First Birthday: A Gift Guide



A first birthday is such a fun time! Seeing that chubby baby tearing through cake is obviously the best part. BUT who can forget about a half interested one year old that is too busy playing with a bow or a box rather than being thrilled at the newest toy to add to their collection? So, what do you get a one year old? They are too young to have a wish list so here’s a compilation of the toys that have been a hit at my house.

Bubbles! $1+

Bubbles are fascinating to little ones and super cheap! There are a ton of creative bubble blowers out there too!

Balls/Sensory Balls $5+

Target sells my favorite ball for $5, it’s a larger ball with nubs all over. We take ours on vacations and can play with it inside or outside. There are also sets of the balls like this one or this one.

Little People $5+

My daughter LOVES small toys. She loves to put them in bags, purses, any container and then dump and repeat. Hours, y’all. She spends hours doing this. Here is one example, but there are so many options out there!

Tents/Teepees $5+

I found a Doc McStuffins tent at a yard sale for $3. My daughter plays in it every day, or at least drags it around the basement everyday. I saw that Hobby Lobby had a super cute pink and white polka dot teepee, but you can get teepees in a variety of colors at many stores. The teepees seem to be a bit pricier but they look so cute!

DVDs $10+

DVD costs can add up quickly, so help build the child’s collection! You may want to check with the parents to be sure this will work for the family.

Ball Pits $10+

So fun and there are a lot of simple ideas on Pinterest to make your own! You can also buy ball pits, check out this one. Just buy lots of balls…they don’t go as far as you think they will. (Like the 20 balls in the linked product…it will look like 5 in the ball pit!)

Imaginative Play $20+

Kitchens, grills, and shopping carts.

Check for used toys – Little Tikes toys hold up incredibly well! If you’re worried about gifting a used toy, ask the parents. If you do buy used, just make sure to give the items a GOOD wash! I found the shopping cart linked above for $5 at a yard sale. (Seriously, yard sale people!)

Play Food $20+

I found this 101 piece set on Amazon. I have to get past the fact of having to pick up 101 pieces of this because it’s a hit at my house!

Slides $35+

Need I say more? Slides. Yes.

Cozy Coupe/Truck $45+

These are GREAT gifts! Here’s a patrol car for $45! I found a well-loved Cozy Truck on Craigslist for $25 and revamped it into a Mater! My nephew loves it!


Climbers $50+

Even better if you can find a climber and a slide in one! We have this one and it has been my daughter’s favorite toy! I found it used on Craigslist for $75!

DVD Player for car $100ish+

Oh man, I am not sure what we would do without a DVD player in the car! We travel a lot and this has been a life saver!

Want to splurge? Check out this BOUNCE HOUSE!

Non-Toy Ideas

  • Zoo Membership
  • Money for savings account
  • Plates/Utensils

Feel free to “buy older!” Buying items that are for 18 months and up are great and allow the child to grow into it! Get a gift receipt and tape it to the item, just in case the kiddo receives multiple of one gift — make life easy for mom and dad! Don’t hesitate to ask mom and dad, they may have been eyeing a couple ideas and can help you out.

*Also, the prices listed can differ from retailer so shop around and find the best deal! I wanted to give you a ball park of what to expect to pay. There are many other great ideas, these are just a few that I would recommend.

Did we miss your one year old’s favorite item? Let us know in the comments!





  1. Any ride-on toys were a big hit here at that age, like the Alphabet Train or a tricycle with a handle for the parents to push!


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