Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday Dear Baby (and Dear Parent for having survived the first year),
Happy Birthday to You!

That’s right! You are now a seasoned parent of a 1 year old! During those dark days when you were still grappling with an aching body, no sleep and a needy, clingy newborn, you never thought this day would finally arrive, right? Well, your baby is now officially a toddler! Whether you are planning a big birthday bash for your child or something low-key, you are probably wondering what special gift you should get for your precious one.

Or perhaps you have been invited to a 1 year old’s birthday party and you want to get the birthday child an awesome gift!

Well, what should you get him or her? It all depends on the child (and sometimes the parents too)! It is always a good idea to choose a gift that suits your 1 year old’s developmental phase and yet is versatile enough to remain interesting for as long as possible.

Some significant milestones for a 1 year old include:

  • Being mobile- crawling, bum-shuffling, walking.
  • Standing alone.
  • Feeding oneself.
  • Using fingers as a pincer to grasp small objects accurately.
  • Longer attention spans.
  • Recognizing and responding to words.
  • Speaking first words.
  • Communicating using gestures.
  • Imitating adults.
  • Testing boundaries.
  • Expressing objections and frustrations.

In short, your 1 year old is growing up!

Here are some ideas of the best toys for 1 year olds.

Best Toys for a 1 Year Old

Moderno Kids Luxury Mercedes GL63 Convertible Ride-On Push-Car and Rocking Chair

Your 1 year old is going to be the coolest kid on the block with this luxury Mercedes ride-on car. It has a padded leather seat, tail lights, music and sound buttons on the steering wheel and an integrated MP3 player with audio input! WHATT??? That’s right- it is super cool! Not only that but it can also be used as a push-car or rocking chair.

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Unlike other ride-on cars, we like this one because it has circular arm sideguards around it that will provide more stability for your little one while seated. The long back push handle is removable and can be replaced with a shorter backrest that also doubles as a grip for your 1 year old if he or she wants to use this car as a push walker.

This cool set of wheels also come with a retractable footrest support, rocking chair rails and rubber wheels to protect your hardwood floors.

Once your child has developed better balance and longer legs, he or she can cruise around the neighborhood to show off the car! How awesome! Don’t you just wish that you had something like this when you were a child?

Little Tikes 2-in-1 Snug ‘n Secure Swing

A swing is such a great outdoor toy! You can hang it on a large, strong tree branch, add it to an existing swing set or for more shade, hang it under your front or back porch. A swing can provide hours of entertainment.

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We like this swing in particular because your child can grow with it. Once he or she is too big to fit under the security bar, you can leave the security bar out of the way. Just make sure that the swing is low enough to the ground for your child to get on it himself or herself.

Step2 Wonderball Fun Playhouse

What 1 year old doesn’t dream of owning a playhouse? The Step2-Wonderball-Fun-Playhouse will entertain not only your child but also his and her siblings and friends.

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It has a Dutch door that opens and closes, a mailbox and it comes with balls that you can place into mazes and planks to learn how circular objects move.

This playhouse is a great way to encourage your child to develop his or her imagination. Put a blanket over it and pretend that you are in a cave, fort, castle…let your child’s imagination run loose!

SwimWays Baby Spring Float Activity Center with Canopy

Not all children love water but it’s always a good idea to encourage a child to be comfortable in and around water. One fantastic way to do this is by exposing them to a swimming pool early. However, how do you keep a 1 year old safe when he or she is still too little to be wearing floats?

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SwimWays has created a great option for babies that come equipped not only with a seat-like float that can support babies in the water, but it also comes with a UPF 50+ adjustable canopy to protect your baby’s sensitive skin from strong rays.

We especially like this float because its’ design allows your child to enjoy the feeling of being in the water instead of sitting above the water. The seat of this float is made of water-permeable netting so that your child is securely held in the water without sinking. Also, the canopy’s angle is adjustable so that you can angle it to provide adequate shade to your child or if you don’t need it, just take it off completely.

The front of the float has a removable, rotating, smiling octopus (it looks more like a frog to be honest) that your child can play with while in the water. This octopus is used to connect other toys that also come with this float (a teether, squeaker, rattle, stacking rings and star). No need to worry about keeping your 1 year old entertained with this toy!

Codream Mommy and Kiddie Inflatable Baby Float with Removable Sun Canopy

Okay, so you think it’s a great idea to get a float for your 1 year old but what if you can’t swim? You can’t leave your 1 year old unsupervised around any kind of body of water, right?

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This toy is created for adults who want to be in the water with their little ones but either can’t swim (or are too lazy to do so).

This inflatable float holds both child and parent so that you can stay together at all times. It has a sun canopy for your little one and a cute little steering wheel so that you child can pretend they are driving the float when really, it’s you.

It’s designed to be safe with durable and environmental-friendly material.

Perfect for a lazy summer vacation on the river or use it at the beach or your hotel swimming pool.

Intex Mushroom Baby Pool

If you are not quite comfortable about letting your 1 year old be in deep waters, then let them play in this Intex-Mushroom-Baby-Pool. It is shallow and is a perfect size for a 1 year old to sit in. You can use it in your garden or even use it indoors as a dry ball pit! It comes with a canopy to provide shade.

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In our opinion, it looks absolutely adorable and comes with a cute inflatable baby mushroom that can be removed and played with separately. Our test baby absolutely loved playing in this pool, with or without water in it.

Baoli 24 Keys Keyboard Kids Toy Piano with Microphone

This is an extremely cute, mini version of a grand piano. It plays more like a musical keyboard though (which is good thing for most young children who are easily distracted). Your 1 year old only needs to press one key for music to play. Also great for kids that may not be able to tap with their fingers yet. It even comes with a microphone! Your 1 year old probably won’t use the microphone much but you could use it to sing along!

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It is small in size and short so that your child can be sitting on the floor while playing with this. It’s official recommended age for play is 3 years old but we absolutely believe that this will be fun for a 1 year old.

Melissa & Doug Learn-To-Play Piano With 25 Keys and Color-Coded Songbook

If you are serious about wanting your 1 year old to learn the piano the right way, then you will want to get him or her the MDoug-Learn-To-Play Piano.

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It not only looks like an actual piano but sounds a lot like one too. The keys total two whole octaves and only play when tapped. This toy will promote finger strength and dexterity, which is essential for future pianists!

It is short enough so that your 1 year old could play with this while seated on the floor. There are some customer reviews about screws coming loose that can create choking hazards but we think that this is possibly more of a manufacturing defect then a defective design. In our experience, Melissa & Doug toys tend to be of good quality but make sure you look out for this anyway.

VTech KidiBeats Kids Drum Set

Your 1 year old may be one of those future drummers who loves noise and banging on stuff. If so, this is the perfect drum set. This toy plays music so that your child can drum along to the beats. It not only is a drum, but it also teaches alphabets and numbers and has flashing lights to engage your child.

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A fun toy but beware, if you can’t stand noise, this is not the toy to buy for your child!

Hape Mighty Mini Band Wooden Percussion Instrument

We love Hape products and this is another winner. A set of percussion instruments! It comes with a xylophone, cymbal, guiro, drum and clapper, all-in-one. Not surprising that this toy won the 2013 Play Advances Language Award.

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Hape Solid Beech Wood Stacking Blocks

Wooden blocks are one of the best toys for young kids.

This set is made of multi-colored rectangles, triangles and cubes that you can put together to build bridges, buildings, towers and other cool stuff. We especially like this set because it has alphabets and numbers painted on them as well. Many of the other wooden blocks that we researched did not have this extra alphabet and number feature.

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Because they are made of beech wood, these blocks are sturdy and long-lasting. Covered with non-toxic paint, it is safe for a 1 year old to put in their mouth.

Melissa & Doug K’s Kids Match and Build Soft Blocks Set

You may love the idea of building blocks but are worried about your 1 year old throwing hard, wooden blocks at fragile furniture, at their siblings, at pets, at themselves or even at you!

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Well, this Blocks Set is your answer! Made from soft foam and cloth, your child can build and topple these without any risk of these blocks causing damage to anything or anyone.

They have numbers, animals, open-and-close-flaps and other interesting things on all sides of the blocks. Use them to teach your child about mixing and matching stuff. They even all piece together to form a huge picture- sort of like a puzzle. Colorful and lightweight enough to be taken on vacation.

We also like these because you can just throw them in your washing machine when they need a wash without breaking a sweat!

LEGO DUPLO Creative Play All-in-One-Box-of-Fun 10572

LEGO has built a reputation over decades for developing safe, quality plastic blocks. It’s hard to recommend a particular Lego Duplo set when there are so many good ones out there but this  All-in-One-Box-of-Fun is a good starting point.

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We like this set because it not only includes a dog, wagon, window, plant and person but also has pictures and numbered bricks. It also comes with a convenient storage box for future bricks you might buy. You can never complain about having enough convenient storage boxes when you have a 1 year old!

Mega Bloks

Mega Bloks have the same types of colors and feel as Lego Duplos but at a fraction of the price! This set will encourage your child to use his or her imagination to create as there are no preconceived ideas.

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Unless you are a hardcore LEGO fan, Mega Bloks are a great alternative for plastic building blocks.

Playz Pop Up Children Play Tent with 2 Crawl Tunnels & 2 Tents

If you want a fun toy for a mobile 1 year old or one learning to move, get him or her these 2 tents and 2 tunnels set! The tent and tunnels can disconnected as separate play structures and you can put a set indoors and another set for outdoors. You can also use it as a camping tent/secret hideout!

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HABA Walk Along Tool Cart

If your 1 year old is still learning to walk, a push walker is a great gift. The HABA Cart is more stable than many of the other push walkers on the market. It is made of environmentally-friendly materials and comes with fun, colorful carpentry tools (hammer, saw, wrench and screwdriver). The cart can be used to carry stuff around too. A very fun toy to learn how to walk with!

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Click N’ Play Plastic Pit Balls

If you think that plastic balls are boring, you are so wrong! Kids love throwing these, kicking these, swimming in these! They are so versatile and are a great accompaniment to many games.

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For example, add them to a play tent, pop them in the bath, place them in a box, use them in your swimming pool or use them for roll-and-catch games.

They are great for teaching hand-eye coordination skills and also for encouraging your child to crawl and walk.

So there you have it! We hope you found an awesome gift for your 1 year old. Happy shopping and have an amazing birthday celebration!

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