Today’s post is all about first birthday gift ideas. This has been a surprisingly popular request! I wanted to share some of the things we gave Jack and things Jack received from friends and family. He is one lucky guy!

I’m including some different price points for first birthday gift ideas. Whether you’re a grandparent looking to spoil a little one or just heading to an acquaintances first birthday, these are some of our family’s top picks. (Of course, they would also make great gifts for other holidays too and some of these would certainly work for older toddlers as well.)

As always though, with gifting, it’s the thought that counts and you 100% don’t have to get something big for a first birthday present. Honestly, some of our favorite gifts to receive (even now as an adult myself) are books. There are soooooo many cute books out there for little ones. Especially for first birthdays, one suggestion would be to pick a book that correlates with the party’s theme: a happy birthday book, a “one-derful” party, or a wild one book.

First birthday gift ideas for boys and girls

Some of these are tried and true favorites that we have already have, some are first birthday gift ideas that Jack actually received and loved, and some are just fun things that I think Jack would like.

BUSY BUGGY // This was such a surprise to me, but Jack is obsessed with this little “busy buggy.” It’s such a fun toy and packs a punch– one of the best gifts for one year olds, for sure. Toddlers can push it, ride on it, or play with all the doo-dads. (Jack loves to press the horn! Beep beep!) When we had a big backyard get together, we put two of ours outside and all the toddlers were lining up for their turn.

DIMPLE DIGITS // Ummm, this little toy is amazing. It’s very satisfying to “pop” all the bubbles and can occupy toddlers for a while! Some of the best first birthday gift ideas truly are the simplest.

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE // Just a classic book! Some of our favorite books for babies so far.

SHAPE SORTER // This is a classic toy for babies. Jack got one as a hand-me-down and he’s been a fan for months now. He’s finally old enough to push the shapes through the holes. His favorite part is shaking them all out when they’re in. Such a good toy for skill development.

PLAY SHAPES // We have a hand me down version of these shapes and would definitely consider them one of the best gifts for one year olds! It’s so good for playrooms and, if your toddler is anything like Jack, it’s a safer way to get let them climb. The pretty colors don’t hurt, too 😉

RADIO FLYER TRIKE // This was hands down the best thing Jack received for his first birthday! His cousins and aunt and uncle got it for him and he has been obsessed ever since. (Don’t forget the helmet!)

TOOTHBRUSHES // We have a bunch of these practice toothbrushes and a neighbor gave us the set with the book. A fun way to make brushing teeth a breeze.

BUBBLE MACHINE // Jack lights up for bubbles at all of our activities and this spring, I bought a machine for the house. Huge hit!

KITCHEN HELPER TOWER // This was a perfect first birthday present idea from grandma and grandpa! I thought it would be something we used a bit down the road, but we’ve used it every day already! Jack loves to stand in the kitchen and watch dada scramble his eggs every morning and helping mama make coffee. The tower also folds down brilliantly into a little table with a built in bench seat.

EGG TOYS // A gift from a friend. I keep these in my car actually for a little toy for him to play with while we’re running errands. He loves pushing the eggs.

FIRE TRUCK // A hand-me-down that Jack loved from Day 1. It’s a great size and easy to push around.

SUCTION CUP SPINNERS // A smaller toy that would make a great little gift for a toddler. They can suction to tables or windows (great for planes!) and it spins around and has little buttons to push.

BABY CHAIR // A classic first birthday gift idea!

GROCERY BASKET // One of Jack’s cousins gave this to him because it’s one of her favorite toys. I can attest, I think this is going to be a toy that he uses for years to come. Right now he’s a little young for the pushing and imaginative play part, but he takes all the pretend food boxes out of the basket and then back in over and over. (The labels on the food are also so cute and detailed.)

PS We got Jack this big jungle gym. I got it for his first birthday present, but right now he needs a lot of supervision on it (though he’s obsessed with the slide). I know it’s going to be a gift he uses for YEARS, which is why I felt okay splurging on it. I can’t wait to share our finished basement “play room” for him… almost done!


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Jennifer Record

May I offer two other suggestions?

1. a membership to your local zoo, aquarium, or children’s museum- fun for the whole family and fun for extended family to visit

2. a donation to a local charity that shares an interest with the birthday child… if you make the same donation each year for 18 years in honor of the child, it will be a great way to honor him/her, and to support the communiy.


Love these ideas! I’ve also had success giving KiwiCo kits to my nieces & nephews. They love them and you can upgrade to an ‘older’ kit as they grow.