First Birthday Gift Ideas

I am in shock that it’s almost Ford’s first birthday. It just doesn’t seem possible that he is going to be one! I’ve done a LOT of research and have been pulling together all the ideas of gifts for this milestone birthday. keep reading for the best gift ideas i have found with help from the toy experts!

When looking for first birthday gifts, I kept the following criteria in mind:

  1. Must be somewhat educational or creative. I try to avoid anything that is too “flashy” or just focused on looking at a screen. We stick to 15-mins of screen time per day!

  2. Must be affordable. I wanted to buy several items, so was focused on gifts in the $50 and under range.

  3. Must be something that Ford will get lots of use out of. Not looking for one-time use toys or anything that wouldn’t keep him interested.

With all of that information in mind, I wanted to ask the experts on what toys would be worth investing in for a first birthday gift. SO, I enlisted my friends at Learning Tree Toys, a local children’s toy company that I support and trust to share advice with me. I trust them because they have education in mind - most of their staff are former teachers. Their ideas were so helpful, I thought I would share with you!

Learning Tree Toys has two locations in the Kansas City area including the Corinth Shops and Park Place Leawood. We went to the free story time at Corinth this week (every Tuesday at Corinth and every Wednesday at Park Place at 10:30 a.m.) and had the best time! Highly recommend for all ages.

  • Sorting & Stacking Toys - Spin Again by Fat Brain Toys, $29.99 

    A wonderfully interactive toy, good for gross and fine motor. Takes the classic ring-stacking toy to the next level!

  • Indestructible Cars & Trucks - WOW brand cars and trucks $24.99-$54.99

    These toys are virtually indestructible and offer a great amount of play value, lasting until age 5 or 6. They have many compartments for little hands to open and close, and small figurines for added play. The best part? Nothing swallow able for little ones! 

  • Musical Toys - New!! Musical Bongos by Melissa and Doug $19.99

    Who doesn’t love music? Especially when it is made by your little one. This is an adorable new toy that has a soft exterior and a musical component inside. You can set the bongos to only make noise when struck or to have a musical beat going and incorporate the bongo sound when your child taps on them. Plus, it has volume control!

  • Interactive Sound Books - New!! Noisy Books by Tiger Tails $12.99 

    These are new interactive sound books that also feature a touch and feel section on each page. You can feel the different textures and then push on them to make a unique noise. We have these books available in three different themes: Dinosaurs, Trucks, and Farm.

  • Wooden Busy Cube Activity Center - Country Critter Play Cube by Hape $149.99 

    This a great 1st birthday gift! It is an investment piece that children will play with far beyond the toddler stage. A busy cube, much like you would see at a Dr.’s office, but even cuter and with more play pieces to interact with. Very well made wooden middle with colorful activity pieces to play with. Great for gross an fine motor skills now, and counting and spatial relationships later.

  • Puzzles - Sunny Valley Puzzle by Hape $15.99 

    This puzzle is for ages 12 mos plus. And, is really innovative as it features three different backgrounds for the same puzzle pieces. It allows you to change the puzzle each time, so even after your little one grows into the puzzle and starts recognizing the repetition, you can change it to have a fun new puzzle. Great size for traveling!

Aren’t these ideas so great?

It was so helpful to have this list to refer to when doing my shopping. I also love supporting a local business, like Learning Tree Toys, because they are truly educational toy experts! I am planning to get a few of the items on this list (thinking the interactive sound books, puzzles and musical toys), and am also referring any family members that ask us for ideas to visit their store!

In addition to these suggestions, we decided on doing two “BIG” gifts for Ford’s first birthday. And to be honest, we may or may not have gone overboard. But here are two other gift ideas that what we are giving Ford for his first birthday…

  1. We are turning our bonus room off of the kitchen into a playroom! We purchased a cute teepee (under $60) to set-up as a ‘reading nook’ and are going to put his book shelves next to it, along with comfy pillows and blankets. We are repurposing a lot of our furniture, so not spending too much to make this room happen but the goal is to give him a functional and fun place space to enjoy. I think he will love having all of his toys and books in one place!

  2. We also bought this water table (found this one for only $30). Ford loves playing outside and we thought this would be a fun gift for him to grow with and to give him something to do when we are hanging out on our back patio.

  3. Ford loved this grocery cart when we stopped by Learning Tree Toys, so might have to get this, too!

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