First Birthday Gifts

Birthday_Cake_derivFirst birthdays are exciting times for both parents and children.  For most, it’s the first time their little fingers are opening presents, so it’s important to get a gift which will be remembered forever, and loved by the child as well.

First birthday gifts can be tricky because the child is in all reality still a “baby”,  however, there are certain gifts which all 1-year-olds (and their parents) are bound to love and cherish for years to come.

Puzzles are both educational and fun; a wonderful gift for the young developing mind.  Wooden puzzles, especially chunky ones, are easy for the little ones to hold and can withstand being nibbled a bit too.  Wooden puzzles will last a long time, and can he happily played with from babyhood to childhood. (Parents and children alike will love this Hape Toy’s Alphabet Puzzle from Stevenson’s Toys in Southampton.)

Because a baby is still small at one years old, it’s beneficial to give a gift which the child can grow with, or even grow into. Classic toys, such as a wooden wagon, dollhouse, or kitchen set, will be a little big for a one year old, but a perfect toy for them as they grow. (The All Terrain Wagon from Stevenson’s Toys is sure to be a hit for many years. OR an all season wooden dollhouse from Bridgehampton’s Second Star to the Right is perfect for either a boy or girl’s first birthday.)

BookRevueMake a mark on the baby’s bookshelf and gift them a classic book set, such as Peter Rabbit. Or, perhaps choose a book set which will be loved in the future, such as the Wizard of Oz Books, or Harry Potter series.  (The Dolphin Bookshop in Port Washington has a varied and vast assortment of both fiction and non-fiction books for children. Book Revue in Huntington village also features children’s books by local Long Island authors.)

We can’t forget that the first birthday is about the parents too, so give a gift which the family can enjoy! A wonderful idea for a non-physical gift is buying the baby a museum membership. This way, the whole family can enjoy the gift, and it will last a whole year. (A perfect gift would be membership to The Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City; or perhaps, membership to a playspace, such as The Sandbox in Huntington or Once Upon a Treetop in Plainview.)

Young children and babies love any toys which make noise, so musical instruments are the perfect gift! They not only help them make a lot of noise, but they are wonderful social-skills learning tools, and brain building tools. (The Melissa and Doug Piano, or Beginner Band Set from Fun Stuff Toys in Seaford are wonderful and memorable gifts. If you need a smaller gift, Not Just Art in Oyster Bay is chock full of maracas, shakers, and bells.)

Around one years old is when a child starts to learn to walk, so give a push toy as a first birthday gift and help them on their journey to walking. (The Galloping Zebra Cart from Stevenson’s Toys is not only functional, but adorably styled as well. The Rattle Rumble Push Toy from G. Willikers Gifts in Locust Valley is a fun and noisy walker for toddling little ones.)

md2782_1Another classic toy, which is a great first birthday gift is a set of wooden blocks or stacking blocks; these come in handy for learning to build, make shapes, and count!(Babies can learn their letters and how to play with blocks using the Classic ABC blocks from Fun Stuff Toys. Learning Tower Toys in Port Jefferson has a large assortment of blocks and stacking toys to choose from. G. Willikers Gifts in Locust Valley has Alphabet Nesting and Stacking Blocks, which are both educational and fun for babies, toddlers, and young children.)

Don’t forget the classic rocking horse, which may be a little big for a one year old, but will surely sit pretty until baby is old enough to rock the night away. (Little Switzerland Dolls in Huntington village has a gorgeous assortment of rocking animals for all children.)

–We want to know, do you have a “GO-TO” when it comes to 1st birthday gifts? Share it with us!

By: Olivia Howell

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