Picking a first birthday gift can be fun but challenging! By a year old, babies love their toys and games. You have a lot of options! You can pick a toy that your child can enjoy now, or you can pick a toy that he will be able to enjoy in a few months. Toddlers advance so quickly.
If you decide that you want to purchase toys, look for ones that will increase motor skills, increase language development, motor development, and encourage the use of imagination. I always try to give my kids things that keep them busy or help them develop skills. I want the toys in my home to have multiple purposes.
Ready to get shopping? Keep reading to see what I think are awesome gifts!
First Birthday Gift Ideas for Girls
Little girls love sugar, spice, and everything nice, right? Buying for the little one-year-old baby girl is so fun. As she gets older, she will start to like things like baby dolls and dress-up items. Play into her current and future interests when picking a baby girl first birthday gift ideas.
Kids can never have too many books! Children should be read to throughout their entire childhood, including their infancy. Giving books is never a bad idea because there are so many classics. Fables and fairy tales, adventures, and poems are just a few of the types of books your child might be interested in reading.
A few classic books for toddlers include:
2. Shape Sorter
Shape sorters and wooden bead mazes build intelligence and cognitive skills. Children have to use critical thinking skills to figure out how and where each shape fits properly. Wooden mazes are another toy that kids love. They’re mesmerizing and also increase mental skills.
One of my favorite shape sorters for my kids is by Top Bright. It’s an activity cube with a wooden bead maze and a shape sorter.Read Verified Customer Reviews
3. Personalized Birthstone Bracelet
Babies love sparkles! Purchasing a personalized birthstone bracelet is a nice keepsake that her parents can put aside for her until she’s old enough to wear it. Look for a bracelet that you can also add her name to and perhaps some charms too!
Another idea is a necklace with her name and birthstone. Necklaces can be worn for longer periods because they’re more adjustable. Be creative and find something that she will love now and in five years.
My grandfather purchased me a baby ring when I was a year old. I still have that ring now decades later. While it doesn’t fit me anymore, it still holds sentimental value for me, and I think of him whenever I see it.
4. Princess Tent
What little girl doesn’t love a princess tent filled with balls to play? She will love this toy! Moving around and playing with the colorful balls helps to develop their motor skills and sense of adventure.
These little tents are typically lightweight, like this one by Le Papillon, and it’s made with safe materials. They’re great for traveling. Just take out the balls before you take it so you don’t have to worry about losing the balls.
A princess tent gives your little one-year-old somewhere fun to play. Stick it in a corner of the playroom or in her bedroom!Read Verified Customer Reviews
5. LeapFrog Musical Rainbow Tea Set
LeapFrog is a well-known toy brand that sells educational and exciting toys for kids. Their Rainbow Tea Set is adorable! It lights up in six colors and has seven different songs. Your toddler can have his own tea party, listen to tea sounds, and see the tea moving around in the teapot.
Your little girl will work on developing her motor skills as she practices serving six cake pieces. She can match the flavor of the cake to the flavor of tea that you selected. Plus, this tea set helps to encourage new vocabulary and counting skills.Read Verified Customer Reviews
6. Mommy & Me Dance Classes
Does your favorite little girl love to dance? Check to see if any local studios offer mommy & me classes. These classes are fun for mom and toddler. With the help of mom, little kids learn how to do rolls and little dance moves. They might jump on a trampoline or just have fun. Plus, it’s great bonding time together.
Don’t forget to grab a cute tutu, dance leotard, tights, and ballet shoes so she can dress the part too. Every little girl loves to dress up like a ballerina.
First Birthday Gift Ideas for Boys
Boys will be boys from the start, and most little boys love to be rough and tumble. Cars and anything that make sounds will interest him. Awesome baby boy first birthday gift ideas will get him moving and active. As he gets older, little boys may love farm animals and dinosaurs.
1.Little Red Wagon
Every little boy needs a little red wagon! His parents can pull him around the neighborhood in it for walks, and there is plenty of space to collect sticks along the way. As he gets older, he will pull the wagon around the yard on his adventures.
Radio Flyer is the best brand for a little red wagon! This brand is one of the best because of its durability. Radio Flyer started making wagons in 1917, and they still make them today.Read Verified Customer Reviews
2. Personalized Storybook
Kids love story books, but a personalized storybook is even better! You can get a storybook that is written to rhyme with your child’s name. The book stars your child, and he will love reading about himself in a book! How cool is that? You will read this book every day for years to come.
Some personalized stories even let you add their picture to the book. You can even pick themes, like a bedtime stories or their very own fairy tale.Read Verified Customer Reviews
3. Kindermusik Classes
Does your little boy love music? Kindermusik classes are all over the place. Check to see if your local art or dance studios offer these classes. They involve music and movement. Kids learn about music and rhythm, plus they get to play with instruments and enjoy their time with their parent or caregiver. Kindermusik classes are so fun.
4. Mega Bloks
Every little boy needs a pack or two of Mega Bloks. They’re the most popular preschool building tool. Mega Bloks are a precursor to Legos, and they fit perfectly in little hands. Toddlers can’t accidentally swallow them, and the blocks fit easily together. Mega Bloks are loved by all toddlers.
All of my toddlers have had packs of Mega Bloks, and they spend hours playing with them. They aren’t expensive, and you can find sets as well. My son recently received a large truck with Mega Bloks inside, and he loved it!Read Verified Customer Reviews
5. YGJT Baby Balance Bikes
You might think your little boy is too young for a bicycle, but you would be wrong! The YGJT Balance Bike for toddlers between 10-24 months old. This bicycle has no pedals, fully enclosed wheels and limited turning to avoid knocking baby over.
It’s made of carbon steel to help your baby learn how to balance himself. Don’t worry! This balance bike is safe, passing CPSC and ASTM safety standards. The purpose of a balance bike is to teach a toddler how to ride, go forward and back, and to gain confidence. It helps with the transition to a bicycle with training wheels when he gets older. Plus, it’s a great toy to burn off some energy, whether it’s inside or outside!Read Verified Customer Reviews
6. K’s Kids Car Toys
Little boys love cars, and their love for cars starts off pretty early. Chances are, your little toddler already has an interest in pushing cars around the living room.
Most cars and vehicles are made for older kids. They have small parts and tires that pop off, all of which are choking hazards for your little one-year-old. Melissa & Doug created the K’s Kids Car Toys. These are designed specifically for toddlers with a pull-back vehicle style. They’re soft and safe, perfect for your child.
Melissa & Doug includes a handy carrying case, so you can bring these cars with you wherever you go. These cars are great for motor skill development and problem-solving. Also, he will love that, in this set, you will find a bus, fire truck, police car, and a normal car.Read Verified Customer Reviews
First Birthday Gift Ideas for Twins
Figuring out unique first birthday gifts for twins can be tricky because there are two little toddlers! Remember that these little one-year-olds have the same interests as those who are a singleton but just doubled. You can either purchase two gifts – one for each child – or a joint present that each toddler will love and enjoy as they get older.
1. Saving Bonds
If your little twins have everything that they could need, consider grabbing saving bonds for each toddler. You could also put money toward a college fund. Sure, babies might not appreciate the gift just yet, but when they’re older, they will love that they have money set aside for them.
To purchase savings bonds, you need to have each child’s Social Security Number. That means it’s not much of a surprise because you have to talk to the parents ahead of time. Chances are, they’ll appreciate the saving bonds though!
2. A Pretend Kitchen
Every little child needs a pretend kitchen, and twins will get a lot of use out of a play kitchen. Most kitchens are large enough that two kids can play with it at the same time. Play kitchens encourage imaginative play.
Make sure you stock up on play food, pots and pans, utensils, and plates. The twins will love this toy, and it’ll give them hours of thoughtful play. Cutting play food, like the sets by Melissa & Doug, is the best. These sets have foods like bread, apple, carrots, and watermelon that need to be “cut” apart. Velcro holds the pieces together so your child can use his wooden knife to cut them open.Read Verified Customer Reviews
3. Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Car
The Cozy Coupe is an iconic toy for toddlers, and every little kid needs one. You can put in floorboards for parent-controlled pushing, or remove the floorboards when your child learns how to scoot himself around.
It’s a good idea to get each twin their own Cozy Coupe car. They can ride around together playing on the patio outside. If anything, purchasing a car for each twin means that no one has to listen to fighting over whose turn it is. With twins, you want to do everything you can to decrease the bickering! How cute will they be racing around outside?Read Verified Customer Reviews
4. Sandbox or Water Table
Toddlers love to play outside! A sandbox or water able are two great choices for one-year-old- twins. Some parents stay away from sand because, let’s be honest, sand gets everywhere and kids love to eat it. Why? We don’t know, but nothing is worse than hearing the sand grind between your child’s teeth.
Water tables are an endless amount of fun! Your child can stand and play in the water without worry that he will fall into the war. Most of the tables are chest high, making them safe for play. The Step2 WaterWheel is a popular pick for toddlers.Read Verified Customer Reviews
If you do decide to get a sandbox, make sure it has a lid. Outside sandboxes can become outside litter boxes for stray cats, and debris tends to collect there. Consider the Step2 Play and Store Sandbox. It’s a great size for twins!Read Verified Customer Reviews
5. Children’s Museum Membership
Do you have a children’s museum nearby? Children’s museums are fascinating places for kids to visit. Most of them have areas set up specifically for little kids to safely explore and learn. They also tend to have shows, exhibits, or classes for kids of all ages.
Buy your little one-year-old a membership for the children’s museum. They’re a great place to go when it’s cold outside or you just need something to do.
Don’t have a children’s museum nearby? That’s a bummer! Consider a zoo membership instead. Even toddlers can appreciate frequent trips to zoos to see the animals, and most zoos have great playgrounds for toddlers to enjoy.
6. Wooden Puzzles
Every child loves wooden puzzles, and they’re a great investment for your little twins. Puzzles for toddlers are large and chunky, making it easier for their little hands to hold. They have pictures underneath the puzzle pieces, making it easier for your toddlers to learn how to put the puzzles in the right spots.
Some of the best wooden puzzles for toddlers are made by Melissa & Doug. They have puzzles for farm animals, safari animals, and vehicles.Read Verified Customer Reviews
4 Tips to Pick a First Birthday Gift
We don’t remember our first birthday, but that doesn’t mean the gift that we pick for our child or a child we love shouldn’t be awesome and memorable. Finding out unique first birthday gift ideas can be challenging, especially if you find shopping a challenge.
So, if you’re struggling, here are a few tips!
1. Classic toys are a classic for a reason.
It’s easy to pass up classic toys because we think that they’re overdone and overused. Let’s remember that they’re classics for a reason – they’re awesome. Kids will always love little red wagons and shape sorters. Little girls will always love dolls, and all kids appreciate a toy drum. A one-year-old doesn’t understand trends or fads, and they all need to work on the same skills!
2. Encourage imagination.
Toddlers start to mimic everything they see by the time they turn one-year-old. If they see you doing it, chances are, they’ll want to do it too. When they see mom carrying a baby, they want to do it as well. If they see you pushing a vacuum, they want to try it too! So, consider toys that let your child use his imagination and make belief!
3. Books are never overreacted.
When in doubt, a few sturdy books is never a bad choice. It’s never too early to build a child’s library! Worried about the toddler destroying books? There is an incredible line of books called Indestructibles.
As you might imagine, these books are nearly impossible for toddlers to destroy. They aren’t made of cardboard, but a paper-like material. The books are just illustrations, no words. If the book gets too dirty, you can toss it in the washer – seriously!
4. Think about time capsules.
Toddlers get tons of toys for their birthday, and a time capsule is a cool idea. You can put mementos, trinkets, pictures, and letters in the capsule. When the baby grows up and turns 18 years old, then the capsule can be opened.
Frequently Asked Questions about First Birthday Gift Ideas
How Much Do I Need to Spend on a 1st Birthday Gift?
There is no set limit! Whatever you can afford is best, and no parent will be upset. For parents, remember to factor in the cost of the party when considering what gift, if any, that you want to get your toddler. The party is part of their birthday present as well!
I Was Invited to a First Birthday Party. The Invitation Says No Gifts. Should I Still Bring a Gift?
Absolutely NOT! If the parents specify that they don’t want gifts, honor their wish. We all know how it feels to drown in toys, and they might be feeling that way. They just want to celebrate their child’s birthday with you!
If you do feel called to give a gift, consider giving the amount that you would spend on a gift to a local charity in the baby’s name.
I’m Stumped! Can I Give Cash as a 1st Birthday Gift?
I’m Stumped! Can I Give Cash as a 1st Birthday Gift?
You sure can! Parents still appreciate the gift of cash. Toddlers are ever-growing and changing. Cash helps buy clothes because you know they’re always in need of something else. Some parents stash away gifts of cash in savings accounts for their children. Cash is appreciated if you feel stumped otherwise.
The great thing about 1-year-olds is that they typically love anything you get them! Whether you give them books or new cars, toddlers are typically excited and appreciative of all their gifts.
Make sure you think about their individual interests and personalities. Is he quiet or active? Does he love cars or a specific cartoon? Does she love to dance and listen to music? Kids have quirky characteristics even at this age.
What was your one-year-old’s favorite toy? Let us know in the comments! You can help give ideas to other desperate shoppers.