Favorite First Birthday Gift Ideas!

Favorite First Birthday Gift Ideas!


Looking at this photo from Louise’s first birthday had me reminiscing — what a special milestone for every parent, to celebrate their child’s first birthday! No matter if it’s your first or fourth child, marking their first birthday is something you’ll always remember. So today I wanted to share some of my favorite first birthday gift ideas, with plenty of cute things for you to file away!

Pottery Barn Kids Anywhere Chair

My mom gave all of my girls their own Pottery Barn Kids Anywhere Chair on their first birthday.  We skipped the smaller “My First Anywhere Chair” because children can use this one well into elementary school. Each of my girls loved their Pottery Barn Kids chairs so much, and I love them because the slipcovers are easily washable. The one in the above photo was a limited-edition Lilly Pulitzer chair that’s no longer available. But I do recommend opting for a pattern or dark shade because it hides stains better (and with children, stains are inevitable!).

what's in the box toy

What’s Inside? Soft Feel Box Toy

This What’s Inside? box is seriously my favorite toy for this age! It’s pricey (at $49) but if you are only going to buy a few toys for this age, get this one! Inside this box there are so many cute toys including a frog that squeaks, a ball that jingles, and eight more surprises to evoke different sensory responses. And it’s machine washable if needed. Louise LOVED this toy when she was younger. 

what's inside toy

Musical Toys

One year olds LOVE to make sounds! I like the idea of a set of instruments rather than a music table, because this age loves to pick up things and shake and feel them. For an heirloom gift, this set from Neiman Marcus is super nice, or the classic Melissa and Doug set is wooden (so it will last) and the price is reasonable (plus it can now be personalized)! These will last through multiple children, too. Note: You may need to hold off letting your child play with some of the smaller instruments until they’re a bit older. 

Another GREAT musical gift: CDs! They’re perfect for when toddlers get fussy driving around in the car! Jim Weiss, Wee Sing, and Raffi are great ones. Read more of our music and audiobook favorites for children in this post.

personalized birthday plate

Heirloom Birthday Plate

A special plate to display each birthday is such a special first birthday gift! We gave this Camille’s Creations hand-painted plate to Louise for her first birthday. Tricia Lowenfield also has darling birthday plates — we’ve gifted this plate, too! I start displaying my daughters’ plates the week leading up to their birthday to make them feel special and loved!

egg shape sorter

Sorting Toy

Even though babies aren’t actually sorting shapes and colors quite yet, sorting toys are great toys for them to grow into. This popular egg toy is only $14 but is SO loved by one year olds. Even my older girls enjoyed playing with it! There are so many great sorting toys on Amazon like this popular Quercetti shape sorter.

wooden animal blocks

Letter Blocks

I love our cherry wooden letter blocks from Bannor Toys. They are a great size for one-year-old hands and they rattle! You can also get wooden blocks customized with the child’s name. Definitely an heirloom gift!

radio flyer push walker

Push Walkers

There are so many cute walkers that make lights and sounds, but if you are going for a classic push toy that will last through multiple children then this Radio Flyer Wagon is a great one. It is something they can push, pull, and even get inside! Children love putting their “treasures” in there, too, and pushing them around. Open toys like this can be made into shopping carts, carriages, tractors, and whatever else a child might imagine. They definitely grow with the child!

Browse some more of my favorite first birthday gift ideas for one year olds below. And if you’re looking for additional ideas, our Timeless Toys Gift Guide is a fantastic place to start!

Anywhere Chair
The Anywhere Chairs are one of the BEST gifts!
What's Inside Box
Love this plush sensory box (bonus: it's washable!)
Cupcake Sorter
Cupcake sorter that's perfect for tiny hands.
One is One
Learn to count with this treasured classic.

Our favorite toy tractor that helps with fine motor skills!
Corolle Doll
The sweetest first babydoll for little girls.
Push toys are great for coordination and fun!
Pewi Walker Rider
A walker and ride-on toy in one! They'll use it for years!

Doona Trike
The Doona Trike is perfect for parks and walks!
Quack Push Toy
Children LOVE this duck push toy and the fun sounds!
Shape Sorter
The best shape sorter to help with fine motor skills.
100 Animals Book
Children love looking at all the animals in this book!

Customized Truck
Love this personalized wooden truck for a boys' room.
Another great sorting toy! Only $14 and on Prime.
Hape Music Bench
Children love musical toys, and this Hape bench is wonderful!
Shape Puzzle
Get their minds working with an easy-to-grasp puzzle!

Top Photos: Audrie Dollins


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10 thoughts on “Favorite First Birthday Gift Ideas!

  1. Do you have any ideas on special gifts my daughters can give their new baby sister when they are born? They keep wanting to buy something for her and I would like it to be more meaningful than a regular toy. Thank you!

  2. Wonderful ideas! Thanks for sharing. One question any recommendations for a 3rd birthday party if I host it in the morning at a local park/playground where the kids can play. I want to make it festive and of course all I can think of food wise is some donut holes and fruit. Any thoughts?

    1. Some of the local donut places in Dallas do donut cakes that are really cool! Depending on if it’s cool you could do a hot chocolate station. But seriously, the children don’t care and would be so happy with donut holes and fruit!

      1. Lee, the donut hole cake!! I’ve never even heard of such a thing, so glad I asked! If you have any recommendations let me. know. I’m going to do some googling now, thank you!

  3. Hi Lee. What is the name of the box toy you listed? I didn’t see a link but sorry if I missed it. Is it just called What’s in the box?

  4. Wow these are great ideas! As a father with young children, I have particularly enjoyed toys from Hape and Melissa & Doug.

    I find books can be great gifts as well. For parents that read to their children often, it can be nice to have a lot of options to choose from to keep things interesting. Sandra Boynton has some great options for one year olds.