The holidays are just around the corner and if you have a little one (or are shopping for one), it can be hard to curate their list (because 1-year-olds can't quite tell you exactly what they want... yet). 😉 Don't worry, we've got you covered! As a mom and an avid shopper I've done tons of reading and searching for items that will keep my toddler entertained and engaged for hours.
What do I look for? Products that are functional, fun and durable enough to last for years to come.
Here are the best holiday gifts for 1-year-olds:
Start practicing numbers and the ABCs with these super durable and eco-conscious block-set. Made to last and great for open-ended play and developing gross motor skills, the set comes with 10 white birch blocks with letters and numbers painted in white.
I didn't know Montessori shoes were a thing until my son started going to a fully accredited Montessori school and we had to scramble to buy a pair. They are ideal to wear as inside shoes and thanks to the soft sole, help little ones learn how to take their first steps without restricting shoes.
I *love* these "snugglies" (as my son calls them). The bundle comes with the snuggler, book and affirmation card. I've given them as gifts to nieces and nephews and they've all really taken to them. Developed by two moms, a family therapist and educator, each animal comes with a story that helps kids deal with difficult emotions (think: gratitude, loss, family changes.)
The Little Partners Original Learning Tower™ has been carefully designed to provide a secure environment to stimulate a child's imagination and allow it to blossom. It allows your child to be at counter height so they can help you cook (or pretend cook!) eat a snack while you do the dishes, or work together on some craft project.
Practical gifts for the win! At this age, they're too young to protest over what might be dubbed a "boring" gift, but as every mama knows, wrapping up in a cozy towel after a bath is one of life's greatest pleasures. So spend some of those holiday dollars on something indulgent and useful with this luxurious hooded number.
This name puzzle is super cute and will not only keep your kid playing by trying to put the correct letters in their place, but you can also start teaching them their name, the letters in their name and how to spell it.
This walker wagon by HABA is ideal for those early stages of walking. It's won awards and also is minimalist and durable. Your kiddo can take their favorite plush toy (or sibling) for a stroll. Wheel speed can be adjusted depending on the walking skill of the child. Friction can be increased for early walkers who require a slower pace making it totally customizable for your kid's needs.
This present is really for you mama, because your little one will be looking oh-so-cute wearing this velour overalls + turtleneck bodysuit outfit. Everything MORI makes is both adorable and extremely good quality.
In our opinion, this is the best indoor playground you can get for your kids. It's good to use from 6 months and up, teaching them balance, coordination, motor skill development and creativity. Plus it's super neutral so it won't clash with your décor.
These WeeFarers will make any kiddo look cool, but most importantly, it will keep their little eyes protected from UV rays year round. Because baby things are easy to lose (they have a way of jumping out of strollers and bags, right?) they come with a replacement guarantee for the first year of purchase. Sized from 0-4 years old.
Winter Water Factory is an all time favorite brand in my family. The prints are beautiful and the quality unmatchable. We have hand me downs from families with 3+ kids which then my three kids wore and the pieces still look nearly brand new. I love this sweatshirt because it's cute and modern, plus you can do a mini+mama matching set.
I wrote a super in depth review of the Doona Liki Trike here, but for the TL;DR version: once my baby was a toddler he decided riding on a stroller was too boring and so instead we switched to this to keep everyone happy while on the go. The Trike goes from no pedals, to practice pedals, to full on trike, so it's an investment that grows with your little one.
Pull along toys have been part of playtime for generations. Not only are they fun and engaging, but they help toddlers develop gross motor and coordination skills while accompanying them on all their adventures.
This playcube is fantastic for keeping little ones entertained. With five sides filled with different activities, they will develop gross motor skills, learn about gravity, colors and shapes. It's made out of durable wood, so you can hand down or keep for next baby. My 3 year old still plays with this side by side with this baby sisters.
It doesn't get much more classic than this—and if you haven't heard about it, just know that they will for sure obsess over it, mama. It's super portable and great as a sensory activity. The dimples can be popped in and out and come in various bright colors to keep little ones engaged.
Get ready to rock—but not roll thanks to this pony's brilliant anti-tip system. Your adventurous toddler will get plenty of use out of this universally-loved ride on.
When all my three kids outgrew their SNOO I cried, and not happy tears because they were getting so big, but more like OMG now what tears. Thankfully, as you can read in my in depth review, the SNOO trained them to sleep so well I had nothing to worry about. This SNOObear is ideal for kiddos who are sleeping in their own crib (regardless if they first used the SNOO bassinet or not) and is basically a sound machine + a lovey all in one. It reacts if your little one cries after a bad dream, playing shushing sounds that will lull anyone back to sleep. Also, how cute is it?
Love having my kids show off their painting skills, hate having to clean afterwards. This new Crayola kit is perfect because it is mess-less. The paint actually goes in a case in which you put paper, your little one can spread the paint around with their fingers without actually touching it or getting covered in it. Once they've mastered their Picasso skills (and aged up of leaving dirty hand prints everywhere they go) you can move to regular paints.
I've yet got to see a child not enjoy pushing this shopping cart around pretending to be Mom or Dad. Every time my son sees one, he runs to it to push it around the place. Especially great for kids who already have a play kitchen at home and need to add extras to their set.
These boots will make every winter outfit look cuter. They're super warm and easy to put on. Your toddler will appreciate these when you tell them it's time to play in the snow.
This is a super safe and fun toy that is great to use during bath time. They can play by spinning the shapes up and down the corkscrew pole and match shapes and colors for endless fun.
These playsuits are perfect for playing during the day but also super soft and comfortable for nap time or bed time. The brand is detail oriented and their clothes are so well made you'll have a hard time not buying their entire line for your little one.
Little ones are natural music-makers. This toddler-sized musical activity table is free of battery-operated bells and whistles to encourage exploration and rhythm-making. (And if you hide the mallets sometimes, we totally won't judge.)
Go big or go home! This outdoors play-set was the winner of the 2019 Parent's Choice Award. It features easy to grip sides, jeep style doors that make it easy to crawl around it, and a wide slide that prevents legs getting stuck.
Sweatpants are great for crawlers and early walkers, these come with a twist as they are way more stylish than your regular sweats. Gender neutral and avant-garde, they'll keep everyone cool and cozy during playtime.
This little piano teaches kids how to play classic songs. Each song plugs into the keyboard and if you get all the keys right, it plays it back to you. Even better? Kiddos can let their imagination run wild create their own song.
These shoes are the best on the market for early walkers, I cannot emphasize this enough! The Soft Motion shoes are built to encourage natural movement for first-time walkers.
This toy race track is made of high-quality wood and is BPA-free. My son loves watching the cars zoom down each of the tracks "racing" each other as they go. The four cars are big enough for kids ages one and up.
Little hands love to touch and feel, lift flaps, and discover new things, and this book checks all of those boxes. We love the oversized format and the vivid, bright illustrations. My son is obsessed with this book, touching all the textures and asking what each of the pictures are. It's become a new bedtime favorite.
At this age kids are outgrowing their clothes by the second. So instead of buying more think about buying smarter. Like this Hanna Andersson set that is reversible. So instead of having one outfit, you have two! Also you don't need to wear them as a set, which then makes the possibilities endless. Also, rainbows are cool and all the options are totally gender neutral.
Want more gift guide inspiration? We've got you covered. Check out all of our 2020 Gift Guides here.
We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.