The perfect gift for a one year old!

When invited to a first birthday party are you often stumped about what to bring as a gift? Even for my own son’s first birthday I didn’t know what to say when people asked me what to get him? Most one-year-olds are pretty happy to play with just about anything…a bowl and spoon, a brush, a tissue box. I know my one year old finds the things he can’t play with the most interesting (ie-the toilet plunger, marbles, electrical cords, etc).  And I’m sure you’ve had the experience of your children preferring to play with the box an expensive toy came in, rather than the expensive toy itself (see example photo above). Short of arriving at a party with a cardboard box or roll of toliet paper, what do we gift to the one-year-olds in our life? Here’s an idea too good not to share!

My sweet friend Julie made an awesome “sensory bag” for Izzy’s first birthday. It seriously is a perfect gift for a one year old! We have had so much fun exploring the goodies in the bag over the past several days. In addition to the fun factor, it’s also a rather inexpensive gift AND it’s handmade! Handmade gifts are always extra special to me knowing they were made with great love and attention. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to be a super duper crafty mama to make this sensory bag. And many (if not all) of the materials needed could be found at your local dollar or discount store. 🙂

First of all she “wrapped” the toys in a brightly colored, easy to wash reusable bag that has several little pockets on it. Pockets are always a hit with little ones. The pockets were stuffed with all kinds of fun creations!


Inside the bag there was a container full of colorful, soft pom-poms. My son loves to put things in and out of containers so this is a perfect game for him. What a surprise when he pulled out the pom poms and they were strung together! Very clever way to enjoy pom-poms without them going everywhere. There were 3 strands with about 20 pom-poms each.

Also included in the bag were these adorable handmade bean bags. The green heart is filled with beans and has a bell/ball velcroed to it. The purple circle is filled with rice and has little ladybug buttons attached to it. The blue rectangle has bells in it, pom-poms attached to it, and a little ribbon handle on it.







Another fun toy included in the bag are these homemade tambourines. They are two circles of foam, filled with poker chips, and laced together with a shoe string. So simple to make and what fun to play with! My son likes to shake them and chew them.

You know how kids like to play with tags and key chains? Well this nifty little creations combines the best of both! It’s rectangles of foam, hole-punched at the top, and held together with a key ring. She snipped the bottom of the foam rectangles for those busy, curious little hands to explore.

I think this next little set of toys is one of my favorites of them all! It’s these little bell/balls that are actually cat toys, although they are the perfect size and shape for baby to hold and shake! She included a set of 3 ramekins to put the bell/balls in. Something as simple as putting them in the bowls and dumping them out brings such joy to my son!

This last game is hands-down my son’s favorite of them all! It’s a small square tupperware container with a slot cut into the top. The slot is cut to fit poker chips through it. Izzy will play with this for a long time. He will actually persist until all the chips are in and hand it to me to open it up so he can do it again!

Many of the ideas here would also work well for a slightly younger or older child, or could be adapted accordingly. Sensory play is fun and important for all ages of children and stages of development!

What I love most about this gift is once we are done playing we put it all back in the bag and it’s ready to go for next time or bring with us anywhere! This present has definitely left me feeling inspired to be more creative in my own gift giving.


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2 Responses to “The perfect gift for a one year old!”

  1. Jennifer L says:

    That is SUCH a great idea! I pinned this blog post and people are already going crazy over it.

    I haven’t commented much on your blog, but I really love it!