A baby’s first birthday calls for celebration. Although your one year old doesn’t need lots of presents, it’s a nice idea to splash out on a little keepsake or a toy that he’ll enjoy when he’s older. Just don’t be surprised if your baby is as delighted by the wrapping paper as he is by the actual gift!
If you want to encourage your child’s creativity as well as fine-tune his motor skills, you can’t beat classic wooden building blocks.
Your baby will love building towers as tall as he is and then knocking them down. Choose colourful blocks in a mix of shapes, and steer clear of sharp corners and tiny pieces that your baby might put in his mouth.
A toy your little one can push to show off his new walking skills is guaranteed to be a winner.
At this age your baby will still be finding his feet, so pick a sturdy walker that he can lean on while he develops his confidence. Animal toys on wheels, plastic trolleys that light up and make sounds, toy prams or trucks are all good choices.
A toy phone
Most one-year-olds will delight in having their own toy phone, especially since yours is probably off limits. When your baby picks up his phone, grab yours as well and have a conversation. Even though he may not be saying more than a few words just yet, he’ll enjoy it anyway.
If you’re happy to let your baby handle your own phone, you could download a few simple apps for him. There are some fantastic baby-friendly ones available. Most enable your baby to create fun effects, such as popping bubbles, just by touching the screen.
For many babies, nothing’s more fascinating than taking some empty containers and stacking them so they nestle one inside the other.
Nesting toys help to teach children about how things fit together, and introduce the difference between big and small. Colourful sets with stimulating patterns will appeal.
Now that your baby is eating solids, he’s ready for his own plates, bowls, cups and spoons. Look for sturdy plastic items as they’ll all be making regular trips between the highchair and the floor.
Choose a set that features your baby’s favourite cartoon or book character. That way, you can encourage him to eat everything in his bowl “to get to see Winnie the Pooh” at the bottom.
Toys that encourage your baby to match and sort shapes will help him to develop essential problem-solving skills.
Don’t go for anything too complicated with lots of unusual shapes. Mastering the challenge of matching the round peg to the circular hole is a big enough accomplishment for a toddler.
Toddlers love making noise. It gets them attention and lets them make an impact on the world around them.
So if you want to delight your one-year-old, give him a toy that rattles, clangs, beeps or plays music. He’ll be equally happy pressing buttons to make tunes, or bashing away at a tambourine or mini-xylophone.
By the time your baby is a year old, it’s high time to turn bathtime into fun time. A basket full of bath toys will help even the most water-phobic baby to enjoy his daily splash session.
He’ll be fascinated by simple cups and containers now, as well as classic squirty toys like rubber ducks and hippos. As he gets older, his bathtime friends will be an outlet for pretend play and other imagination-driven adventures.
Babies can never have too many books, and birthdays are a great time to add to your child’s library. In general, you should still focus on getting board books with big bright pictures, which will stay in one piece even after vigorous “reading”.
Putting some money aside in a savings account for your child now means he’ll have a tidy little nest egg when he’s older.
If you can, make it an annual birthday gift. The only downside is you’ll have to wait 18 years to get a “Thank you”.