Best one year old gift ideas for a girl: our personal favorites!

Best one year old gift ideas for a girl: our personal favorites
When my daughter, Emma, turned one, a lot of people asked me for gift ideas for her. And one month later, at Christmas, everyone wanted even more ideas.

Back then, I had some ideas, but now that she's 2, I feel like I can do a better job of looking back at
the past year, and really knowing what her FAVORITE gifts were. You know- the things that she played with her entire first year and brought with her everywhere she went.

If you're looking for gift ideas for a one year old girl, here are the things that I've found from experience to be absolute winners.

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Emma's grandparents bought the only baby doll they could find at the store that was labeled as "safe" for one year olds. It has a completely soft body, and Emma loves it. To this day she will not go to bed without it. If your little munchkin already has a special baby doll, baby accessories are also sure to be a hit. 


These are like legos, but bigger. (Better for little fingers.) Even if your one year old doesn't build with them yet, they certainly will be able to before the year is over!


This was a yard sale purchase for us, and has been a huge hit with every kid that has come over to our house to play. We bought a ton of balls, and we keep them in this inflatable pool.

The pool is pretty small, which means that the balls are deeper and it doesn't take up a ton of space. I will say that you'll probably need more balls than you think you do. I thought the 2 huge garbage bags full that we got would be way too many, but it's actually perfect.

One year olds are very interested in everything that isn't theirs. Emma loved playing with my purse, my wallet, my keys, my phone... so I put together an entire play purse just for her. (Read all about it here.)

Now, Emma uses her purse to carry everything from her sippy cup to her plastic barnyard animals. She brings it with her everywhere, and loves to pack and unpack it with all of her special treasures.

We bought this purse for Kate on her first birthday, and I have to say, it is adorable! Just be careful because there are a couple of smaller pieces in this one.


We didn't want to get a play kitchen. We don't like clutter, and didn't feel like we had room for one. However, we gave in when we found one that was so small it would fit against the wall in our dining room. Best decision ever. 

Now when we are cooking, Emma cooks too. Not only does she love it, but that kitchen is also very popular with her friends when they come over to play. Don't forget to stock up on some yummy plastic food.


These are super realistic- just mini. They're kind of adorable. They are especially popular when we allow Emma to fill them with water, which makes her feel like she's actually cooking.


Emma loves to wash her dishes in the kitchen sink and play with them in the bathtub. (A great way to practice pouring without making a huge mess!)


What one year old doesn't love sand? I had one of these when I was little, and I guess some things just don't change, because Emma loves hers just as much as I remember loving mine.



I didn't understand water tables before I had a toddler, but now I get it. Here's what's so great about them: 

  • Toddlers like to stand up. Here's something they can play with while standing. 
  • In a world where not much is low enough for them to reach, here's a table that's just the perfect height for them.
  • Toddlers LOVE splashing and playing in water. Now they can do it outside where there will be no mess to clean up. 
  • It's fast and easy to fill, drain and clean. 

This water table also has a little slide for the plastic ducks, which amused my daughter to no end. We spent many happy summer days splashing in this table! 


Simple inflatable baby pools are not too expensive, and they provide hours and hours of outdoor fun for us every summer. Our water toys range from beach toys to shampoo rinsers to empty bottles from our recycling bin.


A good, quality swing set can be pretty pricy, but it's an investment you might consider if your kids will be spending a lot of time in the backyard over the years.

And before you buy a new swing set, consider your options. We found ours for free on a Facebook yard sale site. We just had to disassemble and transport it ourselves. And by "we" I mean my husband, because he actually put a LOT of work into repainting and rebuilding this set until it looked just like new. Here's the finished product. #worthit


Here's another one that's been around since I was a kid. . . and it's still one of the most popular toys amongst Emma's friends every time we have a backyard barbecue.


Have you seen the art station that I created for Emma? If your little one has a love for art like mine does, an area like this will be very well used! Here are some of our very favorite art supplies:


Play-doh is great for car rides, restaurants, quiet table time, etc. I actually really enjoy doing play-doh with Emma. They make so many cool play-doh toys now!

This cart has been the star of so many pretend shopping trips. Emma used to put her baby doll and her purse in the seat, and then go to the "store" (her play kitchen) and fill her cart with food. We even gave her "credit cards" (used gift cards) to pay for her purchases.


We are huge readers. In fact, I wrote a post about the top 20 best books to read with your one year old. These are our tried-and-true favorites. Any one of these books would make a great gift for a toddler.


Toddlers love bubbles, but sometimes it can be frustrating (and messy!) for them when they can't figure out how to blow them themselves. That's why we're such fans of bubble machines. Plus, Mom and Dad won't get light-headed from all that blowing. ;) 


When I was 6 months pregnant with Kate, Emma and I both got sick at the same time for about a week. We were both miserable, but the best part of every day was when I would put Emma in the tub for a loooooong bath.

I would sit in the bathroom watching her, enjoying a big cup of coffee. We had just bought these bath crayons for the first time, and Emma would seriously stay in the bathtub for an hour playing with them.

These particular bath crayons are THE best. They are really vibrant and easy to use, and they also wipe off very easily.



These Melissa and Doug instruments are great for toddlers. (What toddler doesn't love to make noise, after all?) And they're not too loud or obnoxious for listening adults, either. We've bought these for several first birthday party gifts.

So there you have it! The best gifts for one year old girls. Surefire winners for first birthday parties and Christmas presents.

Did I miss anything? Let me know if you have a favorite that's not on the list. :)

And be sure to pin it so you can come back to find it later!
The best gift ideas for a 1 year old girl. These are our favorite gift ideas for first birthdays or Christmas presents for a one year old girl.
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