Best Gifts for a One Year Old for Fun and Play

One-year-olds love playtime with their parents, other children, or alone.

However, so many gifts are available that picking the right one for a one-year-old can be challenging.

We’ve compiled this list of the best gifts for a one-year-old for fun and play that can also aid their development.

Related: Let's Get Physical! - 14 Infant Exercises You Can Do at Home

The Absolute Best Gifts for a One-Year-Old’s Fun and Play

When choosing gifts for a one-year-old, it is essential to consider the child’s interests, abilities, and developmental stage.

Here are ten ideas for gifts that can provide fun and play for a one-year-old.

Stuffed Animals

Stuffed animals can provide comfort and companionship for a one-year-old and can also be used in imaginative play. 

When one-year-olds play with stuffed animals, they practice grasping, holding, and experiencing different textures.

Playing with stuffed animals can also help children grow into responsible pet owners. In addition, role-play activities like grooming, walking, and feeding can help them prepare for adopting a real-life pet.

Look for stuffed animals with soft, durable materials and age-appropriate sizes.

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Blocks are a classic toy for a one-year-old, providing opportunities for stacking, building, and imaginative play

When constructing objects with blocks, a one-year-old can become engrossed in the process, which can help them increase their attention span.

Playing with blocks is also an excellent way to develop fine and gross motor skills as they manipulate and move the blocks.

Blocks can also help one-year-olds grasp STEM concepts like cause and effect.

Look for blocks with bright colors and exciting textures for added interest.

Push Toys

Push toys, such as wagons and push cars, can provide a fun way for a one-year-old to explore their surroundings and improve their gross motor skills.

When a baby pushes a toy along the floor, they build muscles in their hands, wrists, arms, and legs. Pushing a toy can also help them practice balancing and help them develop their coordination.

Look for push toys with sturdy construction and easy-to-grip handles.

Musical Toys

Musical toys, such as xylophones and drums, can provide a fun way for a one-year-old to explore sound and rhythm.

Playing with musical toys appeals to a baby’s natural curiosity as they explore the different sounds they can make to express their creativity.

Holding onto musical toys can be tricky for little fingers. However, playing with musical toys is an excellent way to hone their gross and fine motor skills as they learn to hold and play with them correctly.

Look for musical toys with a range of sounds and easy-to-use features.

Related: Parallel Play - Using Playtime to Encourage Social Development


Books can provide a fun and interactive way for a one-year-old to explore language, develop reading skills, and learn about the world and different cultures.

Reading books to and with babies is a great way to spark their curiosity and imagination. Books can also help your baby develop concentration, focus, communication, and social skills.

Look for books with bright colors, simple words, good rhythm and rhyme, and engaging illustrations.

Play Mat

A play mat can provide a comfortable and safe space for a one-year-old to play with soft materials and interesting textures and shapes. 

Play mats can help babies improve their visual perception, gross motor skills, and self-awareness.  

Your child can use a playmate to safely improve basic physical movements like crawling, jumping, walking, and dancing.

Look for play mats with built-in toys and activities for added interest.

Bath Toys

Bath toys can provide a fun and engaging way for a one-year-old to play and explore in the bath. 

Bathtime and bath toys are great ways for babies to spend more time with their parents and siblings to help build stronger bonds.

Touching and grasping their bath toys and splashing water can help improve their motor skills.

They can help their language development by identifying and learning bath toys’ names, colors, and shapes as they play with them. 

Look for bath toys with different textures, colors, and sounds for added interest.

Sensory Toys

Sensory toys, such as balls with different textures and shapes, can provide a fun way for a one-year-old to explore their senses and develop their fine motor skills. 

Playing with sensory toys can help a baby’s cognitive growth, encourage experimentation, and improve social interactions.

Holding, lifting, pushing, or pulling sensory toys can also help with a child’s proprioception, which is the awareness of their body parts and where they are in relation to one another. 

Look for sensory toys with a variety of interesting features and safe materials.

Dress-Up Clothes

Dress-up clothes, such as hats, scarves, and shoes, can provide a fun way for a one-year-old to engage in imaginative play

Playing dress-up also helps babies develop their communication and thinking skills. Getting dressed up and playing with an adult or another child also helps them with sharing, cooperation, and teamwork.

Putting on and taking off dress-up clothes also helps them with balance and coordination.

Look for dress-up clothes with durable materials and easy-to-use features.

Play Kitchen

A play kitchen can provide a fun and interactive way for a one-year-old to explore role-playing and imaginative play. 

Playing “kitchen” lets kids practice their motor skills by grasping and using small utensils and accessories. 

Pretend kitchen play engages young ones in storytelling and communicating with others. It can also help develop their critical thinking as they play out different scenarios.

Look for play kitchens with realistic features and safe materials.

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The Best Gift for a One Year Old For Fun and Play Can Aid Their Development

Finding the best gift for a one-year-old to have fun and play with can be challenging. One-year-olds are getting too advanced for their baby toys but aren’t ready for big kid toys.

One-year-olds are developing rapidly, and they can play with many toys that can be fun to play with and help their development.

Playing with toys has many benefits, including improving their gross and fine motor skills, increasing creativity, and developing communication and social skills.

A big part of finding a fun gift for a one-year-old is understanding things that fascinate and interest them. So it’s a great idea to provide them with a wide range of toys to engage them.

Toys and playtime provide an excellent opportunity for fun but also to aid their development as they grow.  

Related: Games for Babies: Play Time that Encourage Development

What to read next

123 Baby Box sources ideas for their blog content from a variety of channels including feedback from subscribers, trending topics in baby care, and insights from industry experts. They aim to cover topics that are both informative and relevant to the needs and interests of parents and caregivers.

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