It’s not easy to come up with first birthday gift ideas. There are so many options available and it’s difficult to keep up with each child’s unique development timetable and interests. These five suggestions will make shopping for that very special first birthday easy and, maybe even fun!
1. Go Small, Less is More
A twelve-month-old child is fascinated by all sorts of small things --- bubbles, balls, a small flashlight or garden tool, glow sticks, simple games and even packaging. Why not go small?
Select a few items and gift wrap them in various size boxes with safe packing materials such as colored tissue paper and biodegradeable packing peanuts. Then watch the child get wrapped up in the discovery process as they uncover these little trinkets.
2. Recycle and Repurpose for Hours of Fun
Even just a box itself can be a special gift. Small children love to “make forts” in oversized appliance or refrigerator boxes. Locate a discarded box, decorate it with paint, construction paper and age-appropriate decorations and you are sure to surprise and delight the youngster with this special structure made just for them with your own hands.
Like the idea but not sure you're up for the building project? No problem. You can purchase cardboard playhouse kits online!
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(price as of May 20, 2015)
3. Publish the People and Places in Their World
With all of the image customization tools available today it’s easy to create a picture book that a child will love. Websites such as Shutterfly, Mixbook, and even Walgreens Photo offer user-friendly programs to create picture books for youngsters.
Gather together photos of the child’s past year, or photos of special people in their lives. Then upload the images into easy-to-use page templates, and add a few words here and there and voila! You have a beautiful custom book that will be cherished for years to come.
Don’t fret if that you’re technologically challenged. Several sites offer services that do the work for you! All you have to do is supply the photos.
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(price as of May 20, 2015)
4. Teach the Value of Savings
Years ago almost everyone had a piggy bank to drop their loose coins in. This is a great nostalgic gift option. Piggy banks of all varieties are available on-line, in gift shops and in second-hand stores. Wrap one up with a couple of rolls of coins and you’ll have an interactive gift that also teaches the value of saving money.
5. Show Them The Value of Investing
Along the same lines, consider giving the child a Government Savings Bond or Investment Certificate. It may not be the most exciting gift that the one-year-old recipient receives, but it will well appreciated when they are older and the value of your gift has grown in value!
6. Develop a Reader
Give the gift of a subscription. You can order book and/or magazine subscriptions that will be delivered to the birthday boy/girl monthly throughout the entire year.
Visit a large bookstore in your neighborhood to check out what’s available for young readers. Then go on-line to process the subscription. Super easy!
7. Give the Gift of Experience
Think outside the box when choosing a gift card. Instead of giving one from a toy store, think about experience options. For example, a gift card that will cover the family’s admission to the local zoo, water park, kid’s museum or local festival will create memories that last well beyond the actual birth day celebration.
Consider what type of gift best fits the birthday child’s interests as well as the family’s lifestyle when you decide what kind of gift you will bring to the celebration. You may have budgeted enough to buy the birthday boy or girl a miniature castle, but that very generous gift may not be appreciated if it is doesn't fit the child's or parent's space and lifestyle.
Shopping for a gift that will be appreciated and valued by the child and the family is not always an easy task. Be sure to leave a comment with your own suggestions if you know of more ways to help those of us looking for First Birthday gift ideas.