Gift ideas for a one year old

For years I was terrible at getting the right gifts for my nieces and nephews, unless of course I was given explicit instructions by their parents.

Now I’m a parent of a one-year-old, I know exactly what a one-year-old wants. And I will pass on this information, and in a years time, I will write an article about what to give a two-year-old.

I may write an accompanying piece around what to get for a 40-year-old man who has a one-year-old child. It will start with VO and end with DKA.

First things first, a one-year-old is actually pretty clever. Gone are the days of just staring at a mirror and having a giggle. There’s grey matter going on. Serious grey matter. They’re thinking, moving and analysing.

Respect the one-year-old and give him or her a gift that won’t end up at the bottom of the toy box. They’re too old for a bouncer, but too young for a microscope.

They don’t actually care about Star Wars or The Kardashians, although their parents might.

Here’s a simple list- any item that’s a link can click through to be purchased online. If you purchase something after clicking through from here, you’ll help me out as that retailer will throw me some coin. Every little bit helps to keep the site up and running.


that's not myYou know those books where the pages are hard and about half a centimetre thick? Kids books I’m talking about. The technical term is ‘board books.’ Get those. Some particularly good ones include the classic “That's Not My...” collection.

Or if you’re unsure, a Booktopia gift certificate is an easy one, and you can buy it on your phone on the way to the party!

Alphabet Fridge Magnets

Alphabet magnetsWho doesn’t love a set of alphabet magnets on their fridge?

Not only will you feel like you’re helping the education of your favourite one-year-old, you’ll actually be helping it’s parents out, even though they may not realise it immediately.

Trust me- stick a toddler in front of a fridge with a heap of magnets on it, and that kid os going to stay there and play with those magnets for a very long time.

(Almost) anything that makes noise, or is interactive in any way

drumYou’re never going to go wrong with anything that makes noise. Especially if that noise is produced from interaction with the baby. So things like piano toys and little drums are perfect.

This also includes things like toy trains that go ‘toot toot’ when you press something. For anything that makes noise, you absolutely must check with the parents first. Seriously, don’t be that person.


fun ballsYep, balls. So long as it’s bigger than a golf ball then they can’t eat it.

Be that guy or girl who brings the quirky gift that will put everyone else’s Talking Elmo to shame. Bring a bag of tennis balls, a packet of fun balls or my son’s current favourite, a basketball.

The amount of joy a one year old gets from pushing these things around the room or the yard really is priceless. We have a gym ball that we use as an office chair. Whenever he gets the chance, Clarrie will take it and push it down the hall with his face.

Balls – they’re a hit.

Bath Toys

Yookidoo_Flow_n_Fill_Spout__38001.1439984541.1280.1280Bath time is starting to become an event now, and is more than just some cleansing ritual imposed upon small children by their parents. It’s fun and the wider the range of toys, the better.

We were given some fantastic bath toys for Christmas – there are heaps of good quality suction bath toys on eBay.

Building Blocks and Tools

buildng setMotor skills are starting to happen, so building blocks, or anything stackable are going to win you some points. Maybe some Megablocks building set or a Leapfrog Scout building set.

Stacking toys

A634662There’s your usual thing, like the classic Fisher Price Ring Stack. You can also think a little outside the box and get a set of stackable containers.

That’s all I could quickly come up with, but I’m sure you get the idea.

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