Technically it isn’t hard to shop for a 1-year old. There are thousands and thousands of options. BUT…that doesn’t mean that they’ll like your gift – or that their parents will.
My husband and I have the “luxury” of a child with a November birthday, so we get a double whammy of gifts each year for his birthday and Christmas. With so much out there it can be really hard to know what is actually worth a purchase, so I’ve done the leg work for you and tested out just about every product under the sun.
Related post: 10 Stocking Stuffer Ideas for 1-Year Old Boys
Here are the winners:
These are the best of the best – and it’s no wonder because they are the ones that have stood the test of time. If you want to avoid all of the bells and whistles that technology brings, these are your best bet.
Pat the Bunny
My son fell in love with Pat the Bunny a couple months ago and it is STILL his favorite activity. He will drop any toy in his hand if he catches a glimpse of this book in your hand. And it’s unbelievable how quickly he picks up each and every interaction!
I Love You Through and Through
I don’t know why, but I Love You Through And Through is another huge favorite of my son, and he’s not alone. This is consistently rated as one of the top books for 1 year olds. It’s got huge colorful pictures and only a few words per page, so he never gets bored.
I am so glad that I discovered toddler friendly magnets because they are an absolute lifesaver. I put them on our trash can to keep my son out of the kitchen, but the other obvious spot would be your refrigerator. Be careful what magnets you order though, not all are safe for little guys.
I would have never guessed myself, but my son absolutely loves this Melissa & Doug shape puzzle. He knows that each piece has it’s own spot and he will sit on his own putting it together and taking it apart. It’s a great way to practice motor and cognitive skills, which is such a huge bonus.
Don’t overlook the obvious. My son loves, loves, loves his set of balls and he can already play catch! This is one of the rare times that his attention span will outlast mine – he could play catch for hours. When we first got the balls, he couldn’t throw. In a matter of weeks, he can now not only throw, but it actually goes in the direction he intended it to.
These are the magnets of the bath world! Bath time finally has become a fun activity and that definitely wouldn’t be possible without great bath toys. An added bonus with this set is that it comes with a bag that suctions to the wall for easy storage – ALL baby toys should come with storage!
Technology At It’s Finest
Most toys have bells and whistles these days – figuratively and literally. But some are just plain annoying. Others, on the other hand, are absolute lifesavers. These are the ones that are worth a purchase.
There are tons of baby imitation cell phones out there, but none even come close to Leap Frog’s version. This one functions like the old-fashioned game boy. There’s an actual screen with a short little video/skit that plays for each button you push. I give it to my son when I need/want to do work on my phone so that he isn’t climbing all over me trying to get mine.
There are two things every toddler wants to get a hold of – your cell phone and your keys. Again, there are tons of imitation keys out there, but these are actual metal and come with a keypad that makes similar noises for locking, unlocking, starting, and a car alarm.
Little People Airplane
Really, any Little People set will be a win with most 1 year olds. It must be something about the size and feel of those little critters that they love because my son can’t get enough of them. He’s got an ark, a nativity set, and a plane. While he plays with them all, none get the attention of the plane. It has far more noises and functions than the others and keeps him entertained for quite some time.
Puppy Fill ‘n Spill Truck
I’m not quite sure why, but my son absolutely loves Fisher-Price’s Puppy Fill ‘n Spill Truck. I’m sure the songs are a big part of it, but it is also a great size that is easily manageable, but also big enough to pile goodies in the back.
Clothes aren’t the most exciting gift for a 1 year old, but they certainly are for his parents. And since they’re young enough that they don’t really know what’s going on, it’s a great time to contribute to their wardrobe.
Related post: Where to Find Cute Baby Boy Clothes
A big thing happens around 1 year – they start walking! And while I was waiting and waiting and waiting for him to walk, when it actually happened I was totally caught off guard that I needed shoes for him. Luckily, I had been given a pair of Robeez as a hand-me-down and I’ve already ordered more because I’m totally in love with them. They are soft bottom shoes, which make it easier for the little guys to practice walking and they have elastic in all the right places, so they never, ever, ever fall off his feet. And best of all, they have big huge characters right on the top, which my son loves. He points at them and watches them as he walks.
Really, any clothes are a great gift. They grow so fast that you’re constantly caught off guard by needing new clothes. But what I’m constantly digging to the bottom of his drawers for are just plain old play clothes. You’re lucky if you don’t need to change them midday, so you end up needing more than you think. Play clothes are also comfy enough that I often use them as pajamas if I don’t have a clean set handly.
A Bonus Stocking Stuffer – Organic Squeezables
I don’t know a single baby that doesn’t love the baby food industry’s latest innovation – squeezable purees. If it was up to my son he would eat these for breakfast, lunch, and dinner…which is often what happens. On top of toddlers loving these, many are full of organic fruits, veggies, and grains that you otherwise would never be able to get your baby to eat. The downside of these squeezables? The best ones (organic with a tasty mix of fruits AND veggies) cost almost $2 a pop. That sounds like nothing (which is why it’s a great stocking stuffer!), but for a parent on a budget, those little things add up.
Good luck with your shopping this year! I hope this list was helpful! If you’ve got a really advanced guy on your hands (or an older brother!), check out this list of Gifts that 2-Year Old Boys Will Love:
Looking for more shopping ideas? I’ve saved all the great ideas I’ve come across on this Pinterest board:
Follow Nikki @ MBAsahm’s board Gift Ideas on Pinterest.