The first year of a baby’s life is marked by several developmental milestones. By the time they are toddlers, most babies have worked out how to sit up, crawl, pull up to stand, and even walk. They can handle a spoon, eat independently, and give hugs and kisses.
It’s important to celebrate those first 12 months with memorable and meaningful gifts. From building blocks and play kits to mealtime essentials and tea sets, there are so many options out there to mark such a milestone age.
Gifts for a one-year-old should be fun, but they should also encourage exploration and the development of gross and fine motor skills. According to a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the best products match a child's developmental skills and promote the development of new ones.
The best first birthday gifts are multifunctional, durable, and engaging. Here are a few first birthday gift ideas that combine learning and fun!
First Birthday Gift Ideas for Baby Development
Most of a child’s development happens during the first years. They are sharpening their senses, strengthening their muscles, and developing visual-spatial awareness. The best first birthday gifts are those that stimulate growth.
Table and Chair Set
Buying a one-year-old a play table and play chair set is beneficial in many ways. Whether the toddler sits at the table to draw, solve a puzzle, or build with blocks, they are reaping the benefits of independent play. Sitting at a table for playtime helps build postural control, foster independence, encourage creativity, support emergent writing skills, and promote pre-school readiness.
Building blocks are among the best first birthday gifts for young children. Health experts, parents, and teachers consider building blocks a classic toy that unlocks many skills. Building blocks help toddlers exercise a range of developmental skills, from boosting brain development to enhancing language skills.
Shape sorters have existed for centuries and have evolved into countless different forms, from three-dimensional plastic or wooden shape sorters to textured or fabric ones. Playing with shape sorters can strengthen one-year-olds’ hand-eye coordination, fine motor, and problem-solving skills. It also expands their vocabulary as they learn to identify shapes and colors.
Other Open-Ended Toys
Look for open-ended toys that toddlers can play with in more than one way. At this age, play is primarily concerned with sensory exploration and motor development, so toys of varied sizes and textures that encourage little hands (and mouths) to grab and examine are excellent choices.
Building blocks, shape sorters, and nesting cups can help one-year-olds learn to navigate the world, problem-solve, imagine, and create. But if you want to put a big smile on the birthday baby’s face, get them Lalo’s The Play Kitchen! It is a terrific gift for hours of open-ended play!
Toddler Feeding Essentials
By one year, babies are taking bigger steps and exploring everything—including food! These solid food connoisseurs are learning to eat on their own and enjoy an increasing variety of food. Give these little food explorers mealtime essentials to encourage healthy eating habits.
It is a fun and exciting (although somewhat messy) time when babies start eating solids. With the little one’s small, adorable bites come big messes—making durable, dishwasher-safe plates and bowls a must. They should also be non-toxic, BPA-free, and made of food grade silicone. Lastly, they should have features for active toddlers, like suction cups to keep them in place.
Enjoy mealtimes with Lalo’s new and bestselling tableware:
A booster seat is ideal for a one-year-old who may no longer want to stay in a high chair but still needs help reaching the dining table. Whether you're at home or a restaurant, you can safely secure the best booster seats to most adult dining chairs. Booster seats also help children feel more grown-up and take up less space.
When their child is a year old, parents may start thinking about having their second baby. In case they don’t have a high chair yet, consider getting them one that converts to a booster seat like Lalo’s The Chair. Even better, with its innovative 3-in-1 design, The Chair brings added value and helps families create more memories as it transforms from a high chair to a booster seat to a play chair.
Early Education and Creativity
It’s never too early to give children a head start before school. Many studies show that early childhood education is one of the most effective ways to help a child develop the cognitive, emotional, and social skills needed for primary school and beyond. Products and toys that support early learning are some of the best first birthday gifts.
Reading and storytelling with one-year-olds promote brain development and imagination, develop language and vocabulary, increase concentration, and strengthen the special bond between the parents and the child. Books also instill a lifelong love of reading.
Choose books that can withstand heavy use and most likely some rough handling. Toddlers love books they can hold, flip through, chew on, twist, and throw. To prevent damage, pick board books with strong, tear-resistant pages or fabric books that babies can twist and wrench without getting ripped to shreds.
Lalo's board books teach lessons on home, love, and trust on every durable page. They make great gifts for toddlers who are just starting their reading journey.
Non-toxic markers and crayons are fantastic first birthday gifts for babies. Toddlers are natural artists who would be happy to draw on any and every surface they can find. If you don’t want one-year-olds scribbling on walls, give them giant coloring sheets and books to boost their creativity and imagination.
Drawing and doodling are also excellent pre-writing skills that help young children improve their handwriting. Give babies alphabet coloring sheets to help them identify letters as they color.
In today's tech-driven world, kids are always drawn to the latest gadget. Instead of encouraging children to play with mobile devices or sit in front of the TV for hours, give them play dough.
Playing with play dough helps kids slow down, focus on what they’re doing, use their senses, and develop a number of skills in the process. The soft modeling compound helps develop hand-eye coordination and motor skills while tickling kids’ imagination. It is also soothing and lets children release stress through their hands.
Remember that once a baby passes that 12-month mark, they are more mobile, curious, and exploratory than ever. They are interested in their surroundings and tactile sensations. So, when choosing gifts for a baby’s first birthday, look for products that will pique their interest and promote the development of new skills.
Check out our best sellers for fun and practical first birthday gifts that stand out! And for New York City parents with children turning one, consider throwing your child’s first birthday at Lalo Land. It’s the perfect venue for milestone celebrations.