Looking for great gift ideas for a 1 year old? Let’s talk about the best toys for one year old boys, girls, and both!
Shopping for a one year old can be a very stressful process.
At such a young age it’s hard to know what items the child will actually play with.
You read countless gift guides urging you to shop but what happens after you click the link?
Will the toy be well loved? Cherished? Enjoyed so much that it gets passed down to future siblings and possibly even future generations?
As a mom of four kids I’ve had LOTS of experience when it comes to toddlers and toys. Today, I’m sharing THE best gift ideas for a 1 year old and what I recommend as the perfect gifts for one year old girls as well as one year old boys!
Disclaimer: post contains affiliate links
BEST GIFT IDEAS FOR A 1 YEAR OLD – ONE YEAR OLD GIFT IDEAS
Buying a present for a one-year-old? Not sure what to get for your baby’s first Christmas? Your nephews or niece’s first birthday?
I’m a firm believer that all toys can be played with and enjoyed by both genders, but I also firmly believe that boys are more drawn and enjoy certain toys and that girls are also more likely to be drawn to certain types of items too.
I’m dividing this list of gift ideas for a 1 year old into sections based on gender-neutral, boys and girls!
I’m also including my own personal info on each item, why we love it, and why I think your little ones and young toddlers will too 🙂
Best Gift Ideas for a 1 Year Old: Gender Neutral
These are the best gift ideas for a gender-neutral gift. Perfect for making sure the new favorite toy will be easy to pass down to future siblings without worrying about having something be gender-specific!
I personally aimed to purchase a lot of gender-neutral items for my first child, knowing that we had more babies to come down the line and many of these items are still played with 10 years later by my last baby.
Little Tikes Cozy Coupe
In my opinion, this is a must-have for every one-year-old! Santa brought one to each of my children on their first Christmas and it’s one of their favorite toys. I love having toys like this that can grow with my children.
It’s a great toy for encouraging relationship-building between siblings. Older kids love pushing younger ones around in it and even at one-year-old toddlers love to just sit in the car and press the horn or turn the steering wheel!
Playskool Explore N’ Grow Busy Ball Popper
Ball poppers are SO FUN! I love sitting with my toddlers and watching their joy as they place the balls in and see them pop back out. It’s a great toy to practice hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
Also, a great one for an almost one-year-old too as even infants get such joy over watching the balls as they work their way through the tubes and hearing the fun sounds!
Playskool Poppin Pals Pop-up Activity Toy
This is one of those classic gift ideas for a 1-year-old that I think we all owned as a toddler ourselves right? It’s a great baby toy, I actually pull this out when mine is around 9 months old and they are able to sit well unsupported. I open up every door and the baby loves to shut them. As they get older they enjoy the different ways to open and close the doors themselves.
Kids Cleaning Set
Even as a young toddlers little ones are soaking up EVERYTHING we do – why not start ’em young on learning how to be a helper, have a servant’s heart, and do some household chores!
My toddler all have LOVED this set. I keep the stand set up in my laundry room for easy access. When Mommy sweeps, they can sweep too. It also helps in minimizing toddlers getting into everything issues when they have toys easily accessible throughout the house, especially ones that mimic ones I use on a regular basis.
VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker
None of my kids were walking by their first birthdays and a push walker toy is great for helping encourage walking. I love this one because the base can detach and can be used in the car or in a pack-and-play to maximize the usability of this toy.
The detachable piece almost doubles as one of those activity tables for toddlers without taking up all the space! It’s a great one for first-starting independent playtime as well! The kids are also really drawn to the sounds – especially that cow!
First 100 Words (Bright Baby)
Books always make excellent gift ideas for a 1-year-old but this one is one of my favorites for this age. Lots of bright colors and simple images with text. It’s great to use when helping a toddler learn to talk and I like a good board book material so I can let my kids sit and read on their own too without worrying about the book getting messed up or ruined. This is also an excellent book to work on language development as your toddler begins talking, I especially used it for simple labeling with my speech-delayed toddler.
Fisher-Price Little People Sets
Little People sets are EXCELLENT for the toddler stage. Totally safe and easy to hold in little hands. If your one-year-old decides to give them a good chew you don’t need to worry about choking but they are also fun as they get older and are able to do pretend play.
VTech KidiBeats Drum Set
Musical toys are always a hit in our home and this is a toy that my older kids enjoy just as much as my toddler. The drum sticks make it extra fun and this is a wonderful gift to encourage older siblings to interact with younger siblings.
Kids Play Tent Crawl Tunnel and Ball Pit Set
Prior to my husband building our own ball pit in our playroom we had this set and it was GREAT. We used it as a ball pit and the kids loved playing in it and crawling through the tunnel. It’s a great set to keep put away and pull out on a rainy day too!
Little Tikes First Slide
We love our slide and use it with the ball pit. Toddlers love to climb and this slide isn’t too high to be scary to them but is also high enough to be fun, even as they get older!
ALEX Discover My Busy Town Wooden Activity Cube
Activity Cubes are great for helping train a toddler to sit still and stay focused on a task. These activities help develop motor skills as well. We also use this toy a lot with my speech-delayed toddler. I sit with him and use the little doors to practice “open” and “close” and the beads for “up” and “down.” All the bright colors keep his attention and the simple tasks are great for language development. This is a great educational toy and helps with the physical development of those tiny hands!
LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set
This is an excellent toy to keep toddlers busy while you get dinner cooked! It is meant to be used on the fridge but I like to put mine on the dishwasher as it’s easier to reach for little ones and more out of my way when trying to cook. This is another toy that is excellent to take when traveling and a great way to introduce letter recognition and letter sounds at a young age. I love that each letter can be independently selected to focus on one at a time and not be too overwhelming.
Munchkin Bath Toy, Little Boat Train
Bath toys make EXCELLENT gift ideas for a 1-year-old. Bath time can be fun orrrr it can be a total pain with a wiggly toddler. Toys help keep ’em distracted and enjoying bathtime. I always look for bath toys that won’t gather mold and I love this set of boats. They can attach together, can be stacked, and come in fun colors perfect for boys or girls.
First Builders Big Building Bag
These blocks are fantastic – but so is the bag they are stored in! Even our older children still play with these on a regular basis and this block set is perfect for travel too as it’s just the right size for packing on the go.
I know lots of people love the Lego Duplo but I like to wait for a bit older for those sets as they are smaller pieces and can be more frustrating for the wider fingers of younger toddlers.
Baby’s My First Photo Album of Family and Friends
This is an excellent inexpensive yet very thoughtful gift to give for the first birthday or first Christmas gift. I have one of these for each of my children and fill it with photos of our family and close friends to help them learn names and face recognition. This is an item I keep in our church bag as it’s a great thing to look through during worship services!
LeapFrog Scout’s Learning Lights Remote
We are hardcore when it comes to not allowing our kids to play with adult items. They don’t play with our phones or our remote controls and having a toy option on hand really helps reinforce those rules. This is a toy that I like to keep on the diaper changing table as it’s a perfect size for the kids to hold during a diaper change and features so many buttons and lights and colors that they aren’t likely to toss it on the floor right away 😉
Light and Sound Phone + Keys
As I mentioned, we don’t let our kids play with our phones or other adult items – like keys. I love having a play phone for my kids and think it’s so fun to watch them put the phone to their little ear and say “hello!” over and over. It’s also fun to pretend to be a customer and “call” your toddler and talk back and forth on the phone together.
I know a common infant toy is a key ring teether but I really love a key set that has fun buttons and makes realistic sounds. Both of these items are also ones I like to use during a diaper change or in the car!
My Quiet Book
We have this exact quiet book and I’m so glad they still make it as we got it back when our oldest was one and he’s now 10! This has held up to the test of time and is the PERFECT item to bring to church or doctor’s appointments when you need your toddler to sit still and be quietly and happily entertained. It also works those fine motor skills with the buttons and zippers.
Fisher-Price Baby’s First Blocks
Shape sorters are a must-have for every toddler and a great choice for a first birthday or first Christmas gift. It’s so rewarding for both child and mom when they first make that connection to fitting the shapes in the proper slots! A very affordable gift as well for anyone on a budget!
The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys
Another must-have toy is a set of stackable cups. Don’t need to get fancy here, this set is under $5 and makes an excellent stocking stuffer or like an add-on with a box of diapers to give for the first birthday. These also make excellent bathtub toys as kids love to put water in and pour ’em out.
Push and Ride Scooter
Yes, I really love the Cozy Coupe but there is also great value in a ride-on scoot toy too (great for gross motor skills!). My kids love racing around the house on these and enjoy walking behind them and pushing them too. I love this super simple design and love the quality that it will last for future siblings as well as for future generations.
I have an older model of this table and y’all it has held the test of time SO WELL. It’s been a very favorite toy for every single one of my toddlers and is excellent at that age where they are cruising and learning to stand up but need that extra support as well as that motivation to stand and walk! The legs also come off and it can be enjoyed by infants too on the floor for fine motor practice – plus it’s a great musical toy that young children always gravitate towards.
Little Tikes Fish ‘n Splash Water Table
We have a pool in our back yard yet I still adore having a water table. There are times when you just don’t want to get in the pool with your toddler. Hello, water table! I’m picky about our water table as well. I know so many designs come with sand and I always think WHY?! What mom wants to deal with cleaning up a sandy wet toddler? NOT ME. Keep it simple and basic and affordable! This is easy to store in the winter months too.
My First Read And Learn Bible
This is a great first Bible for a toddler. We teach our babies to “pat-pat” their Bibles and to be gentle with them but let’s be real – toddlers can’t always be gentle. I like having a Bible option that I can let them “read” unattended without it becoming damaged.
Melissa and Doug Deluxe Wooden ABC/123 Blocks Set
A one-year-old milestone is learning to stack wooden blocks. One-year-olds love to stack the blocks and knock them over. This is a very basic high-quality set with easy storage included thanks to the cute little bag! I love the vibrate colors and letters and numbers and it’s an easy set to pull out to work on a variety of skills at once! Even small hands can easily hold and play with these building blocks making them the perfect gift for any little explorer!
Lovevery Play Kits
Lovevery has the most gorgeous playsets for babies and toddlers and even has a subscription option that would make a fabulous gift. They send outplay kits designed for a specific age and stage to encourage play and learning with gorgeous age-appropriate items for each developmental milestone!
Lovevery Block Set
This is the most gorgeous and well-made block set I’ve ever seen. ALL of my kids enjoy playing with it (even the 11-year-old!). I wish I’d gotten it for a first birthday or Christmas to have more years to enjoy it! A brilliant, practical system of solid wood blocks for building spatial, language, and problem-solving skills. 70 heirloom-quality pieces that work with each other in more than 20 stage-based activities. Years of learning through play, crafted by child development experts.
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Best Gift Ideas for a 1 Year Old Boy
Having a little boy is so much fun! Both of my sons were more naturally drawn to sports-related toys, vehicles, and tools. My girls enjoyed these toys too but when given a choice my children all stuck to more gender-stereotypical toys.
These 1st birthday gift ideas for boys are sure to delight and would make great first birthday gifts for any baby boy!
Toys Baby Cars – Soft Rubber Toy Vehicles
These little vehicles are awesome. I keep them in my purse for on-the-go moments as a toddler can drive a little car up on a random chair leg or doctor’s table or restaurant high chair. They work everywhere! No concerns about choking and provide tons of fun. The cute little dump truck is one that my one-year-old loves!
VTech Smart Shots Sports Center
A great thing about this toy is it offers skills working with both hand-eye coordination as well as foot-eye coordination. We have owned a similar set but one that had a baseball theme and it wasn’t nearly as much fun to play with as the basketball and soccer combo has been. With options to play basketball or soccer, even older kids will be wanting in on the fun.
Our 4-year-old played with this a TON when it was a first birthday gift for her little brother. I love that it can be enjoyed from the sitting position as well. Our son wasn’t yet walking when he received it and he loved sitting in front of it and putting the ball in the hoop over and over. It’s also a nice size and easy to store when not in use!
Fisher-Price Little People Travel Together Airplane or Helicopter
As I mentioned, I adore Little People toys as gift ideas for 1-year-olds. Some of the first sounds my boys made were vehicle-type noises and the ability to put the toys in and out of the airplane or helicopter makes it extra fun for little guys!
Toy Lawn Mower
This is a must-have toy for every little boy in my opinion! We STILL have ours from when my oldest was a toddler (and he’s almost 13) and it is one of our most used outdoor toys.
Perfect for those early walking days and fun to “mow with Daddy” (makes for cute pictures!) and helps keep your toddler busy while Daddy is trying to get done with yard work!
This is one of my favorite walking toys for toddlers – you can read all the best ride on and walking toys for 1 year olds in this post!
VTech Turn and Learn Driver
I love toys that can be used in various locations and this is one I often use for independent playtime. My sons both have LOVED this toy and it makes such fun, realistic car sounds.
LeapFrog My Pal Scout
Scout is one of my absolute must-buy toys for each of my children. I love that they each have their own Scout and that it can be personalized to say their names. Every one of my kids got a lot of love and joy from their Scout!
Best Gift Ideas for a 1 Year Old Girl
Just like with the boy toys, these toys can be played with by either gender. However, my girls were both more drawn to “typical girl toys” even at just a year old. Dolls, purses, everything pink and girly and they were after it!
These first birthday present ideas for girls are cute, fun, and versatile!
My First Purse
Little girls LOVE to be like Mommy and this purse is a great way to allow her to have her OWN “big girl purse” so she will also stop trying to get into yours 😉
I love this little set for a toddler and enjoy giving it as a gift as well. My girls both have always loved BAGS and love to put things in bags and carry them around – this was their first purse and the one that started it all 😉
LeapFrog My Pal Violet
The same toy as the Scout but the girl version is named Violet and I love her so much I felt like she deserved to be well represented. She can be personalized and has so many fun song options to keep little ones happily entertained!
Baby Alive Lil’ Slumbers
This doll also has an open mouth which makes her a great toy to grow with your daughter as once they start getting into that pretend to play she’s the perfect baby doll to “feed.”
I know it’s common to buy an infant girl a completely soft baby doll as their first doll but personally, neither of my girls ever played with that type of doll so I’d recommend not spending that money and just getting one of these instead!
I’m pretty passionate when it comes to baby dolls. Here are my pics for the best first baby doll for one-year-olds and toddlers!
Toddler Doll Stroller
If you were like me then you probably had a very similar doll stroller growing up. In fact, I STILL have my version of this stroller from childhood, and my girls both LOVED it. It’s a great first stroller as it’s all plastic.
No worries about something breaking. It’s great to help with walking too as it’s sturdy to push without it toppling over. A gift she will love now and save for her daughter someday too!
Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Sweet Manners Tea Set
Imaginative play really starts around 18 months old and a cute little tea set is so fun to sit and play with a little girl! A great lead-in to pretend to play food and I like that this set doesn’t use the actual liquid. No one-year-old needs real tea in their teacups!
Best Gift Ideas for a 1-Year-Old: Final Thoughts
Want to shop all of my recommendations in one place? I’ve created a One Year Old Gift Guide on Amazon here!
Check out my other gift guides here:
- Best Ride on and Walking Toys for 1 Year Olds!
- Best Stocking Stuffers for Kids!
- Two Year Old Gift Guide
- Three Year Old Gift Guide
- Four Year Old Gift Guide
- Five Year Old Gift Guide
- Six Year Old Gift Guide
- Seven Year Old Gift Guide
- Eight Year Old Gift Guide
- Nine Year Old Gift Guide
- Best doll for 1 year old
- Best doll house for 2 year old
- Best scooter for 2 year old
Also be sure to check out these birthday party ideas for kids!