Toys are fun, but for children it’s their means for understanding the world. Getting the right gifts that a one year old boy will be interested in for more than a few minutes a real challenge (or for any age child). That is why I am sharing the tried and proven products that our kiddo has used repeatedly. Read below my recommendation for the best gifts for a one year old boy this year. If you have a one or two year old, you’ve come to the right place!
Here I’ll share with you our real life experience of the best gifts Luca received as a one year old. These are the toys he still plays with a year later. Normally, 99% of the toys in our home only get his attention a few seconds a month. These items are popular and get regular mileage on a weekly and sometimes even a daily basis!
From a mom’s perspective the toy clutter is REAL and gifts can be every parents worst nightmare. Besides the many hats moms already wear, “toy finder” has become a new one. This is where my toddler decides he absolutely needs the blue car and now I’m on a scavenger hunt.
That’s why receiving quality gifts my toddler will actually use, is so helpful to minimize all the clutter.
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TOMY John Deere Animal Sounds Hayride Preschool Toy
At first we didn’t know who bought this sturdy little tractor. It was almost an oversight at the end of his birthday party when my mom pointed it out. The package was laying out in the corner and had no label. Little did I know this jewel of a gift would serve us well for the year to come.
Luca loves this tractor primarily because there are spots to place characters on it. They toys get easily mix & matched with as he is playing too. He also enjoys having this tractor with him at the table to place pieces of food on it. They go for a ride while he sings to himself.
Each spot on the tractor has a button with an animal noise as well as the old McDonald song. (Note that due to Luca repeatedly placing food on the tractor the buttons have gotten sticky. It therefore no longer work great— but he uses it daily nevertheless).
At the time, we liked that the tractor and it’s pieces were big enough to not be a chocking hazard. Now it’s been a great toy to practice our animals and colors with. I think we lost the pig while visiting his grandparents in Minnesota last summer. The open spot just makes room for one of his hot wheels to join for a ride.
Uncle Goose Classic ABC Blocks
This timeless gift is one every family should receive! Oh the many things you can do with blocks. Build towers, push them over. Stack them, line them up on the floor, organize them based on color, numbers or letters. Practice counting, or acting spelling. The list goes on. This is the perfect gift for a new toddler turning the big ONE. It is simple, open ended and encourages fine motor skills.
Luca likes these blocks specifically because they also have an animal on each one. Who doesn’t love a little uuu-uuu-aaah-aaaahh monkey gestures or baaaaaaah-baaaah sheep sounds? We play this game while stacking blocks until they fall.
This is also a great play activity for toddlers together with a more senior family member. My mother in law is 80 and stacking blocks is one of the few activities they can enjoy together.
I’d say Luca’s interest in blocks rocketed around 15-18 months. However it’s one of those open ended toys that can be used by many ages.
SES Love to Hug Elmo
Luca received this plush as a gift for his one year birthday. Giggling Elmo has captured his attention consistently because he loves Sesame Street and well, Elmo giggles and vibrates.
I believe the reason stuffed toys are common gifts is because the softness. Their exterior is very nurturing and its sweet demeanor is soothing. Per my observation, the stuffed toys are mainly a decorative element in the early days. They are set to satisfy our mama nesting instincts. Stuffed animals don’t actually become an active participant in our toddlers world until they start role playing. This happens around 15-20mo (sometimes younger).
The vibrating and sound element to this Elmo plush captures a toddler’s attention. I’ve noticed it’s a popular option for younger children who are not at the role playing stage yet. At the same time, it stands out from those other electronic toys full of lights and sounds. Its vibration and voice is more mild and simple and won’t overstimulated the child.
The Pout Pout Fish
Luca loves the pout pout fish. We received it as a gift from our neighbors who also have children. They have a girl Luca’s age and a boy a few years older. (So they are gift giving pros as this is not their first rodeo).
Luca loves this book for multiple reasons. First of all it rhymes and he loves engaging in the bluuuh.. bluuuuuh… bluuuuuuuhh part that repeats itself on each page.
Second, the sea creatures look cool which encouraged our toddler to want to learn the terminology. In particular, Luca likes the octopus and the word became a staple in his vocabulary. We even ended up buying him a octopus stuffed animal due to his obsession!
Some of my mom friends tell me about how their toddler will just sit on their lap book after book. However, Luca has never done that. At least not yet. It’s more like he might take a book out, look at a few pictures and move on. Sometimes he’ll narrow in on something and stare at that page forever. For example with the pout pout fish, that is what he did with the octopus page.
XJD Baby Balance Bikes Bicycle
My husband bought this trike for Luca when he was one years old. We had seen other kids who were just slightly older using them at the park. However, Luca has always been a cautious kid. He didn’t get into it riding the trike until closer to 18-20months. It was helpful to have the trike around earlier though as he got used to it being there. He’d push his toys around on the seat.
Once Luca got accustomed, he started biking around the condo daily. It’s been a huge source of play for our little one both inside and outside. This trike has very wide wheels and no petals making it steady. Its been a great way for Luca to practice his balance on it. The trike comes in a few pieces that need to be assembled. It only took 10-15 minutes once it was out of the box.
The bike is compact enough that he’s not bumping into baseboards or scratching the walls. It’s also super easy to steer. Luca loves using it outside too so we take on walks. It’s very light and easy for me to carry both him and the bike if he gets tiered. This trike fits comfortably at the bottom of our UppaBaby Vista stroller.
Pull Along Dachshund by Brio
This dachshund is a traditional Swedish toy from the brand Brio. My mom (who is Swedish) had this exact same dog when she was a child. It was just natural that Luca received one too. In the above picture the toy is getting a ton of mouth action, but in reality he started pulling this wooden dog around very early on. Now at 2.5 we take “Max” out for walks on a regular basis.
I love that the the dog is stylized in its design. It’s one of those items that are aesthetically pleasing in the home. I think the current day toys have overlooked how much children like to pull things around. This playful activity is also very beneficial to their gross motor skills making it a win-win!
Mega Blocks Smiley Tiger
When Luca was turning one I knew we definitely wanted some larger scale Legos. They encourage that quickly developing fine motor skills and are open ended. Lego blocks are just such a childhood staple but the traditionally small pieces can be a choking hazard for infants. Starting with this larger ones are perfect!
The reason I really like this product in particular is because the lion head cover. It acts as a working station to build upon. There are similar mega block products, if you are looking for something more truck-like check this one out!
The only downfall is that the container is not very big. There aren’t as many blocks as I’d like so we combined this with a bag of additional blocks.
Step2 Little Helper’s Shopping Cart
We were visiting my in laws in Minnesota the summer after Luca turned one and a friend in the area let us borrow this shopping cart. This is the age where your baby has just become a toddler and they love exploring their new walking abilities. This shopping cart provided that freedom!
Any of the play spaces I go to that has toys, the toy shopping carts are always taken! Its a gender neutral toy that satisfies many interests during this age. They can put other toys inside the cart and move them around. Then they can balance while walking as often one year old’s are still a bit wobbly. Little one’s also love imitating adults and most one year old’s have been to grocery store with their parents. They feel like a big boy having their own cart.
Little Tikes Rocking Horse
My husband purchased this rocking horse from Little Tikes after a story by dad shared with us from his childhood. Since he lives overseas, we thought is would be a nice reminder of my dad when he is not around. Besides being a positive memory for us, this neat little rocking horse is simple, modern and compact. It is easily cleaned and safe to ride with one hard corners.
Most important is that Luce has enjoyed this rocking horse during various stages of toddlerhood. When he was one we would carefully hold him as he tried to sway back and forth, but now at almost 3 year old he has mastered the rock! Also, all of Luca’s friends want to test out the rocking horse when they come to visit, so you know its a hot ticket item!
Tried and True Gifts for a One Year Old Boy
Buying gifts for children can be difficult, specially if they are not communicative yet in regards to what they like. One year old’s are just starting to gain more control over their environment and their personality starts to become more clear and demanding. All of a sudden they can be very opinionated to what they want to play with.
These gifts for a one year old boy I shared above were introduced to our toddler around the one year mark. Now at 2.5 years old he is still using every single item mentioned on a regular basis.
What toys have been most used in your home?
PS. If you are looking for other popular gifts, check out the below post:
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