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Gift Ideas for Baby's 1st Birthday
by Rebecca Garland

There is no greater milestone than the first birthday. When your child celebrates his first birthday, he might not understand the significance, but you, his parents, have slogged through a year of dirty diapers and midnight feedings to arrive at this momentous occasion. There is one part of the celebration your child does understand, however – gifts. There are many choices, but as your child enters the toddler years, he’ll likely enjoy at least one of the following:

Push Toys
The average age for a child’s first steps is one year of age. This means that most one-year-old children are ready and waiting to be on the go. Even if your child is already walking well, he’ll still enjoy a fun push toy.

A shopping cart, pretend lawn mower, a doll stroller, or any toy designed to be pushed along and played with stationary are perfect for young toddlers who are always on the go.

Ride On Toys
If your child isn’t pushing something, he’s riding on it. Climbing on and off a fun riding toy like a bike without wheels is almost as exciting as moving it along by pushing with his feet. Once your child discovers how to make the bike, train or animal move ahead on its plastic wheels, there will be no turning back.

Children at this age can’t use or even reach pedals. Skip the Big Wheel bikes and tricycles in lieu of the simplified variety designed to be pushed along with his feet.

Stacking Toys
Learning to stack objects carefully on top of each other is not only a developmental skill, but a fun game as well.

There are many types of stacking toys to consider. A set of large plastic blocks with interlocking pieces, much like traditional Legos, work well. You can also consider a set of the more traditional wooden blocks. You can offer your child a set of just about anything so long as they can be piled on top of each other and then knocked down again in a very satisfying matter.

Nesting Toys
Learning to put toys back inside each other in the correct order is another important skill. Toddlers love to put one thing inside another which makes nesting toys, such as cups of varying sizes, the perfect gift. Show your child how the cups can be stacked into a tower and then nestled inside each other again.

Music Toys
Young toddlers love to make noise, so any noisy toy is worth a second look in the toy store. Of course, for developmental purposes you want your child to contribute more to the noise than the push of a button, so look more closely at toddler sized instruments than dancing and singing dolls. Baby pianos, xylophones, drums, maracas and more are fun for children at this age.

Most young toddlers are just learning to sit still for a book. A few new board books your child can handle and “read” on his own are a good idea. Remember to get a variety of books including some with pictures rather than a story. You might relish the idea of a beautiful story, but he might be more interested in looking at pictures of dogs and trucks.

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