Now that George is two, I thought it would be fun to look back over the last year at the toys heâ€™s gotten the most use out of. If there’s a first birthday coming up, or you’ve a toddler to buy for this Christmas, these are all great gift ideas that arenâ€™t too expensive. They also work for both boys and girls.
Before I move onto that though, itâ€™s worth remembering that the first birthday will feel like a big achievement for the parents. After all, theyâ€™ve managed to survive a whole year of parenthood! So a celebratory bottle of wine or fizz would be a nice touch, too.
1. Shape sorter
This was probably the toy George used most after turning one. Our shape-sorter bus has come everywhere with us. It made one particularly long train journey bearable for the whole carriage and has in general provided hours of entertainment for George and quiet time for us. Â Ours came from good old Amazon, but this Ikea one is nice, too.
2. Stacking rings
You can get these everywhere, but I particularly like these classy wooden ones, also from Ikea. Theyâ€™re a bit harder for babies to use than the plastic ones, but I think thatâ€™s a good thing as they learn things so quickly that easy toys become obsolete in no time!
3. Jigsaw puzzles
George only really got into these when he was 18 months-plus, but again theyâ€™re a great toy to pack when youâ€™re travelling, or to use as a distraction in a restaurant. This Dear Zoo puzzle is lovely, but Peppa Pig is always a winner, too. Wooden peg puzzles are nice for younger babies.
You canâ€™t really go wrong with books, can you? I would stick to giving books you loved as a child or ones that have been recommended to you. We love this one and this one. But please, no books that make noise! I donâ€™t know why so many people buy these as presents, but theyâ€™re so annoying for the parents. Also, all that distraction means that George will never actually read the book, insisting instead on pressing all the buttons over and over again…
All children (and most parents) seem to have a scooter these days. Admittedly, George got his when he was very young, about 14 months old – cue several months of mummy or daddy carrying the scooter all the way to the park only for him to spend about one minute trying to use it. Anyway, at around 18 months, something clicked and he really got the hang of it. Now, heâ€™s a total pro We were given this one with a training seat, although Iâ€™m not sure how useful the seat is; we seemed to have more luck without it.
Finally, donâ€™t forget clothes! I often buy my nephews clothes for their birthday – I quite like shopping for childrenâ€™s clothes and kids are always growing out of their clothes, arenâ€™t they? I certainly love getting new clothes for George. Â This jumper from Boden is gorgeous and H&M do lovely kids’ clothes, too.
Do you have any tips for a first birthday present?