57 answers

Need Ideas for a Memorable First Birthday Gift

I'm a first-time Grandma and want to get a really perfect gift for my Grandson who will be one in September. Thought I'd see what other families received that made a lasting impression.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

First I really thank each and every one of you who offered your ideas. The only problem, I want to get them all! I've decided on the personalized book from iseeme.com and the wooden stool with his name and birth date. I think I'll get him a little rocking chair for Christmas and I will open a savings account or buy bonds or something more practical also. Again, thank you ALL for your help.

Featured Answers

Hi L.,

www.iseeme.com is a website that sells books which spell out the child's name. Each letter has its own special page with rhyme until the end when the whole name is spelled out. It comes with first and last, and for an extra cost you can add the middle name too.


2 moms found this helpful

Go to mysongs.com to find really great personalized CDs for kids to listen to. I think the original "my songs" CD is a perfect choice for a first birthday. Little ones love hearing their name over and over in each song.

2 moms found this helpful

If he doesn't already have one a outdoor swing from little tikes. My son loves his and I got one for his cousin for his first birthday and his parents thought that was the best gift.

1 mom found this helpful

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L. I have the perfect gift, first gather your favorite short baby stories or poems, maybe make up some of your own, since kids love to be read to and learn how to read, now gather a lot of them then go to www.lulu.com and have them published in a personal book for him, the cost is about $ 15.00 plus shipping, do it now if you like this idea cause it takes 2 -- 3 weeks to ship, sometimes sooner. I did this for my daughters 16 b-day she loves to draw so I snooped in her room gathered all her drawings scanned them and published her book of drawings, she will always always cherish this she said. I cried she cried and everytime I tell others this story they cry, it was a touching gift that will inspire her to draw and write, plus one she can share with her kids one day.


2 moms found this helpful

Hi L.,

www.iseeme.com is a website that sells books which spell out the child's name. Each letter has its own special page with rhyme until the end when the whole name is spelled out. It comes with first and last, and for an extra cost you can add the middle name too.


2 moms found this helpful

Go to mysongs.com to find really great personalized CDs for kids to listen to. I think the original "my songs" CD is a perfect choice for a first birthday. Little ones love hearing their name over and over in each song.

2 moms found this helpful

The child will not remember anything so I gave my grandchildren savings bonds. My kids were very happy to get them as they were overwhelmed with 'stuff'. A few years later when the kids were broke they used them for clothes and other things the children needed. Then I bought them some more!!

1 mom found this helpful

Try it's a wrap in WLA

1 mom found this helpful

About every 2 years I ask my grandmother to pay for a professional photographer to photograph my boys in lieu of a Christmas gift. They are some of my favorite things and my boys love seeing their picture in frames on my walls.

1 mom found this helpful

How about a "People Who Love Me" photo album? He's old enough to appreciate pictures of people he knows and you can add to it as he grows.


1 mom found this helpful

If he doesn't already have one a outdoor swing from little tikes. My son loves his and I got one for his cousin for his first birthday and his parents thought that was the best gift.

1 mom found this helpful

Congratulations on being a grandma. I think opening up a savings account for your grandson would be nice. My grandparents did that for each of us and also got bonds for the oldest great grandchild. Another thing that I think would be nice is to have someone film you on video and convert it to a DVD. You could do an interview, just kind of talk about your memories of your growing up years, what songs you used to sing, etc. The reason I say that is because in my family, my grandparents did not get to meet my children or my sister's children. My older sister's son spent a lot of time with them and my sister had the foresight to record a video of the older relatives. She is going to give us a copy so that we can talk to our children about who the older relatives are, etc. I think anything to keep the family traditions and memories alive is nice. Much better than any toy or game. That would be my first idea. The second would be savings account, with the stipulation that the grandchild could not use any of the money from it until age 18. Cherish the time with your grandchild. Congratulations again.

1 mom found this helpful

Obviously, your grandson won't remember a thing about his first birthday, but I think a great first birthday present is a contribution to a college fund of some sort. Maybe you could start a 529 for him ( a kind of IRA for college savings), that his parents can contribute to as well. Believe me, as a mother of a soon to be junior in high school, it is never too early to start saving for college.

1 mom found this helpful

My in laws got my son (their first grandchild) a beautiful set of wooden blocks for his first birthday. He absolutely LOVES them and plays with them all the time now (he's 14 months). I think the brand they got was Melissa and Doug. It was a very thoughtful gift! Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L.,
Congrats on being a grandma! My mom got my 3 kids (and will get the 4th) a step stool for their 1st birthdays. But not just a plain old step stool. It is personalized with their name and a theme (space, animals, flowers, etc.). They are a bit pricey ($100 with shipping) but so worth it. All of my kids still use theirs and the oldest is 7! Talk about a gift getting good use. You can find these stools and other wooden items to personalize at writeongifts.com It's a great company too. After I ordered a stool online for our friend's child's 1st birthday, they called me personally to confirm the order...pretty cool! Good luck and have fun with your grandson!

1 mom found this helpful

You've gotten a lot of good ideas here. And while for the most part I agree with the ones who talk about savings bonds or college money (it's what we did) I also like the step stool idea -- something they'll actually use for a while.

Remember to get great pictures that you can show them later, or ask the parents to call it something like "get on grama's step stool so you can wash your hands" so that the memory sticks. They REALLY don't remember stuff this early.

My father-in-law had some really great ideas, meant to get US to laugh, for both of my sons. For the first one he gave him a big box with lots of colored paper tissue. In it was a banana and a nice bottle of tequila. Of course the tequila was for us, lol, and our son LOVED the paper and the banana. For our younger son grampa did the big-box-w/-paper routine, but in it was a $50 bill (which we deposited into the college fund).

A really good place to set up a college fund, if there isn't one already, is http://www.scholarshare.com/ (it's for California's '529' plan). The $$ grows tax-free, and as long as it's used on education (which also means books & dorm room) it can be USED tax free too.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L.,
I love the idea of personalized gifts because they are so special and can be saved forever. Especially if a child has a less common more unique name because it's hard to find things with their name on it already. www.iseeme.com sells beautifully illustrated personalized story books (hard cover) that also help children learn to spell their name (for when he's a little older) and you can get FREE standard US shipping on your entire order with the code fsd12725! I have the My Very Own Fairy Tale for both of my daughter's and we love them. They also have My Very Own Name for boys & girls. And they just came out with a board book (although I personally like the Very Own Name book better because it spells out the child's name page by page with an illustrated animal that starts with the same letter) and the story is much more detailed. They cost $29.95. They also have matching plates and they just came out with a floor puzzle. Let us know what you decide to get your grandson after reading all the suggestions on mamasource!

1 mom found this helpful

My mom wanted the same thing. I told her to get him a box with tissue paper in it. She thought I was joking and went out and bought a huge something, I can't even remember what. My son couldn't have cared less about the something, but loved the box. <g>

It's the age; he won't remember it at all. If it were me, I'd start saving for college or a special trip to take when he's old enough to really remember it.

1 mom found this helpful

I made my niece a part owner of Disney for her first birthday. You can buy him one share of Disney stock (or another company) and have it framed. You can get it at www.oneshare.com

1 mom found this helpful

My brother and sister-in-law made a time capsule for their daughter's first birthday, and invited everyone to add something to it. My kids were 21 months at the time, so we made a big finger-painting for her, and I wrote a note to my niece-of-the-future, who will be 18 when she gets to open the time capsule. Some people brought pictures, photos, etc., and I imagine the day's newspaper and such went in also. Such a great idea, I wish I had thought of it for my kids' first birthday!!

one of my daughter's favorite toys that she received for her 1st birthday is a water table. she pays with it out in the backyard and gets soaked splashing around. i think it was just $30 at babies r us. another favorite 'big' toy was a little tikes car. she loves going in it and being pushed around; soon she can walk it around herself when she gets a little bigger.

surprisingly, the most used and loved toy from her 1st birthday was something much much smaller. its a 'fridge farm' that is a set of magnets with animals and a farm, and when you put the animals together correctly on the magnetic barn, it sings a song about the animal. she absolutely LOVES this; it helps with learning animals and their sounds and it preoccupies her while i am trying to make dinner so i love it too.

Hi L.,

Have you seen the b*Fab "Name in Brights" blankets? They are the ultimate baby gift, heirloom quality keepsake blankets that have the baby's name hand-appliqued across the front in large fun letters.

The website is: http://www.babyfabulous.com. I am the owner of the company, so you can contact me directly (attn: A. at ____@____.com) and I can give you a great deal. You can also see the blankets in numerous baby shops around town. They are absolutely FABULOUS.

Let me know if you have any questions.

My mom bought each of my children their first tricycle for their first birthdays. They got on and pushed with their feet and eventually learned to peddle. The trikes stayed around for a long time, even once the kids got big bikes with training wheels they still used the trikes in the bake yard. They all know the story so it's made the bikes a memorable gift.
Have fun being a Grandma!

Oh, L.... I hate to say this... ANYTHING you give your grandson will be perfect. Just you being there will be perfect. He's only turning one. Your presence is all he'll feel. He'll likely get grumpy from missing a nap that day. Or from having too much S.. Or from all the people that he's not normally used to having in one place. When he starts to get that look of I've-had-enough, that's when the gift of you can carry him and rock him and let him know that he's loved.

For my 2nd cousin's first birthday we made a book "the ABC's of Me". We used a photo album (6x6 size @ Michaels) and lots of pictures of her and our family. A-adorable, B-birthday, C-cousin, D-daddy, E-Easter, F-foot, etc. My cousin loved it. I had my kids do most the work. I ended it with a photo of them working on it & a special note from them.

Perhaps a time capsule covering his first year-photos, events, etc. Right now he'll just want to play with the paper it's wrapped in but down the road it will be appreciated.

Hi L.,
Don't know if this is memorable, but my grandfather bought family memberships to two museums for his grandson (my nephew). Since my brother lives in NYC, the membership allows them to go free as many times as they want in one year. If mom or dad is stay-at-home, then this is perfect. Great for the family and developmental for your grandson.


This is late. Do you have access to pictures and video taken throughout his first year? I but together a DVD presentation to music of all the pictures and video. The DVD is about 20 minutes long. We showed it to family and friends at his birthday party. If you're interested I can give you some song ideas. I also do this as a business on the side...However you can do it yourself if you have the a software program and lots of time.

2 great gifts
1. a step stool a nice wooden one-it will be tough to find 2. and books. books are expensive and no one wants to shell out 15 bucks for 1 book.

I have a 2.5 and 13 month old (and another girl due in 32 days!)...their Grandma gave them each a step stool with their name in removable block letters in it. My 2.5 year old simply loves hers and I swear it's how she learned to spell her name! My 13 month old just got hers and loves to play with the letters and we practice them every day. They both sit on theirs and read and it's just great! I believe it is something special that is not only useful and fun for them now and a long time to come, but something they will keep forever.
All the best!

My mother- and father-in-law bought both of my children their first little chair for their first birthday. Both were heirloom-quality pieces made of wood and/or metal. One was a vintage German kindergarten chair from the 50's, the other was bent plywood from the MOMA store. Quite memorable, and will also appreciate in value!

A Radio Flyer wagon is a great first b-day gift. It's a very classic gift and something he will use for a long time.

Our son just celebrated his 1st Birthday in May and to have a lasting memory of his first birthday party and all the attending guests, we bought the book "Happy Birthday to You" by Dr. Seuss and had everybody in attendance write down a birthday wish for our son. He's too young to appreciate it now, of course, but he enjoys the rhyming of Dr. Seuss and he likes looking at the busy pictures and later on, he'll be able to understand and appreciate how many people wanted to share their loving thoughts on his very special day. I think this is a gift that his parents will appreciate too. Good luck and happy first birthday to your grandson!!

My mother in law created a photo book on-line of my little one's first year. I cried when I openned it. She ____@____.com little one loves to go look thru it.

Good Luck - J.

One of my favorite gifts to give a friend's child that is turning one is a personalized children's book. You can see them in detail at "www.iseeme.com&quot; - they use the letters of the child's name to tell a story and you can have a beautiful inscription printed in the front. Obviously, the child can't play with it yet, but most kids get enough toys, anyway. This will be a fun thing for them in years to come.

My father-in-law collects something personalized and special for each of the kids for their birthdays. The girls get inscribed music boxes and the boys get the rookie of the year baseball card collections. It's something that they will be able to look back on when they are older and have some memoribilia from the childhood years. And an investment in the baseball cards.

We just got the Radio Flyer "little red wagon" for my daughter's birthday from my in-laws. I know it will be used for years for both my kids.

Hi L., memorable for your grandson, memorable in general. I'm not a grandma yet, what i am waiting, I bought a quilt is says for my grand daughter, it's a precious moments quilt, I'm going to have it monagramed and dated, you can do something like that for your grandson, I would get some kind of a little toy too, since it;s going to be for a birthday, a quilt can be handed down from generation to generation. Just an idea. I have a quilt that is over 50 years old that my grandmother made when my mom was growing up, it's very special to me. Hope this helps. enjoy being a grandma, I can't wait til it's my turn. J.

Both of my kids received handmade patchwork style blankets from two of my aunts for their 1st birthdays. They are soft and cuddly and both my kids love to snuggle with them to this day (my son is 3.5 and my daughter is 15 months).

Another good idea which I told both sets of grandparents and my kids Great Uncle and Great Aunt was instead of buying them toys for their birthdays/Christmas is to buy them Educational bonds or set up a savings/investment account in their names and make deposits into that. Especially since right now they are too young to really understand the whole gift receiving thing. Plus this is an investment in their future. Toys they will play with for a few months at best, while this investment will help them out in the long run. So their Great Uncle and Great Aunt send them EE Bonds, my parents will buy them an EE Bond and then usually get them some clothes and a few small toys, and then my in-laws set up a savings account for each kid and then will send them a few small gifts. We are also looking into setting up 529 Plan Accounts for each child so that relatives can directly deposit money into the accounts instead of sending bonds or gifts (their Great Uncle really wants us to do this).

memorable gifts?

A radio flyer wagon
rocking horse
small rocking chair
tricycle that has a long handle for parent to steer
Grandpa and grandson look-a-like shirts!! (dad too)
A nice generation picture for his baby-album
stocks / bonds
Personalize a wooden collectors box for baseball cards... then add to each year.

Grand-daughter? give her a pearl each year. On her eighteenth birthday, have them strung
for her to wear on her HS Graduation Day then her Wedding Day.

Happy celebrating!

My mom made my son a book about his family . . . she had picture of everyone, and cute little poems to go along with them. Like, a page for his parents, one for grandparents, one for aunts and uncles, great-grandparents, other extended family, family friends, even family pets! Just make sure you're familiar with any and all sides of the family . . . I am a child of divorce and she deliberately left out some of my dad's family, and accidentally forgot a few inlaws. Oops!! There were some hurt feelings for sure . . other than that, it was a beautiful and memorable keepsake for my son for his first birthday.

Savings bond! He will get a million toys and is too little to understand which toy came from whom. Help his parents get his college fund started - I can't think of a better, longer lasting gift than that.

Congrats on becoming a gramma!

I still have the hand-crafted kid-sized rocking chair I got for my first birthday! A rocking horse would be excellent too.

Hi. My husband and I collected the about 8-9 pieces of clothing that meant a lot to us from the first year of our daughters life. We commissioned a very talented quilt-maker to cut the clothing and make it part of a crib-sized quilt. It's fabulous! It consists of 9 squares (3 rows of 3)(each square about 10"x 10") with the center square embroidered with our daughters name and birthday. The baby clothes were backed by beautiful vintage looking flower material. We treasure the quilt. Your grandson is very fortunate to have such a thoughtful grandmother.

I'm the mom of two boys (3 & 8 mo.). My parents now have 7 grandchildren. A few gifts that they have given our children, which turned out to be gifts for us too, include a portable dvd player (best gift, mostly used in restaurants to keep them entertained & in their chairs) and year-long memberships to the zoo/local amusement park. It is amazing how much we ALL use these gifts and they last much longer than any toys or outfit.
Good luck.

My son is 20 months old and VERY busy. My mother in law bought him a dump wagon with large legos that he still loves 8 months later (most toys have lost their appeal by now). I think she got it at Toys R Us.

The Tiffany ceramic bunny bank - comes in blue or pink....

My daughter received the cutest quilt/blanket for her first birthday from her Grandma. It had her name, date of birth and "Happy First Birthday, love Grandma" on it. She recently graduated from college and it remains a cherished keepsake!

My mom always gave my children a savings bond for their birthday or other special occasions. When my daughter went to Japan for her senior year trip she used her bonds, my eldest used it for his wedding and my youngest used it for his first car's down payment.

We like to give Savings Bonds for 1rst birthdays. you need a social security numbere to order one and they usually take a few weeks to arrive.

If you're looking for something that he will love/use for a long time, I always go for the music instrument set for first b-days. Kids love to make noise, be creative and it will last for years to come (my girl uses hers for play-time parades now). If you want something sentimental for the family, how about naming a star after him or adopting an animal at the local zoo that he can visit when he's older. Or make a collage of old family pics for his room (more cost effective).

Honestly, my son is only three and I already don't remember what anyone gave him, even though I'm sure a lot of thought went into it.

My suggestions...kids always get enough toys, but as a mom, I love getting clothes for him and also love when he gets money. We either put it in his savings account, 529 plan or my mom has started getting the grandkids savings bonds. I love that. God only knows what college costs will be like when he's ready, so it's nice to have these savings for him from the get-go.


My son's 1st birthday is around the corner (Aug 6th) ... the only thing we wanted was for his grandparents to be there! :( sadly they won't come down here (they live in Cali, we live in Vegas).... Just wanted you to know that just the fact that you are there, you are involved, the baby & your kids will know you care! thats more important...
For gifts: I would want the gift certificate to a portrait studio. Or the collage fund. You can get a few cheapo gifts from the $.99 cents store for him, on the side to unwrap, if thats what you want, but the others will be more appreciated in the long run!

Very important to start off by telling you this will be tough. What I mean by that is you may give what seems like the perfect gift, your grandson will open it and toss it aside. He'll do that for a few reasons and that is normal. My kids have received many memorable gifts but honestly, they didn't fall in love with them until weeks maybe months after they got it. So bascially, whatever you do, don't take it personally if he loves the paper/box more than the gift. Or if his first words aren't - Grandma!!! This is what I always wanted!!! LOL That being said, I've given for the past few years to nieces/nephews that turned 1, The Melissa and Doug band in a box set (it does say for ages 3 and up, but most toys do). Plus I throw in some fun music CD's one's, both the child and parents will get in to. Some of my favorites to give are anything by Dan Zanes or Hullabaloo. You can google them to find their websites. You really can't go wrong with musical instruments and if you don't want to get the above mentioned box set, you can find some that are more geared to the younger child.

Sounds like your Grandson is very lucky to have you!

One of the most memorable gifts I received was a certificate to a local photo studio. It was so much fun and the photos are darling. It was a thoughtful and loving gift.

Hi L.,

Anything to do with MUSIC. Music is the universal language...meaning it speaks to all humans no matter the age or language of communication.
A stuffed animal that sings; something that plays a song. It will take some imagination but he will respond. I suggest something he can carry around and sleep with...?


My boys received a personalized quilt made by their grandmother for their first birthdays. If you do not make quilts, then you can commission one to be made for them. It is a practical and sentimental item that will be cherished for years.

As cliche as it sounds, my parents got life insurance for my kids. It's not something a parent (or grandparent)wants to think about, but it is an important thing to have. They aren't very expensive and there are all sorts of plans. Gerber is a good one. I had Globe for my kids but it didn't work out, I wasn't happy with the company, that's when my dad got all 3 kids covered. At 1 there isn't much you can get that your grandchild will remember, but life insurance is good until they reach 21 then they can either cash it out or turn it into an adult policy. You can also find some that make money. We plan to use ours to help with college.
Another fun thing is one of those recordable photo frames or stuffed animals. We live far from all the grandparents and being able to hear them say I love you, goodnight or sing them to sleep is fun.

personally we loved "keepsake" items. There is a place at the Kanan exit called The engraved letter that has baby spoons, cups, etc and engraves. It sill be so very appreciated when there are childreb of their own!

Hi L.,

My name is D. and I am the owner of Mama Of Two Angels. Congratulations on becoming a first time Grandma. I am not sure if you would like to make a special personalized first birthday gift or get it already made? I have a website that offers some really great ideas and information. One option I have on my website is making your own personalized oneies. You can develope a theme and personalize it with his first birthday or name or whatever you would like to put on the oneies. Another option is a baby newspaper. It would be personalized with all of your grandsons information or just some really great moments that have occurred in his first year. You can continue every year to make one for a special scrapbook or even send it to all of your family members. Well, hope this helps give you some ideas and please come visit my ____@____.com I am registered with Mamasource. Once again Congratulations and best wishes!!!!!!




I think to get your little Angel started in life, how about a savings bond!! Something my mother-in-law gave both my kids, every birthday and now they can use it towards college which will be next year!! Good Luck!!

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