Sugar, Spice, and....?
February 13, 2007 6:05 AM   Subscribe

Ack - 1yr old girl BirthDay Gifts? yep - there's...

I completely spaced out - my god daughter's first birthday is very very soon, and I neglected to get presents for her... I have very few Ideas, as my son is almost 4, and in addition to being a boy, I just don't remember what he liked at that age.

Anyone have some good ideas on some "classic" toys for a 1 year old? Neither her mother or I are into electronic whiz-bang toys, but like more of the traditional things for the kids. I have some ideas I have been thinking of, but Im not sure they are age-appropriate... help me oh great Hive mind..
posted by niteHawk to Shopping (28 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Why not get her a couple of board books? Anything by Sandra Boynton (for instance, this) is good.
posted by cerebus19 at 6:08 AM on February 13, 2007

Maybe get her a chunky wooden puzzle, like one of these or this. They will be pretty challenging for a twelve month old baby, but it's something she can learn to do over the next few months and her parents can do with her, and stuff. Unless the child's already undergone some kinda massive gender role indoctrination that you wish to perpetuate, it probably isn't at all necessary to consider her gender when selecting a gift.
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:16 AM on February 13, 2007

As it happens, my daughter turns one today! She likes musical toys (maracas, hand bells, tambourine, etc.), balls, plastic blocks (cut open on the side for easier gripping), little people, and board books. She also likes removing things from a container, so one of the best games is just pulling all the blocks out of the "cookie jar." Pulling or pushing toys are good for new walkers.

Keep in mind that this is everything-goes-in-the-mouth age, so watch out for choking hazards. We had a foam ball that fell apart with chewing, for example. You might consider a children's bookstore gift certificate if you don't know what she already has for books -- there's a smallish canon of favorites that are likely duplicates.

Not a toy, but one of the most fun things we're doing lately is baby signs. A video or book on the topic would be nice for the parents.
posted by libraryhead at 6:24 AM on February 13, 2007

the fisher price little people school bus has been a big hit with the 1 yr olds of my acquaintance.
posted by selfmedicating at 6:29 AM on February 13, 2007

Response by poster: thirteenkiller - I didn't mean to suggest that I was looking for "girly" things per se... although her mother is very much into making her up into a princess, I'm a bit more gender neutral when it comes to toys and things for the baby :-)

I like the puzzle idea a lot...

keep em coming guys and gals.
posted by niteHawk at 6:36 AM on February 13, 2007

How about an old-fashioned Fisher-Price Corn Popper?

The following have also been hits with my daughter:

- Soft blocks
- Board books
- A membership to the local zoo/children's museum
- Musical instruments
- Toys for playing outside - bucket/shovel, bubbles, etc.
- Crayons (make sure they are the washable kind or her parents will hate you)
- Bathtub toys
- Pull toys
- Fake food and kitchen utensils
posted by Ostara at 6:41 AM on February 13, 2007

niteHawk - No problem! I realized after I posted I probably sounded a little more accusatory than I meant to.

That veggie garden puzzle is so so so cute, fyi.
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:45 AM on February 13, 2007

She's one, so it doesn't matter.

Get her a coupon for time spent with you. That way, she gets to bond with you and her parents get a break.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:47 AM on February 13, 2007

My little one turns 1 on Mar 2nd, and I have this conga drum on order.
She likes to make noise and stand up, so I think it will be a big hit.
posted by bradn at 6:55 AM on February 13, 2007

I asked a question recently that might help you... This suggestion resulted in my making a wonderful hooded bath towel for the baby in question, and I noted while making it that it was big enough to last someone through their toddler years.
posted by hermitosis at 7:02 AM on February 13, 2007

The kid will have enough stuff. Get a US Savings bond. Or open a 501C plan (actually have the parents open the plan and you give $ to the plan.)
posted by Gungho at 7:03 AM on February 13, 2007

Good suggestions above. I just wanted to add that my sister does something I think is neat, although she does it on christmas. For her godsons (and daughter) she gives each one a really nice tool tied to the top of the gift. The first gift (when the kid was one and didn't know what was going on) was a toolbox. Then a screwdriver, hammer, wrench, level, tape measure, etc etc. After a bunch of years, viola!, a nice complete set.
posted by dpx.mfx at 7:13 AM on February 13, 2007

A hand puppet. (Interactive!)

This is an exploring age, so they like slightly new things. Not new enough to be scary, just to be interesting. So toys — which are always the same old thing — are not necessarily what she’s into. She might really like the wrapping paper better than whatever was wrapped. Kitchen utensils - wooden and metal spoons, cooking pots - are also good.

At this age I would suggest something more long term (money in a savings account) and a little interactive token that she can get tired of quickly without making you feel bad.

Or a “Pat the Bunny” type tactile book.

NO XYLOPHONES. She’ll love it; her mother will hate you.
posted by kika at 7:14 AM on February 13, 2007

How about a big stuffed animal? Not necessarily huge, but something slightly larger than your average teddy bear. I had a stuffed bear as a kid that was about 16 inches tall and very plush (he was big and fat and sitting down). I still have him, in fact, even after the dog chewed the pom-pom off his nightcap. Something sentimental like that will last a long time.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:32 AM on February 13, 2007

I got my friend's year-old daughter a fire truck with giant Lego blocks that could be stored inside the truck. (Definitely no small, swallowable parts). I think it was a Fisher Price one. The baby loved it; she kept putting the blocks in and out of the truck and on top of each other, for a good hour. I figure when she gets a little older then she will continue to have fun with it, by using it for make-believe (instead of taking the blocks out of the truck and putting them back in again, which, frankly, is probably only entertaining to a one-year-old).
posted by sutel at 7:36 AM on February 13, 2007

We've given Baby Farm Friends Bowling to a number of one year olds. They have been a big hit, though I don't think anyone's ever bowled with them...

Here it is in action.
posted by advicepig at 8:00 AM on February 13, 2007

Our two year old daughter has enjoyed some of the wooden toys from Melissa and Doug (I am not endorsing the company I linked to; they just have a good selection. The toys are pretty widely available). Kids that age are getting into stacking and sorting, so blocks and staking toys can be good. The Melissa and Doug stuff is generally made of wood and is sturdy enough to be handed down for years if need be.
posted by TedW at 8:18 AM on February 13, 2007

Response by poster: Wow - Great ideas all!

There is a monetary gift that is going to be given, but some of the ideas y'all have given are great! Thanks
posted by niteHawk at 8:52 AM on February 13, 2007

Rubber Duckies.

A gallon-sized stock-pot and a wooden spoon.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 9:37 AM on February 13, 2007

My niece just turned one back in November. For her birthday and Christmas, the big hits were:
Play Cell Phone and Keys set. This one was the biggest hit. Her parents can record a short message on the phone so that when she hits the right button she hears their voice. She loves playing with their actual cell phones, so this is a nice substitute.
Fisher-Price Gumball Machine. I am told this is the first thing she plays with every morning-- she loves pushing the button and watching the balls come out.
Musical Stacker Toy. She was instantly mesmerized by the lights and sounds.
Books- she LOVED all the books she got. She would open them up and pretend to read, and turn the pages, and it's just the cutest thing I've ever seen. She especially liked the Elmo book, that had a puppet elmo built into the book.

At that age, she'll probably like anything you give her, but when the next present comes along, she'll like that too. :)
posted by sarahnade at 12:15 PM on February 13, 2007

Fisher Price playsets are high on my list. My son (2) loves his. They're great for role playing, imagination, acting out problems in your life, etc. And most of the sets are okay for ages 1-5, so it's something that the child can play with for years. My son amazes me with the ways he plays with his.
posted by acoutu at 12:30 PM on February 13, 2007

Think very, very carefully before getting her anything that makes noise. Especially tinny, battery-powered noise. There is not a single noise-making toy from my daughter's early childhood that I didn't want to fling under a bus after the first day. Depending on what her parents think, a real yet simple musical instrument might be OK.

Wooden puzzles are nice. Look for some with big knobs or handles. A set of building blocks of various size/shape/colors can be appreciated for a long time. Little plastic or wooden people (Fisher Price is a big name here, Playmobil or Lego for older children) also last quite a while. Wheeled toys to push or drag along the ground are fun.

Or board books - maybe her parents have some favorites from their childhoods that they'd enjoy reading to her? At this age, their appreciation of your gift is important too.
posted by expialidocious at 12:36 PM on February 13, 2007

How about a top
or a Jack-in-the-box
These are great classic toys. I have given them as birth gifts and as 1 and 2 year-old birthday gifts.
posted by i_like_camels at 12:37 PM on February 13, 2007

She might be a little young yet, but what about one of those beads-on-a-wire playsets that are always in doctor's waiting rooms? The toddlers seem to love those. Here's a company that sells both the large and a smaller table-top version, if you have time to internet-order.
posted by twoporedomain at 12:50 PM on February 13, 2007

My daughter, who will be one 3/8, loves her jack in the box-we still have to operate it for her, but it's all kinds of fun. We tried getting her a toy remote that makes noise, but it, like the mouse and keyboard we gave her, was tossed aside immediately-she only wants the real things. I nth the suggestion about anything that they can put in or take out-they're all about that at this age. Rocking or pushing toys are great. Signing Times DVD, about baby signs, get rave reviews though I haven't seen them. Toys they can crawl through or climb on are fantastic. My daughter is going nuts as we speak with her Happy Hannukah mylar balloon that Santa brought her (he's so ecumenical!)

But really, if you can't get a really obnoxious, really loud toys for your friends' kids, what's the point of living?
posted by purenitrous at 7:09 PM on February 13, 2007

If you give savings bonds, make sure they are the 20-year kind and not 30-year. She will appreciate having them when she gets out of college.
posted by radioamy at 8:22 PM on February 13, 2007

A set of those giant, too-big-to-swallow legos! Legos and Tinker Toys were my favorite toys when I was a kid, although Tinker Toys have numerous small parts and would probably be a choking hazard. Get a set big enough to build stuff with (not necessarily a four foot tall fort, but more than ten blocks).

And stuffed animals are good, too, especially if she has a favorite animal.
posted by sleeplessunderwater at 12:42 AM on February 23, 2007

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