8 Awesome & Educational Gifts for 1-Year-Olds

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Baby Bird will be a year old in a few weeks, and I’ve been fielding a lot of calls about what she wants for her birthday.

For a long while, I didn’t have a clue what to say. (The kid hasn’t said anything to me about her big day.) Now, I think I’ve come up with a list of eight awesome and educational gifts that would make any parent and baby happy.

(Side note: I’m FLOORED by the fact that I’ll soon have a 1-year-old! I always said my goal was to keep her healthy, and happy would be a bonus. I think I can say I’ve accomplished both.)

Now back to birthday business …

Crayola Building Block set. These would be perfect for my baby. They’d help me teach her about colors, numbers, and independent play. Baby Bird would love the blocks because they’re bright, she could knock down whatever I built, and she could put them in her mouth. (The pieces are too big to be a choking hazard.)

Count & Learn Cookie Jar.  This is another toy that would help Baby Bird learn numbers, and it would satisfy her need to put things into containers over and over and over again. Paired with the book Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar,” it would be a gift my daughter would enjoy for a long, long time. 

Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball Set. Baby Bird is already toddling, but if she wasn’t, I think this set would encourage her to get up and get going. The hoop can be adjusted down to 2 feet, and the oversized rim and small basketballs would help her improve her hand-eye coordination.

Teddy Ruxpin. Did you have a Teddy Ruxpin as a child? I certainly did. My mom says Teddy played a large part in my learning to read by the time I was 3. The bears of the 1980s are long gone, but a new and improved version has just been released! Teddy 2.0 has LCD eyes that react as he shares stories, perhaps helping kids identify emotions. He’s Bluetooth-ready and syncs with a free storytime app. He comes with three stories, and there are seven others available to buy. Baby Bird WILL have her own Teddy Ruxpin.

Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Corn Popper. Sheer nostalgia — and the fact that it can help Little Ones learn to balance and walk — made me add this to the list.

A year’s membership to your city’s zoo, aquarium, or museum. This gift would teach Baby Bird to appreciate our city’s treasures. During a trip to the zoo or aquarium, Baby Bird could see creatures she might never otherwise encounter. The museum would expose her to art, history, and paleontology.

Swimming lessons. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among 1- to 3-year-olds, and it’s the second-leading cause among kids younger than 15. That’s really heartbreaking. When you give a child swim lessons, you’re doing your part to protect them from water-related accidents. You’re introducing them to a stress-reliever. You’re encouraging them to exercise. It’s the gift that keeps on giving and one that could save their life.

529 plan contribution. Instead of gifts, ask Grandma and Granddad to make a deposit in a 529 post-secondary education savings account. The money can be used toward four-year colleges and universities, qualifying associate degree programs, and trade and vocational schools.

A debt-free degree is an awesome gift, don’t you think?

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Eight Awesome and Educational Gifts for a 1-Year-Old's Birthday


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