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One-year-olds are really hard to buy for. They are too big for “baby” toys, but too small for “toddler” toys. So what are the best gifts for one year olds? Here are my picks!
1) Ball Pit
Sam of Thrive 360 Living made a brilliant ball pit from an inflatable pool. I stole her idea at Christmas. The instant my son (13 months old) saw it, he literally threw himself into it. He barely got out for the next three days. My house is too messy to take a photo, but here is Sam’s:
This also led to my own stroke of genius: a crib ball pit! My kids thought this was pretty awesome.
Xylophones are everywhere, but this one from Etsy stands out because of its cool shape. Babies will love creating music with a stirring motion, and you will love that this thing can double as art on your shelf.
These are pricier gifts (I’m looking at YOU, Grandma), but the quality of the Corolle dolls is unbeatable. My son loves to play with the eyeballs on his – they open and close. And when my daughter was one year old, she would feed and rock her baby dolls. She’s almost four, and she STILL loves them. Now that’s play value!
I like this stacker because babies can stack the shapes by colour, shape OR size. We have a stacker by a brand that I’ll call Prisher Frice, which is angled so that there is ONE right way to get those darn rings on. My kids lose interest in that quickly. Bonus: this is pretty enough that you don’t have to put it away. It’s not mess – it’s decorative!
I bought these years ago, and both of my kids LOVE them. When you press the chick, it peeps. And one-year-olds LOVE putting things into other things and taking them out again.
These blocks are particularly great because they are squishy. That means they will stick to each other just a bit, so you can make really cool structures. And even better – they’re chewable!
Stacking was a well loved activity at our house. This stacking set has a bit of extra fun because the pieces can also be clicked together into a ball. It enjoyed tons of play for many years past the early childhood stage.
8) That’s Not My ______ (Bear, Pony, Hamster, Princess, Baby, etc, etc, etc)
This series of Usborne books has a different texture to feel on every page, and the illustrations have heavy black outlines that appeal to little eyes. Babies LOVE them.
Bird wakes up grumpy. Too grumpy to do ANYTHING. Babies can RELATE, yo. The Grumpy Bird books are funny, and they have cool collage-style illustrations. I love them, and so do my kids.
Baby is looking for Mommy, and YOUR baby lifts big sturdy flaps to aid in the search. This is also a series – Baby loses a LOT of things. See also: Where is Baby’s Birthday Cake, Where is Baby’s Puppy, etc.
Evan LOVED these books growing up. They have a lovely rhyming sing-song cadence that makes them infectious. Some of our favorites are Barnyard Dance and Moo, Baa, La La La.
In general, I think bath toys are a great gift at this age. This specific toy caught my eye because it is so cute and minimalist while still being functional. (It says for kids 3 and over but I think with proper supervision it might be ok. Of course that is up to each individual parent.)
When Evan was a baby, he loved to chatter away to all his friends on a plastic phone. It was a hand me down and didn’t even make noise but he didn’t care at all. I love that this wooden phone can be personalized. It’s a great way for babies to be “just like Mommy” without another noise making toy.
Want gift suggestions for kids, moms, dads, and teachers? I have them all here!