Best First Birthday Presents in 2021
Updated 11-03-2021 – Lucy Walters
Finding the perfect present for a child is always tricky. Finding one for a 1-year-old gets even more challenging. They’re old enough not to enjoy infant toys but too young to have older pre-school toys. But how do you find that balance?
Things to Consider When Buying First Birthday Presents
Here’s a list of what you should look out for when buying toddlers their presents, summarised from advice given by an expert paediatrician from KidshHealth.org.
Check that fabric-based toys are labelled as flame retardant or flame resistant.
Ensure that any stuffed toys are washable to ensure hygiene.
Check that only lead-free paint are used on any of the things you buy.
Crayons, paints, and other art materials should be labelled non-toxic.
Sound-based toys can be as loud or louder than car horns, which, when placed directly into your child’s ears, can lead to hearing loss.
Toys should be large enough (at least 3 cm in diameter and 6 cm in length) to ensure they can’t be swallowed or lodged into your little one’s throat.
Batteries can be extremely toxic to children. If getting battery-operated gifts, make sure the batteries are enclosed in secure cases with child-proof screws.
Check that any toys you buy can withstand chews and do no easily break.
Ensure that there are no sharp ends or small parts (like eyes, buttons, wheels, or strings) that are easily pulled loose. If strings are attached, ensure these are longer than 17 cms. Check that your little one’s fingers do not get pinched in any of the toy parts.
These should have a harness to keep your little one securely in place.
To help narrow down your options, here is our list of the ten best first birthday presents available in the UK for 2021.
|Mega Bloks Classic Big Building Bag||Best product||9.6|
|Little Tikes Fountain Factory Water Table||Premium product||9.2|
|Fisher-Price Chatter Telephone||Value product||9.2|
|Melissa & Doug Dust! Sweep! Mop!||Best pretend play toy||9.5|
|Melissa & Doug Geometric Stacker||Best stacking toy||9.4|
|TOMY Toomies Hide and Squeak Eggs||Best shape-sorting toy||9.4|
|Baby Einstein Hape Magic Touch Piano||Best musical toy||9.4|
|Vtech Baby Walker||Best walker toy||9.4|
|Fisher-Price Smart Stages Chair||Best activity chair||9.4|
|Baby Einstein Board Books||Best board book set||9.3|
1 Mega Bloks Classic Big Building Bag
Mega Bloks is a brand owned by the Mega Brands Canadian toy company, which falls under the larger parent company, Mattel.
- 80-piece set.
- Classic primary colour scheme.
- Easy PVC-free storage.
- Large blocks for little hands.
The Mega Bloks Classic Building Bag contains 80 pieces of large blocks with various representing each of the primary colours.
The Mega Bloks are slightly larger than the traditional building blocks, to allow a toddler to grasp it better. At the same time, they develop their fine motor skills.
The bloks come in a PCV-storage with carrying handles for easy portability.
Bloks are excellent gifts for 1-year-olds because of its versatility in terms of play. There are endless possibilities when building things with blocks. It’s one of the best toys to stimulate a child’s imagination and bring about their creativity.
Because of its versatility, these blocks will never be outgrown by your child. Instead, as they grow, they will just find more ways of playing or building it. For this reason, along with its affordable price point, we are naming the Mega Bloks Classic Building Bag our best of the best pick for our list of the ten best birthday presents in the UK for 2021. You can even consider toys for 1 year old’s as a good birthday present.
2 Little Tikes Fountain Factory Water Table
Little Tikes is a US-based toy manufacturer, and are popular for its range of outdoor play products, such as playhouses, ride-ons, slides, swings, and so much more.
The Little Tikes Fountain Factory Table is the perfect gift for a toddler who enjoys playing with water or outdoors. It’s essentially an activity table packed with thirteen interchangeable pipes, faucets, and fittings, allowing the child to use their creativity and problem-solving skills, as well as to develop their fine motor skills.
This activity table holds up to seven gallons of water and water can be channelled along the three different fountains. It includes three fun and useful accessories: a floating boat, a tiny tub, and a funnel.
Toddlers and older children alike will certainly spend hours of outdoor playtime with this fun and interactive water table. You can also add sun cream suitable for babies and toddlers to complete your outdoor-themed gift set.
3 Fisher-Price Chatter Telephone
The Fisher-Price Chatter Telephone is a pull along toy that you probably also had as a child. It can be played by a toddler while sitting, standing, or walking around.
While sitting, the little one can play with the old-school phone dial, that teaches numbers and colours and also enhances the development of hand-to-eye coordination. This toy also encourages imagination and pretend play, as the toddler can pick up the receiver and pretend to talk to someone on the other end, mimicking mum and dad when they are on the phone.
When standing down or walking, the toy produces sounds, the more your little one moves, the more sounds the phone creates, and the more the phone’s eye wobbles and moves. It’s a great activity which encourages your little one to move around and further practice walking and develop their balance and coordination.
4 Melissa & Doug Dust! Sweep! Mop!
Best pretend play toy
Melissa & Doug is yet another American toy company. Their speciality is on wooden educational toys and arts and crafts materials.
If you are looking to gift a pretend play toy made of quality materials, you probably want to check out the Melissa & Doug Dust! Sweep! Mop!
It features six pieces of pretend cleaning equipment: a mop, a broom, a duster, a dustpan, a brush, and a storage stand! They are functional yet kid-sized replicas of the real one.
If you’re a parent, you would love this as it keeps your little one entertained, while you work on the actual chores. They can also help you and follow as you do, developing their confidence, sense of independence, responsibility, and imagination at an early stage.
This pretend play toy was developed in partnership with the American Academy of Paediatrics to uphold the three principles of healthy play, giving you an added reassurance that the toys are expert-approved.
These toys are also meant to last as the construction is based on sturdy wood and coloured in lead-free, non-toxic paint.
All these features make it the ideal choice if you are after a reusable nappy for a tiny baby, such as a newborn or a precious little one that decided to come out early.
5 Melissa & Doug Geometric Stacker
Best stacking toy
Another product from Melissa & Doug that is approved and recommended by the experts is the Geometric Stacker Toy. This set features 25-pieces of wooden toys coming in three different shapes: rings, two-part squares, and octagons. They all come brightly-coloured with non-toxic and lead-free paint.
Although the manufacturer’s recommended age is for 2 to 4-year-olds, this is a perfect gift for a 1-year-old as it has versatile modes of play that grow with your child. The one-year-old can start by playing the shapes on their own, encouraging your little one’s imaginative skills and creativity.
As they grow older, they can discover the stacking mode of play. Your toddler can stack the shapes on to the rings, sorting them out by shapes, or colours, and of course, finding the perfect piece to create the two-part square. This mode of play encourages the development of the young child’s logic, problem-solving, and fine motor and coordination skills, and also boost their confidence and independence when they finally figure it out. They also get to learn about colours and shapes along the way.
6 TOMY Toomies Hide and Squeak Eggs
Best shape-sorting toy
Tomy is a Japanese company that produces children’s merchandise and toys. The Tomy Toomies Hide and Squeak Eggs may not look like your conventional shape sorter toy, but it certainly does the job of teaching your little one’s about matching shapes, and even colours.
It comes as a pack of six colourful chicks covered in white shells. The shells display six different emotions, and the faces are drawn with the same colour to match the inside chick. The game aims to match the coloured faces to the colour of the chick inside.
Another mode of play is by matching the bottom of the egg to the base of the egg tray. Each egg bottom has a shape that fits into the base of the egg tray. The egg carton serves as a toy component, as well as a storage for the eggs so your little one can bring it along with them wherever they go.
Other than textures and stimulating their vision, this toy also plays chirping sounds when you press the egg inside.
You don’t have to worry that this toy will outgrow your child as when your 1-year-old gets older, and they can simply add this to their pretend play toys as pretend eggs! Or consider for older years toys for 3 year olds.
7 Baby Einstein Hape Magic Touch Piano
Best musical toy
Baby Einstein is also a US-based company, but their line is focused on multimedia products for infants and toddlers to promote an interactive and educational play.
The Baby Einstein Hape Magic Touch Piano is an excellent musical gift for a 1-year-old. It features a play piano without the keys. Yes, you read that right. It is keyless, and no buttons and just wood painted with colours that mimic keys. When the little one taps each of these “keys” it creates a sound, that is not too loud but is very similar to that of the real piano.
This musical toy has two modes of play. You can let your little one freestyle and create their own melody via the composer or freestyle modes, or they can copy classical music using the instructor mode.
The instructor mode comes with six different songs that your little one can play along with by following the colour-coded music sheets that come with the set.
8 Vtech Baby Walker
Best walker toy
Vtech is a Hongkong-based company that manufactures electronic educational products for infants through to preschoolers.
The Vtech Baby Walker is the perfect gift for a 1-year-old that has either just learned to walk or is still learning to walk. There are two modes of play with this toy.
One is the walker mode, where the little one can push the walker around by holding on to the easy-grip handle, ensuring their balance and preventing them from falling. The walker comes armed with motion sensors that trigger lights and music with easy of your little one’s steps, encouraging them to walk and move more, further developing their balance and coordination skills.
Another play mode is the activity centre mode. The walker comes with a detachable learning centre that is packed with various modes of play. It has a role-play mobile phone so that they can mimic their carers on the phone, it has light up numbers and buttons, shape sorters, a sliding cat and mouse, doors, and rollers, all of which develop your little one’s fine motor, hand-to-eye coordination, logic, and problem-solving skills.
It’s definitely a great gift that will keep little one’s entertained for hours on end.
9 Fisher-Price Smart Stages Chair
Best activity chair
The Smart Stages Chair is another great innovation from Fisher-Price. It is a chair and activity centre combined into one appealing yellow toy.
This entertaining toy detects when your baby sits or stands and plays a different sound for each movement. One arm of the chair has a flip picture book, which your little one can “read” while sitting down. Another arm has a light-up remote that introduces numbers, shapes, colours, opposites, and so much more. The seat cushion also doubles as toy storage.
The Smart Stages technology is probably the best feature of this activity chair. It has three stages that grow with your child. Level one is suitable for a 1-year-old, and this level teaches the principles of up and down which your baby aptly hears when they sit down or stand up. The buttons on the remote also play numbers on this stage.
Level two is suitable for 18 months and over and expands more learning modes in terms of numbers, actions, and so much more.
10 Baby Einstein Board Books
Best board book set
If you don’t want to gift toys and would prefer books, this 12-piece set of Baby Einstein Board Books may be your best book set option.
This collection features 12 sturdy board books that are just the right size for a toddler’s little hands. Each book features a different lesson: shapes, animals, letters, numbers, seasons, rhymes, beach, park, colours, and so much more!
The book set comes in a handy and colourful carry case with a convenient hook handle, so the little one can carry it around wherever they go.
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