8 gift ideas for a fun first birthday

Baby’s tastes are eclectic, but her favorite things might not actually give you a lot of insight into what exactly to get her for her first birthday. If you’re stumped, or just interested in a few other ideas, there are certain things that have a good history as crowd-pleasers, as long as the crowd is a group of one-year-olds.

  1. Your favorite things
    It’s pretty clear by now that Baby’s favorite thing to play with is whatever you’re playing with – often your phone or your computer. While you’re probably not in the mood to wrap up your iPhone for Baby’s birthday (and it wouldn’t be the best idea even if you wanted to), her first birthday party is a great time to present her with her own wooden or plastic versions of the objects that she tries to take from you the most often.
  2. Dinnertime accessories
    Now that Baby is getting old enough to be eating more and more solid food, it’s a perfect time to introduce some fun dishware to keep mealtime interesting – well, more interesting than mealtime with a toddler always is. Plates, bowls and silverware with Baby’s favorite characters are always a good bet.
  3. Push and pull
    Because Baby is starting, or will soon be starting to walk, toys that encourage movement and will help her develop her muscles and coordination will not only be productive, but will be a big hit with her, too. When she is just starting to walk, wheeled toys she can hold on to or lean on and push will be great, and if she is a little bit further along with walking, toys she can pull along behind her, that maybe make noise or light up, might be a good bet.
  4. Pile a mile high
    Now that Baby’s coordination is better than it ever has been before, she is ready to start the serious business that is building towers out of blocks and then crashing into them, sending them smashing to the floor. Blocks are great for helping build her coordination even further, and the unstructuredness of playing with blocks encourages imagination. The only thing to be careful of is that the set is age-appropriate in terms of choking hazards.
  5. Splish splash
    Baby is definitely old enough to have some fun in the bath these days, and the more fun bathtime is, the better a chance there is that she will stay in the tub until she is squeaky clean. A lot of successful bath toys are the ones that look a lot like the toys Baby likes outside the bathtub, just waterproof. However, things that float or squirt jets of water can also be crowd pleasers. Bath paints or crayons are not just a fun bath version of favorites from dry land, but also a rare chance to draw on the walls without upsetting anyone.
  6. Proto-literacy
    Baby is at pretty much the perfect age for brightly colored board books, and her birthday is the perfect time to expand her library.
  7. Whistle a happy tune
    Baby’s adventures in cause and effect make toys that make music especially appealing to her right now. Things like baby-friendly drums and xylophones get her familiar with playing around with tones and rhythms from an early age.
  8. Keepsakes
    Baby might not get any immediate enjoyment out of a silver spoon with the date engraved on it, or a cross-stitch tapestry with her name to commemorate the occasion, but no matter what her presents end up being, you know she’s going to be more interested in playing with the crinkly wrapping paper, anyway. Keepsakes like this will help you remember this special day, and will be in Baby’s life long after she can’t remember today.
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