I wanted to write this post as something to look back on myself when I need to think of gift ideas for friends when they have babies, so I hope this helps you out if you are looking for that perfect gift for a little one.
As my boys turned one in December they had a lot of presents, because Christmas was 20 days after their birthday I can include the gifts from then too as they were still 1, so I should have a lot of ideas for you all.
Here is my run down of the best gifts to buy a 1 year old from the cheapest to the most expensive!
So the cheapest items I want to mention first are the smaller hand held toys. At this age toddlers love toys in all shapes and sizes, however the ones that they can easily hold they love to carry around with them when they're exploring.
1. If you are on a low budget I would suggest buying some bath toys, as they can be fairly cheap and at this age toddlers absolutely love bath time, my little ones practically leap into the bath because they are so excited! My first suggestion would be to get something small and hand held such as this little glow up jellyfish bath toy or a little duck! They don't always use these in the bath they just enjoy carrying them around with them wherever they go and they are a good size for them to keep in their cot too! This jellyfish bath toy was only £2.99 from Sainsbury's so a very affordable price:
[jellyfish toy image coming soon]
You can buy a little duck family set for £4.99 at Kiddicare, you can always put your soap on the mummy ducks back too while it floats in the bath!
I'd be surprised if your one year old doesn't already have a set of stacking cups, but if not these are another perfect gift! They can be used in the bath as each cup has holes in the bottom that let the water sift through, which toddlers love! You can also double it up as a cup to use to wash their hair, and not only that they can be played with out of the bath and little ones will love watching you stack them up so they can knock them down!
Stacking cups range from about £3-5. Kiddicare sell some for £3.99:
My final bath toy suggestion would be to buy any little toy that squirts water back out! Toddlers love water, and they love the noise these toys make when they suck in water and squirt it back out. They're also another perfect hand held toy that toddlers can play with both in and out of the bath (just make sure the water is squeezed out of them first!) You can pick these up for under £10, there are some Sea Squirts Bath Toys at Kiddicare for £5.99
2. Books and DVD's are something that toddlers are starting to love. When it comes to books, anything that is touch and feel is great for little hands! This book is £5.59 from Amazon:
Also as toddlers are learning to start saying words, any books that involve learning about colours, words, numbers, animals etc. will have your toddlers attention quickly! This Peppa Pig Words book which I bought off Ebay for 99p recently!
Another book to keep little ones attention is a puppet book called Calm Down Boris, and is currently £6.99 on Amazon (usually £8.99)
I think buying DVD's for a toddler will depend on whether the parents allow their toddler to watch TV. As much as I'd love to say my boys only watch TV very occasionally, they do end up watching it each day for a short while in order to keep them occupied whilst I get their food ready or have a sit down. Their favourite programmes in order are Peppa Pig, In The Night Garden, Waybuloo, Curious George and Something Special/Mr Tumble! So if you have no idea what DVD to buy a 1 year old, I'm pretty sure any of these will do just fine, plus they are all pretty cheap. As my boys were watching the same Peppa Pig DVD quite often, I ended up buying them a Peppa Pig DVD box set for £19, however the prices do fluctuate and on Amazon it is currently a whopping £30, however separately the Peppa Pig DVD's are usually just £2.00-£3.00!
3. Now this is another item that is under £10 and this had to be my boys FAVOURITE gift we got them (which was nice and also made us question why we spent any more money!) I would definitely recommend this product to anyone and almost 3 months since receiving this gift it's still a firm favourite. The Grow & Play Mr Bongo from Sainsbury's is only £6.66 and lights up as your toddler taps the top. It also has two buttons on the side that make different noises. The only issue with this toy is that it's noisy, and even though it has a volume adjustment, the noise level is still very loud- but toddlers love it!
Firstly the cheapest is the Sophie La Girafe Melamine Set, which if you've read my previous review on Sophie La Girafe the toy, you will know I'm not a huge fan of her appearance, and therefore am not sold on this set myself, however as Sophie can be quite popular with little ones, maybe they would like this! It costs £17.99 from John Lewis, and I would say this set is suited more towards girls, although it does seem to be a neutral product.
For another fond character, this lovely Peter Rabbit set is the perfect gift. The cup has two handles for little hands to get around and has beautiful artwork. The Peter Rabbit Dinner Set is £25.00 from John Lewis.
Sets do go further up in price, and you can also buy some gorgeous porcelain sets, however I would be wary of buying this if you are wanting immediate use as toddlers of this age enjoying throwing everything on the floor including porcelain bowls! I would stick to melamine or choose a nice porcelain set that can be kept for use later.
4. Jumping in price a bit, this is not something I have personally bought myself, however I know a lot of friends with one year olds who say this is amazing. It's the DUKTIG Mini Kitchen from IKEA, and currently costs £45 (but can be up to £60 with extra bits!)
I think personally for me this is not the best option as we don't have the space for something like this at the moment. This would be perfect for advanced toddlers who are already walking or nearly walking, but personally for me I may consider purchasing this once my boys are 2, but at the moment I think they would be more likely to trap their fingers in it than play with it properly.
5. This next item is another firm favourite with mothers I know, and is the Vtech Zebra Scooter, priced at Kiddicare for £44.99. The scooter plays music, is easy to set up and is perfect for toddlers who can't quite walk yet as it is robust enough that they can pull themselves up onto it without it toppling over (something that baby walkers do not do - read my post on baby toys to avoid!)
6. Finally if you have a bigger budget, trikes are the best thing out there for toddlers! I think every parent of a one year old I knew bought their little one a trike for their first birthday! Whilst our boys are at the age where they can't walk yet but constantly want to be on the move, a trike is the perfect gift to entertain little ones while out at the park!
Trikes vary in price, but the Smart Trike in Carnival Red is £89.99 at John Lewis and is actually suitable from 10 months up until 36 months!
We actually have the more expensive version which is the Smart Trike Frog Trike priced at £149.99. This trike is amazing and seems a little more secure than the other trikes, as it also has a clip in seat.
I think trikes are the perfect gift as they last a long time, they are perfect for taking little ones out in without them running off/falling over etc. Plus it also makes it even more exciting taking them to places like the park. If you have the budget to buy a trike I'm certain your little one will love it!
I hope these gift ideas have helped you out, if you have any suggestions please feel free to leave them in the comments section below, I'd love to hear what you've found as successful gifts!
Lots of love,