Melissa & Doug Best Birthday Gift Ideas for 1 Year Olds

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Best Birthday Gifts for 1-Year-Olds

March 03, 2023

Shopping for that perfect gift for a child’s first birthday party? The play experts at Melissa & Doug are here to help you find the toy that’s just right for your child. 

When gift-giving for a 1-year-old, you may want to consider a developmental toy that will help them learn valuable skills that they'll need as they grow. Melissa & Doug offers a wide range of developmental toys for infants and babies, so we’ve curated a delightful dozen of our top developmental toys to help narrow down your shopping list.

Our Favorite Birthday Party Gift Ideas for 1-Year-Olds 

NEW! Wooden Work & Play Desktop Activity Board

Melissa & Doug Best Birthday Gift Ideas for 1 Year Olds Wooden Work & Play Desktop Activity Board

It’s never been so much fun for little ones to “get to work” on developmental skills! Infants and toddlers will love playing with this wooden version of a laptop and desk just like grown-ups do!

Wooden Shape Sorting Grocery Cart



Melissa & Doug Best Birthday Gift Ideas for 1 Year Old Wooden Shape Sorting Grocery Cart

This cheery and sturdy wooden grocery cart is filled with fun skill-building activities! Very young kids can sort colorful chunky wooden food shapes through holes in the sides of the cart, and place them in two wooden puzzle boards that store in the cart. As kids grow, using the cart as a push toy helps build motor skills and inspire imaginative play.

Wooden Surprise Gift Box


Melissa & Doug Best Birthday Gift Ideas for 1 Year Olds Wooden Surprise Box

Box up and unbox fun multi-textured gifts that delight the senses again and again! Fill the cloth-covered wooden box with an adorable happy-faced bear, a crinkling, multi-textured cloth, a squeezable ball with chime, or a cloth book. Close the flaps and it becomes a beautifully “wrapped” gift with a beautiful bow!

Market Basket Fill & Spill

Melissa & Doug Best Birthday Gift Ideas for 1 Year Olds Market Basket Fill & Spill

Add a fresh twist to playtime with touchable, tactile farmer’s market play food favorites that delight the senses! Fill the mesh mini-grocery tote with a squeaking carrot, chiming milk bottle, rattling tomato, and crinkling lettuce, all featuring sweet, friendly faces. Pull out the easy-to-grasp pieces and refill the tote again and again!

Pineapple Soft Stacker

Melissa & Doug Best Birthday Gift Ideas for 1 Year Old Pineapple Soft Stacker

How sweet it is for babies to discover textures and sounds with the Melissa & Doug Pineapple Soft Stacker! Grasp, squeeze, shake, and stack two soft, fabric-covered rings (one of which crinkles), a durable plastic textured ring, and a soft textured topper with crinkle leaves and silky smooth ribbons. It all fits on a rattling, rocking base and post to make a friendly, happy-faced pineapple! 

Soft Taco Fill & Spill

Melissa & Doug Best Birthday Gift Ideas for 1 Year Olds Soft Taco Fill & Spill

Spice up playtime with touchable, tactile taco play food pieces! 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!

GO Tots Schoolyard Tumble

Melissa & Doug Best Birthday Gift Ideas for 1 Year Olds GO Tots Schoolyard Tumble

Let’s go play with friends that are fun to roll, stack, and grasp! Four double-sided chunky wooden GO Tots disks (8 collectible characters) tumble and twirl in the double-sided wooden schoolyard with a playground on one side, classroom on the other, and a built-in handle for easy portability.

K's Kids Musical Farmyard Cube Baby Toy


Melissa & Doug Best Birthday Gift Ideas for 1 Year Olds Musical Farmyard Cube Learning Toy

This "farmyard" is full of noisy animals, and compact enough to take anywhere! In this feature-filled activity cube, four animals sound off with their animal songs and play a lively melody when their noses are pressed. Or babies can grasp the padded handle and bump the block against the floor to start the sounds!

Rollables Farm Friends

Melissa & Doug Best Birthday Gift Ideas for 1 Year Olds Rollables Farm Friends

Get playtime and developmental skills rolling with Farm Friends Rollables—adorably round characters that are firm enough to roll but soft enough to squeeze! Inspire imaginative barnyard adventures through kinetic play with four farm animal Rollables that store conveniently in the package.

First Bead Maze


Melissa & Doug Best Birthday Gift Ideas for 1 Year Olds My First Bead Maze

The colorful, eye-catching bead maze toy features 18 multi-shaped beads and three plastic rings that spin and slide along soft-coated wire pathways that are anchored by a strong suction cup base.

Farm Friends Jumbo Knob Puzzle - 8 Pieces

Melissa & Doug Best Birthday Party Gifts for 1 Year Olds Large Farm Jumbo Knob Puzzle 8 pieces

Seven favorite farm animals and a farmer stand out against the big red barn. This extra-thick wooden puzzle includes eight pieces, with jumbo wooden knobs that are easy for children to grasp. Full-color matching pictures appear underneath each piece to help with matching!

Guidelines for Birthday Party Planning

If you’ve never planned a kid’s birthday party before, it’s hard to know where to start—especially for a FIRST birthday celebration. Melissa & Doug has some helpful tips to help you get started with planning that first birthday party.

Guest Count: The rule of thumb for babies and toddlers is your child’s age, plus one. So, if your kiddo is turning 4, five attendees is a good number of kid guests. Does that mean only two kids should attend a 1-year-old birthday party? No, but be reasonable with how many babies you can entertain, especially if space is an issue. Remember, big crowds can overwhelm young kids—not to mention the party-throwing parents.

Party Duration: Keep the party under 90 minus for babies and toddlers; school-aged kids can last about 2-3 hours. And be mindful of nap-time if your child is at that stage.

Structured But Flexible: Plan for around 10-15 minutes for each game or activity to keep kids engaged. But if the kiddos are really enjoying something in particular, let 'em play!

Check out our other birthday planning blog posts!

Top Birthday Party Themes for 2-Year-Olds
Top Birthday Party Themes for 3-Year-Olds
Top Birthday Party Themes for 4-Year-Olds