Who’s he hardest kind of person to buy for? Dads? Grandparents? Teenage boys? Nope. One-year-olds.
Buying for babies is easy – there are so many cute outfits, fluffy teddies and handy gizmos that you’re spoilt for choice. But one-year-olds are different. It’s a tricky age where you can’t be sure clothes fit (some are still in age 9-12 months; others are in 18-24 months already) and the toys you think they’ll like all turn out to have scary labels on saying they’re: ‘not suitable for children under 36 months’.
I realised this when my own little boy turned one recently – along with lots of his friends. However, having been given some amazing presents and having had to buy for six one-year-olds (and counting) in the last couple of months, I’ve become a dab hand at it. So, I thought I’d share my findings with you.
Here’s my list of perfect pressies guaranteed to be a hit on a first birthday – and what’s more, most are under a fiver and all of them are under a tenner. Bonus!
(above) Tomy Hide’n’Squeak Eggs, £4.50 www.amazon.co.uk. Not only are these eggs different colours with different funny faces, but the tops of their shells come off, they ‘squeak’ when pressed, and their bottoms are different shapes, for babies to sort. Oh, and the plastic egg box carry case is a toy in itself. Hours of fun.
(below) Fisher Price Chatter Telephone, £4.48 Tesco Direct www.tesco.com/direct. An old skool toy that’s still great decades on. My little boy loves to make the dial ‘ring’ and pulls it along everywhere with him.
Early Learning Centre (ELC) Bath Stacking Cups, £4.80 (was £6), www.mothercare.com. Unlike normal stacking cups, each one is in the shape of a sea creature. Cute and perfect for little fingers to grip.
My First Book of Things to Learn (published by Tiger Tales), £5 www.amazon.co.uk. My little boy was given this by an aunt and he is obsessed with it. The round tabs make turning the pages easy, the thick cardboard pages can withstand a lot of wear and tear and the pictures are fun as well as educational.
Gowi Watering Can, £4.99 www.amazon.co.uk or www.ebay.co.uk. Another great bath toy – little ones love seeing the water pouring out, and when they’re older, they can use it at the beach or to help out in the garden.
Halilit baby Tambourine, £6.67 www.amazon.co.uk. It looks classy, doesn’t sound too annoying, and has no sharp metal bits.
Mega Bloks classic Big Builder bag, £9.50 Tesco Direct www.tesco.com/direct. A toy that’ll last for years. One year olds will enjoy playing with/chewing the bricks and will grow to love building stuff ages before they can be let loose on proper (and much tinier) Lego.
‘BUSA’ Play Tunnel, £10 Ikea www.ikea.com/gb/en. My son got one of these for his birthday, and while he’s not mastered the hang of crawling through it yet, I certainly have, and it’s ace! It concertinas down to a hoop shape that you can store under the sofa when it’s not in use. Phew.
PS: Not entered my competition to win a designer framed butterfly print worth £45 from www.art.co.uk? There’s still time! Check out last Friday’s blog post (25th Jan) for details.