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15 Best Gifts for 1 Year Olds Guide

At one year of age, the little one in your life isn’t a baby anymore! They have the whole world at their fingertips, and they are ready to explore it. It can be lots of fun to shop for gifts for one-year-olds, but it can be a challenge too.

We’ve put together a list of our favorite toys for one-year-olds. From education to cuddly, you’ll find the perfect give for the toddler in your life!

It can be intimidating to shop for a child, especially if they aren’t your child. Or maybe you simply don’t know what is considered appropriate toys for one-year-olds. Take a deep breath because we’ve taken the guesswork out of it.

Our list covers all the bases. Find age-appropriate puzzles, books, stuffed animals, and more. We’ll go over each toy, who it’s best for, and why we chose it for our list of the best gifts for one-year-olds.

The Best Gift Ideas for 1-Year-Olds for 2023

1. Shape Sorting Game

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First on our list of gifts for one-year-olds is the InnyBin by Fat Brain Toys. This award-winning toy challenges your little one while encouraging fine motor skill development. It includes six fun and colorful shapes and a beautiful cube to put them in.

We chose Fat Brain Toys because they make beautiful, durable toys for one-year-olds from safe materials. Get your toddler the InnyBin if they dump toys out of containers all day long. Watch as they figure out how to pull shapes in and out between the colorful elastic bands of the cube!

2. Wooden Drum

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The Big Drum II from BabyEarth is classic fun. It comes with drumsticks and a full removable lanyard. Little hands can hit the wooden sides and rubber top for a big sound. Little ones love drumming as a way to work through energy and big emotions.

Musical instruments are great gifts for one-year-olds because they are open-ended toys. With just a drum, you and your little explorer can explore sound, music, language, and much more. Give your child a drum if you see them clapping and drumming on things all the time.

3. Play Shopping Cart

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If you have a child that’s starting to master the skill of walking, get them the Hape Shopping Cart. When looking for toys for one-year-olds, look for toys that your little one can use in various ways. For example, this cart is great for pretend play and filling buckets – both favorites of one-year-olds.

Hape has mastered quality wooden toy construction. Check out how beautiful this grocery cart is. It has bright colors, a fabric basket, and smooth lines. Don’t overlook a simple shopping cart when it comes to gifts for one-year-olds. It will give them hours of fun for years to come!

4. Classic Stacking Toy

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Think about when you had a Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack as a child. Today, Fisher-Price uses plant-based materials and fully recyclable packaging. When looking for gifts for one-year-olds, keep in mind that they are still putting everything in their mouth. Have peace of mind that they aren’t exposed to harmful plastics.

The Rock-a-Stack has five brightly-colored rings that your child can place on a wobbly stand. This toy for one-year-olds is excellent for building fine motor skills. If your little one is exploring taking things in and out of baskets or likes a challenge, this toy will be a huge hit.

5. Wooden Knob Puzzle

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Melissa and Doug is a company known for its affordable, high-quality wooden toys. Check out their First Shapes Jumbo Knob Puzzle. There are six different shapes on a colorful background. Match the puzzle pieces to their corresponding slot.

When looking for gifts for one-year-olds, look for beginner items like this. The knob makes it easy for them to hold, but the actual puzzle is an age-appropriate challenge. If your one-year-old needs to develop hand muscles, choose a Melissa and Doug puzzle.

6. Peekaboo Board Book

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Go with a board book when you’re looking for gifts for one-year-olds for a hit every time. Watch your toddler light up as you read the Peekaboo Board Book by Karen Katz. Every page has beautiful illustrations. Lift the flaps to reveal things underneath.

Peekaboo is a classic pastime and a superb way for children to learn about their world. If you’re looking for toys for one-year-olds who like to discover hidden objects, get them this book. Help them lift the flaps and turn the board pages to find new things.

7. Cuddly Stuffed Animal

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One-year-olds love soft, cozy stuffed animals. GUND has made durable, child-friendly stuffed animals for over 100 years. The Baby Toothpick Sloth is an excellent example of their craftsmanship. Gifts for one-year-olds don’t have to be educational. Choose a plushy your little one will love!

The sloth is 12 inches long, the perfect size toy for your one-year-old to carry around. The trademark “toothpick” arms and legs make it easy to cuddle with. Children at this age often start sleeping with a toy they become attached to. Choose the GUND Sloth and have peace of mind that your child is sleeping safely.

8. Pop It Toy for Babies

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Buy a trendy pop-it toy for your baby with the Dimpl Duo by Fat Brain Toys. This company once again makes our list for their unique toys. The Dimpl Duo has a BPA-free plastic frame that feels good in the hand and is small enough for a child to carry it around. The bright, colorful silicone dots are nice to feel and push.

Toys for one-year-olds should be simple so they can focus and learn! Order the Dimpl Duo if you see your little explorer noticing textures and pointing. Push in all the domes, then flip the toy over and start all over again. Each dome has a different shape, labeled in English and Braille.

9. Wooden Pull Toy

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Get this Duck Pull Toy by Janod, a classic gift for one-year-olds learning to walk. Janod offers age-appropriate toys in high-quality materials. You’ll see the wood, waterproof paint, and faux leather that they use. Show your little one how the duck moves as they take steps and pull the string.

This option is a great toy for learning cause and effect: pull the string, and the toy moves. Toys for one-year-olds are fun while also helping them master skills. Choose the Duck Pull Toy for your child who is starting to feel more comfortable walking while holding things in their hands.

10. Musical Activity Table

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The Enchanted Friends Learning Table by Fisher-Price grows with your child. Push buttons, flip things, roll things! Take off the legs for one-year-olds who aren’t walking yet. Put the legs on the table so they can practice pulling up. When your child presses the big button, music plays, and the balls spin in the middle!

Feel good when choosing gifts for one-year-olds. This choice has many different benefits, with both big and fine muscle development. The sensory experience will keep toddlers busy for hours. Shake the Enchanted Friends like rattles and stack the blocks.

11. Colorful Pegs and Foam

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While shopping for gifts for one-year-olds, keep things simple. The Textured Fun Foam Shapes & Pegs by Excellerations is a fun puzzle perfect for little ones! You get five fun foam shapes in five different colors. Place the pegs in the holes or stack them on top of each other.

This toy provides an ideal sit-down activity for one-year-olds. They will learn matching, sorting, and spatial awareness just by playing with pegs and foam. Toys for one-year-olds should be simple so they can focus on them for extended periods without getting distracted or overwhelmed. If your little one needs to develop focus, try out this game.

12. Sensory Balls

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 Get this if your toddler loves balls. This set of four sensory balls by EduShape is an excellent choice when you’re looking for go-to toys for one-year-olds. The set comes in primary colors of yellow, green, blue, and red. Bounce these soft balls or feel the raised bumps in your hand.

The balls roll smoothly, but the raised surface is prominent when you hold them. They will learn to track with their eyes as a ball rolls by. Rolling toys also encourage children to move in different ways and to throw, which is an important skill to master.

13. Bath Toys

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We have more balls on our list of gifts for one-year-olds, but these are for the bathtub. Bath toys have changed in recent years so that they are safer and don’t retain water. These Float & Play Bubbles by Munchkin are wholly waterproof and just so cute!

The bright colors of the balls are easy to see floating in a bubble bath. Shake the balls for fun rattling noises. These are great toys for one-year-olds because they are easy to grip in little hands, assisting in fine motor skill development. Use them inside the bath or out. The set of balls comes in a few different color combinations and designs.

14. See Through Blocks

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For the toddler who loves blocks, check out the See-Through Colored Block Set from Game Movil. You get a set of 15 chunky but lightweight blocks in a clear storage container. They come in 5 colors and varying shapes and sizes.

When you’re looking for gifts for one-year-olds, there are all kinds of blocks out there. These ones are unique. Notice the rounded edges, perfect for small children to use safely. They are light and easy to hold but are still a challenge for developing hands. If your little one is learning to stack blocks, choose these see-through blocks.

15. Wooden Cell Phone

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Check out the My Cell Phone at Michaels for the child fascinated with Mom or Dad’s phone! Gifts for one-year-olds don’t have to have all the bells and whistles. Look for the toy version of whatever your child is interested in. 

Choose this great option if you’re trying to stay away from plastic or electronic toys for one-year-olds. The high-quality wooden cell phone is perfect for toddlers who are just starting to learn about their world by playing pretend. Press the colorful buttons on the phone and see how it’s small enough for little hands.

Tips for Buying Gifts for Toddlers

If you’re stumped on what to get your little one, we have a few ideas! Check out our tips on buying gifts for one-year-olds.

Look for Toys with Various Uses

Educators call this an “open-ended” toy. Think of toys like blocks, scarves, or playdough. A child will use their creativity to explore and come up with ways they want to use them. Look at scarves. They can be a baby blanket, a coat, or a flag!

Choose That Challenge Your One-Year-Old

Children learn new skills by playing. They play with the same toy over and over again to master new skills. If they know how to build a tower of three nesting cups, their next challenge will be to build an even taller tower. The longer there is a challenge, the longer they will enjoy a toy.

The Best Toys Are Ones They Are Interested in

Don’t buy a stuffed puppy dog for a child who is afraid of dogs. If their favorite color is red, buy them a color matching game or a red teddy bear. Remember that you don’t always have to buy toys that are obviously educational. Children find ways to learn just by having fun!

Frequently Asked Questions

So you’re shopping for gifts for one-year-olds. Check out these frequently asked questions that might help you.

Why Are Electronic Toys Bad for One-Year-Olds?

Studies have shown that electronic toys don’t promote cognitive development in children like books and classic wooden toys do. Think of electronic toys as “empty calorie” toys. Use them in moderation, but know they have no real benefits.

What Toys Should Toddlers Avoid?

Toys with parts that are smaller than 1.75 inches in diameter are a choking hazard for young children. Choose stuffed animals with embroidered eyes over bead eyes. Avoid toys with strings and cords less than 7-inches long, as they can be a strangling hazard.

What Art Materials Are Appropriate for One-Year-Olds?

Crayons are safe for one-year-olds to use but only in the presence of an adult. Jumbo crayons are great first-step art tools for little hands. Chalk is also safe for one-year-olds and easy to use.

More Gift Ideas by Age