this age.

One year olds also enjoy figuring out how things work to a certain extent. Nourish this curiosity with shape sorters, puzzles and toys that have parts which your child can manipulate (such as buttons to snap, keys to turn, levers to crank)

Your one year old will also soon be beginning to understand imaginative play. He will want to push a vacuum like mommy, pretend to talk on the phone and drive cars around the floor. It won't be long before he is also acting out stories with his toys or hugging and kissing a doll and "playing mommy".

What toy comes to mind when you think of what to get for a one year old? Did your pick make my list? If not, let me know! What's your favorite gift to bring to a first birthday party?

Did Your Favorite Make The List?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Love the ideas!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      These ideas are great! Good job on breaking top 100 lenses!

    • mrdata profile image


      5 years ago

      Cool gift ideas here! Thanks for your sharing!

    • davidthee profile image


      6 years ago

      Wonderful ideas, I want to get some gifts for one of my nephew for his 1st b'day.

      these are great gift ideas, in between so cute babies in the images... :)

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      6 years ago from USA

      Large stuffed toy animals seem to go over big with babies. I can remember giving them as gifts.

    • m massie profile image

      m massie 

      6 years ago

      I didn't know they made a pink little tykes car!!! Sweet! my daughters first b day is on the 8th next month :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have an infant in the family and your list will make gift shopping this year much easier.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Love this list! I would add the old sit astride and push along with feet toy.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      6 years ago

      Puzzles are always so much fun to pick out for small children. I like blocks too. Great gift suggestions!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I like the knob puzzles a lot for toddlers and the blocks.

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 

      8 years ago

      We have the corn popper and the mega blocks. I have a 2 year old and a 10 month old. Looks like we need to add some to our Christmas list!

    • lemonsqueezy lm profile image

      lemonsqueezy lm 

      8 years ago

      Yep! These are the best suggestions. I can't think of anything to add to the list. Nice top 10.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      A great shopping lens. Thanks for all these wonderful ideas.


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