Gift Guide for a 1-Year-Olds
You’ve spent months planning the perfect first birthday for your little one and closer to the date have had all your family and friends ask, what to get them as presents.
This can be a tough and daunting question to answer. On one hand, we’ve been taught that asking for gifts (unless it’s to Santa) is rude, so you end up saying, whatever you’d like to get, but then you end up with clothing that doesn’t fit, a whole bunch of plastic ride on toys and things you’d really prefer not to store in your home.
Your child’s first birthday is one of the only birthdays where you truly do have all the power in decision-making for presents (take advantage, mamas!). Later on, these children start to vocalize an opinion of what they would prefer…. wah wah.
So take advantage when someone asks you what they should gift your child, because the toys that I’m going to recommend for you, are mostly toys that will grow with your child. These are toys of great quality, are multipurpose and they will use in different ways at different ages.
My recommendations are on the older end of a one-year-old because realistically the toys and resources you already have for your child are going to still be great learning and playing tools for them for the next couple of months.
The toys I’m going to be listing below can be introduced to your one-year-old whenever you feel they are ready to start exploring but will keep your child busy and interested well into turning two and on.
So without further adieu, these are my Top Ten Birthday Present Recommendations for a One-Year-Old
1. Puzzles for One-Year-Olds
These are amazing toys to help your child develop, learn colors, letters, shapes, spatial awareness, fine motor skills, and challenge their way of thinking.
Melissa and Dough Shapes Chunky Wood Puzzle
Peek-a-boo Touch and Feel Puzzle
Safari Chunky Wood Puzzle Melissa & Doug
With introducing any new concept or activity it is important that it not be too challenging to the point of a child becoming frustrated and uninterested in exploring the toy itself. I absolutely love all Melissa and Doug products, they are reasonably priced, AMAZING quality (they withstand years of daycare abuse) and all produced with early learning and child development in mind.
2. One-Year-Olds like Blocks as Gifts
These toys have many educational benefits and will be used by your children in different ways throughout the years because they are considered toys that are open-ended.
Blocks help your child to develop hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and Spatial awareness, enhance logical thinking and cause and effect, and help develop early math and engineering skills.
I love the quality and longevity that Hape offers to its consumers. This block set is a great starter set for your one-year-old and the wooden material will help keep them in touch with natural materials, which are proven to be beneficial for early learning development.
3. Books for 1-Year-Olds Birthday
I know by now your child probably has a pretty great book collection but there are some books that I recommend in the first year that will help develop many developmental domains.
The developmental early-childhood domains that can be worked on through exposure of these books I recommend are, Language, Cognitive, and Social-Emotional.
4. Open-ended toys and loose parts
You may or may not have heard of the concept of introducing to your child as they grow open-ended toys and loose parts. These toys can be used in a variety of ways depending on the child, the day, and their imagination. They foster play, creativity, and imagination.
My two favorite brands, which are very hard to purchase and ship to Canada and thankfully Scholars Choice sells, are Grimms Toys and GraPat. I’m sure by now you have seen this iconic wooden rainbow in play, those are the types of toys that are perfect not only for your one-year-old but until I would say around 12-13 years old. These toys are of AMAZING quality and truly to be what I consider heirloom pieces.
5. An Active World Tray
I was generously gifted my Active World tray a little while ago and I use it almost every day! It contains messes, encourages longer interactive play, and you can set up a whole creative world for your child to explore. ( hence the name).
This is probably one of my top gift-ever recommendations since I have been using mine. This tray is another example of a toy that will be used over the years to come in so many different ways. You can also purchase accessories and legs to turn it into a table later on as your child grows.
6. Squigz: Perfect Gift for One-Year-Olds
I’m a HUGE fan of the company FatBrainToy, they come out with amazing quality toys that help develop so many skills in your child. I have used Squigz with all the children at my daycare in a million different invitation-to-play setups as well as the child just uses their imagination and direct their own play and use their imagination.
I introduced these to Amadeo when he was just two months old to help make tummy time a bit more interesting, and because they are made of silicone they can be put into the fridge or freezer to help with teething.
Another bonus is they suction to so many different surfaces, the bathtub, the window, the table, highchair, floors, airplane tray… the list is truly endless, I truly feel that every child should have at least one set of these to help strengthen their fine motor skills through play!
7. Dramatic Play Materials
Depending on your child’s interest, it’s a great idea to start building up their at-home dramatic play setups. The most effective setups mimic real life. (ie: Restaurant, grocery store, veterinary clinic, doctor’s office, mechanic, construction site, etc). Melissa and Doug sell really great dramatic play sets of again AMAZING quality.
Food Groups Set Melissa & Doug
Wooden Wash Dry & Iron Play Set by Melissa & Doug
Fill & Roll Grocery Basket Play Set by Melissa & Doug
Examine & Treat Pet Vet Play Set by Melissa & Doug
These types of toys will be picked up multiple times throughout the early years. The learning skills that will be developed through dramatic play include Role-playing, Pretending and make-believe, communication, cooperative play, Social skills and interaction, and problem-solving.
So around one year old, children start to show an interest in taking care of dolls, stuffed animals, and babies, especially if they have another sibling or one on the way! Playing with babies can help develop your child’s Social Skills, Responsibility, Empathy & Compassion, Imagination, and language.
What I LOVE is all the of different ethnic doll options they have to choose from. Whether your child is male or female and whichever ethnic background you will find a baby doll or doll that looks similar to them. Honestly go to the website and search baby dolls and you can see all of the options.
I hope all of you enjoy the wonderful milestone that is one year old! My Little guy will be turning one in a couple of months and these will all be on his Birthday present Wishlist from Scholars Choice!
Starting an animal figure collection will be really beneficial to your child’s development and play invitations through the years. There are so many activities you can set up with animal figures that will make learning different concepts more dynamic and interesting, as well as how they play with them will change and evolve.
Jumbo Jungle Animals
10. Ride on Toy
Scholars Choice has some AMAZING toys that helped develop gross motor skills, and what I love about a ride-on toy, is having one that’s versatile and can grow a couple of stages with your child.
Globber Evo 4 in 1 Scooter Navy Blue
This is the only type of ride-on toy that you would truly want, it’s outdoors and is used in four different stages.
My Little guy will be turning one in a couple of months and these will all be on his Birthday present Wishlist.