Let's just agree that buying presents for a one year old is super annoying. They can't express their opinions yet (besides grunting and screaming and unintelligible noises), they're not into anything like princesses or pirates or what not, and babies develop differently, so a toy that say 12+ and up, could be completely developmentally inappropriate for your kid and then it just sits around not being played with. With Emery's birthday coming up in a few weeks, I thought I'd put a list together of my extensive research (through pinterest and the blogosphere) of gifts for one years olds that are probably a pretty safe bet.
Always, always, books. For every birthday. Books. We are book hoarders over here and I'm not ashamed. It means so much to me when someone buys a book for my kids. It's an easy gift for the gift giver to purchase, and super sentimental for this overly attached mama. You're not just giving a kid a book that will sit on his shelf and occasionally be taken down for a quick read. You're giving us nights of pajama snuggles and many a "One more book, mom!" It doesn't matter what the book is, if it's classic or new, sentimental or ridiculous, you'll score every time giving a book. Easy, inexpensive, and while the book might not last forever, the memories reading it will. So. BOOKS.
(If you have specific books that you'd like to collect for your little ones, sign up for Goodreads and create a list! Thanks for the tip, Kathryn!!)
Toys that are toys, but can also double as decoration.
We don't have a ton of plastic baby toys around here. Not for safety reasons, really, (although those are there), but because plastic toys have a short lifespan and are usually eye sores. We have a few of those and they get thrown into toy bins and buckets and often forgot about until that bucket gets dumped. But wooden toys get lots of attention around here. I blame my sister in law. She gave Jonah a set of wooden airplanes and trucks when he was a baby and they've lasted forever. They get played with a lot, but still look amazing. The more they show wear, the more vintage they look. And who doesn't love some vintage looking things, right? Emery has a wooden ring stacker that is so much better looking than the plastic ring stacker we had for Jonah and it will last us so much longer. Wooden toys might have a slightly higher price point, but they're worth it. Totally.
Cause and effect Toys
One year olds are all about the cause and effect stuff, right? Like, let me scream really loud and see what mom does. Ima drop this spoon on the floor and see how many times mom will pick it up for me before she grunts and throws it in the sink. You know. Cause that's fun right now for them or something. The good news is that this annoying stage means they can be easily distracted for a few minutes by cause and effect toys. Toys that have balls that they have to drop into holes, shape sorters, animals that pop up when you press a button or pegs that baby can push or hammer through a hole. One years old love that stuff.
Toys that grow
Babies develop super fast, so if you really want to invest in something for your child that he can use for a long time, get a toy that can grow with him. Something like this would be great! (click for details) A little pricey ($96), but look at how much it can do! These kinds of things are so innovative. I'd love for Emery to have something like this to enjoy for his first few years of toddlerhood.
Here's another idea. This thing is so.stinking.cool. I might just need to get one of these for Emery. It starts as a stroller and then slowly transitions to a tricycle. Amazing.
I put a collection of gift ideas together over on Bumblebean (aff. link) if you feel so inclined to check it out.
Also, you can use a site like Baby List to create an across the web gift registry. You can use it just for yourself, to keep track of your brilliant finds, or share with friends and family to make their gift buying a little easier on them. Don't worry about being tacky, if the thought even crossed your mind. I'd love it if someone would send me a gift registry for their child every time they invited me to a party. It'd make my life so much simpler. (hashtag i never know what to buy.)
Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments!