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Something about a first birthday is just the best, am I right? 

First birthdays are a big deal; they are a major milestone and signal the transition from baby to toddler. When shopping for a toddler you want to look for gifts that encourage their natural curiosity in the world around them.

If you’re a mama unsure of what to suggest as gifts to friends and family, or attending a first birthday and have no idea what to bring, we rounded up our favorite gifts for 1-year-olds.

DBM Pro Tip: If you’re buying a gift for a child you’re also buying that gift for their parents. So try to keep their taste, values, and style in mind too.

Gifts $20 And Under

  Twinkles Octo Projector

first birthday gift ideas

This sweet little portable nightlight by CloudB projects soothing stars or underwater images on the ceiling to help lull a child to sleep.  The compact size makes it absolutely perfect for travel – or overnights at the grandparents’ house!

Octo Projector on Amazon

  Bobo & Boo Bamboo Children’s Dinnerware Set

first birthday gift ideas

A dinnerware set encourages kids to eat on their own and learn how to properly use utensils. This 5-piece one is non-toxic and eco-friendly and comes in a variety of colors that will match any kitchen.

Dinnerware Set on Amazon

Ball Hammer Toy

first birthday gift ideas

What’s more fun than banging stuff? Nothing, that’s what. And this ball hammer toy teaches kids to recognize colors when they fit each ball into its designated color slot.

Ball Hammer Set on Amazon

Safari Animal Sound Puzzle

first birthday gift ideas

Not only are puzzles fun, but they help kids with hand-eye coordination, and encourage focused play. This one is colorful, bright, and solid and teaches a playful lesson in cause-and-effect.  Kids will also learn about safari animals, what they’re called, and what sounds they make.

Safari Animal Sound Puzzle on Amazon

Gem Jackpot Crayons

first birthday gift ideas

Start your little ones’ art careers early with these fun gem-shaped, non-toxic crayons,  designed to make it easy for little hands to grasp and use, even before they’ve learned how to use standard crayons. 

Jackpot Crayon Set on Amazon

Gifts $40 And Under

Kitchen Play Set

first birthday gift ideas

A play kitchen is sure to be a hit for years because it allows little ones to use their imagination and encourages independent learning. With big red knobs that turn, your child will be enchanted and proud by their first culinary creations.

Kitchen Play Set on Amazon

Large Wooden 11-piece rainbow Stacking Tower

first birthday gift ideas

This colorful wooden set of blocks can often be found in Montessori and Waldorf classrooms alongside more basic rectangular versions. Each circle in this nesting set can be stacked and balanced, while allowing a child to experiment with texture and gravity. 

Rainbow Stacking Tower on Amazon

Baby Einstein Wooden Piano

first birthday gift ideas

Young kids love making music and exploring things.  Tap the colored keys on Baby Einstein’s Magic Touch Piano to play classic tunes or create your own melodies — a great way for babies and parents to play together.

Baby Einstein Wooden Piano on Amazon

Magnetic Wooden Block Set

first birthday gift ideas

There’s been some research looking at kids using blocks with parents, and it turns out that building blocks are a really good way to promote early STEM skills.  The pastel-hued wooden building blocks in this 14-piece set have built-in magnets, so they won’t fall down as easily as regular blocks. Plus, they’re made in Honduras, with the goal of creating living-wage jobs for Tegucigalpa residents.

Magnetic Wooden Blocks on Amazon

Melissa & Doug, Let’s Play House! Dust! Sweep! Mop!

first birthday gift ideas

We love this cleaning set because it not only promotes being active, it also encourages kids to be helpful. Kids always want to be like big people. So if they see you using something, they’re going to want to do it, too!

Magnetic Wooden Blocks on Amazon

You can never go wrong with a book as a gift a first birthday, for our favorites, checkout Best Books For Toddlers

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