We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy.
If you’ve ever presented a gift to a 1-year-old, you know the box is often the best part. That said, you still want to buy them things they’ll enjoy and get good use out of.
At this age, kids are starting to show off their own personality and preferences. Whether it’s an obsession with CoComelon or a love of all things with wheels, chances are there’s something that’s just distinctly them.
They’re also fully on the move these days. From first steps to full on sprints, keeping up with them is a full contact sport. At the same time, their brains are working just as hard. They’re learning what words mean and how to say them, animal sounds and how to play pretend.
The best Christmas gifts for 1-year-olds take these developmental milestones into consideration. They offer open-ended opportunities to play and explore as they hone their motor skills. Sorting and sensory toys, blocks, even scooters and climbing toys will keep their interest while offering just the right amount of challenge. Musical instruments and toys that allow your little one to experiment with cause and effect are a great option as well.
If you have a little one (or are shopping for one), it can be hard to curate their holiday wishlist because 1-year-olds can’t quite tell you exactly what they want (yet.) But we’ve got you covered: We’ve found 25 fun, practical and educational gift ideas that will keep any toddler entertained—and engaged, which is most definitely the key.
Here’s our main criteria: Products that are functional, fun and durable enough to last for years to come. Bonus points if they’re attractive enough to leave lying around your house for long periods of time, because getting 1-year-olds to clean up is a challenge in itself!
Here are the best holiday gifts for 1-year-olds:
A version of this story was published October 28, 2021. It has been updated.