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Go Ask Mom

Help a Mom: Gift ideas for a one-year-old boy's birthday

Posted September 4, 2012

I received this email from a grandma last week. Here's what she wrote:

Could other moms suggest a really good toy for my grandson's first birthday? He's able to run around like crazy, if that makes a difference. Started walking at nine months.

Here's what I recommended: The classic Fisher-Price corn popper, a small parachute for outdoor play, simple puzzles with larges handles for kids to grab on to and a bead maze where colorful beads move along a wire path. At least that's what my girls loved at that age.

Happy birthday!

Do you have advice for this grandma? Please share your tips in the comments box below. (If you don't see the comments box below, you'll need to log in or sign up for a WRAL account. You can do that by going to the top of the page and clicking on either "log in" or "register").

Help a Mom features questions from readers every Wednesday. If you have a question that you'd like to ask Go Ask Mom readers, click here to email it to me.


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  • americaneel Sep 7, 2012

    so what did granny end up buying?

  • kcastleberry Sep 6, 2012

    My son loved and still does, action figures. We started with Fisher Price Little People sets. And have moved up to Imaginext
    by Fisher Price for ages 3 and up. He still does have his Fisher Price Little people nativity scene and we put it out each Christmas so that there is a nativity scene he can play with. They make many different sets. Go to to see all the sets. Every child that comes to our house has loved these and they are a favorite in the church nursery as well. (we had the nativity, Noah's ark, two different barn yard sets, the Garage with parking ramp, a dollhouse, a hayride and santa and his reindeer.

  • afull7122 Sep 5, 2012

    An Inflatable ball pit, toy trucks, toy lawn mower that blows bubbles, or a toy work bench with tools!

  • babbleon Sep 5, 2012

    Ask the child's parents what they want you to give. We suggested a wagon from one set of grandparents and a shopping cart from the other, and our 5yo still uses both of them. The cart has been especially good in pretend play and in having him help at the grocery store (we got a Melissa & Doug - it's metal and very sturdy, but parents may not like it ramming into their walls). The wagon's useful at the fair.

    He loved the popper, but we had three break in six months. He liked the bead maze for a year, and it's good for their development. A ball is great, if there's room to play with them. A lot depends on what kind of space there is for play / storage.

    Our son was not interested in Marbles or L&S at 1 - he didn't get interested until age 3 or so.

    But in the end, listen to what his parents say they have room and interest in - at 1yo, he won't miss anything.

  • americaneel Sep 5, 2012


    Museum membership to Marbles or the Museum of Life and Science? Yea, I am sure he will really be excited about that.

  • JAT Sep 5, 2012

    get the kid a simple toy but offer to babysit for his parents - they're the ones who need a gift after a year

  • jrwachholz Sep 5, 2012

    A museum membership to Marbles or the Museum of Life and Science would be great starting around this age. Also, does he need a new convertible car seat? We got our two daughters special keepsake boxes at their first birthdays. Nice wooden ones made by a local woodworker. Something they can use the rest of their lives, though clearly not something to play with now. If you want to get a toy, how about a play lawnmower that blows bubbles?

  • grantfamilysavings Sep 5, 2012

    Any and every kind of ball- football, basketball, golf ball, baseball, bowling set, bouncy ball. As long as the ball isn't small enough to be a choking hazard. My son's favorite gift was a 6" kickball that cost me $5. Take advantage of the fact that kids this age are very easily amused and usually have more fun playing with the packaging and the box the present came in than the actual toy.

  • jamcclamroch Sep 5, 2012

    My son just had his first birthday! He got a wagon, which was a great gift! Melissa and Doug puzzles, books, a ball, and toys with wheels (cars, trucks, etc) are all his favorites too. Also, the Pottery Barn Anywhere Chair is a GREAT gift! Someone suggested a museum/zoo membership and I completely agree! I wish someone would have given us that!

  • americaneel Sep 5, 2012

    track shoes