gift for a one-year-old bb?
February 1, 2008 6:50 AM   Subscribe

Suggestions for a birthday present for a one-year-old female cousin?

It's my cousin's first birthday this Sunday, and I need to get her a present. She's more like a niece, as her mother is the closest relative I have.

I'm a student, and I'm not super-well-off, so I'd like suggestions that are in the ~$50 range.

I need to find something good that I can get tomorrow!

I'm in upstate NY (around Poughkeepsie) if that helps.
posted by exlotuseater to Shopping (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: apologies in advance for not responding to answers in a timely fashion-- I'll be working this afternoon, and I won't have netaccess until early evening. Thanks everyone!
posted by exlotuseater at 6:52 AM on February 1, 2008

Best answer: Books that you loved as a young child.
posted by LoriFLA at 6:54 AM on February 1, 2008

Best answer: Savings bond. The kid doesn't need any more crap. (Better yet ask the parents if they have started a 529 college plan yet, and then make a check out to the plan.)
posted by Gungho at 7:00 AM on February 1, 2008

You know those train sets that use interlocking wooden tracks? I think Brio is the brand name. Those are awesome. And while that might be a little advanced for a one-year old, she'll probably love it in a few months.

Another great gift is these nesting/stacking blocks. They're cubes made of sturdy cardboard, decorated on each side with a theme (letters, colors, animals). They're open on one side, allowing all of them to nest together, or turn them over and stack them. Also: nesting cups.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:00 AM on February 1, 2008

I gave my nephew a really great plush San Francisco cable car that has a string-pull that causes the toy to vibrate for about three seconds. It's the perfect gift for babies, it's plush, it's got action, it develops motor skills, and it's totally, completely silent. They are for sale at the Cable Car Museum in San Francisco, which I am sure you can find the phone number for.
posted by parmanparman at 7:03 AM on February 1, 2008

At that age, my daughter loved baby dolls, blocks and pretty much any toy geared for one year olds. I have 2 suggestions. $50 is a very generous gift for a one year old. Depending on their financial situation, you might do well to get the child a $10-$15 doll or toy and then put the rest in a gift card for spring wardrobe that will be needed soon or a savings bond for college. That way, the child has something to play with and the rest of your gift will be "practical"

My other suggestion is to get something big to celebrate her first birthday and how much she means to you. Maybe by her a charm and start a tradition of getting a charm every birthday. When she's old enough, get her the bracelet and then you can add to it every year and at special occasions. When she is grown, she will have a lovely piece given to her by a loved aunt. You can also do this with add-a-pearl necklaces for about $40 a pearl. I started one of those for my neice and she has about 6 pearls so far. My goal is for her to have a full strand by the time she graduates high school.

Good luck to you. You neice is a lucky little girl!!
posted by pearlybob at 7:03 AM on February 1, 2008

i before e pearlybob!! i mean niece!!
posted by pearlybob at 7:05 AM on February 1, 2008

The two toddlers on my Christmas list this past year got Nintendogs plush toys. Excitedly received and apparently still played with a month later. Available at Toys R Us and sometimes Target. FurReal dogs and/or cats also are popular with my ankle-biter relatives.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:41 AM on February 1, 2008

Best answer: I'm going to go with something a little different. I suggest getting her a homemade coupon redeemable for one afternoon in the park with her cousin, exlotuseater.

At her age (my own daughter is eleven months) one more toy is probably not going to make a very big impression. In fact, if your family is anything like mine she probably has more than enough toys already.

But spending an afternoon playing with you will be fun for her, fun for you and a wonderful little present for her parents. So, everyone wins. (If you aren't comfortable playing with her. Offer to babysit one night. So, that her parents can catch a movie.)
posted by oddman at 7:50 AM on February 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

I second books. At one, they really don't know what's going on yet, so you can save your time looking to buy something they'd really enjoy. The almost-1 year old I know loves to shred paper and chew on his mother's cell phone case.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:55 AM on February 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

balls and those little brooms (like the kind you might use in a camper) were a big hit with my nieces and nephews both

my nephew just turned 1 in January. At his party there were several boys and girls around that age and they all loved a gift he had gotten at christmas. So much that the nursery supervisor at the church went and bought one for the church nursery it retails 20-30$
posted by meeshell at 8:41 AM on February 1, 2008

Best answer: A little different suggestion: I bought my niece a full outfit of dress, stockings and shoes. Something she could wear to a dress up event. I made sure to include a gift receipt and assured my sister that she could exchange it for whatever items of clothing she needed if she already had something like that. Children grow quickly and often parents are left scrambling if they need something a little dressier for their kids to wear.
posted by red_lotus at 9:00 AM on February 1, 2008

books. I work with a lot of mothers and they all say the one thing the wished the had gotten more of as presents was books.
posted by silkygreenbelly at 9:08 AM on February 1, 2008

Promise her you'll take her to the zoo this summer (and then do it). Monkeys + toddler = great fun! Or give her books.
posted by uandt at 9:38 AM on February 1, 2008

Best answer: I think you should get her a gift that will keep on giving, that she will appreciate as she gets older and that will (hopefully) retain its value or even grow in value. A share of Disney stock. Here.

I was given one share of Disney as a kid and I still have it. It is now 83 shares after splits and dividend reinvestment. I became very interested in the stock market and it became a profession in part because I would look at the certificate on my wall as a kid and wonder about it. I used to want to go to Disney movies because I "owned" the company.

And, take her for an ice cream cone. Chocolate of course!
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:08 AM on February 1, 2008

If you do get a savings bond (and I don't necessarily suggest it), get one that matures in 20 years, not 30. Money is much more necessary/appreciated at that age.
posted by radioamy at 11:47 AM on February 1, 2008

Best answer: Board books! Some great ones for that age: look at anything by Sandra Boynton, she's very cute and witty; also Goodnight Moon; Shoes; Jamberry; I Went Walking; Goodnight Gorilla; adaptations of Richard Scarry, Dr. Seuss, Curious George. These would all be available at your local chain bookstore. You can get four or five of them for under $50 easily.

You can never get enough books, and most people don't think to give books. Also people think board books are only for babies but if they're classics and not overly simple they'll get read all the way up to kindergarten and beyond (and they're durable), so they're really worth it.
posted by Melinika at 6:50 PM on February 1, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks all for the excellent suggestions-- I ended up getting her a toy (that she seems to love) and a gift card for mom and dad that they can use for clothes, supplies, or another toy if they so desire.

I got her some books for Christmas (I know, too early, but you can't really start too early-- I am going to be the book-gifting uncle for the rest of her life) and a fisher-price "Polar Playset" which she loved.

I probably will buy her a stock next year.

I also extended an invitation to her parents to come up where I live (my cousin grew up around here, sort of) and spend a day or two locally while my gf and I look after the beeb. They used to come up all the time for trail-riding and hiking, etc, so this will be good for all of us.

Thanks again! I love this little girl so much!
posted by exlotuseater at 10:06 PM on February 4, 2008

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