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The ultimate gift guide for baby’s first birthday

You’ll never forget your baby’s first birthday (even if, okay, he probably won’t remember it). 

The ultimate gift guide for baby’s first birthday

You’ll never forget your baby’s first birthday (even if, okay, he probably won’t remember it). ?


That first year always flies by too fast, so here are 10 gift ideas you’ll both treasure for the next year—

1. Melissa and Doug Wooden Blocks

Help your little one start building big dreams from their very first birthday. These classic wooden blocks are made from solid wood and come in a wooden carry and storage box. The impressive construction features soft edges (perfect for mouthy babies), and the 60-piece set offers endless opportunities to inspire your budding architect. Plus, the light wood color fits every home’s aesthetic—meaning you won’t mind seeing them scattered all over your living room.

Pro Tip: When your little gets a bit older, putting the blocks back into the box becomes a fun puzzle as they make sure all the pieces fit.

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2. Labebe Toddler Activity Walker

If your little one has started taking their first shaky steps, a doll stroller is the perfect gift to provide a bit more stability as they work on their skills. And don’t think strollers are just for girls—this gender neutral option is great for encouraging maternal feelings toward dolls (or potential future siblings!) or for little collectors that love to collect and transport blocks, cars, and books around the house.

Pro tip: The wooden structure of the Labebe pram will last for years, but consider a lighter umbrella version (like this Castle Toys Umbrella Doll Stroller) for travel.

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3. Personalized Anywhere Chair from Pottery Barn

Give your child the gift of their own place to lounge. This comfy version from Pottery Barn is great as a special reading chair and perfect for keeping out in family spaces—just choose a fabric that matches your existing décor.

Pro tip: The covers remove easily and are machine-washable, so you don’t have to stress about Christmas cookie crumbs.

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4. Micro Mini 3-in-1 Scooter

Our co-founder dubbed this scooter her “most favorite of all” gifts for new toddlers. This scooter grows with your child, starting with a seated version and adapting to standing as she grows—it’s the only scooter you will need until at least age 5! It’s incredibly well made, comes in a variety of colors, and the gliding and steering are effortless. Don’t forget to get a helmet, too!

Pro-tip: The Scoot ‘n’ Pull strap is the best accessory because it lets you pull your child when they get too tired to scoot or simply keep them nearby as your navigate streets and crosswalks.

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5. Infantino Soft Blocks

Let your infant shake, rattle, and roll with a set of soft, textured blocks that encourage development. The variety of textures, rattles, and handles hold a baby’s attention and encourage skills like grabbing, shaking, and dropping while introducing colors, letters, and numbers.

Pro tip: Introduce the blocks one at a time, then switch when your baby gets bored.

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6. Table with Chairs

Create the perfect place for crafts, puzzles, tea parties, and dining. Little ones can’t resist the perfectly sized chairs, perfect for climbing onto to demonstrate independence. And this set is sturdy—it will serve your family until your child is at least five.

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7. The Little Engine That Could

Books are always a great choice for gifts, and The Little Engine That Could is an even better option because it also helps to develop language skills. Plus, it’s a gift for you too when you consider the hours of snuggly reading time you have ahead of you.

Pro tip: Studies have shown that creating positive connotations around reading early in life has a positive effect on a child’s love of reading later on.

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8. Wooden Play Kitchen

Even if your child is too little to pretend cook in their kitchen, a play set is the perfect choice to encourage imaginative play and keep their little hands occupied for hours. (Think of how much they like to open your cabinets and take everything out!) This wooden version can be updated over time with new accessories for an ever-evolving set.

Pro tip: Use extra play food sets to stuff their stocking or give as other gifts throughout the year.

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9. Learning Resources Shape Sorting Cupcakes

These toys aren’t just useful for learning basic shapes and colors. They can promote problem-solving skills, symbolic play, and foster language development through interaction with you, mama! What will your little babe love even more than toys for his birthday? Play time with you, of course!

Pro-tip: This charming sorter can also sub in for imaginary play with a play kitchen...you know, like the one we recommended above ?

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10. Minimoc Moccasins

These sweet kicks are the ultimate choice for newly mobile babies. They’re super well made from buttery soft leather for a comfy fit your kid will actually want to wear. And an elastic band around the ankle thwarts any attempts at kicking them off while riding around in the stroller—no more lost baby shoes!

Pro tip: The mocs are great for indoor and outdoor wear, but add a pair of cozy tights or socks for extra warmth.

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Psst: We only write about products we’ve actually tested and loved in MotherlyLoves. Through affiliate partnerships, we may get a share of revenue if you purchase through our website.

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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