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13 most popular and useful gifts for 1 to 2 year old kids

13 gift ideas for 1 year old and 2 year old boys and girls

As loving parents and concerned relatives we often put a lot of thinking in finding the right gifts. The task is never easy. Especially if it is about finding gifts for 1 year or 2 year old. Worry not, because I present 16 awesome gift ideas for 1 to 2 year old boys and girls. From my personal experience, I can say that they have made me very popular among the kids and their parents.

If you ask me, I want to find gifts which the kids love and at the same time offers something of long term value to them. The thought that I put in to finding the gift shows and thats why my gifts are so popular. Enough bragging. When it comes to toddlers, say 1 year old or 2 year old, finding gifts is challenging because of 2 reasons

  1. I dont know what will they like. They have never personally told it me, you see 
  2. There are far too many colorful options available in the market. Enough that I could spend hours in just a single shop and still come out confused 

So I follow this 4 step approach to find the gifts that has worked every time. 

Step 1: Understand the profile of 1 year or 2 year old kids

The 16 gift ideas will follow but it is first important to understand the process. Kids in the age bracket of 1 to 2 years have just started to  get aware of their surroundings. They love to move. touch, feel and explore things which have come within their reach due to their mobility and growing language skills. They are attracted by colors, sounds and shape.  

At this age i.e. 1 year or 2 year, there is not much difference between boy and a girl. They are just kids. They are in similar phases of growing up and have not yet figured out the distinct personalities of boys or girls. That comes much later, may be after 6 years or so. Till then, the only distinction that is brought in, is by parents. So we make the boys wear blue and the girls wear pink. But for the kids, there is not much of a difference. 

The kids at this age of 1 to 2 years do not have a defined sense of what is safe and/or accessible. Kids in the age group of 1-2 years are extremely curious and like to experience things through all their senses i.e. see, touch, hear, smell and even taste. They are growing rapidly but still their skin, hair, bones etc are very delicate. They need to be exposed to the environment and yet be protected at the same time. The choice of gifts for kids in this age group will have to be made accordingly

foam building blocks

Step 2: Define objective of your gift and then explore options

Once you know the profile of a typical 1-2 year old, what is the next step? Go to the store and start looking at what is available! No.... wait wait. Just hold your horses. The next step in finding the perfect gift for a 1 year old or 2 year old is to understand "what should a good gift do for the child" and then explore options. I am listing down some examples here

Your gift can help the kids in developing muscles and physical strength:

These gifts, weather toys or games, will encourage the 1 to 2 year old kids to move, run, lift, throw. This would allow them to exercise their muscles. Some examples are

  1. Foam building blocks. These are soft material building blocks that kids can play with. A lot of color is what makes it attractive for them
  2. Push carts can be fun too. Some of these carts make sound when they are dragged. So if the kid has to hear the sound then they will have to run around. 
  3. knock-me-down dolls and their spring back action is an old time favorite
  4. Balls, large or small work every time. These days we get balls that make noise, balls that glow in the dark or glow when bounced. So you are not really restricted
  5. i-sing-when-you-pull-my-string doll are pretty little things to have in the room

Your gift can develop coordination for the kids:

Gifts from you can become invaluable if they help in improving the overall growth of the child. How about helping the kid improve the coordination skills? For example learning to move faster, grasp things, hand eye coordination etc. A few interesting ideas for gifts for 1 year old and 2 year old boys and girls are ...

  1. Activity tables are little tables with pieces locked in. Kids can move these around and play for hours. 
  2. catch-me-if-you-can toys are things 
  3. Ball games are awesome here. Throwing down large pins by hitting them with balls can make for perfect gift
  4. Birds that chirp when I clap are little toys easily available in market today. I gifted it a young kid in my family and once the boy realized the connection, he would just come in the room and thump his feet or clap all the time. Amazing fun for him and for for us. Initially, he had difficulty bringing both the hands together to clap or even to make loud enough sound, so he would bang his hands on the table. Gradually he learnt to clap because to thump on the table he had to go near the table every time. I just love the entire process. 

moving toys for 1 to 2 year old kids

Your gift can keep a kid occupied / entertained /distracted

These are the toys that will distract or entertain the child. They have moving parts, colors and sound. They will keep the child engrossed for sometime. They are as much a gift for parents as for 1 to 2 year old kids. Some examples are 

  1. i-sing-when-you-pull-my-string doll
  2. Rotating-circus that can be placed above the pram/bed
  3. Little plastic dogs that bark when I pull them
  4. A teddy that plays drums etc. This may look like a cheap gift but its amazing fun for the 1 to 2 year old kids. They love the sound and so the love the gift. Have you seen kids leave expensive toys and spend hours banging spoons on the floor and table? They love the little noise that it makes. 

Step 3: Ensure safety of your gift for 1 to 2 year old

Goes without saying that the gifts you buy for kids in this age group need to be safe. But what does safety really mean when we are picking toys and gifts for 1-2 year old kids? There are several aspects to it

  • Sharp corners / edges: Make sure that the gifts you buy have smooth, rounded edges and there are no sharp corners from which the child can injure himself
  • Chemicals / colors : No matter how much you try, children will put the toy in their mouth. Make sure that your gift is safe enough for that
  • Size and dimensions: It should NOT be too small that it can be swallowed or put in mouth as a whole by the kid
  • Strength  and build quality: There are a lot of moving parts in toys these days. Make sure that the quality of attachments of your gift is good enough so that smaller part do not  come out loose upon breakage. Also, the toy should not be fragile

Step 4: Explore, personalize and choose

After having considered the general age profile, identified the objective of the toy and considered the safety aspects, the last and final step is to personalize and chose. What I mean here is that you need to understand the specific needs of the child before choosing your gift. What kind of toys does the child already have, are their any specific likings in terms of type or colors etc. Just add your little personal touches to make it a hit. 


Once you have thought through all this, then its time to buy that special toy. I am sure it will be one of the most special toys that the child has received and will have fun playing with because so much love and care has gone in to selecting it. Happy gifting!

ps: in our next post in this series, we will identify the best gifts for 3-5 year old kids. You can stay updated on this by subscribing to our email list.

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