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The Best First Birthday Gifts for a 1-Year-Old!

Looking for the best first birthday gifts for a 1-year-old? Our expert guide features top-rated toys, books, and games for your little one's first birthday.
Gifts for 1 Year Olds
Updated: May 13, 2023
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Editor’s Note: We know raising kids can be hard. That’s why we’re dedicated to making your life easier with the latest and greatest parenting advice and products. We wanted to let you know that if you chose to purchase one of the items featured in this post, we may receive a small commission for it.

Happy first birthday to your little one!

Whether we’re talking about your own kiddo, a family member, or your BFF’s baby, shopping for birthday gifts for a 1-year-old is lots of fun.

From the best toys on Amazon to the board books and educational toys that will keep those little hands busy all day long, we’ve got you covered.

So get ready for playtime and check out the baby gifts for 1-year-olds that will inspire, excite, and help the birthday boy or girl build fine motor skills (such as hand-eye coordination), improve problem-solving abilities, and engage in plenty of imaginative play.

Related: 19 Personalized and Sentimental Baby Gift Ideas

Here are 20+ great ideas for creative first birthday presents.

Best 1-Year-Old Gift Ideas

This gift guide section features the perfect presents for almost any one-year-old kiddo. If you’re new to this whole baby gift giving thing, you’re not super-duper close with the little one or you just don’t want to get too specific on baby’s first birthday, this is the place to start.

1. VTech Pop-A-Balls Push and Pop Bulldozer

Give the gift of gross motor play with this Amazon top-seller push toy! With over 20,980 reviews, the highly rated push and pull toy is hours of fun for the newly-turned 1-year-old.

Not only can kiddos move with this darling dozer, as one of Vtech’s learning toys, this gift includes an educational aspect. Big, bright, colorful push buttons feature numbers, phrases, music, and more.

Find this baby gift on Amazon for $27.99.

Pop Bulldozer

2. Toyventive Wooden Baby Activity Cube

Another top pick on Amazon, this activity cube baby toy has 17,690+ reviews and almost a five-star rating. This cute cube has everything a 1-year-old needs for an educationally awesomely good playtime.

Aclock with brightly-hued numbers, an abacus on the side, shapes for geometric play and numbered stacking cups are only a few pieces of this playful soon-to-be favorite.

Order this best gift pick on Amazon here for under $40 (current list price of $35.99).

3. Lovevery Play Kits

Not sure what to get the one-year-old birthday kiddo? There’s no reason to stop at one gift. Lovevery has age-graded play kits filled with goodies galore.

And bonus, every three months the growing tot will get a brand-new box filled with all kinds of fun. From wooden puzzles and board books to Montessori materials that inspire exploration, these kits have everything the child (and their parents) could ask for.

Click here to learn more about ordering play kits from Lovevery for every age and stage.

Non-Toy Gift Ideas for A 1-Year-Old

Yes, one-year-olds loooooove toys. But you don’t have to stick with playtime gift ideas. These non-toy picks are magical, meaningful, and sometimes completely practical.

4. Pottery Barn Kids Ceramic Piggy Bank

Piggy Bank

Okay, so baby’s first bank doesn’t always have to come in the traditional piggy shape (but you can pick a perky pig). Along with the classically awesome oinker, you can also choose from a dino, rocket ship, or unicorn. And bonus, PBK lets you personalize the bank with the one-year-old’s name.

If you’re wondering how baby plays with the bank...,well, they don’t. This non-toy gift is a combo of cute nursery decor (which is kind of for the parents) and a start to savings. Don’t forget to fill the bank with a few coins or bills to get the kiddo’s savings started.

The ceramic bank retails for $49 at Pottery Barn Kids.

5. Infantino Lil’ Nibbles Textured Baby Teething Toy

Yes, it has the word toy in the title. But this “Walmart for under $5!

6. Baby and Parent or Learning Classes

Give the gift of learning! Choose a local business that offers baby and parent or toddler-friendly creative movement, art, sports, or any other classes and give the birthday child a gift card for their mom or dad to use.

Gifts for A 1-Year-Old From Grandparents

Whether you live in the same city or across the country, the first birthday is a special celebration for any family. This means you’re probably looking for more than just a good gift that your grandchild could possibly enjoy. If you haven’t had to dig deep into baby gear for years, this gift guide section is for you!

Babies Playing on Carpet

7. Skip Hop Baby Popper Push Toy

Remember the good ol’ push toy popper that your kiddos had in the ‘80s? Well, this is an adorably updated version that is perfect for today’s kiddos.

Like the classic popper, this cloud-covered cutie also helps baby to master gross motor movement, encourages walking, strengthens hand-eye coordination, and makes a bubbly little popping noise everywhere baby goes!

Nab this push toy from Amazon for $20.

8. B. Toys Wooden Whale Rocker Echo

While this rocker is age-graded for 18 months and up, this whale-of-a-good-toy can adorn baby’s nursery until they’re ready to glide across a pretend play ocean on the plush sea creature seat.

And forget about adding batteries to this baby gift. Echo comes with tiny beads inside that make their own soothing sea sounds as your grand-toddler rocks.

Pick this wooden ride-on rocker up at Target for $39.99.

9. Pottery Barn Kids My First Anywhere Chair

Personalize this pick with your grandchild’s name. This sweet seat will grow with your child and fit them as they turn from a 1-year-old into a 2-year-old toddler and a 3-year-old preschooler.

The lightweight design is easy to carry from room to room, making this party pick as functional as it is fabulous.

The pint-sized chair currently sells for $129 at Pottery Barn Kids.

Artsy and Imaginative Play Gifts for A 1-Year-Old

Inspire creativity, invite pretend play, and help baby to improve their budding fine motor skills with artsy and imaginative gift ideas.

While a one-year-old isn’t exactly ready to paint a landscape or pen their own dramatic monologues, they can experience the wonders of sensory toys, a play house, musical instruments, a play kitchen, and other artsy options under the “best gifts for 1-year-olds” umbrella.

Artsy Gifts

10. Crayola Bathtub Fingerpaint Pack

Make bath-time fun with this artsy addition. The bday kiddo is going to make a mess with finger paints anyway, so why not get creative in the tub?

The soapy finger paints provide a quick clean-up option for Mom and Dad. As the newly-turned one-year-old grows they can use these washable paints on the water table or outside.

Find the five-pack of paints for $10.20 on Amazon.

11. Melissa & Doug Market Basket Fill and Spill

Many pretend play or play kitchen products are made for preschoolers in the 3-year-old and up age range. But this cute market set by Melissa & Doug is made just for infants and young toddlers.

The crinkling materials and plush faux food are sensory toys that encourage exploration and promote problem-solving.

This baby gift is available from the Melissa & Doug website for $24.99.

12. Gund Baby My First Soft Drum

Soft Drum

Is the birthday baby not quite ready for their own full drum set? Don’t worry, you can still gift the little one with their very own musical instrument. This plush Gund drum is what happens when a stuffed animal meets music.

Get this musical toy on Amazon for $30.

13. Stuffed Animals and Baby Dolls

These old-school classics might not have the bells and whistles (or lights and sounds) of the more modern electronic toys. But don’t count them out as perfect presents for a one-year-old.

As the birthday boy or girl grows, they’ll use their fave stuffed animals and baby dolls in pretend play scenes or to act out their favorite books and movies.

14. Baby Einstein Together in Tune Piano

This tech-time musical toy connects wirelessly with other Baby Einstein Together in Tune Magic Touch musical instruments. This makes it possible for baby to play a full concert with their friends!

Each painted piano key makes real sounds when pressed. The playful pick also features 10 song melodies to choose from.

Get this gift for under $25 from Amazon.

Educational Toy Gifts for A 1-Year-Old

An educational birthday gift is the gift that keeps on giving. At age one, baby is ready to start exploring through their senses, build fine motor skills, and even start learning about literacy (or at least the ABCs).

These gift guide picks are perfect starters for at-home educational activities.

Educational Toys

15. Baby Einstein Connectables 11 Piece STEAM Learning Blocks

Magnetic building blocks help the young toddler explore engineering, get a jump on math development, and build fine motor skills. This educational toy option will grow the bday child, allowing them to build for years to come.

Find the toy set on Amazon for under $15.

16. Fat Brain Toys Suction Kupz

These “kupz” take stacking cups and activity toys to a whole new level. The suction bottom provides a sturdy base for baby to explore and experiment with.

The cute colorful cups also pull double duty as both a stacking toy and snack-ready holders. Take the silicone cups into the tub, use them with a water table, or just stack them during playtime.

Get these stackers at Fat Brain Toys for $19.95.

17. Melissa & Doug Math and Roll Shape Sorter

Shape sorting is an early math skill that baby can build right now. This geometry-centric gift is baby’s first intro to the world of math.

Little hands can build fine motor skills as they sort by shape and color. The easy-to-handle drum-like tower is perfect for a one-year-old!

Buy the birthday baby this shape sorter on Amazon for under $25.

18. Baby Farm Animals Silicone Touch and Feel Board Book

This board book is so much more than a good read!

Not only can baby page through the pictures, but they can also use this sturdy pick as a sensory toy. The silicone textures will add to the experience, helping baby to explore the bright, bold pics.

This baby board book is available on Amazon for under $10.

19. Manhattan Toy Deep Sea Adventure

The free-standing activity center was a Toy Association Finalist (in the Infant/Toddler category). With plenty of under-the-sea creatures to move and manipulate, this playful birthday present option will help baby to develop motor skills, math abilities, and so much more.

Order the activity center from Manhattan Toy for $137.

Gifts for A 1-Year-Old That Parents Will Love Too

Gifts Parents will Love

Sometimes Mom and Dad need gifts too! These first birthday presents aren’t exactly for grown-up baby-free time though.

Instead, the gift guide picks in this section feature gear and gizmos that parents need as their child turns one.

20. Baby Jogger City Mini GT2 All-Terrain Stroller

After a year of use, the stroller mom or dad got at the shower has seen better days. This stylish selection fits toddlers up to 65 pounds, has four modes of use, and features all-terrain tires.

Get this jogger stroller from Amazon for $399.99.

21. Playroom Mural

Does baby’s new playroom need an upgrade? Offer to gift the parents with a full-wall mural painting. And no, you don’t have to cover the walls yourself. Instead, foot the bill for a local artist to create a major mural for the little tike.

22. Free Babysitting

And last, but certainly not least, offer up your services as a sitter. This gift gives the newly turned one-year-old hours of fun with their fave person (other than mom or dad) and gives their parents the night off.

Do you want to learn more about toys that help child and toddler development? We’ve got the details on toys as learning tools.

Erica Loop

About Erica

Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Erica is a mom and former preschool teacher with degrees in… Read more

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