As most of you know, our little Nate turned ONE last Monday (Oct. 26th). It still shocks me that my baby is one. He’s walking so well now. He hardly ever crawls any where anymore, unless he’s trying to get somewhere really fast! And he continuously babbles all day long. It’s totally adorable.
So since Christmas is RIGHT around the corner [like 7 Tuesdays away!] I thought I would write a little post today about all of the “Must Haves” for a one year old for Christmas. It’s actually worked out quite nicely with Nate having his birthday at the end of October because I can see which toys he really loves and the ones he only occasionally touches. Yes, I know it’s only been a week but that’s a long time for a toddler to discover new things. I’ve already noticed that Nate definitely has his “favourite” toys which gives me ideas about similar things to buy him for Christmas.
First on my (and Nate’s) list of “Must Haves” is this Country Critters Play Cube from Hape Toys. Nate absolutely LOVES this cube thing. He spends so much time standing beside it, knocking the wooden balls down the ramp, turning the turn dial, and playing with the puzzle shapes. I swear 80% of my day consists of locating the missing pieces of this toy because he gets himself so upset when we can’t find them. My dad and step-mom got him this cube for his birthday and I was really excited about it. I had seen something similar to it in Mastermind Toys back in the spring but when Kurt and I went back closer to the end of summer they had none left. I was so disappointed because we have a few friend’s with children who have similar play cubes and Nate really enjoyed playing with theirs so I’m really glad he got one for his birthday.
There’s five different sides of activities for toddlers to learn to how use their fine motor skills. It’s made of wood and uses water-based paint. It’s so bright and colourful and I’m positive it’ll stand up to the wear and tear of a one year old! Nate’s favourite part is definitely the wooden ball ramp. He stands there and pushes the balls through the holes and watches them bounce down the ramp. Once they’re at the bottom, he picks them up and starts all over again! He’s still a little too young to understand that it can use the little small hammer to hit the balls down but using his hands works perfectly fine for now.
Next are these Mega Bloks toys. Honestly, I think every kid loves Mega Bloks and Lego. I know I always enjoyed making Lego houses as a kid but since Nate is still so small, Lego is obviously a huge choking hazard. That being said, he really does enjoy these building blocks he got for his birthday so I’m almost 100% positive he’ll love Lego too when he gets older. The first Mega Bloks toy he got is a little dump truck that he loves pushing around on the floor or knocking it off the couch (haha) and the second is a larger wagon that he can pull around and actually pick up the pieces. It’s pretty cool although, I’ve found it’s a little tricky to pick up the larger Mega Bloks because they’re a little too chunky but the concept is pretty neat. I think once Nate is older it’ll help make “Clean Up” time a fun experience for him. He already loves picking his toys up and tossing them into the toy bin so I can just picture him pulling his wagon around the living room and gathering up all his blocks. His aunt also got him a huge bag of extra Mega Bloks so he’s going to have tons of building a head of him!
Fisher Price always has some really great toddler toys and this “Load & Go” train set is definitely one of them. I really like that there aren’t tons of tiny parts that he could either choke on or that could go missing. Everything is big enough that they don’t end up pushed under the couch but small enough that Nate’s little hands can easily grasp the parts. When you press down on the stream it makes a “Choo-choo” sound that Nate thinks is hilarious. He loves sitting on the floor while I drive the train around him in a circle saying “chug-a-chug-a” then pressing the choo-choo button. He laughs every time which in turn makes me laugh. The wheels turn very smoothly as well making it easy for Nate to push around the floor too. It comes with a little conductor, a dog, and two see through orb looking things plus a little rail way sign. You can even add onto the train buy purchasing other Fisher Price Little People train figures. There’s a really cute circus one you can find here!
So Kurt and I started buying Nate these Go-Go Smart Animals from V-Tech when he was like three months old. There was no real need for him to have them since they’re meant for 12m+ but they were cute and although he couldn’t drive them around their different tracks, each animal sings and says different things which would catch his attention. Now that he’s older, he’s starting to push them around on the floor so I think we can probably start setting up their tracks soon. The way the tracks work is actually pretty cool too. There are various “resting” or docking points along the way and when one of the animals comes to one of these spots each one has it’s own saying. Like when Tyrone the Tiger comes into contact with the igloo in the zoo he says “Burr! This is a cold place!” or when Larry the Lion is at the top of the mountain, he says “Yes. I belong here! At the top!”. It is pretty neat how they sense what spot they’re at and will automatically say something. If they aren’t at a docking spot, you can also press their hair on the top of their heads and it’ll prompt them to sing a song or say something new. Each animal also has it’s own name and will tell you a little blurb about themselves. Like Pearl the Panda will tell you she’s white with black spots or Ryan the Rhino will tell you he’s a brave rhino. Yeah, you could say we’ve played with them a time or two! If you buy a track it comes with one V-Tech Go-Go Smart Animal or you can buy the animals individually. Currently, Nate has Larry the Lion, Tyrone the Tiger, Perry the Pig, Pearl the Panda, Ryan the Rhino, Georgia the Giraffe, Zara the Zebra, a bear, and a hippo. And there’s still easily like 20 more animals to choose from! They’re divided into farm, zoo, and forest animals.
If your child isn’t into the Go-Go Animals don’t worry because V-Tech also has Go-Go Smart Wheels. It’s basically the exact same thing only there’s trains, police cars, fire trucks; that sort of thing. They also have their own tracks that include various docking points too. V-Tech has some really great toys and are definitely worth the price! They’re all educational and I know Nate is learning when he’s playing with them even if he doesn’t realize it.
Nate also has a bunch of puzzles from Walmart similar to the above picture. He really likes playing with them although, his puzzle playing really means chewing on and throwing the pieces. But eventually I know he’ll start figuring out that the pieces go into certain spots. I can see him now starting to put it together in his mind but he tends to think that one piece will fit in any spot he chooses but at least he’s trying! I really like that the pieces are bigger and therefore; decrease the choking risk that other puzzles might pose. And since they’re made of wood I know they aren’t going to become super soggy and start breaking a part when Nate chews on them.
I absolutely LOVE books. I’ve always really enjoyed reading and now getting to share some of my favourite childhood books with Nate just makes my heart soooo happy!! I like getting him the thicker page books because he can’t actually rip the pages out and if he chews on them, they don’t fall a part. Above are a few of my favourite books to read to him. Nate is at the age where he doesn’t really like to sit still long enough for me to get through a book but I still like reading aloud to him even if he’s off playing on the other side of the room. A few of my other favourite books include: The Gruffalo and the Gruffalo’s Child, Tabby McTat, Who’s in the Garden and Who’s in the Barn, H is for Hockey, Moose, The Crown on Your Head, and Curious George and the Fire Truck. I would highly recommend all of those! Amazon and Chapters are great places to find books for your little ones!
And since I can hear that Nate has woken up from his afternoon nap, I’ll leave you with that short but hopefully helpful list of mine [and Nate’s] “Christmas Must Haves” for a one year old!
Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below with any of yours or your child’s favourite toys since I’m always looking for gift ideas!