Presents for playful one-year-olds

October 5, 2015

What are the best presents to buy for one-year-olds, especially when they’re the second child? A certain little someone has a very significant birthday coming up and I’m on the look-out for present ideas.

The best presents for one-year-olds

It’s actually really hard when you already have so much stuff around from the first child, isn’t it? I really feel that anything we buy now has to be completely different, beautiful or useful, and will minimise the inevitable child-clutter.

This year I’m working with children’s gift site The Kid Who and picking out my favourite selections from the site each month – my previous post was on our rules for play – so this month I thought it would be good to look at playful presents for first birthdays.

There’s a great selection of gifts on the site, from these musical instruments to the Design Letters alpha-blocks set and the animal stacking toys from our last post.

So what did we actually go for?

What are the best birthday presents to buy for one-year-old children?

I think you can’t ever go wrong with books, and The Kid Who has a brilliant, quirky and unusual selection that are less boring and more fun.

Herve Tullet’s Big Book of Art is less of a story book, and more of a big colourful play thing.

The Big Book of Art for children

It’s an interactive book with split pages that lets children mix and match all the patterned pages to create their own mini artworks. There’s no words, so it’s a conversation starter and imagination spark. But mainly it’s cheerful and fun.

The Big Book of Art for children

We also chose a classic book for a London child, This is London.

This is London book for children

This is London children's book

And this owl cushion from Aarrekid is part toy, part cushion and completely soft and pleasingly wonky.

Owl cushion

There’s also a huge selection of gift cards on the site (with lots of future framing potential).

What are the best presents you’ve bought for first birthdays? Any other good suggestions?

Thanks to The Kid Who – we’re play ambassadors for the next couple of months and were sent all these products for the purposes of this post. 

More posts…art galleries and children, the Tate Modern for babies and a new Miffy competition


  • Alice

    October 5, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    I love all of these Gillian – particularly the London book. As the biggest fan of London EVER Elfie would adore it! x

  • Lori

    October 5, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Oh I love LOVE Sasek books we have all of them at home. There’s such a fun range and I love all the books from the Kid Who. x

  • Alison Perry

    October 5, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    Those books look ace – anything by Herve Tullet gets the thumbs up from me. I saw that owl cushion on The Kid Who (in fact, I might have included it in a gift guide I compiled!).

  • Adele

    October 5, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    These are such lovely gifts for toddlers! It can be really tricky figuring out what to get for a second child, can’t it? I find I suddenly forget what kids their age like!

  • fritha

    October 12, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    I always think books are a brilliant one (probably why I house is bursting with them!) but it’s an interesting point, you kind of have everything from your first unless they have very specific tastes in something. Love your choices here and can’t believe she’s almost one already!! x

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