Best Gifts for a One Year Old – Top picks for 2023

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Author: Emily Myers with Review Contributions from Rookie Mom’s Collaborators

One-year-olds will make anything a toy — like that tube of butt cream or disposable coffee cup you keep trying to throw away — but since those don’t make the best presents, we have some ideas for you. Here are our go-to best gifts for a one year old.

Some of the best gifts for a one-year-old on our list are fun toys, some are great for development, and others are just ridiculously cute. 

The Best Gifts for a One Year Old

Finding great toys for this age can be particularly challenging. They’re growing out of their baby toys, yet many “big kid” toys contain small pieces or are too developmentally advanced. At the same time, their brains and senses require stimulation to help them grow and learn as they play.

That’s why we’ve curated this list of the best toys for a 1-year-old that are sure to delight your little one.

The 5 Best Gifts for a One Year Old Why Moms Love It
Lovevery Play Kits Makes playtime easy and provides toys that are perfect for your baby’s developmental stage.
AyeKu Balance Bike Your little one will love scooting along on this bike and it’s safe to use indoors.
Melissa and Doug Touch & Feel Puzzle This puzzle is a great sensory toy with fuzzy tops on each piece.
Manhattan Toy Stella Doll This is a great first doll for little ones and we love that it is plush.
Nuby Purple Octopus Bath Toy Make bath time a little more fun and preoccupy your little one so you can actually scrub them clean!

Lovevery Play Kits

This is my #1 recommendation!

The holiday season can encourage us to buy tons of random toys and trinkets for our children, but the truth is that little ones really only need a few good toys. That is why I have become obsessed with Lovevery Play Kits. All the toys that come in these kits are designed by experts and are meant to support learning within the developmental stage your baby is in. 

Another thing I love about them… they actually make playtime easier. They provide tips and ways to play (because playing with a baby can be harder than it sounds!). The subscription would make for a great Christmas gift and there’s no commitment as you can cancel at any time!

Check them out here!

Baby Einstein Curiosity Table

At age one, most children are getting steadier on their legs and building the muscles needed for walking and running. This toy allows them to do all this while stimulating all five senses in delightful and entertaining ways. The Baby Einstein Curiosity Table is an activity station that includes lots of movable pieces like gears and color circuits, and it also includes 65 melodies and sounds. And, for one-year-olds who aren’t quite ready to stand or walk yet, the legs can be removed for floor or table play.

Check out current prices here!

TOYVENTIVE Baby Activity Cube

You can’t go wrong with an activity cube, and this colorful wooden version offers a multitude of activities for little hands. The TOYVENTIVE Baby Activity Cube combines five activities in one, including a wooden bead maze and a shape sorter, and helps your little one’s brain develop. An interesting and useful feature of this cube is that it detaches into two pieces so that two children can play simultaneously with plenty of fun to go around.

Check Current Prices Here!

LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book

Stimulate your toddler’s senses and encourage language development with this interactive first-word book. The LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book allows your little one to touch the images on the pages in order to hear the words, along with sound effects and fun facts about animals, foods, colors, and more. This book is also bilingual, offering each word in both English and Spanish.

Check it out here!

CifToys Musical Learning Workbench

In this set of colorful construction tools, your 1 year old will be treated to music, lights, and sound effects. Not only are tools fun and engaging toys for toddlers, but the CifToys Musical Learning Workbench helps children develop spatial skills, hand-eye coordination, and dexterity. They’ll love manipulating the moving parts, like the easy-pull drawer and the kid-safe saw, too.

Check current prices here!

Baby Einstein Magic Touch Piano

The perfect first piano for your little one. This piano toy magically plays music at the touch of your baby’s fingertips, with no buttons involved! This music-making toy can help your baby tune into different rhythmic patterns at a young age along with color coordination. There are color-coded notes that match the wooden keys. It includes 3 sheets of music and up to 6 different songs, or create your own! This is a great gift for ages 6 months and up.

Check it out here!

Baby Onesies

It’s never too early to spark your child’s curiosity and show them how cool STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading/Writing, Engineering, the Arts, and Math) subjects can be. Piccolina’s baby onesies are not only cozy, but feature some awesome prints based on things like paleontology, locomotives, cartography, entomology, and geology. 

The patterns hit it out of the park, but I also really love that these onesies are made of 100% cotton and have zip-fronts (which are an absolute must-have when trying to change a curious wiggly baby!). These baby onesies will be available in newborn sizes for the first time this year and go up to size 24 months. 

Shop Here

Melissa and Doug Geometric Stacker

Stacking toys are classic for a reason – they’re fun! Toddlers can use this 25-piece set in a multitude of ways, including stacking, color-sorting, and assembling stacked puzzles. Toys like the Melissa and Doug Geometric Stacker are also great for developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. This is a toy that can grow with your one-year-old, too, becoming a learning toy for older toddlers who are beginning to identify shapes and colors.

Check current prices here!

Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table

The Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table helps to develop early motor skills with fun characters. The perfect toy for outdoor summer play and stable enough for those kiddos still trying to balance while standing up. It promotes engaging play and includes 1 water cup and 5 round characters that squirt water.

Check current prices here!

AyeKu Balance Bike

Balance bikes are one of the best toys for a 1-year-old because they allow your child to feel independent while learning important skills at the same time. Best of all, your little one doesn’t have to be walking yet to enjoy it! Toddlers can strengthen their legs, gain coordination and balance, and tackle the beginning stages of bike riding, all in the safety of your home. The AyeKu Balance Bike is designed not to harm floors, and it also includes important safety features for your child. Steering is limited to a 50-degree angle to avoid side falls, and the seat is adjustable to help you get a proper fit for your little rider.

Check out current prices here!

Dimpl Digits by Fat Brain Toys

This silicone sensory toy is captivating for little fingers and encourages the development of sensory-motor skills and color exploration. The Dimpl Digits toy can grow with your child, too, as they begin to learn numbers, which are on this toy in both English and Spanish. Your kiddo will have hours of fun pushing and popping the squishy bubbles, and bonus – this toy is impossible to break!

Check it out here!

Hape Pound and Tap Bench

One-year-olds love to experiment with sounds, but some toys are simply obnoxiously loud. Not the case with the Hape Pound and Tap Bench. It encourages musical development with multifunctional instruments, including a keyboard and xylophone, without driving parents nuts! Kids will also love using the included hammer to tap the balls and send them tinkling over the notes before they run to chase them.

Check it out here!

Melissa and Doug Touch & Feel Puzzle

Age one is a great time to start helping your child learn puzzling skills, which are important for emotional, cognitive, and skill development. This Touch & Feel puzzle is particularly appropriate for a young toddler because the pieces stand up so they can double as toys themselves. Plus, each comes with a textured finish that will keep little hands curious and amused. This is a great screen-free toy that keeps kids’ attention.

Check out current prices here!

LeapFrog My Pal Scout

This adorable plush dog is way more than a cuddly friend for your kiddo – each paw activates music, songs, and games. And My Pal Scout can even be set to say your child’s name! This toy is designed to help kids learn things like first words, daily routines, counting, and emotions. It comes with five pre-loaded songs, but parents can go online and choose from 30 others, too.

Check it out here!

Playskool Busy Ball Popper

Ball poppers are tons of fun, and this one from Playskool will delight your 1-year-old’s senses. It comes with five balls, which your child feeds into ramps and tubes, only to watch them pop up on the air again. It comes with music and silly sound effects and, even though it’s a toy with a lot of action, it’s activated by a large easy-push button that little ones can use on their own.

Check current prices here!

Nuby Purple Octopus Bath Toy

Add more interactive play to bathtime with this adorable Purple Octopus! He is textured to support learning through touch, and he comes with a set of rings that your child can place or toss onto his tentacles to encourage hand-eye coordination. All of the included pieces float, too, so they won’t get lost under the bubbles!

Check current prices here!

Spike the Hedgehog

It’s impossible NOT to grab onto Spike the Hedgehog’s inviting, chunky spikes, and little hands will have fun trying to pop them back into place, too. They can also be used for color-sorting and color-recognition play, and removing and replacing them in Spike’s back is great for fine motor skill development. As your child gets older, this toy can also be used for learning early counting skills.

Check it out here!

Manhattan Toy Stella Doll

Is your little one ready for their first doll? This plush doll is a great option if so! Plus, it comes in a variety of fabric skin tones and hairstyles.

Shop Here

Little Feminist Baby Gift Set from Estella

The Little Feminist Book is an absolute favorite in our household. It’s so important to introduce our children to powerful world changers. Plus, this gift set includes an “Elect Women” plush toy that’s hand-knit in Peru. Your little one will adore it!

Shop Estella Here

Mega Bloks First Builders Bag

One of the qualities of the best toys for 1-year-olds is that they should be easy to handle so your young toddler can feel independent as they play. These colorful Mega Bloks are made for little hands and they’re perfect for the type of hands-on, imaginative play that is ideal for early childhood development. This set comes with 80 pieces in different sizes and shapes, as well as an easy-carry bag for storage and transport.

Check current prices here!

Toy Dump Truck

Both little boys and girls love vehicles. Green Toys makes their popular dump truck in three color combos to suit your preferences for about $20. The trucks are super durable and made from recycled milk jugs so I’m willing to pay a little more.

Check current prices here!

You might also enjoy these gift guides:

Best Toys for 2 Year Old Girls [15 adorable options for your little girl]

The Best Toys for 5 Year Old Boys [20 Great Options]

Best Toys for 6 Month Old Babies

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