It’s been a whole year since your baby boy was born and it’s just about time for your baby’s first birthday. But what 1st birthday gifts for boys are actually going to be something that he’ll like?
Well, lucky for us that they’re not usually that picky when it comes to what they’re getting. A toy is usually a safe bet and the perfect gift for them, but that might not be what you want.
I’d assume that what you want is a birthday present that will both provide entertainment to your little one and help to start teaching him some basic motor skills so he can both grow and play.
The difference between 1 year old boys and baby girls isn’t that big when it comes to gift selection on the first anniversary of their birth, but parents should still consider the preferences of their child first.
Thankfully, my son came in as the second child when I already had a bit of experience with a child’s wants and needs as a mom, so it was a bit easier to figure out birthday gifts for him year one and onward.
Something I’ve noticed in particular (and was told of by other moms) is that kids at this age tend to like things with a lot of moving parts.
Things like multiple hoops, little objects hanging from threads, etc. They love getting their little hands on them to make them spin and move.
Boys especially like to disassemble and (sometimes) reassemble things.
They have this keen mechanical mind, more so than the more empathetic-leaning female one, and such things need to be sated.
And there’s no reason why it should be difficult for you to figure out what those things are. That’s why I’m here to lend you a guiding hand.
9 Best 1st Birthday Gifts For Boys
1. Woby Multifunctional Musical Learning Tool Workbench Toy Set for Kids With Shape Sorter Tools
This might be going a bit into the stereotyping spectrum, but that is no reason to disregard this lovely toy for your growing boy.
While it does look like a workbench, it’s filled with all sorts of interesting little doodads that will captivate your child for hours.
Not only does it produce sounds when he interacts with the various tools, allowing him to learn which tool replicates which sound, it leads him to get to know some of the most basic of tools one could find in the household.
And all these tools foster fine motor skills as well.
The nails and other blocks in the workbench teaches him how to match shapes and colors, the bench clamp encourages him to twist and turn things, the number ruler allows him to potentially learn some basic numbers, and so on.
It even has a small little drawer where your little tyke can deposit his tools and other things he finds, teaching him how to keep his workspace tidy and himself organized.
A perfect addition to any boy-themed playroom.
And to top it all of, it comes adorned with so many various rainbow colors atop those sounds, guaranteed to keep him happy and smiling whether he’s toying with it himself, or his siblings or parents are having a go.
This does require batteries to operate so do keep that in mind.
And, if you don’t want it going off in the middle of the night, there’s an on/off switch too so you can spare battery life (and your sanity!)
2. Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon, Sit To Stand Toddler Toy
Now here’s something a bit more practical with not a lot of potentially misplaced parts.
A simple child walker, something to teach your little growing boy how to stand on his own two feet and master a two-feet driver over the usual crawl.
And this thing is tailored to resemble something akin to those little red wagons older generations used to pull around, or at least the ones you see in the movies, albeit reversed as they push rather than pull in this scenario.
The cart itself is a rather high quality product, made of a nice, sturdy wooden base coated in a pleasant red tint and coupled with a cushy front bumper to prevent any collisions from ending poorly for your furniture, doors, or vases.
Not only that, but it doesn’t have any distracting extras like bells, buttons, noisemakers and the like, leaving him focused on just wheeling his new ride around the block and learning how to pitter patter on his little feet.
It also features a spot in the front in case your kid wants to ride their sister, brother or his toy friends around when he starts racing around the house.
The space is fenced off by wooden stake fencing that’s easy to remove should you feel the cargo or person inside is safe.
It’s always a delight when I go and visit my friend and see their little ones playing in the very same one, though they do it with the fence off now that they’re a bit bigger.
And, unlike most other walkers, the Radio Flyer has a bit of resistance to it, so your precious boy doesn’t fall over for going too fast too often.
The final benefit of the Radio Flyer walker is that since the construction is super durable, you’ll be able to resell it if you find no more use for it, or keep it for any potential future kids – boys or girls alike.
3. Hape Pound & Tap Bench With Slide Out Xylophone
If you’re looking for a bit of musical encouragement, the Hape Pound & Tap Xylophone might be right up your alley.
Sure it won’t guarantee that you’re raising the next Mozart, but it might get him well on his way to starting a musical career (or at least enjoy some lovely sounds every now and then).
He can either use the wooden hammer that comes with the playset to whack the balls on the top down onto the xylophone and send them rolling to create some of those slapstick xylophone sounds.
That, or he can pull the xylophone out and produce his own melody.
While simple, it still functions as an actual xylophone, leaving your tot with an array of possibilities and near-infinite potential to entertain himself (and others!)
Not only does it nurture any budding musical talents your kid might be harnessing, but it also helps improve his hand-eye coordination as he aims to hit the proper colors – something he’ll get better at with time.
The toy itself is sturdy and high quality, much like everything else on this list, making it worth the monetary investment.
It’s completely safe for kids as well as it’s colored with non-toxic, water-based paints. The entire structure is built with rounded edges, keeping your little muso’s safety in mind.
It even won a number of awards for how child-friendly it is – the Cribsie and the Golden Rocking Horse being the most prestigious among the baby toy community (as silly as it sounds, it does exist.)
In any case, I’d consider this a must-buy if your child shows an interest in music and starts to follow along the lullabies and other songs he ends up listening to.
Plus, once he outgrows the toy, it’ll be safe to resell and get some money back in your pocket. A nice return investment.
4. Pewi Walking Ride On Toy
Cycling back to the walkers, we have a somewhat different take on a walker. Well, more a stroller or a bicycle rather than a walker, given the added wheel support.
It’s easy to assemble, comfy to sit on, the wheels are rubber so they won’t damage the floor beneath in case of any unwanted turns, and the walking toy even looks like a smiling face when looked at from the front.
Not to mention it’s easy to put away once your kid is done playing with it.
The colors are quite pleasing to the eye as well, coming in around half a dozen different varieties when you head over to purchase one, and it’s quite affordable compared to other walkers.
I’ve been calling it the training wheels of the training wheel bicycle and both my kids loved using it when they were little.
I initially bought it for my daughter when she was little and then I passed it on to my youngest when he reached the age group designated for the toy.
I have to say it was quite fantastic in helping both of them transition from crawling to pushing this like a walker, and then even riding it like the “training wheel of the training wheel bicycle.”
And now my daughter is even riding an actual bicycle. My son isn’t quite there just yet though.
In any case, this bike would make one of the most ideal 1st birthday gifts for boys as they’re bound to enjoy wheeling themselves around in their brand new ride and showing off just how cool they look!
I’d say the one downside might be the fact that there aren’t extra bells and whistles, but this way your kids get to focus on maneuvering and keeping their eyes on the “road” rather than being distracted.
A lesson in and of itself.
5. SmartMax My First Animal Train STEM Magnetic Discovery Play Set
Now for something that stimulates your kid’s mind, specifically his imagination.
The Smartmax Animal Train Set helps your child learn about various animals and teaches him something a bit more complex – how to assemble a cute little train that transports various animals over to his desired destination.
There’s no real set story, so you too can let your imagination run wild when playing with your boy.
It’s a different take on the shape and hole games that we’re used to seeing, albeit it makes for a more useful product in the end, teaching your one-year-old about assembly, shapes, and such, while allowing him to have fun on his own terms.
Your little one is sure to be overly intrigued by the magnets that keep the whole thing together and will undoubtedly find the concept fun and satisfying.
I’m certain both him and the kids at his birthday party are going to love playing around with this for a good portion of that party (before the cake arrives, that is!)
The set itself is rather massive too, featuring 22 difference pieces, including the train, the conductor, and the animals.
And all of them are made to somewhat replicate their texture in real life, with the train materials being sturdy while the animals themselves are soft, rounded, and rather nice to the touch.
The best part is that if you ever consider getting any of SmartMax’s other magnet-based baby products, they’re compatible with these ones as well, expanding the already endless potential for fun with these toys exponentially.
6. Baby GUND Animated Flappy The Elephant Stuffed Animal Plush
Speaking of soft animals, it’s time to get a bit on the softer side of things. We’re here talking about education and fun and all that jazz, but what if your son really wants a friend to be around him.
Someone he can talk to and carry around, maybe even drive them around in that Radio Flyer walker if you choose to get one.
Someone who can be with him even when his other friends can’t, especially during naptime.
A stuffed animal is an ideal partner for a growing child in developing their social skills, as odd as that may sound.
It gives him an outlet to just talk to and hang out with, and keep his attention for when you might not have the time for him.
A stuffed toy friend lets him have a little bit of independence for when he needs it.
Nevermind all of these pull toys, push toys, walkers and expensive gadgets – what a kid really needs is a companion, and Baby GUND has the most ideal elephant partner for him.
The neat part about Flappy the Elephant is that he’s an animated toy that shares the voice of a little child, making him all the more amiable to your toddler in training.
One of the two modes lets them play a game of peek-a-boo together, something many kids often learn first as they love hiding and surprising their parents, to which parents often respond positively and act surprised.
The other mode has Flappy sing a little song called “Do your ears hang low?” while his arms and ears wiggle around with the rhythm of the tune, appeasing that desire for a child to see something move.
That, and it makes the toy seem real to your baby boy, promoting more interaction between the two of them.
The best part is that it’s quite comfy as well, so they can share a bed together, letting your child fall asleep much faster knowing he’s comforted with a companion by his side, in turn meaning more peaceful nights for you and your partner (hopefully).
7. Little Tikes 2-in-1 Pirate Ship
Do you smell it? The smell of the open sea, the salt filling your nostrils? While it may not be the real thing, this pirate ship is as close as it gets to it for your junior pirate captain.
A proud vessel that he can ride if he chooses to give the 50-lb weight it can support as well as play with at his leisure.
It’s not just a fancy walker.
The pirate ship features a fully functional mast that serves as a rudder when your little one wants to commandeer the ship and turn it whichever way he deems fit.
The mast also houses 4 different buttons to sound off with realistic sounds of either a ringing bell, a dropped anchor, a foghorn, or the sound of cannonfire.
If you’re not fond of potentially startling sounds, I’d advise against it, but I’m certain you could bear through a few with your child in tow.
Besides, you’ve arguably heard louder during the first year anyway that this will literally be child’s play.
Apart from all that, the boat also comes with a pair of cannons and a crew for your birthday boy to make friends with and order around the deck.
This makes for an incredible gift for either your own boy, or your friends’ son.
I’m just saying this because my husband and I got this for our neighbour’s boy, and he, our son, and the other kids had a whale of a time playing around with the ship in their backyard during his 1st birthday party.
One thing to note though if you’re buying this is that it does not come with batteries, but requires them to operate some of the features like the mast and its sounds, so snag a few before wondering if the thing is defective or not.
I made that mistake myself and I felt utterly embarrassed when I mailed them without reading the fineprint first.
8. Allobebe Baby Balance Bike
Since we’re talking vehicles again, here’s another great example of a different take on a baby walker in the form of a reverse tricycle, otherwise known as a balance bike.
A bike that is entirely baby-safe and one that meets and surpasses all of the ASTM standards, coated with non-toxic finishes, as well as not containing any small parts your son might ingest.
The bike itself houses a comfortable seat for your little man’s tush, a nice, rubbery cover on the wheels to not scuff the flooring, and no pedals to bother your little one’s feet with – instead letting them learn how to walk with a bit of safety. Like the Flintstones!
Walking isn’t strictly the only thing he’ll be learning either, he’ll also be more confident about the way he walks and maneuvers around the house, with or without the bike.
All of this comes from the improved coordination that he’ll have as he learns how to steer the front wheels around your dining room table and around your feet!
The best part? It’s completely silent.
While this might not entertain your baby boy as much as a toy with 7 different sounds might, it will keep the house a bit quieter and let him focus on one thing instead of having his mind preoccupied by half-a-dozen bright colors and shiny lights.
Speaking of colors, the bike itself comes in 4 different colors: blue, red, rose, and orange, so if you’re buying this, know that you definitely have some options to personalize.
9. Hide N Slide’s Ball Pit, Play Tent And Tunnels For Kids
A final suggestion – this one only goes if you have the space to cover in your house, apartment, or backyard – is to get them an easy-to-assemble playground.
Something that would be ideal if you have a physically active son who loves exploring and entertaining himself by all manner of playful or outdoorsy activities.
Hide N Slide’s pop-up jungle gym provides just such an experience.
Constructed out of durable steel wiring and soft polyester, it will last your kid for years to come as long as proper care is maintained.
Said construction also makes this amazingly easy to assemble, with locks that are easy to put in place, set on the sides.
And to make matters even better is the fact that you can assemble it in any way you want, so as to mix it up a little every now and again for your active little boy.
If anything, it would make the perfect place to hold your son’s first birthday party in and when he sees it all built up, he’s bound to be jumping for joy and smiling graciously.
The whole set comes with 4 dart balls to play a kid-safe version of darts on a big point dartball board on one of the sides for when they get older and understand these friendly yet competitive games a bit better.
In the meantime, the balls can just serve as playthings for him.
The one downside of this whole amazing package is that the ball pit doesn’t come with balls packed in; those you’ll have to get from somewhere else.
But, it’s probably a good investment and one of the best 1st birthday gifts for boys you could get for your son and his friends to enjoy during his very special day.
Things To Consider
While all of these baby toys and doodads all look well and good, there are a few things to consider, namely three: the price, the quality, and the educational value a toy might pose.
Are you simply looking to get your son something because he was a good boy and not something to help him learn shapes and colors or the like?
Then you’re probably looking for something with a great fun factor like a plush toy of their favorite cartoon character or the newest viral fad.
You don’t have to bother looking for a shape sorter or something along those lines, maybe a small ball pit instead for him to expend his energy in.
On the other hand, you might be someone who wants to keep pace with what you’ve been taught about raising kids.
This means you usually opt to get something balanced in both fun and practicality, which can be a bit more difficult and oftentimes uninteresting to the child.
But find something with a few bright colors on and it’s sure to catch their attention long enough for it to be worth it.
The price, however, can be a problem.
Most of the toys that allow your child to grow in many different ways tend to be quite pricey; sometimes you have to look out for your budget, since you don’t want to splurge the money that might be needed for baby supplies later.
While something might look enticing, always make sure to look at the price tag.
Or, if you’re adamant about buying a certain product, do some research – there’s bound to be a similar one from a lesser-known brand that’s sure to be more in your ballpark funds-wise.
That said, being too cheap can have its own consequences, namely the durability of the product and potentially questionable manufacturing methods.
Sure, that toy xylophone may look nice, but is it free from harmful chemicals and is it high quality, or will it break on the third play date?
If that’s the case, you’re just doing more harm to yourself by wasting money on such products.
When looking at potential birthday gifts, always make sure it’s of a respectable quality – dolls and figurines especially, so that they might remain as keepsakes for when your son grows older and looks back on his childhood fondly.
As you can see, in looking for the ideal first birthday gifts for a boy, there are a variety of choices when it comes to fusing fun and enjoyment with learning.
Anything from musical toys and shape sorters to exercise fine motor skills, to picture and story books riddled with bright colors to get your one year old’s mental gears spinning.
My personal suggestion is to split it so that your partner gets one kind while you get the other, that way all three of you will end up satisfied with what you get – but just don’t forget to take your baby boy’s preferences into account.
Remember: While these first birthday gift ideas may be excellent and something might catch your eye more than the other options, this is not for you, but for your little one to play with.
I just hope I’ve managed to help you out properly, as I know from experience that picking the best gift can be quite the challenge when it comes to someone who can’t really tell you what they like through words.
But, I’m sure you’ll make the right choice, mama, and I know your son’s first birthday party will end up being an exciting and memorable one.
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