Practical Gift Ideas for 1 year olds

Practical Gift Ideas for 1 year olds

Practical Gift Ideas for 1 year olds

The Best Practical Gifts for 1 year olds

I love to celebrate the people in my life. Birthdays, holidays, you name it, I’m excited about it. I really enjoy the food and the smiles that come with celebration, but when it comes to shopping for gifts, I get stumped. 

What do you get for a toddler who seems to have everything? How do I make my way down the toy aisle when it seems so overwhelming? What do kids even like? 

Getting gifts for 1-year-olds is especially difficult, because they’re in the transition from baby to toddler and they don’t really fit a category.

Let me help you out and give you some practical gift ideas for 1-year-olds and toddlers.

Practical gifts for 1 year olds instead of toys

ToyVentive believes that less is more — even when it comes to toys. In fact, studies show that having fewer toys can increase a toddler’s attention span. Having less toys also makes it easier to cherish the toys you have and it helps keep the play space tidy. Sometimes, the best gifts aren’t toys after all!

If you’re not so keen on buying toys for your little one, or the child’s parents have asked for no toys (here’s how to say no to toys, parents), gifts can be even harder. What do you get a kid if it’s not toys?

best practical gifts for 1 year old


One of my favorite non toy gifts for 1 year olds is experiences. Load everyone up into the minivan and take a trip to the zoo, a museum, or another favorite local spot. Doing something fun with your little one is a great way to celebrate them without overflowing their toybox. Not sure what to do? Think about the seasons -- summer is a great time to go to the beach together. Is it a bit more chilly? Maybe there’s a local park that is in serious need of a family of snowmen. Be creative and suit it to your little one!

If you’re willing to splurge a bit, a family membership or yearly pass to a local children’s museum, zoo, aquatic center, or YMCA is a fantastic gift that keeps on giving! It’s a gift for your little one, but it’s also a gift that the whole family can enjoy.

Books are also a great way to go. Board books (read: rip-resistant and teething resistant) with bright colors and clear language are great in aiding speech development. Plus, plopping down with a good book is a great way to bond with your little one, and is a great habit to instill in your young ones.

Meaningful Gifts

Sometimes the best non toy gifts for 1 year olds are the most meaningful gifts. Maybe the gift can be something important to you or your family, such as an heirloom or piece of jewelry that they can wear when they’re older. If you don’t want to go the toy route, maybe a meaningful gift is the way to go.

Something that parents really appreciate -- because, let’s be real, one-year-olds aren’t going to appreciate gifts like their parents will -- is anything that is going to help them out. Think diapers, clothes, bibs, and so on. This is the perfect time to allow yourself in the kids’ clothing section of the store and really go crazy with all the cute clothes! I have a huge problem resisting those cute little outfits, so I use gifts as an excuse to really go for it. Sticking to a theme can be fun too -- getting your little one swim diapers, a swimsuit, a sun hat, et cetera for a summer birthday, for example. This is another one that you can be really creative with if you want!

College Fund Donation

Another non toy gift for 1 year olds  that parents appreciate is a donation to a college fund. College keeps getting more and more expensive, and investing in their education is one of the best things you can do for your little one. Ask the child’s parents if they have a fund set up or if you can set one up for them, whether that be an account or gifting things like savings bonds. 

Some practical and educational toys 

1. Wooden Activity Cube

I love giving gifts that are going to stand the test of time. The Play & Learn Wooden Activity Cube is sturdy, durable, and fun! 

It has five sides of activities, comes with bonus stacking cups, and all its parts can be stored within the cube itself, which makes for easy cleanup and storage. A toy that isn’t going to add to the clutter of my playroom? Score!

The Activity Cube is a great, practical gift for a one-year-old developing their motor skills. With shape sorting, a bead maze and much more, your little one has hours of learning and playing to do. Check out this blog post on how the Play & Learn Activity Cube can aid in toddler development!

The best part? It comes in your choice of pink or blue gift wrap, making it super giftable!

2. Puzzles

Puzzles are a timeless, classic choice to give a baby or a toddler. ToyVentive’s Wooden Toddler Puzzles are made of high quality wood and paint and can be a great tool in aiding toddler development. The wooden knob on each piece is designed especially for little hands, helping to develop motor skills while playing.

The shapes, letters, and numbers in the puzzles will also help your kiddo to become familiar with them and will aid in recognition down the line.

The Wooden Toddler Puzzles can be used as your little one grows, too! The pieces can be sorted by color, used to create sight words or math problems, and so much more. The Wooden Toddler Puzzles come with the Puzzles Activity Book to get you started. 

I also really like that the Wooden Toddler Puzzles can be used for much more than just puzzles. The pieces can be used in different sorting games, traced as stencils, and so much more. 

The puzzles come in a cute and colorful ToyVentive gift box, so you’re all set!

No matter what you choose, whether it be the Activity Cube, the Wooden Puzzles, or an experience instead of toys, I hope this gives you some practical gift ideas for 1 year olds and toddlers. 

practical gift ideas for 1 year old

For more ideas for play, gifts, and spending time with your little ones, check out our Play &  Learn Blog and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to join our community!

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