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While 1-year-olds are likely to be as thrilled (or more) by the ribbons and wrapping paper on their gifts as they are with the presents themselves, your child's first birthday still calls for a celebration. Here are some ideas to guide your way into how fun it can be to pick out a first birthday present or something delightful for your 1-year-old's first holiday.
Nesting and stacking toys
For many 1-year-olds, nothing's more fascinating than taking a bunch of empty containers and stacking them so they nestle one inside the other. Nesting toys help teach kids spatial relations, and many today combine sturdy construction with stimulating colors and patterns. These cups from Green Toys are made from recycled milk containers, and each is imprinted with a number that extends the number of games you can play with them.
Green Toys Stacking Cups
Another great choice for the momentous first birthday is a push toy, which your child can use when he starts to walk. Choose from perennial favorites such as a child-sized grocery cart or this wonderful modern classic with gators and enchanting movements and sounds that will make this toy one of your child’s favorites for a good long while.
Melissa & Doug Chomp & Clack Alligator Push Toy
When your baby is a year old, it's high time to turn bath time into fun time. Transform any toddler's tub into a pool of delights with a basketful of water-friendly bath toys. Stock up on everything from bath mitts and soap to cheerful terry-cloth animals and the requisite rubber ducky. As she gets older, her bath-time friends will be an outlet for pretend play and other imagination-driven adventures, so this submarine will fuel many a made-up journey.
Skip Hop Zoo Pull & Go Submarine
A chunky puzzle
Children turning one are beginning to master gripping and manipulating toys, and puzzles will give them plenty of practice. Try one with shapes backed by easy-grip pegs like this classic farm puzzle.
Melissa & Doug Farm Wooden Peg Puzzle
Nothing encourages a child's innate creativity (as well as fine and gross motor skills) like classic building blocks. Pick up a plastic bin and fill it with blocks of all shapes, sizes, and colors. (Remember to keep an eye out for sharp corners and small shapes that can be dangerous for young children.) As your child discovers the joy of building towers as tall as she is – and then knocking them down – your gift will be an instant favorite. These Tegu blocks come in more interesting shapes than old-school cubes, and their pastel colors are kid favorites, too.
An activity cube
Sit-and-play toys with gears, beads strung on wires, and spin-and-slide letters and shapes encourage quiet brain-boosting play. With each of five sides boasting a different activity, this KidKraft Deluxe Activity Cube is fun for toddlers, who’ll appreciate the bright colors and moving parts, and the pre-k crowd, who can brush up on letters and math with the cube’s abacus.
KidKraft Deluxe Activity Cube
Toddlers love making noise: It gets attention and makes a less-than-subtle impact on the world around them. So if you want to delight a 1-year-old, give him a toy that rattles, clangs, beeps, or plays music. Or get a whole set, so your favorite kid can enjoy a wide range of beautiful (hopefully) sounds he can make himself.
Hohner Kids Toddler Music Band