Gift Guide for Kids One Year Old
By Teeny Tots
1 Year Old
It's a whole new world once a formerly floor-bound baby can walk because everything in a toddler's domain has to stand up to her exploration. What'll keep her busy: improving her gross motor skills by pushing and pulling wheeled toys everywhere she goes; working on her fine motor skills by putting things, like blocks and activity boxes, together and then taking them apart again; and learning the difference between like and unlike shapes, colors and textures by sorting them into categories and working simple puzzles.
A baby gift is one of the most enjoyable things to purchase, especially when shopping for a sibling, close friend or relative. The arrival of a baby is a time of celebration, joy and excitement, often times...
There are so many different baby care products on the market today that it is almost impossible to decide which ones are best. In the end, the only way to really find out if a product is...
Though toddlers are too young for sophisticated art projects, they'll love experimenting with markers, stickers and dough. Just be sure to buy large items because anything that can fit through an empty toilet paper tube could be a choking hazard for these kids, who explore their world by mouthing everything they can get their hands on.
These come in large sizes for easy handling.
Large washable markers in bold colors.
Buy it or make it yourself. Some homemade varieties are edible, too.
Use large ones of her favorite character to help decorate a card or gift.
Most toddlers are still in diapers and are still squirmy, so buy clothes that are easy to get on and off.
Velcro fasteners are easiest at mealtime but often get hung up on other clothes in the wash. Give the parents a lingerie bag to put this in for the wash cycle.
This age child is ready for a coat or jacket. For extremely cold temperatures, though, furry fleece sleepers or bunting with a hood and a front zipper still work well as long as the child doesn't have to walk outside.
Get them personalized for a special touch. Usually for girls, these come in fanciful lacy varieties.
Buy larger sizes for longer wear.
Hair ribbons and bows
Some babies don't grow hair for quite some time, so bows and headbands add a nice little-girl look to bald heads. For babies with very fine hair, many bows are made to stay on the finest strands of hair.
A floppy sun hat is great for the beach. In winter, make sure the hats cover the ears.
A good sturdy jean is great for this age child, who is walking -- and falling.
Match coats and hats, if possible.
Rugged and sturdy, these are great for new walkers. Look for those with snaps on both legs.
Look for snaps on both legs or a zipper that runs down one leg for easy diaper changes. Young kids live in these, and parents just can't get enough of them.
Shoes and socks
Kids learn to walk best barefoot or in socks, so look for skid-proof tabs on the bottom to prevent novice walkers from slipping. Outdoors, they'll need high-quality shoes that fit right. Laces are fine, but Velcro closures will save time and frustration with wiggly feet.
Shorts or pants
Some pants come with snaps, but they're not necessary because pants slip off easily for changes. Look for elastic waistbands in all cases.
Pre-shrunk, 100% cotton is best for all infant clothing. Sleepwear should always be made of flame-retardant fabrics. These also come without the foot covering, which is handy when combining pajamas with socks and shoes. (It happens more often than you might think.)
For actually taking the child out in the snow, not just to keep her warm. These are lined and waterproof.
Sunglasses with 100% UV protection
Kid size, of course. These are purely for fun and pictures.
Knits are very warm and great for cold weather, but if it's for spring or a climate that's temperate year-round, go with cotton for comfort.
These are cozier than a sweater, especially during naptime.
Those with logos of favorite sports teams or cities are always a hit. Personalized ones from sisters, aunts or grandmothers make great gifts, too.
Coordinates are often more dressy than rompers and make great special-occasion outfits.
The ones that snap together keep bellies warmer because they don't hike up under clothes. Look for front fasteners for easy dressing and diaper changes.
For the Car
Car items are essential for families whether they're making long trips or running errands. Many toddlers' favorite characters -- from Elmo to Blue to Arthur -- adorn products made for the car.
Car seat heat shield
A cover for the car seat to keep it from getting too hot.
Car seat strap covers
Soft and furry for added comfort. The ones with toys attached are fun, too.
These are especially nice on long trips when babies will be sleeping in the car a lot, although many babies take cat naps in the car just running errands.
These hook over the back of the front seats. By this age, kids are ready to use the storage pockets for books and toys, and parents still have room for bottles and other necessities.
For side and back windows. Pick one with a bright character on it for baby's delight.
A sturdy cover placed underneath the car seat to catch spills and keep the car upholstery clean.
Small, portable toys such as rattles and toy bars that attach to car seats.
For side and back windows, these are especially good on long trips when kids might need to sleep in the car. Many of these come with kids' favorite characters printed on them.
Tip : anufacturers sometimes offer coupons toward discount purchases. Keep an eye on your local newspaper or the mail for a sales circular.
Keepsakes don't have to just sit on a shelf. You can look for those -- like music boxes and piggy banks -- that kids can use now.
They come with angels, or as carousels, or to commemorate special occasions.
Spring for the acid-free paper for a special gift.
Decorated with balloons, boats, bears or ballerinas, these will be put to good use.
If it's silver, include a cleaning kit for mom and dad.
Many can be personalized. Even better, make it yourself.
Rattle, spoon, dishes or dresser set, most of which can be engraved.
Tooth fairy box
She'll always know where her baby teeth are stored.
Tip : A handmade or personal item can be more meaningful than a store-bought item.
For their Room
Furniture makes a great gift because kids this age are just beginning to transition into the "big kid" furniture they'll use for the next five or six years. And you don't have to be extravagant: Check unfinished-furniture and used-furniture stores for great buys.
Something small, just to get started. Make sure this matches the dÃ©cor of the room.
Kids love the independence of doing things themselves. A kid-organized closet lets her reach her own clothes and put her own sweaters away. An unusual gift, but one that the child will love having.
For children who are already moving out of the crib, something fun and inexpensive adorned with a favorite character will go over well. Inexpensive is the key here because tastes in characters change quickly.
The child's name in wooden letters, for example.
Consider the size of the child's bedroom and that the top drawers of tall dressers are harder for kids to get into.
Glow-in-the-dark wall and ceiling stick-ons
Decorate the ceiling with these, then watch the "stars" fill the sky.
If he doesn't already have one of these, now is the time. Decorative wooden ones make great gifts and are portable when families move.
Iron-on wall mural kit
These inexpensive kits allow parents to iron a pattern straight onto the bedroom wall and then simply paint in the lines to create artist-quality murals.
Decorative ones that match the child's bedroom theme are great. If you want to go all out, get the ones with a nightlight feature.
Allows you to turn the bedroom walls into a magnetic play board.
Another useful but unusual gift. If the child has a sliding closet door, consider getting mirrored doors for a two-in-one gift.
These come in many varieties and styles and are small enough to fit on a package or stuff inside a stocking.
In winter, a good set of flannel sheets will keep her warm. In summer, 100% cotton breathes for a good night's sleep.
For sitting or standing. Many wooden ones can be personalized.
A good transitional bed for agile children who are climbing out of their cribs or when space is limited. Crib mattresses fit in the frame. Check with parents first before buying this one.
Toddler tables and chairs
Kids love to have their own space. These are great for eating, coloring or entertaining.
If they don't have one yet, this is overdue. Some people prefer bins to toy chests, but anything that holds toys will work.
Many decorative styles are available; they come in wood and cloth.
Tip : Simple bookcases and toy chests can be made at home.
Multimedia & Music
Toddlers love to make silly sounds, so don't hesitate to give anything that makes music, including simple instruments.
CDs and cassettes
Sing-along songs for the car are great for long trips or for a quick diversion.
Drums, tambourines or toy keyboards, for example.
A keepsake or a toy; kids love music.
Toys that talk or play music
A delight for children this age, who want to push buttons and make things go.
Videos and DVDs
Ideally, with slow-moving images and few words.
Wind-up plush toy
Pull-string or wind-up. Kids love these interactive talking/singing toys.
Newly mobile toddlers are prone to exploring things they shouldn't, so while they might not get an immediate thrill out of a product designed to protect them, it still makes a thoughtful gift for the family. And they'll probably have loads of fun playing with the empty box.
Bath toy temperature gauge
Disguised as a toy, these record the water temperature.
Cabinet and drawer locks
The types that keep the doors and drawers from opening, and closing, give added protection.
Child-proof container caps
These slip over bottles, such as laundry detergent and bleach, to keep young kids out.
Coffee table guard
A soft edging that wraps around the top of the coffee table; found in a variety of sizes.
For kids that are starting to walk and push doors shut, this keeps little fingers from getting smashed.
Electrical outlet covers
At this age, still a gift for mom and dad. Every unused socket in the house should have one of these in it.
For elevated brick fireplaces, a soft wrap to place over the brick edge. Often found in modular pieces that fit end to end.
Either for the home, or something small for the car or diaper bag.
If the family doesn't have one yet, this makes a great big play yard out of one room and keeps curious toddlers out of harm's way. Great for separating animals from kids, too.
Sliding door guard
Keeps doors from sliding shut on small fingers.
Keeps fingers away from hot burners.
Many parents like ear thermometers, but rectal models are more accurate with high fevers. Digital models is easier to read.
Toys & Books
Once 1-year-olds are literally up and running, the great outdoors and outdoor toys provide endless fun. Make a book special by writing a personal note on the inside cover; make sure to include the date and occasion.
A great distraction during hair and ear washings.
A washcloth that doubles as a puppet.
Balls, boats, rubber toys, nesting cups and sponges. Make sure these are age-appropriate.
Kids love learning how the suction works. Some are larger with lots of bells and whistles and hang on the inside of the tub wall.
A floating structure with features such as wells, a paddle wheel and a squirter. Great for water experiments in the bathtub.
Balls and bats
Offered in a variety of toddler-size models.
Scooters without pedals for early riders.
Consider the size of the yard, and be sure to get one with a cover for rainy days.
Shovel and pail
The true beach and pool toys. It's best to have a separate set from the bath toys because the outdoor variety get pretty dirty.
Keep the size of the yard in mind. For smaller areas, inflatable styles are nice, though the hard plastic models stand up more to wear and tear.
Need considerable space for these in the yard.
Toddler-size play gyms
A set of tubes or squares; many have slides.
The classic gauge steel red wagon is always a hit, but these also come in plastic and a variety of styles.
Look in the mirror on one page, lace the shoe on the next, snap the snap on the next. These are great fun and travel well.
Attachable rattles and teethers
The smaller variety of attachable toy; it's easy to stow in diaper bags and pull out when needed.
Attachable stroller and car seat bars
Losing a favorite toy causes distress for both baby and parent and wastes time combing the park, sand and streets. These attachable activity toys provide hours of worry-free enjoyment.
Small, sturdy board books are best for cars and travel.
Not only a fun toy, but a good skill-builder.
Perfect for windows and restaurant tables.
Balls and soft toys
They squeak, jingle, or crinkle.
Check to be sure that these are safe for children younger than 3 years old.
Blocks and other building toys
Come in a large variety of sizes, from hand-held wooden blocks to floor-size plastic building squares to soft plush blocks.
Tie-on mirrors and activity centers, for example.
Best to get baby dolls as opposed to the 12-inch fashion doll, which includes parts that are too small for children this age. Soft centers are nice for cuddling.
Either a flat toy or a table, these include a variety of dials and buttons.
A great developmental toy, kids can either nest these together or build tall towers.
Jack-in-the-box was the original, but there are many of these now with multiple pop-up surprises.
Push and pull toys
New walkers like to use the push toys for balance. Strings should be cut to 12 inches or less on pull toys.
With five or fewer easy-to-grasp pieces.
Such as a wooden board with inserts for circles, squares, triangles and rectangles.
A classic tapered cone with multicolored rings. No home is complete without this one.
Make sure they're safe for children younger than 3 years old.
The larger teeth are coming in, and the baby teethers are probably shredded by now. It's time for a new, sturdier set.
Toddler-size train sets or just vehicles such as cars, trucks, dumpsters and planes.
Especially good for this age: board books that are made to withstand rough handling, simple rhyming books and those with textures and movable pieces.
Look in the mirror on one page, lace the shoe on the next, snap the snap on the next. These are great fun and travel well.
Perfect for little hands to handle.
Great for reading and chewing. These can usually be washed with the family laundry.
Electronic books that make sounds
A great combination of book and music.
These are the stories you grew up with - Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and Aesop -- though there are many other collections.
For moms and dads to read aloud and begin memorizing.
These are the lifeblood of books for young children. Large pictures with few words.
You might want to get two of these; they get torn easily.
Pull-tab action books
A child's first interactive book.
Tip #1 : School supply stores have great toys and books and are often open to the public.
Tip #2 : Check kids catalog companies for personalized gifts, such as doctor kits, pencil boxes or overnight bags.