A few months ago H published an article on gifts for a one-year old girl… I have finally completed the partner article for boys! You can download and share, see the associated aStore on the One-Year-Old gift page too.
A child’s personality starts to shine and he forms much fuller relationships between the ages of one and two. With patience and a good sense of humor their unique vocabulary, physical feats, and drop-of-a-hat mood changes can also add a great amount of joy to the day. This phase can also be trying for many parents. Walking turns to precarious climbing and a child’s drive to move, communicate, and control their environment can cause frustration on both sides (although hopefully only tantrums from the toddler).
If you need a gift for a little boy this age, you likely are seeking a present that is “out of the box” and won’t just add to the growing pile of toys. Here are some gift ideas for the little tyke you should feel good about giving and a parent will actually enjoy receiving.
My Very Own…
1-year-olds are excellent imitators. They also seem to want whatever it is you have. Great purchases in our house were an extra remote, mouse, and keyboard that we just don’t put batteries in. Old cell phones, wallets
, and a set of kid-keys are great too. Be sure to fill the wallet with old business cards or membership cards. My son could easily entertain himself on a 20-minute car ride (and improved his dexterity) by pulling them all out.
When a new baby arrives, everyone is always so surprised at how much easier it is to get errands done with the invention of the removable car-seat carrier. Entering this phase they will realiz
e the fear was not misplaced, just ahead of schedule.
Routine errands involve a myriad of tasks where Mom (or Dad) needs to concentrate and said toddler is just not cooperating. A goodie-filled backpack will keep his fingers busy without resorting to snacks all day (snacks are great, but not when used solely as a distraction). We bring ours almost everywhere with a couple rolling toys (great for the table
while you wait for food), a cloth book (hits the table quietly and safe to chew), and Little People. Beware of toys that are too small or whose parts could be easily chewed off as 1-year-olds are still putting everything in their mouths. Also, some of the packs with harnesses don’t hold much so check that before you buy.
It is often the case toddlers are ready to move to their “big boy” bed shortly after they turn one. I suggest contributing to the décor with something practical and not too extravagant like a sheet set or a lamp.
Also a classic hit are personalized or themed wall décor. Remember it doesn’t have to be anything huge and removable decals may be best. Be sure to confer with the parents about this one so color selection and themes are appropriate.
I prefer a toy shelf or stackable bins over the toy box which has become cluttered on top while no one really knows (or wants to know) what is lurks in the bottom. I bought a shelf with bins not too long ago from Toys-R-Us for less than $50. You can also get cloth bins in just about any color to match existing room décor.
My son loves his books before bedtime and I remember who gave us just about every one we received as a gift so if you want to make a lasting impression there’s really no better way. Board books are great for this age because he can handle them without much risk of torn pages (chewing will still take place no matter what you do). My one-year-old also liked the interactive books where he could turn the flaps or pull the tabs to reveal “surprises” as well as the touchy-feely books. Some books that were hits in our house include: That’s Not My Puppy, Good Night Moon, Sesame Street: The Itsy Bitsy Spider, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?
Remember to purchase items for the upcoming season. In winter/spring try swimwear, a pack of swim diapers, swim vest or floating ring, and sunscreen. I know for us, we were scrambling for a raincoat and boots the first fall we could use them so for summer birthdays a matching rain coat, umbrella, and/or rain should be a hit. Keep in mind you want to buy bigger than the size they are currently in and hopefully he will get more than one rainy season out of it. Western Chief makes a whole line of themed rain gear that is affordable and well made (I got mine on Amazon.com).
For my fall birthdays I like to check with parents to see if kids need boots, hats, or mittens (I live in D.C.; we never have enough mittens). Stick to mittens instead of gloves for any child under three, and hats for a one-year-old need to tie or velcro underneath the chin if you ever want to keep it on. My personal preference in hats is the more brightly colored or crazy pattern it is the easier to spot my child. If you want to go all out, a coat or snow pants designed to grow with a child like these Obermeyer makes are awesome.
Some other ideas:
- Toddler or finger food idea book
- Big bibs… the biggest you can find
- Gift Certificate for Mommy (or Daddy) & Me Classes
- Baby Sign-language book or kit
- A list of local toddler-friendly places and activities with a gift certificate
- A list of and/or supplies for do-it-yourself or non-toxic crafts (like putting food coloring in yogurt or pudding to finger paint). For pre-made craft packs also check out Kiwi Crates or The Paper Source
- Book of Toddler Activities
- Umbrella Stroller
- Shopping Cart Cover
If you are still compelled to buy (or add) a toy, my guy loved anything he could push, pull, ride on or bounce on, puzzles, and anything he could “bang” with or on. Melissa and Doug have a lot of great options. Also, remember how everyone added on a pack of diapers at the baby shower? Until kids are about five, add-on batteries. Last but not least, you can’t have too many no-spill sippy cups!