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47 Genius Gifts for Creative 1 Year Olds – Mom-Approved Toys and Gifts

These are the must-have toys and gifts for 1 year olds! From interactive toys and games that fuel thier minds and help strengthen their bodies, to the cutest baby clothes to keep them cozy and warm. If it’s adorable, useful, interactive, and made just for a one year old, you’ll find it here.

Their first birthday is really something special. I was able to find the perfect gift for my friend’s daughter and I know she’ll just love it!


Stack carefully. Knock over. Repeat. Such is the agenda of a one-year old child with a nice collection of big, soft blocks at hand. With the occasional break for eating, getting the diaper changed, and fits of crying and/or laughter. These blocks are big, soft and totally kid safe.


Whack A Mole

On the one hand, this wooden toy is a great lesson in the universal rule of cause and effect. The child makes one peg go down, and another comes up. It’s a fascinating learning experience. On the other hand, it’s really just a blast to hit things.


Backyard Play Set

Once you get them this playset, they’ll be set for years. Set it up in the back yard and that lucky one-year old will never know life without a climbing wall, swings, and an entire universe of play, right there waiting for them. Your house will be the go-to neighborhood playdate destination.


Balance Board

As a parent, you quickly learn that kids play with the simplest toys they can find, and sometimes ignore the fancy things with all the bells and whistles. Life tends to be more about wrapping paper and empty boxes. This balance board wins because it’s so basic and natural.


Ball Pit

There’s nothing more fun for a kid than taking a jump into the unknown—as long as you, the parent, know that the landing is going to be one hundred percent safe and soft. This little pit of plastic balls will give a one year old hours of fun.


Dr. Seuss Happy Birthday

So a one-year old is still years away from reading books. That doesn’t matter. Parents have to get them started on the classics as early as possible. And we’re not talking about Shakespeare. We’re talking about the one and only Theodor Seuss Geisel, the best writer of anything ever.

Prices Vary

Wooden Play Kitchen

Get the kiddo started early on real life lessons—like baking cookies and pie for dessert. This play kitchen is great because parents can reconfigure it as the kids grow. It starts out at the perfect height for kids twelve to eighteen months, and can grow with them until age three or four.

Prices Vary

Jumper the Frog

This cute little frog is exactly what the doctor ordered for a one-year old. No, really—it’s developmentally appropriate, and has features that will build fine motor skills and let them practice things like zipping zippers, tying shoes, and wearing out Velcro the way only children can.

Prices Vary

Foam Shapes

Shapes, colors, manual dexterity—every little thing counts. You don’t want to get crazy with the learning at this age, but it can’t hurt to think through the toy selection a little bit. This toy is wonderful because it’s fun and exposes kids to basics of learning.

Prices Vary

Monster Bowling

Forget the learning, let’s just knock stuff down! Plush bowling is ideal for a one-year old gift because it takes advantage of the innate desire to throw stuff into other stuff so it falls over. Pretty basic—but you have to remember: everything is basic for a one-year old.


City Life Play Carpet

They’ll take their little cars and follow the lines on this city street carpet, making vroom-vroom noises the whole time. Then when they get older they’ll be able to identify buildings, and they’ll actually understand what they’re doing. Carpets like these last for years, and protect the floors under them, too.


Giraffe Trike

This scoot along tricycle is the perfect way to get a little one on the path that eventually leads to a bicycle. No pedals, no balancing, no pressure. They’ll want to get on this adorable little giraffe and zoom around the room with foot power, which will prepare them for pedal power in a couple of years.


Magic Mozart Cube

Mozart could play the violin and keyboard by age five and began composing symphonies at age eight—so what are you waiting for? J/k! This cube will foster the love of music in a child’s heart, while keeping things nice and fun.


Wood Veggies

This basket of fabric vegetable will have them fascinated for years. They’re soft, big, and ready for elaborate feasts of the imagination. It will also get kids used to having vegetable on their plates. Parents of one-year olds, you want to get ahead of the curve on the veggie thing. Trust us.


Hair Bows

When you have absolutely no idea what to get a little girl, get her some hair bows. No girl is too young for cute things in her hair, and no mother or father will say no to having a bunch of extras on hand. This set comes in seven fun colors.

Prices Vary

Musical Activity Center

Toys like this musical activity center are great because there’s so much going on. This one literally has all the bells and whistles you can imagine. One year olds can play with this toy sitting down, and use it to lever themselves up to standing. They may take their first step next!


Play House

This play house is made of durable plastic that’s equally suited for an indoor playroom or outside in the back yard. Kids can lose themselves in their imaginations in this little house for hours on end. They’ll explore opening and closing doors, playing peekaboo, and much more.


Learning Walker

This walker is just the right height to get a kid who’s on the verge of walking from the falling down stage to taking full steps across the room. The key is to get them distracted, standing, leaning, and playing, and before you know it, they’ll just let go of the walker and then…they’ll be walking.


Bath Shapes

Bath time is the best time. Warm, bubbly, fun. At age one, kids still need their parents with them in the bath tub, and these shapes will make bath time more fun for everyone. They’re totally kid safe, because there’s no doubt that the little one will try to eat them.

Prices Vary

Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center

Give your little one a tree-mendous gift this year with this super fun Tree Top Adventure activity center. With more activities than they could shake a stick at, this wooden toy is sturdy, colorful, and will stir those little imaginations for great adventures that they can revisit again and again.


Fisher-Price Rock, Roll ‘n Ride Trike

As easy as 1, 2, and 3, this gorgeous Rock, Roll ‘n’ Ride trike from Fisher-Price will be your child’s favorite toy for years of fun. Young riders can use the rocker base, then progress to the ride-along thanks to the extra-long parent handle, before graduating to independent travel as they learn to use the pedals.


Bubble-N-Go Toy Mower

There’ll be no toil and trouble when toddlers tend to the lawn with this adorable mower, but there will be plenty of bubbles! Little ones can mimic Mom and Dad as they push the mower along, delighting in the sound effects and, even more excitingly, the bubbles that pour forth as they ‘mow’ the garden.


Choo Choo Train Dining Set

Turn mealtime into playtime and encourage even the fussiest of eaters with the Choo Choo Train Dining Set. Decorated in bright red and blue, this set comes with an engine cup, conductor’s house bowl, platform plate, and coupling rod cutlery for fun that never runs out of steam.


Step2 Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center

Protect them from the sun and rain while they play outdoors with the Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center from Step2. Consisting of a split table, this set also comes with an 8-piece accessory kit, including an umbrella, bridges, pots, boats and a shovel, as well as a one-piece lid to keep it all clean and dry.


Barnyard Play House

Head down to the farm for some frolicking fun, thanks to the Barnyard Play House. Large enough to comfortably fit 3 or more friends, parents, or even pets (but possibly not a cow!) this easy to assemble playhouse features mesh windows for ventilation, roll up door, and see-through roof for a bit of sky gazing.


Radio Flyer 3-in-1 EZ Folding Wagon

Let your 1 year old hitch a ride in style in the Radio Flyer 3-in-1 folding wagon. With enough seating for your tot and a friend, this wagon allows you to take your little ones on adventures without tiring their little legs by walking on tough terrain, with enough room for cargo as well.


Fisher-Price Grow-to-Pro Junior Basketball

He shoots…he scores, and so will you if you buy this teeny tot sized basketball hoop set for your little dribbler. Height adjustable to 40 inches, your kid will have plenty of time to practice his or her slam dunks before stepping on to the big courts. Suitable for ages 18m to 5 years.

Prices Vary

Personalized 12 Days of Christmas Book

Adventures are always exciting to read about, but when they feature your child and their friends and family, they become irresistible. Personalized with your child’s name, along with up to 6 other names, this magical tale brings kids through the 12 days of Christmas as they star in their very own yuletide story.


Munchkin Bath Fun Bubble Blower Toy

In or out of the tub, this little penguin will bring screeches of laughter and looks of wonder as he blows scores of bubbles into the air. Featuring 10 bubble wands which rotate constantly, bath time can become laugh time as little ones strive to catch those elusive globes of iridescent color.


Bathtime Fun Beach Toys

These handy sandy toys will make time at the beach fly with your 1 year old. BPA, PVC, & Phthalate free, these soft-touch toys will anchorage tots to explore their surroundings, whether that is on dry land or at the water’s edge, and are lightweight enough for even the smallest of hands.

Prices Vary

Playskool Chase n Go Ball Popper

If the bright colors on this adorable elephant aren’t enough to attract your child, the exciting popping action certainly will be. Little ones can practice their gross motor skills as they insert the balls into the elephant’s body and watch as they pop right back out, teaching them cause and effect as well.


Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn 3-in-1 Smart Car

Young drivers can walk, bounce, and ride their way to independence with the cheery looking Laugh & Learn 3-in-1 Smart Car by Fisher-Price. With flashing lights, fun songs and sounds, and multiple buttons and switches to press, this interactive car makes the perfect gift for 1 year olds on the go.


VTech KidiBeats Kids Drum Set

You can’t beat this toy – actually, you can do just that, because this fabulous set from Vtech is a drum set! With 9 melodies to play along to, young musicians can bash and crash their way to musical stardom as they choose one of the four modes of play which include freestyle and follow-along.


Green Toys Car Carrier Vehicle Set Toy

Some toys cost the earth, and we’re not just talking about your hard earned dollars. Green Toys make their toys from 100% recycled plastic, making them better for the environment, and this rugged car carrier is no exception, Perfect for both indoor and outdoor play, this vehicle set comes with lorry and three cars for imaginative play.


Take and Go Playset

Ah, life on the farm. This playset includes an entire set of toys that a one-year old will love. From the farmer to the tractor to the crops and all the livestock, there’s years of play packed into this one little set. And it all packs up and it ready to take anywhere, which is a parent’s dream.


Kid Playpen

Parents, listen: you cannot stop them. You cannot control them. You can only hope to contain them. This modular play pen lets you keep your adventurous one-year old in a specific while you do things around the house or yard. As cute as they are, they just can’t really help rake or do dishes.


Rocking Horse

There’s no way a kid can make it through life without having at least one rocking horse—and this is one rocking horse. It’s made totally of wood, so it’s good for the Waldorff set, and it will last for years, which is good for any parent.


Hohner Band Set

We’re getting the band back together…wait, they’re getting their first band together. This musical set for toddlers has everything the little ones need to get started on a life making music. There’s a xylophone, a drum, and three shakers for the backup dancers.


Doll Mansion

It’s not a doll house. That wouldn’t do it justice. It’s really a doll mansion. This play center has four floors of wonder, eight rooms, and thirty five pieces of furniture to mix and match. This one will grow with a child from age one all the way through elementary school.


Animal Magnet Set

Mix them and match them, make a jungle and then start all over again. These wooden magnets are painted with bright animals and will teach kids exactly what animals looks like. They’re made from safe materials so when the kid starts nibbling, there’s nothing to worry about.


Tea Set

There’s more to this tea set than meets the eye. It’s interactive and educational. That’s what most toys claim, but this one really delivers because it’s very well designed. It comes with songs, asks kids questions, and all parts are durable and snap-fit into their places like they’re supposed to.


Musical Eggs

HABA makes really great toys. They’re all wood and all natural, they don’t need batteries, and all of them serve some developmental or educational purpose. This set of musical eggs will get the little tykes shaking, rattling and rolling all day long.


The Moover Dump Truck

If you’re the kind of uncle, friend, or grandparent that want to get a one-year old a gift that will stand the test of time, this dump truck should be high up on your list. It’s well-made from solid wood, and is fun on many levels.



This is an octopus with skills. Hug it, it sings a melody. Squeeze its parts, and it tells you what they are—in English, French, and Spanish. On top of all that, it’s totally cute and cuddly. Get this for a one-year old, and remember: don’t get jealous of the octopus just because it’s smarter than you.


Sportball Kit

Sports fans cannot wait to get their kids involved with their favorite sport. This kit is perfect for the ultimate set up. Line them up, and watch carefully: will your child pick the football, the baseball, the basketball, or the soccer ball? And just which one of those sports has the highest salary?


Safari Dish Set

This one is really a gift for the parents and the kids. It’s an eating set made of bamboo and printed with an African safari theme. It’s all natural, free of toxins and dishwasher safe. This is a great first eating kit for little kids, but mom and dad need to be there when they use it.


Girly Socks

Right in line after the hair bows is a set of cute little girly socks. A little girl can never have enough, and moms and dads will thank you. Because one thing is true: the missing sock phenomenon is even truer for toddler than adults. It’s almost impossible to find a matching pair, especially when you’re in a hurry.

Prices Vary

Rubber Ducky Family

Get all your ducks in a row with this perfect family of rubber ducks. This is a magical bathtub toy without equal. The momma duck shelters the four baby ducklings behind a mesh screen. They won’t take on water, and they’ll last for years of bath time fun.

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Wire Maze

You may wonder why you see these wire mazes in every single doctor and dentist office you visit with your child. The answer is simple: kids love them. That something so deceptively simple can keep them occupied for hours one of the great mysteries of the universe.

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Cute Cap

Yes! Too cute. You gotta have a little baby wool cap to keep that little baby head nice and warm in the winter. Remember the old Scandinavian saying: leave them in the cold for a couple of hours—when you come back, they’ll be beautiful. Disclaimer: we’re not saying leave kids unsupervised. It’s a folk saying!


Shape Cube

Toys like this are great because they really teach kids while engaging their mind and imagination. Little humans are natural problem solvers, and this shape cube is loaded with solvable challenges that teach kids logical thinking, coordination, and strengthen their fingers and hands. Winning all the way around.


Radio Flyer

Okay, okay: maybe this particular Radio Flyer is a little bit extreme for a one year old, but we’re just saying. Somebody in this kid’s life needs to get him or her a bangin’ red wagon, and it needs to happen sooner than later. This one is the all-terrain model, made for some serious backyard adventuring.


Rainbow Peg Dolls

These dolls will spark the imagination, because there’s room for the imagination. All a kid needs is an excuse to jump into the world of fantasy and play. These dolls don’t do all the work for them. They’re simple, functional, and inspire children to do what they do best: play.


Giant Sock Monkey

Because giant six foot sock monkey! That’s why! The manufacturer’s recommended age for this big guy is three years and up, but we’ll leave it up to discerning parents and family members to decide. Keep him in your room for supervised play—but how can you resist the giant six foot sock monkey!


Foam Floor Mat

This foam floor mat is a blessing for kids and parents alike. It’s great for kids because it’s fun, colorful, and free of toxic chemicals like BPA’s and phthalates. It’s great for parents because it teaches kids while saving the wear and tire on carpet or wooden floors.


Rainbow Nesting Shapes

Toys made by Grimm are well-known for their high quality, durability, and elegance of design. These nesting shapes tick all three of those boxes. They’re carved from one piece of wood, so they fit together perfectly, and they also teach kids about color, shape, and relative size.


Art Cards

These cards have bold shapes and that will capture a child’s attention. Each one is simple and evoked the spirit of the animal. They’re a great extra gift for a one-year old you know is going to get a bunch of fancy stuff from the grandparents and everyone else—but we bet these will be favorites.

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Finger Puppet Set

Finger puppet fun, farm style. These ten finger puppets are tailor made for singing and laughing to endless rounds of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.” Kids can make all the noises while wiggling the right animal on their finger, and there’s even a farmer and farmhouse.


Organic Teddy Bear

Every kiddo needs a soft and cuddly teddy bear to keep them company at bedtime, and go on adventures with them all day. With this one, you can also give the kiddo a philanthropic start in life. When you buy one of these organic cotton and hemp bears, the company will donate one to a child in need.

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Dino Robeez

When parents of older kids see a pair of Robeez on someone else’s toddler, they automatically say “Awww, I miss these!” And it’s true. Robeez are cool. Get these for the one-year old in your life, and remind the parents to cherish the days of easy, cute, slip-on shoes.


First Slide

The title says it all: First Slide. Remember when nothing in life was more important than going down the slide? And nothing was worse than not getting your turn? Well, put this slide in the little one’s back yard and they’ll always be first in line.


(Related: 105 Must-Buy Gifts for 1 Year Old Boys and Girls)

13 DIY Gifts and Toys for 1 Year Olds

Bath Paints

When you’re heading out to a one-year old’s birthday party, just remember: the parents and the grandparents are going to cover all the major stuff. If you’re not one of them, why not do something different, like make the kid the fun bath paints in this cool DIY tutorial?

Socialite Headband

Faaaabulous, darling, absolutely faaabulous. Every little girl needs to stay one step ahead of the fasion curve. You can keep the one-year old lovely in your life on the cutting edge by making her this super cute headband. She’ll be the envy of every toddler on the block!

Elmo Tee

Kids love Elmo, there’s no doubt about it. Something about this little red fella just speaks to all their best instincts. This DIY shows you how to make any Elmo9 tee for the toddling one-year old who has your heart. The best part about this one: it’s no sew—so it’s super easy.

Wooden Camera

If you want to show up with one of the coolest gifts at the party, then take a moment and check out this DIY. In 9 basic steps it teaches you how to make a wooden camera that the little one will love playing with for years.

Dino Shoes

This DIY is super-detailed and just perfect for a one-year old gift. It’s a step-by-step set of instructions on how to make a pair of dinosaur shoes that look like they come from a designer baby boutique. These are the kind of shoes the parents will save as part of a keepsake box.

Toddler Apron

The kiddo is going to need a smock for all the art projects coming up in life. They may be limited to finger-paint variations for a while, but you might as well get them their own work apron for it. This tutorial takes some sewing skill.

Kid Sleeping Bag

This fun project will give that little one-year old a head start on the outdoors lifestyle. Not that they’re going trekking in Nepal anytime soon, but they’re coming up on the age when a campout on the living room floor is just as good.

Toddler Swing

Ready, set, commit! To making the best DIY gift for a one-year old, ever in the history of gifts. This twelve step DIY shows you how to make an awesome indoor swing that the little lovely can hang out in for at least a year. You need sewing skill, and you need all the materials on the list. You. Can. Do. It.

Superhero Hooded Towel Tutorials

Wrap up your gift giving this year with one of these superhero hooded towels that you can make yourself at home. Using a small and large towel, some fabric in your chosen superhero’s colors, and iron on heat transfer paper, you can conjure up these ‘absorbing’ gifts in no time at all.

Diy Quiet Book

Kids are rowdy, and so they should be as they’re filled with energy, wonder, and curiosity. But sometimes, even the most boisterous of babies (and moms) need a little calm, which is where these quiet books come in. Handmade at home, these books can be filled with whatever your little one loves – aah, peace at last.

Diy Munster Dolls

Have fun and tick off a few tots on your Christmas gift list with these super adorable ‘Munster’ dolls. Fully customizable, these little monsters can be made in the colors of your choice, and feature the cutest zipper mouths for that added playability factor (not to mention fine motor skill practice!)

Diy Teepee


Diy Kitchen

This blog post isn’t so much a tutorial as a kick starter for your own take on a DIY play kitchen for your kids. Using an old wooden TV stand, Terri at Fresh Cut Flours created a beautiful toy for her grandchildren; use the photographs and suggestions as inspiration for your own.

(You may also like: 55 Cute and Huggable Gifts for 1 Year Olds)


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