Best Presents for a 1 Year Old Baby
If it’s hard to remember how it felt to be a year old, perhaps you can remember the year before you got your driver’s license. Remember learning to drive, sensing freedom is right around the corner? Remember the excitement as adult reasoning started to click, and suddenly you found yourself capable of talking about grown up issues that never made sense before?
A one year old is the baby equivalent of a high school sophomore. They’ve survived that first bewildering year, maturity is making them more mobile, and social interaction is starting to make sense. Ever since that baby cake smash at the one-year-old birthday party, life has gotten a lot sweeter. Suddenly freedom feels close. Every day is an adventure.
At the same time, they’ve not quite mastered independence. Mobility without parental guidance is dangerous at this age. Communication may still be difficult, especially as your little one gets frustrated by your inability to comprehend what he thinks is so clear. Understanding these changes is vital as you consider the best gift for your little person.
Age Appropriate Toys = Investments in the Future
Thankfully, today’s incredible bounty of age-appropriate baby toys makes choosing a gift for your little one an exciting opportunity to invest in developing gifts that could bless them for a lifetime. Without further ado, here are our top ten toys for one year olds. We’ve purposefully left off toys that require batteries, since loud toys can create less than pleasant feelings in daddy and mommy after a long day. Simple toys provide more opportunities for little ones to develop creativity, and they also invite more parental interaction, so we’re focusing on those.
ABC blocks are a classic favorite, and for good reason. They provide a colorful introduction to simple geometric stacking; they provide informal familiarity with letters and numbers; and they’re fun to push over and watch tumble down around you and your little one.
ABC blocks also provide an opportunity to teach valuable skills like clean up and storage of toys. If you struggle with picking up and haven’t yet begun to teach your little one about being neat, you might want to determine to use these blocks as a chance to overcome this habit as you train your child to be orderly. Otherwise, it might be better to choose a toy that doesn’t have as many parts so your child’s play area doesn’t get over-cluttered, training your child negatively from the beginning.
Get as creative as you like with ABC blocks. If you decide to use them to introduce the alphabet, make sure to keep it fun. The more often you play, the better retention your little one will enjoy. Most of all, make sure to have fun along with your one year old.
Animals are fascinating at any age. For small children, small plastic animals are a great way to introduce the wonders of the creation around them. If you can play along and teach the names of the animals and the sounds they make, you’ll find your one year old enjoys the game much more than if they attempt to make sense of it on their own.
Not all gifts for one year olds require adult interaction. A stuffed animal is a great comfort to a little one, especially since at this age, they can understand a little better who gave the gift and how it is meant to be enjoyed. Make sure to find one that is easy to hold, easy to launder, and hard to forget.
Most one year olds are on the verge of mobility. A great way to strengthen those muscles is to give a walker that doubles as a riding toy. Many of them are equipped with fun tactile bells and whistles, making these toys hard to resist. Parents also appreciate the ability to strengthen legs muscles and coordination, so that when baby takes off for the first time solo, there are less falls and bruises.
Bath time can be a stressful experience or a fun experience for babies. Fun bath toys can make a stressful daily ritual something to anticipate. Bathtub markers, sea animals, boats and rubber duckies are all great ideas. Just make sure the toys you choose are easy to clean on the inside to prevent mold or mildew growth.
Another great toy for independent little ones is any type of pull toy. If your little buddy is walking already, the feeling of having something trailing along behind is exhilarating.
At this age, little ones love putting things in containers. Tiny houses with tiny people give tiny hands something fascinating to do as they consider the world around them. There are many variations of this: barns, hospitals, castles, wagons, zoos, and schools. Just make sure it’s labeled as age-appropriate to prevent small pieces.
While you’ll want to be alert about small pieces, vehicles like tractors, trucks, ambulances, dump trucks, airplanes and fire trucks can be exciting toys for little ones, especially if they see these in the real world on a regular basis. You might find that these toys become so precious they keep them for their children some day.
If you’re looking to purchase a larger gift, a wagon is hard to beat. Your little one can load it, pull it, or load into it and get pulled by daddy or mommy. It’s important to find a great spot to store a wagon so your little one can get in the habit of “parking” the wagon where it will be safe and weather-protected.
It’s hard to beat books for introducing your little one to the wider world of literacy. Don’t feel confined to baby board books, either. While these are great for baby to grip by themselves, consider giving some books to be kept in a safe place and read aloud by daddy or mommy. Even if your little one isn’t old enough to understand “The Little Red Hen said, ‘I’ll do it myself,’” “I think I can,” or “in the great green room,” allowing their ears to become hungry for beautiful writing is one of the best gifts any child could receive.