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Perfect Presents for a One Year Old

Buying for a one year old is hard. I know this is my second time round doing it. I’ve learnt a lot since having the second child about what actually gets played with and is loved more than the wrapping paper. Covering from small stocking fillers to the big presents and even the practical!

Here are the best cool present ideas you’ll need for a one year old.


Let’s start with the pressies that the aunties and uncles want to buy but the parents are scared off :) We’ve always found that instruments go down incredibly well here’s a couple of our faves...

Maraccas - there are a million different marraccas to choose from. I personally prefer the wooden ones as I think they make a are more pleasing sound but mainly these are similar. These ones from Baker Ross £5 you can actually decorate yourself so great for an older sibling to decorate and give to a younger sibling.

Music - kids music let’s face it is on the whole terrible except when you know where to look. Great music keeps the parents from tearing their hair out and the kids entertained. These are our two favourites that little ones up to big kids love...

1. My Moozik also comes with a story book

2. Henhouse (this is the way to the moon)

Wooden Keyboard - we’ve just bought this and we know it’s going to be a hit. This Baby Einsteen wooden keyboard not only looks nice but is very pleasing to play. It will also grow with them as they can add card and learn songs. £25 John Lewis


At this age keeping games simple and fun is key as they build up their pincer grip. Wooden games like this latch game £18...

Or simple animal puzzle games are great. Easy to play with and you talk about the sounds as well as the names of the animals. Melissa and Doug have the most comprehensive sets with every animal you can imagine.


Playing Together - we LOVE these playprompts by child play specialist Clare. They have been a staple in our bag of tricks and fantastic for creating an activity from things around the house in minutes.

Stacking boxes - have also been a great hit. I mean you spend most of your time picking them up to stack them but little ones love knocking them over! We have these paper rather than plastic ones from Eco Vibe - great for talking about numbers / colours / animals as you build.

Or these wooden ones with animals from Jabadadoo for £24 are beautiful!

Role Play Toys

At one little ones love to copy one another. The toys that have been really well played with by both girls is a teapot and cups (we don’t even drink tea!) and tools. There are so many great options. This Scandiborn tool set £25 comes in three colours...

And this tea set by Green Toys is really hardwearing.


Argh practical is boring! But not at all. Actually as a parent there are only so many toys you can really fit in your house and getting out and about with the kids is where the fun is really at. So here’s a couple of suggestions...

Clothing - something fun they’ll love wearing and be protected in. Check out our sun hats with UV, Mosquito and overheating protection and our winter hats that are water resistant, reflective and extra snug.

Cub: Banana Split

Arctic Cub: Panda Pop Yellow

Wellies - if you’re little one has just started to walk then they will be all about the puddles and the mud. Grass and Air’s wellies (£20) change colour when wet and are designed with more space for chubby baby legs.

With a little one it’s always tricky finding new places to go so why not buy a gift for the whole family to enjoy like an annual pass for the National Trust or a museum pass like the Tate!

Physical Play

Tunnels - every child we’ve bought a tunnel for LOVES it and even the grown ups do too. There’s nothing quite like showing your little one how it’s done for having some fun. There are lot of variety but I’d suggest keeping it simple you can always and or extend it later. They can be used indoors and outdoors. There are a million different options but keep it low cost and test how they like it first. This £8 option from Argos is a great starter option.

Or Ikea to the slightly longer Busa tunnel that connects to a ‘hub’ and you can connect more tunnels from it for £10


Tents vs Playhouse - for a one year I prefer a tent versus a playhouse because they are easily moved around from house to garden. They are less restricting in what they can be with imaginative play and super soft if they fall inside. We have had this one from Ikea for 5 years and it’s still like new. We added a super soft rug and cushion inside so it’s a really comfy nook. Both girls like that they can play with the curtain doors too.

The Big Pressie

If you’re tempted to invest in a big pressie at one I’d suggest a kitchen. All children love to mimic their parents and this gives them great opportunity. It really does grow with them and will last well into them going to school and beyond. We chose the Ikea Spisig version as it fits perfectly in the space we had and we followed some Ikea Hacks to personalise it. Which is a great way to fit in with any decor. It can also double up as a puppet theatre cafe, shop just by turning it around.

Or you could blow the budget and get a bigger one already specced up like this one from The Modern Nursery £190 available in two other colour ways.

Or a ball pit - this was a huge hit but you do need a reasonable amount of space if keeping inside. This option from The Modern Nursery is gorgeous £120 or if you have a smaller space we doubled up and bought a paddling pool that could be deflated when we needed more space but also used in the summer too for swimming.

What do you think? Did you find something you like? Let us know if your little one has a fave present for their first birthday.

If you liked this blog then check out our ‘I need this’ series featuring really cool kids product ideas.


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