11 - 12 Months

Our favorite gifts for baby’s first birthday

Baby celebrating their first birthday

Your child’s first birthday is a great time to celebrate how much they’ve grown—from a tiny baby to the adorable person you’ve gotten to know over the last 12 months 🙂 

If you or a loved one want to mark the occasion with a special gift, this collection can help narrow down the choices. We’ve grouped the gift ideas by developmental benefit, with a range of ideas in each category from big to small. 

Creativity and learning gifts

At this age, supporting creativity and learning means encouraging your toddler to explore things with their hands. These playthings and tools help your 1-year-old practice their fine motor skills as they discover how objects work together. 

Art supplies

Chunky crayons, first paint brushes, and edible finger paints are toddler-friendly choices to spark your child’s creativity. Over the next year or so, you may see your toddler’s coloring evolve from their first faint marks to bold, circular scribbles.

Nesting cups

These cups look simple but their uses during playtime are almost endless. Your toddler can use the Lovevery Nesting Stacking Drip Drop Cups for stacking, nesting, pouring, containing, and lining up—or in the bath for old-fashioned splashy fun. 

Shape sorter

This classic toddler toy helps your child explore colors and shapes as they figure out how to fit each piece into its slot. One-year-olds can practice their fine motor skills as they manipulate and turn the shapes in different directions.

Learning tower  

Your curious toddler loves to see what you’re up to in the kitchen—and including them in simple cooking tasks builds their skills and confidence. Bring them up to counter height with a Montessori learning tower and give them toddler-safe real tools, like measuring cups, whisks, and wooden spoons, to explore. 

Play Kits

The Thinker Play Kit includes seven playthings designed to align exactly with your toddler’s developmental needs and interests right now. Simple puzzles support fine motor skills and problem-solving with just the right level of challenge, while the book, doll, and balls encourage open-ended play.

The Babbler Play Kit offers your child new challenges with eight innovative playthings, including a ball run, a stacking toy, open-ended puzzles, and a sweet felt burrow for a family of toy bunnies. Designed for months 13, 14, and 15, these playthings help your toddler explore cause and effect, object permanence, and early STEM concepts.

Motor play gifts

Whether they’re crawling, pulling up to stand, or toddling independently, your 1-year-old is likely on the go. These gift ideas include ways to explore throwing, pushing, walking, and climbing to support their motor skills.

Organic Montessori Ball

Your child’s first birthday is a great time to introduce their first ball. Easy to grip and fun to roll or throw, this ball encourages your toddler to practice fine and gross motor skills. 

Push toys

Once they figure out how to stand up and move, 1-year-olds love to go, go, go 🙂 Practicing with a wagon or play stroller might be just the thing to get them walking if they aren’t doing it on their own quite yet. Pushing a favorite stuffy or The Organic Cotton Baby Doll makes it extra exciting for your toddler. Look for push toys that have a wide base for stability.

Toddler shoes

Barefoot is best for your toddler, but when shoes are needed for outdoor play, look for lightweight ones with flexible soles, says Rachel Coley, Lovevery’s pediatric occupational therapist. The right shoes protect their feet and help new walkers feel comfortable on a variety of surfaces. 

Riding toys

If it isn’t clear by now, movement is the name of the game for your 1-year-old. Ride-on toys are great for scooting around indoors and out, and can be loved year round.

The Organic Cotton Play Tunnel

Your 1-year-old will love crawling through this colorful tunnel, an activity that builds gross motor skills for walking. Make crawling play into a game of peekaboo by revealing your face at the opening on either end ❤️

Foam play mat

Foam play mats aren’t just for preschools anymore. Now, you can find fashionable mats that provide firm support for play, are easy to clean, and come in a wide variety of styles.

Pikler triangle

A Pikler triangle provides just the right amount of challenge as your child learns to walk, run, and climb. You can add on accessories to turn the triangle into an indoor slide or give your toddler a chance to practice climbing.

Play cushions

Soft-but-sturdy cushions are ideal for creating forts and obstacle courses. Rearrange them to give your growing toddler new and challenging ways to build balance and coordination. Link the cushions together with the Pikler triangle or Lovevery Organic Cotton Play Tunnel for even more fun.

Sensory play gifts

Sensory play helps your child’s brain form new connections through their senses of sight, sound, smell, and touch. These playthings offer hands-on ways for your child to explore and learn.

Bath toys

Tubes and spinners can turn bathtime into a discovery zone as your toddler investigates the properties of water. They can experiment to see what happens as the water twirls a spinner or flows to another tube.

Bubble machine

Bubbles are a special kind of magic for toddlers who love to chase and try to catch them. A bubble machine always makes a great addition to a party, but an afternoon outside can be just the right occasion, too.

Sensory table

Sensory play is so good for your toddler’s developing brain, but it can get messy. A sensory table helps keep materials contained, so your 1-year-old can dig, squeeze, grasp, and scoop with freedom.

Discovery and experience gifts

Support your child’s development and learning with an “outside-the-box” gift. Although it may seem like these items are a gift for you, they will benefit your toddler today and for many days ahead.

Memberships to local attractions

Zoos, children’s museums, and indoor playgrounds are a lot of fun, but they can be expensive. Having a membership means you can stay for as long (or not) as you like, without feeling like you wasted a day pass.  

Montessori Play Shelf

Research shows that rotating toys promotes deeper, more meaningful play. Our two-in-one shelf lets you reap these benefits, with an added bonus of hidden storage to keep your play area uncluttered.

Education fund

Whether used for preschool, college, or something in between, an investment in your child’s education is a gift that will benefit them well beyond their first birthday.

Learn more about Lovevery’s learning and development toys for 1-year olds.

Updated December 2023

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Posted in: 11 - 12 Months, Milestones, Gifts, Child Development

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