Help a mother out!

If you enjoy this site, please consider using the link below to shop at Amazon as I'll get a small percentage which helps to pay for the running of the site. Posts may contain affiliate links, see my disclosure policy.

Friday, 8 July 2016

What to buy the one-year-old who has it all

What to buy the one-year-old who has it all: first birthday present rules and ideas
As you will probably have read already, last week 'the baby' (henceforth, the small toddler) turned a whole year old!

One whole, entire year of ridiculous sleep deprivation, explosive poos and almost daily vomit until a few months ago. I genuinely don't know how, but we survived. Hurrah! I'm bloody tired, I look ten years older, but we survived.

Now, two things are a must for any first birthday. Cake, and presents. And balloons so that makes three really.

The cake was sorted. Balloons don't take much thought. However, it emerges that buying first birthday presents when you have another child not much older is actually rather difficult.

Turning one and looking glum - about to get his Magformers buggy car
Birthdays are such a
happy occasion
Does a one-year-old even need birthday presents? 

Well, no, probably not. I was listening to a radio call-in show a few weeks ago where the topic under debate was parents who admitted to gifting their child the same toy for Christmases and birthdays for the first few years. Others condemned them; I thought 'What a good idea'.

It's a bit late for that though. Like many parents, when our first child turned one there was an overwhelming choice of toys and it was new and exciting; it was hard not to go overboard. Now, our firstborn is well versed in the ways of birthdays and presents (and unwrapping) and we have to get something even if it's just for appearances; and if we are going to bring more plastic into our home, it might as well be something good.
The big toddler helping the birthday boy to open his presents
What constitutes a good present for a one year old?

It's difficult to say. Their eyes light up upon being handed any number of strange household objects. However for me, it had to stick to the following criteria;

Title text over picture of my son playing with his Magformers buggy car
1. Cannot take up a whole bloody room 
In theory, this should be fairly easy to achieve however a lot of presents aimed at this age group are of the sit-on or play-in nature; trikes, cars, garden toys, houses, kitchens, ball pools, sandpits, trampolines... As an aside, if you don't have the space, be sure to tell grandparents this; perhaps suggest that any very large items be kept at their house for when they babysit. That'll nip it in the bud.


2. Will still appeal to them in six months or more 
Baby toys are, I have realised, a huge waste of space. Give them a remote control and a wooden spoon and they're happy. Packing up masses of toys which they've grown out and probably never showed much interest in is a huge chore so it's best to get something with a bit of longevity.

3. Must not be obnoxiously loud, irritating, or have catchy tunes. 
Silence is golden. This should go without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway just in case. Obviously this rule only applies to your own children. If it's someone you don't like very much then go nuts.

4. Needs to be something we don't already have
Ahhh, therein lies the rub. See the list of obnoxiously big items in 1)? We have them ALL. I scoured the internet for suggestions but we have enough blocks to build a new house, have shape sorters, have jigsaws and beepy things with buttons a plenty. We took a trip to Toys R Us and apparently we already own the entire shop. 

I was about to give in and wrap up some of the toddler's toys and hope she wouldn't notice when I came across the company Magformers.

They very kindly sent me a 'my first buggy car' kit. The packaging states 3+ but I was told that they have been retested and deemed safe for 18m+ and obviously, it goes without saying that all play is supervised. They're not quite feral, yet.
Magformers my first buggy car kit
The kit comes with 14 magnetic pieces including two pairs of wheels, and cards with 16 different car designs. Perhaps we might work towards this bit, I'm thinking it might be a little complex for the one year old right now (possibly a little complex for me but fingers crossed).
Magformers buggy car
So what did the birthday boy think?
Unwrapping first birthday presents
He's little. It went straight in his mouth. However after a bit of encouragement he has learned that he can stick bits together making a pleasing 'clack' sound and then pull them apart which he enjoys immensely. He also likes driving the completed article around with his hands, decimating it in the process and then whining until it is put back together, although I don't really have the patience for this game.

And what about his older sister?
Siblings playing nicely together for a minute
I'm actually impressed with what she's managed to do with the magnetic pieces. Not make a car, but then she has zero interest in cars so that's unsurprising. She's using the shapes to make bigger shapes, and telling me what they are. It sounds educational enough for me. I'm might get her a kit for her third birthday later this year. I think it might even be something they could play with together (probably wishful thinking), as long as we don't lose all the bits first.

Thank you very much Magformers for sending me the kit free of charge for the purposes of this review. Follow them on Twitter here! You can buy the kit from Amazon here .

This post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Liked this?

Get blogs by email:



Or come join me here:
 

32 comments:

  1. Blimey, how quickly does he unwrap that car?! You list of 'no bloody way' considerations is bang on. We got a very foolish zebra scooter for Mouse's birthday which was huge, noisy, hard to construct despite being big fat plastic, no longevity, and did i mention noisy. It's now back out, for some reason and there is NO ROOM!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We got the big one a ballapalooza for her first birthday. What a stupid fucking thing that was.

      Delete
  2. Ooh this looks like the sort of thing Piglet would like. It's his birthday at the end of the month so might be worth looking into! #tribe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should definitely - they don't take up much room. Just make sure you don't lose bits!

      Delete
  3. Agreed. My son loves the Sky remote and I have not bought any new toys in the last couple months, does this make me a bad mother? We're going to a boot fair on Saturday maybe we'll find something there... #triballove

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No way. If you just have the one and they're small and you can resist buying tat for the sake of it, you could still have a plastic-free house for some months to come...

      Delete
  4. It's actually quite difficult to buy for a one year old isn't it? If it doesn't have an 'off' button then its not coming through my front door. That does narrow it down a bit! #Triballove

    ReplyDelete
  5. Poor old Feral Child #2 basically only gets presents so that Feral Child #1 doesn't get confused. It's so difficult to know what to buy them when your first child has been completely spoiled and already has all the toys and clothes ready to hand down (First world problems or what?!)
    FC#2 will be nearly 3 by Xmas and is starting to develop some interests now, so maybe it gets easier as they get older.
    #triballove

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm with you on the obnoxiously loud toys....grrrrr #chucklemums

    ReplyDelete
  7. The Popple would probably love something like this. She's a bit obsessed with cars/trucks/buses - anything with wheels, really. I went through the same issues when I tried to find something for her first birthday, before finally settling on a toy laptop in the hopes that she would lose interest in mine. I bet you can guess how well that worked. #chucklemums

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ooh they look good. I remember the big ones first couple of Christmases and jusy realising I should have just wrapped empty boxes up instead! #chucklemums

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ooh they look good. I remember the big ones first couple of Christmases and jusy realising I should have just wrapped empty boxes up instead! #chucklemums

    ReplyDelete
  10. Presents... A difficult one and you have to make space for it. Not my idea of fun as I have myself lots of stuff. Baba has so many things twice already. It's insane! I agree, give them a spoon and they are happy. Mine is fascinated with our coasters' collection! #chucklemums

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great way to package a review with a funny, useful and relevant post. I got my niece one of those sets of wooden pegs with a hammer for her first birthday, I remembered having one around when we were kids and I was delighted to find was called a "pounding bench". It went down really well until her wealthy uncle also gave her one.... Engraved with her name on it!!! My daughter prefers wrapping paper to presents anyway. #chucklemums

    ReplyDelete
  12. I keep making the same mistake and buying gifts for my son about a year earlier than he will actually be able to use them! So at each birthday or Christmas I feel like the last set of gifts have only just started to have some use! I also don't understand people that buy their kids toys that consume half the room or garden. Perhaps I'm selfish, but I don't want to have to edge around a pretend kitchen in my living room, or crane my neck to look over mounds of toys in order to watch television. I will definitely be checking out these Magformers though. It looks great! #chucklemums

    ReplyDelete
  13. Awww so cute!! Happy birthday little bub! Very cool gift idea. #chucklemums

    ReplyDelete
  14. haha - "what did he think? it went straight in his mouth" lol that did make me laugh! It is so so hard, kids these days have everything anyway! daughter 2 got much much less than daughter 1 when her first birthday rolled round.. did she remember? nope! result! ;) #chucklemums

    ReplyDelete
  15. God it's so difficult isn't it. I genuinely can't even remember what we got our second for his first birthday! We have two boys as well so, even though I know gender doesn't necessarily mean much, for ours, it just means they both absolutely love anything with wheels. Which means I might look into these magnetic things! Something we don't actually have! Hoorah! Thanks for hosting #chucklemums

    ReplyDelete
  16. We struggled so badly with our 3rd ones 1st birthday. Me and my other half ended up having a domestic over it actually because he told me to wrap up some toys he hadn't played with for a while and give him those because he didn't know any different. Boys....
    Love the look of those magnetic things! Never seen them before.xx
    #chucklemums

    ReplyDelete
  17. My two are the same age as yours, and the little one turns 1 on Friday. Considering just wrapping up the remote control as that's her favourite plaything. Do like the look of the Magformers - definitely going on the list for my soon-to-be 3 yr old! #chucklemums

    ReplyDelete
  18. You can't beat a fun game that helps with dexterity and all. Loved the blurry action shot of your son whipping off the wrapping paper at super speed. I always enjoy the unbridled arsiness of the child whose birthday it isn't in our house. We do a tradition of an inexpensive 'unbirthday' present for the non birthdaying one, it doesn't hold back the tide of jel for long! Your two look like they are super good together over his birthday shenanigans #chucklemums

    ReplyDelete
  19. I completely agree with your list. We got the baby 'useful' things for his birthday, which his sisters opened. What a thrilling day he had!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm a number two too. To be clear, I'm the second child with an older sister so am on high alert for getting second dibs at presents! Fab you've found a gift that works for both kids a real 2 for 1 deal! well done. Jo #chucklemums

    ReplyDelete
  21. Perfect 1 year old gifts: wine & chocolate - obviously not to give to them but worth getting and wrapping up just to get everyone in the present mood, as this shared joy will be good for the 1 year old, who enjoys seeing his parents happy. Aside from that, some colourful plastic crap - just not 10 talking V-Tech toys... #chucklemums

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we have all the talking v tech toys now. ALL OF THEM.

      Delete
  22. It's really hard! It stays hard until you can trick them into thinking they desperately wanted whatever it is you've got them! I can still do that with my daughter, I 'help' her write her Christmas list on Christmas Eve and (surprise, surprise) she gets whatever she asked for, specifically what she asked for!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Feel obliged to pop back again to say #chucklemums ! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the review and to all parents (like we are) if you go to www.Magformers.co.uk we hope you find something you like.

      Delete
  24. It really is so hard getting presents for a child with an older sibling not much older than them - I have that problem. The magformers look interesting - never heard of them before. #chucklemums

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If any bloggers or parents are interested in a set of Magformers, we have discount codes available via marketing(at)Magformers(dot)Co(dot)uk email.

      Delete

Totally agree? Have irrational rage? Please leave me a comment! I love to read them.