The Best Gifts for a One Year Old

Just this past weekend, we celebrated Little Ro’s first birthday with family.  It was so much fun and she thoroughly enjoyed herself from the company to the cake to the gifts.  When our family and friends were asking us for gift ideas, I said to each one that clothes would be much appreciated because we didn’t want to overwhelm her with toys.  We did, though, make a small Amazon List that included a few age appropriate toys as well as some board books.  Let me introduce to you the best toys that she received.

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1. Fisher Price Fish Bowl

This little toy is great because of it’s size and the fun noises it makes.  The creatures that belong in the fish bowl (there are 5 of them) fit great in her little hands and there are no small parts for her to swallow.  The noises?  There are two different volume settings that make this Mama very happy.  She has really enjoyed it.  You can grab one here for under $20.

This little fish bowl is a great gift idea for a one year old. Plus, it has a volume control!Why is it the best?

This toy allows your baby to fine tune his motor skills.  He will be rewarded when he puts the fish in the bowl with pretty lights and fun sounds.  He will feel confident that he completed a task correctly and will be more likely to try a new, more challenging activity.

2. LeapFrog My Pal Violet

Ok so this one is so cool.  You can program it!  My husband did the programming as he is the “unpacker” and “assembler” of all things birthday and Christmas.  This adorable little puppy dog can now say Little Ro’s name and knows her favorite food, color, and animal.  It even sings a little song spelling out her name.  It is so cute.  It’s another great, age appropriate gift for under $20.  You can grab one here for your little one.

Such an adorable gift idea for a one year old. You can even program it with her name and favorites.Why is it the best?

Between year one and two, your baby’s vocabulary will grow exponentially.  While it’s still important that you communicate regularly with your baby, this toy encourages further vocabulary development.  It also encourages fine motor skills as it encourages your baby to press the brightly colored buttons with her fingers.

3. Melissa and Doug Learn to Play Piano

Now let me start off my saying that the recommended age for this toy is 3+.  However, we had gone to a friend’s house a couple months ago and Little Ro loved the sound the piano made when she was pounding on the keys.  I’ve looked the whole thing over and the only thing I can see that would make this a 3+ toy is that the hardware could be swallowed if thy were to fall out.  We watch her closely enough that I’m comfortable with her having it.  Not to mention, Lis, who is 8, is loving the little song booklet that comes with it.  She has mastered almost all of the songs in it!  You can get yours here.

This little piano is great for keeping a one year old entertained for an extended period of time.Why is it the best?

Your one year old is growing increasingly independent.  Making music is positively reinforcing his motor skills.  With this toy, he is able to push the buttons (many keys at one time) and is immediately rewarded with the sound that it makes.  After some “practice” he will begin to recognize that different areas of the piano will produce different sounds and gently pushing vs. slamming will produce a different sound.

4. Wooden Lawn Mower Push Toy

We have an uncle who is an incredibly talented carpenter and we can almost always count on a handmade gift from him.  This time around, he made a push toy that looks like the one pictured below.  While obviously you will not be able to get an “Uncle Mark Original,”  you can find some similar push toys on Amazon or at Target.

Great gift ideas for the babies learning to walk.Why is it the best?

Babies around this age are fine tuning their gross motor skills.  They are learning to walk and are not always remarkable stable.  These types of push toys encourage her to continue to try.  As she walks further and further, she is rewarded with the sound and movement of the brightly colored balls.

5.  Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Puppy

Even though Little Ro got two different kinds of puppies for her birthday, we decided to keep both.  The reason being that they are so different from each other.  We liked the Fisher Price Puppy because it teaches the different body parts.  Identifying body parts is a developmental milestone.  Our oldest daughter, Lis, had this same puppy when she was around the same age and she loved it.  She would press the button of the body part and then touch the corresponding part on herself.  It was amazing to watch.  Yet another great gift idea for under $20.  Grab it here.

Adorable gift idea for a one year old that aids in development.Why is it the best?

Like I mentioned for both the Fish Bowl and Violet Puppy, this toy encourages fine motor skills and communication skills.  This toy even goes so far as to connect the dots from toy to child, meaning that the toy and the child are built similarly.

6.  Busy Board

My husband and I decided a few months ago that we were going to build her a busy board for her birthday.  It was hands down her favorite toy of the day.  She spent the majority of the afternoon playing with it, examining each and every piece to see how it worked.  See how we built it in the DIY Busy Board post.  If you are not able or don’t have the time to make your own busy board, I highly recommend you purchase from RomansRdDecor on etsy.  She sells multiple styles but this one is my favorite.


A busy board is absolutely the best gift idea for a one year old.

P.S.  Those are her party pants and she rocked the hell out of them.

Why is it the best?

There are so many options with a busy board.  They are all different but most include objects that encourage hand eye coordination, develop fine motor skills, and are appropriate for all stages of play.  Busy boards are appropriate for children anywhere from 1 to 6 years and can provide hours of entertainment and learning opportunities.

If toys are not your thing…

Be sure to check out The Best Board Books for Children.  These are all books that Little Ro and I read together all the time and we both just love them.  I’m sure your kids will enjoy them just as much.