First Birthdays are tough to buy gifts for. You want something that will LAST, something that encourages a wide variety of skills to be used (and therefore developed), something beautiful!
Here are our TOP TEN TOYS for a first birthday gift that will WOW!
Trikes - A trike will grow with your child. They will help to teach them how to balance and they are a great way to incorporate active play into every day life. You'll love watching them learn how to use their gross motor skills!
Shape sorter - Classic for a reason. Talk to your child about the colours, the shapes, teach them how to twist and turn the pieces to fit in the holes. This can be used for years to come (put in the GREEN piece, or put in the piece that has 4 corners!).
Walker - Most babies take their first steps sometime between 9 and 12 months and are walking well by the time they're 14 or 15 months old - however, every baby is different and if yours isn't walking by that age it's likely nothing to worry about! But walkers are a great way to help children start moving independently - and the fun activities on the board will keep them entertained.
Dolls - my daughter recently turned one, and I was so excited to give her a doll! Social, emotional, communication skills are all developed when a child plays with dolls. I love the idea of my daughter playing with her doll for years and years to come!
Puzzles - Puzzles are great for any age. If you are buying a puzzle for a younger child, ensure the pieces 'slot' into the board to make it easier and avoid frustration. We also put our puzzle pieces in our sensory bins!
Blocks - Another classic toy. The benefits of playing with blocks are phenomenal. It encourages a child to develop their imagination, hand eye coordination, communication, spatial awareness, patience, fine motor skills and many more other vital life skills. Blocks can be passed down between siblings, cousins or even generations if you invest in high quality blocks.
Nesting & Stacking Cubes - Such a simple activity, stack the cubes or put them inside each other, but for some reason young children revel in doing it! Use the cubes to talk about bigger and smaller as your child gets older. Discuss the colours, or patterns on the sides. Use them to hide little toys under and play memory games!
Musical Toys - Babies love to boogie! Shake some bells, bang on a drum, hit a triangle. Anything that makes noise will occupy them for such a long time - plus, their giggles and joyful noises will make your day (even if the banging of the drum might wear on you!)
Bead Maze - A bead maze is particularly good for a child who tends to pop everything they can into their mouth. It will help develop their fine motor skills and hand eye coordination, with out the risk of putting foreign objects into their mouth. Bright colours, the noise as the beads slide around and the way some of the tracks will allow the beads to fall down seemingly on their own will delight small children.
Hammering Bench - Another safe option for children who tend to munch on everything. Bang the hammer onto the pegs, flip it over and start again!