The coolest first birthday gifts: Toys and keepsakes for 1-year-olds

Coolest first birthday gifts: Curated developmental toy boxes from Lovevery Baby

First birthday gifts can be particularly special for parents and grandparents (i.e. the givers, not the getters) who want to preserve the memory of the big milestone. Because admittedly, most one-year-olds would be perfectly satisfied with a slice of gooey cake in front of them as a first birthday gift — and probably a few empty boxes to play with too. Whether it’s a keepsake gift a child will hold onto for years, decor that helps evolve their room from nursery to kid’s room (sniff) or a beautifully made, developmentally appropriate toy that they can play with well into toddlerhood, we’ve rounded up some of the coolest first birthday gifts for any budget, from small makers to cool gifts at the big stores.

We think these are the best first birthday gifts for 1-year-olds and we hope you love them too! (Of course you can always check our list of the best gifts for 2-year-olds as well — it’s not like a 1-year-old will remember exactly when you gave them that super cool toddler toy!)

Shown above: Lovevery Baby

Be sure to see our full list of the coolest birthday gifts for kids by age

Best gifts for 1 year olds: Cool Mom Picks ultimate kids' gift guide

The coolest first birthday gifts

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All picks have been independently selected by our editorial team

Love Every Baby ships wonderful, developmentally appropriate subscription boxes every 3 months | The Coolest First Birthday Gifts

Curated toy subscription box by developmental stage
($120-3 boxes with a new kit shipping every 3 months, Love Every Baby)

Order these age-appropriate play kits for toddlers filled with items selected by experts on baby development. As educational as they are fun– and so gorgeously and smartly curated. (Also shown at top.)

Little Blue Olive handmade birthday crowns and hats | Cool first birthday gifts

Handmade birthday hat or crown
(from $19.95 at Little Blue Olive)

Make those zillion first-birthday photos even more special with one of these handmade party hats or crowns. There are loads of colors to choose from, and you can find clever designs like mermaid tails or go fancy with glitter and confetti. Hey, they only turn one once!


Best first birthday gifts: Hanna Andersson pjs hold up beautifully and make great hand-me-downs

Photo-Ready Baby PJs
($44, Hanna Anderssonn)

Also shown at top, these one-piece pjs are made from eco-fabrics that are soft, durable, and ready to be passed down to the next one-year-old in line.


A board book monthly subscription from Bookroo makes one of the best first birthday gifts | cool mom picks

Board Book Club Subscription
($19.95/mo and up, Bookroo)

Count on them getting duplicates of the classics, and instead opt for a subscription to three new board books each month. Or choose your own board books from the newer selections at Amazon or

Child's Personalized Wooden Book Storage | Best gifts for 2-year-olds

Child’s Personalized Wooden Bookshelf
($183, Child Universe, with big sales for a limited time

Need a place to keep that growing library? This is such a cool gift for a 1-year-old because it not only keeps their room tidy, but shows how much we value books.

Best gifts for one-year-olds: Fisher-Price makes a pretty and super affordable sorting block set

Fisher-Price 10-piece sorting block set
($11.70, Amazon)

If you want a single toy for a first birthday gift, remember that one-year-olds are curious and more dexterous, ready for more complex toys than rattles and clutch balls. We love how far Fisher-Price has come from primary colors to this lovely serene design that makes an affordable and thoughtful gift for a first birthday.

Beautiful wooden stacking toy from Tiny Moon | The Coolest First Birthday Gifts

Personalized wooden stacking toy
($19.99+ at Tiny Moon)

The ultimate developmental toy, allowing toddlers to put the different sized rings in order. . .or not. (Toddlers like options.) Beautifully made in California of birch wood, the personalization makes this a special gift.

The Story of Rock / Rap / Country / Pop - cool birthday gifts for 1 year olds

The Story of Rock and The Story of Rap Board Books

($5-16, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target,
Even they’re too young to learn the words, they can get a head start knowing their Bowie from their  with this series of board books about rap, pop, country, and rock with Lindsay Sagar’s adorable illustrations.


Best first birthday gift ideas: Ida Pearle's personalized children's artwork with a custom name

Custom children’s name prints
($98 unframed, $188 framed at Ida Pearle)

We’ve long loved Ida Pearle’s exquisite custom name prints which are based on her original cut paper artwork. Choose from any of the 26 designs from her Alphabet card series then add a child’s name — she can even customize the skin tone and hair color.

Best gifts for one-year-olds: SkipHop's Rock-a-Mole (get it?) guitar is too cute!

Rock-a-Mole Baby Guitar
($18, Nordstrom)

Skip Hop’s adorable guitar toy turns the beloved toast-topper into a music toy for babies, with strumming riffs, fun tunes, and light-up buttons.

3-in-1 ride-Wishbone Mini-Flip ride-on toy | The Best Gifts for 1 Year Olds

Wishbone Mini Flip Mix n Match 3-in-1 ride-on toy
($149.99 at Modern Nursery — plus 10% off when you subscribe to emails)

What’s better than a cool-looking walker for baby? How about one that can easily be changed into a gentle rocker and a sturdy ride-on toy as your child grows! Comes in eight cool colors too.


Cool first birthday gifts | Crayola's washable finger paints made for toddlers

Crayola washable toddler finger paint set
($16.99 at Target)

Start them on art early! This is the perfect sensory craft activity for a one-year-old birthday gift, and the price is terrific. Paper is included — clean-up is not. But since the paints are washable it won’t be a nightmare either.

Best gifts for one year olds: This affordable magnetic bath fishing set by Munchkin

Munchkin magnetic bath fishing set
($9.28, Amazon)

Make bath time more fun with this cute fishing set. It’s one of the best gifts for 1-year-olds that you can find under $10, and no real fish hooks to worry about!


Portable electric keyboard from Baby Einstein and Hape | Cool first birthday gifts

Baby Einstein & Hape electric keyboard
($50.39 on sale at Amazon)

If you really want to encourage their love of music, this fun-to-play electric keyboard created by Baby Einstein and Hape. The wooden surface makes it easy to clean should maestro play with sticky fingers.

Best first birthday gifts: TEGU magnetic wooden tram toy is safe for toddlers

Tegu magnetic tram building blocks
($60 at Amazon; or set of baby’s first building blocks $25)

We love Tegu‘s beautifully made, magnetic block sets, and now they’ve added this colorful tram set–with peg people–rated for 1 year and up. It’s the perfect size for little hands to take apart, push around, and rearrange, to help toddlers learn about both balance and magnetism as they play.

PRIMO ride on toy for toddlers | Best first birthday gift

Ambosstoys’ Primo ride-on toys
($249 at Amazon)

Want to get a cool first birthday a gift that the baby can literally grow into? This pint-sized Vespa-style motorbike is like a balance bike but with Italian flair. It’s perfect fort wo and up — which means they’ll have something to look forward to.

Meaningful gifts for kids: Donation to a 529 fund with a Gift of College gift card

A 529 fund donation
(varies at Gift of College)

They’re still so little, but trust us–college will be here soon! It’s the perfect time to make those important donations to college before they start expecting toys. Gift of College offers 529 gift cards or compare your own best options.

The best gifts for kids by age 2024

The coolest first birthday gifts
The coolest birthday gifts for 2-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for 3-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for 4-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for 5-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for 6-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for 7-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for 8-year-olds
The coolest birthday gifts for tweens and big kids 9-12
The coolest birthday gifts for teens