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

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What to buy the one-year-old who has it all: first birthday present rules and ideas and a review of Magformers buggy car

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.

 

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