What to buy a one year old for their birthday or Christmas.
You may have seen a few of my previous round-ups of Phoebe’s favourite toys, books and activities, but since the last one for six to nine month olds I’ve not shared many recommendations. She got lots of new toys for her birthday and still plays with many of the toys she enjoyed at nine months old.
I have spent lots of time watching Phoebe play to discover exactly what it is about each toy she enjoys, and have used that knowledge to buy her some new bits ready for Christmas. She is now almost 15 months old, but by Christmas she will be 16 months.
I thought it might be useful to put together a list of some of the toys Phoebe already loves playing with, as well as some I’ve bought for her for Christmas, in case you’re looking for some gift inspiration. Keep in mind that some of these suggest they are more suitable for older children, but I’ve taken this into consideration when purchasing for Phoebe. You know your toddler best, after all.
At this age, toddlers start getting really interested in practical life. They want to be where you are at all times, doing what you’re doing and soaking up all of our homely knowledge. Phoebe wants to help with the washing, cooking and cleaning.
While I’m happy for her to join in and help, sometimes it can make life a lot slower and more difficult! So I’ll be getting her some practical life toys that’ll allow her to explore her new skills alongside me.
Other kitchens I love include this simple one from IKEA perfect for upcycling (£45), and this beautiful one from The Great Little Trading Company is currently on offer for £96 down from £120 (shown below).
Phoebe has a cute plastic tea set that she loves and plays with every day. She makes her soft toys cups of tea and feeds them cake. It’s made by LeapFrog and is available for £19.99 from Smyths.
If you prefer a more classic or wooden style, you’ll like The Great Little Trading Company’s Daisy Wooden Tea Set (shown below), on offer at £22.50 down from £30 at time of writing. We actually have this one for Phoebe but we’re saving it until she’s a little bit older. Argos has a cute option for £11, too.
I think Phoebe is going to absolutely love the cleaning set we picked up for her from the Lidl special event. The one below is a similar option by Melissa and Doug, available from Amazon for £25.
Little People, Happyland or Chad Valley
When she’s not trying to join in with the chores, Phoebe spends a lot of time with her Little People, Happyland and Chad Valley figures. We got most of them from Facebook Marketplace for absolute bargains, hence the mixture of the three.
Really, you’re best choosing just one of them, as this will ensure compatibility between all of the figures and parts. I personally love Little People – I find the sets more interesting and fun – but I know Happyland holds a special place in many hearts and it does have more options available.
We’ve got Phoebe the Little People Schoolhouse set for Christmas but it seems to have been discontinued (this is the other thing about both Little People and Happyland – they change all the time! If you see one you like for a good price, buy it before they stop making them all together). Here’s a link to the Schoolhouse on Amazon but it’s a bit more pricey than it was originally and there are only a few left.
My current top picks that are definitely available at time of writing are:
Phoebe has the Caring for Animals Farm and loves it. It’s available for around £35 from Smyths but it looks like it’s in high demand so check back regularly for stock.
This is the Happyland Farm, which I’ve also seen in person. In fact, we have parts of it! It’s very cute, and if you plan to collect Happyland for your little one I think this is a staple for any collection. You can usually pick it up for around £35 from Early Learning Centre.
The Windmill is also super cute! It’s around the same price as the farm and also from Early Learning Centre.
An alternative that often works out cheaper is Chad Valley Tots Town from Argos. There is a difference in quality with these. They are well made but don’t have quite as many details or interactive elements. But, Phoebe has loved them just as much so I’m more fond of them than I thought I would be.
The Tots Town Safari Train is a popular set at a bargain price. Available at Argos for around £20.
Phoebe’s favourite book at the moment is a classic: Where’s Spot. She loves it so much and screams with excitement when she finds the bear behind the door! She’s also mastering the word ‘clock’ at the moment thanks to this book, which has been particularly hilarious. Where’s Spot is available from Amazon here.
I also love Usbourne for kids books. Here’s a quick list of some of my favourites:
There aren’t many crafts Phoebe can join in with that won’t end in disaster at this age, but the Galt Water Colouring books avoid all that. You fill the pen with water and it reveals the colour on each page for mess free colouring. Plus, they’re reusable! These are around £5 each from Amazon.
A nice stocking filler to encourage communication skills are these Cue cards. I imagine some will end up bent, but they’re such a cheap and cheerful gift that I know we’ll get lots of use out of. They’re under £3 from Amazon.
Shops I love to browse
I’ve also got Phoebe a few other wooden bits and bobs, but most of them were from the Lidl Special Event so I can’t link them for you here I’m afraid. Instead, I’m going to share a list of my absolute favourite places to look for wooden toys. Have a browse! Just be warned you might want to buy everything:
I haven’t purchased these for Phoebe (but you can bet I will probably cave in and get some before Christmas arrives) but particular highlights from these stores include:
This fishing game (below) from Argos is like one I got from Lidl, Phoebe loves it! This one is £10 and available here.
What have you got for your one year old this Christmas? Anything you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram.