Its such a special time for any parent when their baby turns one. I know when I do a Cake Smash session, the parents always comment on how the time seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye and yet they can’t remember life before this little bundle arrived in their lives.
Sometimes it feels like there is a lot of pressure around 1st birthdays and having the perfect 1st birthday party or buying the perfect 1st birthday present so I thought I would lend a hand and write a list of great 1st birthday presents based on our experience with Isabelle.
Something to ride on.
Isabelle’s “big” present for her first birthday was her rocking horse who is named Rosie. We picked one from the Mamas & Papas range because they seemed about the right size for a 1-2 year old and very sturdy not to mention damn cute. Isabelle’s little face when she opened it will stay with me forever and she still occasionally climbs on for a ride at almost 8, refusing to let me move it out of her room! I know this will be kept for her children and cherish the idea that she will be loved forever. There are so many different ones to choose from now; Unicorns, Rock and Riders, caterpillars and dinosaurs to name a few.
Mamas & Papas Ride on Toys
2. Something to make music with.
If you have am almost one year old, you will know by now that all babies like to make a noise! These toys are the perfect size for little ones hands and introduce them to music and rhythm. This set includes a little xylophone, a bell shaker, rattle roller, a drum thing and a shaker. They are great quality and still going strong after 7 years!
3. Something to Stack and Smash with.
We loved these stacking toy cups. They are brightly coloured and in the shape of different sea animals. Each has holes in the bottom of varying size so you can pour the water through them at bath time. But heres the thing, they aren’t just for the bath, you can stack them on the floor (and let the baby knock them down), use them in the sandpit to build little sandcastles, push play doh through the holes…hours of fun!
Stacking Toy Cups
4. Something to Treasure.
We had this beautiful giraffe made locally for Isabelle using the baby grows and clothes that no longer fitted her. It sits on her bed and is one of the things I treasure the most. I hope as she grows older the significance of this gift will mean even more to Isabelle but in the meantime she gets lots of cuddles and plays zoos!
Handmade Personalised Giraffe
5. Something to pull along
There are some beautiful pull along / push along toys on the market. We somehow picked this bright green alligator which Isabelle had hours of fun with. These toys can encourage first steps and confidence in walking. Great for helping children start to learn important scientific concepts through play, for instance they soon learn that the harder you pull the faster the toys moves, cause and effect! They will come across obstacles and have to use problem solving skills to get their way around that object. Lots come with shape sorters of building blocks with introduce even more play opportunities.
Pull Along Alligator
6. Something to Walk with
OK. Before we had Isabelle, we always said we wouldn’t do all the bright plastic toys but we would get lovely wooden, traditional, classic homemade beautiful crafted toys that we would keep forever. Fast forward a year and we realised something pretty basic. Babies like bright colours, flashing lights, noises and things that move. And so, here we have one of the first big plastic things that came in to our home (we had already given into the pressure to buy a Jumperoo by this point).
We liked this one because it has a detachable centre console which you can remove and play with on the floor or take it with you on a day out. The shapes and musical keys introduce your baby to numbers, words, colours and there is music to sing a long to which wasn’t as annoying as lots of other toys. All in all its a good way to encourage little ones to take their first steps and gives them their first sense of independence
6. A Shape Sorter
This is just one of those toys that all children seem to love! Its basically a you in the shape of an egg box and the eggs “crack” open to reveal different coloured eggs inside. The eggs make different cheep-cheep sounds when you press them down and each egg shell is a different colour with a different facial expression. Each egg has a different shaped based so will only fit in its specific place in the box. This toy encourages your Childs shape recognition, colour matching, assists in developing motor skills and provides opportunities to discuss colour, feelings and noise.
Squeaky Eggs Toy
7. I Am One Milestone Photo Session
OK, OK blatant marketing here but what could be more special than photographs marking this special milestone in your babies life. One year old milestone sessions can include a cake smash but we always make sure we have some wonderful portraits capturing the baby’s personality first. We could also do paint sessions where we let them loose with finger paints and a splash session with a little bath. Don’t forget to bring their favourite cuddly toy to be included in the session too!
More Details on Milestone Sessions
Well, its Isabelle’s 8th birthday this weekend so i’m off to wrap presents and make up party bags ready for her mermaid party! Hope this helps you pick out some wonderful gifts for your little ones!