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Perfect Presents for a One Year Old

baby wearing leaf print summer hat

Little Hotdog Watson Kids Cub Hat with Neck Flap in Tropical Leaf 


We're Little Hotdog Watson, and we make cool, fun hats for kids. We're looking at all the best presents to gift a one year old! 


We know how hard buying gifts for a one year old can be: trust us, this is our second time round doing it! Especially if it's a gift for someone else, it's difficult to know what will get played with and used, and not just take up space in our homes! If you are planning on buying something big for someone else's little one, always best to check if they have the space and if it's something they think little one will want! 

For big gifts, look on facebook market place or vinted for second hand items: especially for items like dolls houses or play kitchens that can last for years and years! A great gift doesn't have to cost the earth, the most important thing is that it gets enjoyed and played with!

We've put together some of our favourite ideas for gifts for a one year old, from the big ticket items to stocking fillers and practical presents. 

What are your top ideas for little ones first birthday? Come and chat with us over on Facebook and Instagram


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

Maracas - there are a million different maracas 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.

Baker Ross Wooden Maracas 


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 keeps the kids entertained. These are our two favourites that little ones up to big kids love...

My Moozik bridges the gap between nursery rhymes and pop music, and is suitable for a wide age range. It also comes with a story book, so if having it on repeat doesn't do it, you can learn the lyrics that way! 

Henhouse Henhouses album "This is the Way to the Moon" is designed with parents and children in mind, so this is a gift idea that will benefit parents too! Ian Dury style vocals and fun rhythm will sure to be a hit on a long car ride! 


Wooden Keyboard - We’ve just bought this and we know it’s going to be a hit. This Baby Einstein 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. 


kids wooden keyboard

Little Einstein Wooden Magic Touch Piano via 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...

Melissa and Doug Latch Game via John Lewis 

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.


Melissa and Doug Old MacDonald Sound Puzzle via Mulberry Bush




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.


Play Prompts by PlayHooray! 



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 Rex London- great for talking about numbers / colours / animals as you build.


Happy Life Stacking Boxes via Rex London



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  comes in three colours...

Kids Concept Tool Kit via Scandiborn


And this tea set by Green Toys is really hardwearing.

Green Toys Tea Pot Set 


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.

Little Hotdog Watson Cub Hat with Neck Flap in Banana Split


Little Hotdog Watson Arctic Cub Hat in Panda Pop


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.

Grass and Air Colour Changing Kids Wellies 


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. 


Kids Concept Play Tunnel via Small Kins




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.

IKEA Cirkusalt Kids Play Tent 

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.

IKEA Spisig Kids Play Kitchen

Or you could blow the budget and get a bigger one already specced up like this one from John Lewis.

John Lewis Luxe Wooden Play Kitchen


Or a ball pit - this was a huge hit, but you do need a reasonable amount of space if keeping inside. This option from Kiddy Moon is gorgeous, and can be bought add ons like a slide or climbing elements.  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.

If you're looking for more fun ideas for the summer, why not check out our blog on fun summer activities for kids?

KiddyMoon Velvet Ball Pool


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.

Want more ideas for fun activities for kids, news and updates on our latest products? Why not sign up for our newsletter!

Emma Watson, Owner, Little Hotdog Watson

After growing up in the North-west of England, Emma’s love of travel and style saw her career move to London with a fashion + business degree,  first working as a trend researcher then menswear buyer for some of the most famous stores in the UK. 


In 2015, having had her first baby she moved to Norwich to explore a family life closer to beaches and the countryside. Becoming a parent she found herself in a world of kidswear that didn’t look good or perform for the type of fresh air fun as a family so she set about creating her own brand. Little Hotdog Watson was born in 2016. The summer and winter hats for kids and adults, jam-packed with innovative protective technology have gone on to win awards, grace the pages of magazines, like Vogue, Grazia, Independent, Mother and Baby and celebrities alike. 


Emma had another daughter in 2019 and became a lecturer in Fashion and Business at Norwich University of the Arts.  She continues to design hats at her dining room table and share her passion to help families get outside more and explore the world. Here is one of her favourite outside blogs; 15 games adults will love playing with kids 


Email her anytime at; or find her on Instagram.


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