Buying a gift for a one-year-old? If you're not a parent, you may find that you're a bit stumped. After all, it's been quite a long time since you were only one-year-old yourself and if you don't have a toddler in your immediate family, you likely don't spend that much time around one-year-olds at all.
So, what do you buy for that random friend's child or cousin's kid on their first birthday or the holidays? Or maybe you're even just looking for the best and most amazing birthday gift for your own little one, and you're looking for some out-of-the-box or even classic ideas that you just haven't come across yet!
Whatever the case may be, we've compiled the 21 best gifts for one-year-olds for this year.
What Kind of Gift Should I Get for a 1-Year-Old?
But before you can start your shopping, it's essential to consider what kind of gift you want to get for the one-year-old in your life. What's the end result you want? Do you just want a fun, exciting gift that this particular child can play with for a few hours before moving on to other things? Or do you want a classic toy that brings back memories for the entire family? Or do you want something educational that's going to help the child's physical and mental development?
The good news is, you can find gift ideas that fit each and all of the above categories, most on Amazon, so you don't even have to leave your couch. Here are a few best toy selections to get your shopping adventure underway.
Best Educational Gifts for One-Year-Olds
Most gifts can be educational in some form or fashion at this stage in a child's life. A one-year-old is learning so many different things — fine motor skills, gross motor skills, language skills, the five senses and more. Because of this, the large majority of gifts that are available for one-year-olds are going to be educational toys in some way. Here are a few of our favs.
This activity center is like a bead maze (see below) on steroids. With so much to do, play with, learn and explore, it'll take a long time for any toddler to get bored with this toy. From every angle, the center offers something to pull, open, slide, move or spin, learning fine motor skills as they go.
If the parents of the toddler you're shopping for don't mind a bit of noise (or maybe if you think their household could use a little more noise!), this option is a good pick.
The compact wooden toy combines music with motor skills, allowing any toddler to create melodies on a built-in xylophone either via hammering away with a tiny mallet or sliding balls through a series of holes right above the xylophone keys.
This fun baby toy teaches kiddos hand-eye coordination and colors at the same time, but your toddler will have so much fun banging the tiny wooden mallet that they won't even notice they're learning anything at all.
The concept is simple: Match up the colored balls with the colored slots and tap the balls with a mallet to slide them through a wooden house that shoots the balls out again for another round of play.
This play gym is compact and fits nicely into most nurseries or playrooms, and while it's stylish and fun, it's also educational. The play gym is separated into five different "zones" that teach something different while providing entertainment and imaginative play.
Best Budget Gifts for One-Year-Olds
Gifts for toddlers can get expensive, really quickly. But you don't necessarily need to pay a lot of cash for a gift that the one-year-old in your life will love. Try one of these budget gifts that cost under $20.
This $13 toy is deceptively simple, but oh-so-fun, while also helpful in teaching motor skills. In fact, it's so much fun you might find yourself playing with it, too.
The Fat Brain Toys Dimpl is just a handheld toy that features a series of colorful silicone bubbles that you "pop" into concave and convex shapes. It's great for adults to fidget with and equally great to keep one-year-olds busy for hours at a time.
Teething is never a fun process, but it can be fun to give a one-year-old this Hedgehog Silicone Teether so they have something cute and safe to chew on. They are made from the same silicone that pacifiers are made of, so parents can rest easy knowing that their child is chewing on something safe and washable.
Yes, the bowling pins' unseeing stares are a bit unsettling for parents, but that's all the more reason to encourage a toddler to take a pass at them using this bowling set's large foam ball. The kit is safe to use indoors and still provides hours of playtime, as children set up the pins and knock them down over and over again.
This affordable shape-sorter-toy ticks several boxes. It's stylish, minimalistic, educational and cheap. The small puzzle challenges little hands to fit rectangular, circular and triangular pieces into corresponding holes on a small board. Yes, it looks simple to you, but it'll be a fun challenge for the toddler in your life.
This adorable tool kit for kids comes with a pretend measuring tape, hammer, saw and screwdriver. They all fit on a snug belt that also features a stuffed donut because snacks are essential while on the job.
This is another toy that checks a few boxes. It's affordable, aesthetically pleasing and educational, as well as a blast to the past (even if it is slightly updated). This toy is in the Montessori style that the Melissa & Doug brand is known for perfecting.
The line of wooden rods comes with a variety of colorful wooden blocks and circles to slide atop them, challenging toddlers to recognize like shapes and use their hand-eye coordination to fit everything in place.
Best Classic Gifts for One-Year-Olds
Some toys have surpassed the test of time, popular with the one-year-olds of 2021 just as they were popular with kids of the 80s and 90s. Share a little bit of your childhood with the one-year-old in your life by giving them one of these classic and classic-inspired toys.
Does this toy look familiar? You probably played with something similar in your preschool classroom or at the pediatrician's office. Bead mazes are fun, easy to use and keep kids entertained for hours, well after the one-year-old stage. Plus, there are no small, loose parts to lose (or swallow), even though there are beads for little hands to grip and move.
A staple in many daycares, this toy, with its short slide, was the envy of any toddler who had one in their own home. It's simple at first glance but comes with hours of play, whether parents decide to place it in the backyard or the nursery.
Do you remember Little People from your own childhood? Introduce the toddler in your life to the neighborhood, with this miniature set that takes cars up and down an elevator and then shoots them down a slide.
Another toy you likely had growing up, this little red and yellow car is definitely a classic. While it's a bit on the larger side, and a toddler may need a sidewalk or driveway to enjoy it fully, it's one present that's going to make you a favorite person in that toddler's life.
Okay, so mom or dad might not be thoroughly thrilled with this gift, as it will require a bit of assembly on their part (unless you include that as part of your gift), but really — what kid wouldn't want to ride a Radio Flyer Wagon? This gorgeous, classic-style wagon can be pulled or pushed by a parent (as a pseudo-stroller) or child, with or without a child inside.
Add bumpers to the wagon so that your child doesn't accidentally scratch up all the furniture or remove the wagon's sides for more space. The wagon can hold up to 35 pounds and is suitable for your child well after they're a 2-year-old and beyond.
The ultimate intro to building blocks and suitable for kids not quite yet old enough for LEGOs, Mega Bloks are a staple childhood toy. Grab a big bag of them for an affordable price, and you'll get dozens of blocks to help them build their masterpiece.
Best Stylish Gifts for One-Year-Olds
Do you really just want to impress with your fabulous style and eye for fantastic, luxe gifts? If that's the case, go with one of these presents so stylish that they won't be relegated to the nursery.
Toddler swings are a staple in many households with children, but toddler swings can be a bit unsightly. Usually made of plastic and coming in bright colors that will never match your decor, the swing you pick up at the toy store can be an eyesore.
Go with this macramé swing that's as cute as it is functional instead. With the capability to hold children up to 40 pounds, the swing sports an attractive bohemian style, with a macrame design that will look at home in any living room, den or bedroom.
Go with a rocking horse that's actually cute, versus scarily lifelike. This rocking horse features a stylish argyle design and a plush feel that's easy on little limbs. The rocker's sturdy base means it's suitable for children who may not yet have their balance entirely down.
Yet another popular kids' toy that usually comes with a mix of overly-bright colors and some low-quality plastic? The cooking set. That's not the case with this option from Hape, though.
This high-quality kitchen play set features wood finishes and comes in muted orange and wood tones.
Of course, you can round out the lucky toddler's kitchen by providing them with a complete, eight-piece set of their own miniature stainless steel cookware. These toys look and feel like the real thing, so everyone in the family can have a bit of fun in the kitchen, no matter their age.
Another minimalistic toy that sports a design that would work in any stylish space, this climber is well suited to those one-year-olds who are, well, climbing on everything and anything.
The small wooden contraption gives curious toddlers a place to build gross motor skills as they learn about climbing, balance, gripping and more. Parental supervision is required, but when the climber isn't in use, it can be folded and stored away, out of sight.
Just like toddler swings, toddler tables and chairs are often a bit unsightly, coming in those bright yellow and red hues and not at all a good match for your home's other furnishings.
This play kit changes all that, offering minimalistic tables and chairs that are just like miniature versions of what you'd buy for your own dining room. The beechwood furnishings are just as stylish as anything you might pick up in IKEA, making your child's "pretend play" a little more posh.
Don't Sweat It — One-Year-Olds Like a Bit of Everything
Whatever you choose to buy the one-year-old in your life, don't sweat it. One-year-olds like just about anything, from the most extravagant toys to just the box they came in. No matter what great gift you pick, you really can't go wrong.
You might also like: 16 Tips On Making Your Kitchen More Kid Friendly [And Safe]
The 21 Best Gifts For One Year Olds
- Manhattan Toy Treetop Adventure Activity Center
- Hape Pound & Tap Bench
- Ball Hammer Toy by Top Bright
- The Play Gym by Lovevery
- Fat Brain Toys Dimpl
- Hedgehog Silicone Teether
- HappyGiddy Bowling Set by Melissa & Doug
- FirstShapes Learning Puzzle by Hape
- DIY Tool Belt by Fisher-Price
- Melissa & Doug Geometric Stacker
- Melissa & Doug Bead Maze
- Little Tikes Hide and Seek Climber
- Little People the Helpful Neighbor's Garage by Fisher-Price
- Little Tikes Cozy Coupe
- Radio Flyer Classic Wagon Walker
- Mega Bloks
- Finn + Emma Macrame Swing
- Little Birdie Told Me Lewis & Fitz Rocking Horse & Stuffed Animal
- Kitchen Play Set by Hape
- Stainless Steel Pots & Pans Play Set by Melissa & Doug
- LilyandRiver 5-Star Little Climber
- Lalo The Play Kit