Sugar and spice are probably not in her diet just yet, but her first birthday will be everything nice! Whether Mom and Dad are your friends, siblings, cousins, or co-worker, this first birthday party is going to be a great time to connect with people you care about and spend some time with the world’s coolest mini-princess, and you want to get her the perfect birthday gift.
Baby girl toys and baby boy toys don’t differ that much, since both genders have basically the same play preferences at this stage, so any of these items would be fine for a boy as well; we’re just skewing this list a little bit girly and a little bit pink. The best toys for toddler girls and toddler boys engage their senses and encourage them to develop their motor skills and enhance their knowledge of the world.
They’re beginning to be mobile, so they’ll love baby toys that help them get around, like walkers and push-and-pull toys, and they’re getting better at gripping and manipulating items, so they’ll love experimenting with sorting and stacking. And they’re beginning to engage in imaginative play, so this is a great time to introduce a toddler to her first baby dolls, bath toys, and early pretend-play toys.
We divvied up this list into three categories according to the skills the toys help toddlers develop: locomotion, fine-motor skills, and verbal/intellectual skills. Any item on the list makes an awesome gift – just choose the one that fits your budget, and you’re all set!
Moving and Grooving
Skip Hop Alphabet Zoo Rock & Stack Pull Toy ($19.99)
There are so many ways to play with this pull toy! Adjust the wheels downward, and your child can pull the wooden toy along; adjust the wheels upwards, and it’s a rocking wooden toy boat for animal pals to ride on. Each animal has a two-piece body to stack in order (or stack in the wrong order, for plenty of giggles – how about a lion body and an elephant head?).
HaPe / Educo Butterfly Pusher ($24.99)
Toddling around behind a push-toy is great fun for a kid who’s working on mastering some basic footwork: she pushes the Butterfly Pusher, and the wings flap. It’s a simple formula for childhood delight, and it’s a beautiful classic wooden toy sourced from FSC-managed forests.
Kettler Happy Navigator in Prinzessin Pink ($209.99)
Want to go super-deluxe with your gift-giving? This terrific trike adjusts for kids’ abilities and size from one year all the way up to five years! Kids can start by being pushed by Mom or Dad with the handy removable pushbar – an adjustable rear-navigation system makes pushing easier for parents, and the handlebars and pedals can be locked. Once kids are ready to pedal, just unlock everything and remove the tricycle pushbar, and let the fun begin!
Sorting and Stacking
Kidoozie Peek n Peep Eggs ($12.99)
Farm-fresh fun! Lift each eggshell (printed with a silly face) to see a colorful chick – then press the chick to make it squeak. Kids will love matching the chicks and eggs, and you’ll love watching the kids giggle over it.
P’kolino Stack & Play Melody Maker Xylophone ($29.99)
Take two classic toddler play patterns – stacking and pounding – and add a musical element, and you’ve got an irresistible toy for any child! Each wooden block has a chiming xylophone plate that produces a different note, encouraging kids to experiment with music and rhythm as they stack and sort.
B. Elemenosqueeze Blocks ($39.99)
Stack ‘em, squeeze ‘em, play with ‘em in the bath, sort ‘em by color, use ‘em to print animals on Play-Doh, have fun identifying all the animals printed on these soft baby blocks… there’s no end to the fun!
The Magic of Make-Believe
Tomy Do-Re-Mi Dolphins Bath Toy ($19.99)
Have some good clean fun! The dolphins whistle when kids whack their heads, and can be mixed and matched with their floating rings, blown into for a louder whistle, linked together to form a musical scale, and more.
Earlyears Baby Tea Party ($27.99)
Care for a cuppa? These adorable tea party essentials each have a friendly smile and a sound effect – the cups rattle and jingle, the teabags and croissant crinkle, and the cupcake rattles too. Plus, the teapot plays… exactly the song you would expect a little teapot to play! And it’s all just too, too cute.
Mirari Pop! Pop! Piano ($27.99)
Press a piano key, and a star pops up and rattles against the plastic dome and falls back into a pipe. Remove the dome, and the star will shoot across the room! The Pop! Pop! Piano combines musical play, cause-and-effect play, physical play, social play, and more, and older kids and even parents love playing with it too. Plus, it’s just a gorgeous toy. Nobody in the family will be getting bored with it anytime soon.
Manhattan Toy Baby Stella ($34.99)
Every little girl needs a baby doll! Baby Stella has a soft, snuggly body with sweet details including toes and a belly button, and her clothing and diaper are removable, so kids can start learning how to dress and undress their dolly. And we love how her pacifier attaches with a magnet.
Smartmax Basic 25-Piece Magnetic Building Set ($49.99)
This cleverly-designed magnetic toy for the littlest builders has safely-embedded magnets, and lets kids experiment with the way magnets work along with basic building play. Watch new concepts click into place and her skills build up skyward!
Don’t see what you’re looking for here? These are only a few of the hundreds of great gifts at mbeans.com and in our six store locations. Plus, we’ve got toy whizzes handy for you to consult by phone, email, or live chat – contact us, and we’ll make some great recommendations!