Have you been making a holiday gift list and checking it twice or even a third time and you’re still not sure where to start? Well, here’s a gift from Melissa & Doug!
We have pulled together a list of our favorite toys for babies and 1-year-olds, just in time for your holiday shopping. You’ll discover a variety of gifts that are sure to bring the fun, while also building up those essential early developmental skills.
Whether you’re shopping for Christmas, Hanukkah, or December birthdays, we have the best baby and 1-year-old gifts and toys for you to choose from!
If you'd like additional help finding the right toy for your child, visit the Melissa & Doug 2023 Holiday Gift Guide and let it do all the hard work for you.
The 10 Best Toys and Gifts for Babies and 1-Year-Olds
Fun feature: Open the screen to reveal a peekaboo mirror to tap into babies’ fascination with faces.
Skills: Sensory, fine motor skills
How to wow: How does your kiddo commute to work? Have them take the GO Tots Roll & Ride Bus for fun pretend play!
Why it’s a great gift for babies and 1-year-olds: Wheel them back to get new skills speeding ahead! The "rev up" mechanism inside each of these four cars and trucks makes it easy for babies and toddlers to get big acceleration with just a little input: Pull back one of the soft vehicles--then release to see it zoom off across the floor!
Fun feature: Get more "miles per gallon" with a variety of colors, shapes and sizes, illustrated characters, and everyday themes to inspire conversations, cognitive connections, and imaginative play!
Skills: Fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination; benefits large muscle groups and coordination, too.
How to wow: Give their vehicle toys something to race around, through, and into with our Match & Build Soft Blocks!
Why it’s a great gift for babies and 1-year-olds: Melissa & Doug baby toys nurture early childhood development in three key skill areas: physical, cognitive, and social. With interactive designs and multisensory features, our baby toys promote constructive play and engaging learning, keeping interest high and new skills flourishing.
Fun feature: Four animals sound off with their animal songs and play a lively melody when their noses are pressed.
Skills: Sensory, fine motor, gross motor, logical, creative, linguistic, emotional, communication, self-esteem
How to wow: For a potent 1-2 developmental toy punch, pair the Farmyard Cube with our Take-Along Shape Sorter for additional sensory and fine motor skills development.
Why it’s a great gift for babies and 1-year-olds: With bright colors, bold facial features, and washable fabrics that include a variety of patterns and hidden pictures, this crinkling, squeaking, multi-textured soft toy is perfect for encouraging tummy time and fueling storytelling.
Fun feature: Features shatterproof mirror to engage baby's interest in faces and light
Skills: Sensory, fine motor skills
How to wow: If tactile, sensory fun delights your little one, consider getting them our Soft Activity Book - Itsy Bitsy Spider for crinkly, hands-on learning.
Why it’s a great gift for babies and 1-year-olds: With Melissa & Doug GO Tots, toddlers 12 months and older will discover a new kind of kinetic play that offers opportunities to explore cause-and-effect through delightful motion-driven moments.
Fun feature: Four double-sided chunky wooden GO Tots disks (8 collectible characters—six animals and two farmers) tumble and twirl down the silo, out the barn door, over the haystack, and into the trough.
Skills: Cause & effect, fine and gross motor skills
How to wow: Since our GO Tots toys are all compatible, pair the Barynard with our GO Tots Schoolyard Tumble to keep the kinetic learning fun rolling!
Why it’s a great gift for babies and 1-year-olds: This super-sweet clip-on vibrating pull-toy is a delicious way to entertain babies while stimulating their senses—without the sugar rush!
Fun feature: It looks like a soft, smiling ice cream cone, but pull it down and it expands to four stacked scoops in different patterns, colors, and textures (cotton, corduroy, and quilted materials). When baby lets go, the cone vibrates and plays chiming sounds as it jiggles its way back to a single cone!
Skills: Grasping, grabbing, reaching, pulling, fine motor, sensory skills
How to wow: If your little one needs their tummy time, we suggest our Take-Along Farm Play Mat, which features a fun, engaging farm scene and includes nine plush barnyard friends!
Why it’s a great gift for babies and 1-year-olds: Spice up playtime with touchable, tactile taco play food pieces!
Fun feature: Fill a happy-faced, fabric-covered soft taco shell with crinkling, squishy, multi-textured pieces to delight the senses. Pull out the pieces and refill the taco again and again!
Skills: Sensory, fine motor, and color recognition skills
How to wow: If your baby enjoys filling the Soft Taco over and over, be sure to try our Wooden Surprise Box—every time your little one opens it, there’s a surprise waiting inside!
Why it’s a great gift for babies and 1-year-olds: This rolling cart is filled with exciting skill-building activities. With puzzle pieces to sort, a roller drum to spin, and plenty of fun accessories, kids can engage in imaginative play while practicing important skills.
Fun feature: Realistic coffee cup with removable lid
Skills: Fine and gross motor, problem-solving, sorting and sequencing, shape and color recognition
How to wow: Place a favorite stuffed animal friend in the cart for company!
Why it’s a great gift for babies and 1-year-olds: Kids can sort, squeeze, shake, and stack this happy little pineapple. It features soft, fabric-covered rings, a durable plastic texture ring, and a soft textured topper with crinkle leaves and silky smooth ribbons. It’s a sweet way for little ones to discover textures and sounds while practicing important skills.
Fun feature: Rattling, rocking base and post
Skills: Sensory development, problem-solving
How to wow: If your little one enjoys stacking a squishy pineapple, introduce them to their first plush friend with our Burrow Bunny Stuffed Animal.
Why it’s a great gift for babies and 1-year-olds: This sturdy, ocean-themed wooden slide includes 3 squeezable Rollables with chimes, a built-in bead maze, sea star and whale flipper to press, and a removable funnel. So many features to keep babies’ attention and inspire joyful discovery!
Fun feature: Adorable, diverse characters and variety of shapes and textures
Skills: Cause-and-effect, sensory and fine-motor, problem-solving
We hope all these gift ideas make your holidays even happier! If you're looking for more help in finding the right gift for your little one, visit the Gift Finder on our homepage.
Looking for more of the best Christmas and holiday gift and toy ideas for kids of all ages? Check out these blog posts: