Developmentally Appropriate First Birthday Gifts

In response to our post on our favourite (developmentally appropriate) toys, I had a few of you asking what we wound up getting Anderson for his first birthday. It sounds like a lot of your littles are quickly approaching the one year mark as well. CONGRATS!

What a whirlwind of emotions the first birthday brings, eh? No, just me plasterings Instagram with overly sentimental birthday posts? Good to know.

These are a combination of gifts we got Anderson and were given to him. All the photos are linked right to Amazon, so you can get them into your cart and shipped right to your front door. Because let’s be honest, no one has time to actually go to the store to shop.

Melissa & Doug Wooden Latches Board


Guys, this one has brought us ENDLESS entertainment. This was a gift from Anderson’s cousins and it has yet to get boring. The latches provide great fine motor practice, that’s practical. It gives him experience with different latches hell come into contact every day. It also provides good problem-solving stimulation as he works to figure out how each latch opens and closes.  Inside each door is a number with corresponding animals, each in a different color. So you can practice your number recognition, colour naming, and 1:1 correspondence.

Wooden Thomas Trains and Tracks

Not sure if this one is more for Anderson or Jay 😛 We have been collecting the wooden Thomas Trains and tracks as we go. So we have suggested to grandparents to get him a new train for any holiday. It is a great open-ended plaything that as he ages will inspire creativity and imagination. It also provides good motor skills development as he builds (and unbuilds) tracks, and rolls trains along.

Grimm’s 12-Piece Rainbow Stacker

This was our special gift for him on his first birthday. A friend with a mind-blowingly talented husband was able to encourage him to build her kids their own. We, unfortunately, aren’t nearly as gifted.  You Clever Monkey has some great ideas on how to play with the rainbow stacker!

Djeco Cardboard Stacking Blocks

My aunt gifted Anderson these cardboard stacking blocks, and they are AMAZING. Each side has a different image. One side is a tree puzzle that grows as you match and stack the blocks. Other faces have shapes and numbers. Anderson also loves to toss balls and other items into the open end of the blocks. Or shake the smallest block around inside the largest.  But best of all, we live in an apartment so space is at a premium, so these stack up tidily, and small. A major win over here!

HABA Lighthouse Wooden Rainbow Stacker

Anderson’s little bestie got him this toy. He LOVES it. It is easier for him to stack than the ring stackers at this stage of his development.

Melissa and Doug Wood Magnets

We have an IKEA SPONTAN magnetic board that we lean against a wall. We got Anderson the wooden letters, and my sister-in-law gifted us the animals. We LOVE magnets over here. The fine motor of putting them on and off the board is wonderful. They also inspired curiosity as Anderson moves about the house trying to stick the magnets on different surfaces, and learning what will hold the magnets and what won’t. We also spend a lot of time labeling the letter or animal that Anderson points to. This makes them a great language development tool.


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