First, a disclaimer...I promise this blog will not become completely kids/baby-focused. My love and my intent for blogging is still interior design, but because of my season of life I feel like I have several things I'd like to share that are baby/kids related. I hope it will be fun and helpful to most of you reading this. I know I have researched SO much stuff during my pregnancy and then in the first year of our daughter's life, and so many of the great recommendations I found came from other bloggers. I found their advice and product picks to be invaluable as I was registering, getting used to having a new baby, and now entering toddlerhood. Hopefully offering a few favorite ideas of my own will be helpful to you guys, too!
All that said, I can't believe our daughter is about to turn one! Everyone says it - but it really does fly by. I have loved every single minute and tried to soak up every second. Each new stage brings with it a learning curve, and now I'm preparing for her first birthday as her entry into toddlerhood. I have been researching some fun and educational toys that would make great gifts to carry her through her second year of life. I am one of those people who doesn't want tons and tons of toys overrunning the house, but a few well-chosen, special pieces can really go a long way.
Of course, I tried to balance aesthetics with fun and usefulness. It really does make a difference if you don't have the world's ugliest hunk of plastic sitting in your living room for six months in the form of a baby contraption. So, all of these gifts were chosen with both little and mama in mind!
Ice Cream Set | Is there anything cuter than a pretend sundae to play ice cream shop with?! This set is so classic.
Maileg Ballerina Mouse | I love the Maileg toy company. Everything they make is charming, whimsical and special. In fact, the Scandinavians just know how to do kids toys and play spaces better than we Americans. It seems every play room photo I pin is Scandinavian in origin. You can't go wrong with anything Maileg makes, but I'm especially partial to this sweet little ballerina in her own matchbox bed!
Baby Doll | I searched high and low for a baby that was pretty and practical. I hope she loves this classic doll for years to come.
Pop Up Piano | I first spotted this fun toy in Barnes and Noble (who has a great toy selection, by the way!) and it is so fun! Press the keys and watch the little jacks fly from spot to spot.
Wooden Push Toy | Push toys are a toddler staple, but I had to search hard for something aesthetically pleasing. This wooden model is darling and comes with woodland-themed blocks as well.
Little People House | Little people are so perfect for tiny hands learning to handle objects, and this cottage is so charming.
Play Tea Cakes | You guys, I have a serious play food obsession. It was hard for me not to list every tiny plush cake, ice cream, fruit basket and breakfast spread I found. I think it's all totally darling!
Felt Doughnuts | Ok, so more play food. But I ordered these handmade felt doughnuts from Etsy a couple months ago and can vouch that they are simply the cutest! They come complete with sprinkles, are very well-made, and completely adorable.
Zany Zoo | My friend's daughter got this at her first birthday and was totally enthralled with it. I've remembered her reaction ever since, and knew it would be a hit.
Books: Tallulah's Tutu | I Had a Favorite Dress | Miss Lina's Ballerinas | We are still in the board book phase, but I'm excited to start building her library for when she's a little older and can enjoy a longer story (on real paper!). These are such sweet tales with gorgeous illustrations (not to mention they'll look lovely in the nursery)
Play Table and Chairs | There are several larger items I am just dying to get our girl like a teepee, play kitchen and proper doll house, but I'll wait til she's a bit older and can enjoy receiving such special gifts more. But I do think a pint-sized play table is a must starting pretty young. This farmhouse-inspired one from Target is just too cute and looks practically indestructible!
Wooden Xylophone | All of Pottery Barn Kids' toys are so timeless. Our girl loves to make music and this wooden xylophone is a classic every child will love.
Ride-On Swan | Beautiful and fun, this pretty swan is such an ethereal addition to a play room.
Wooden Shopping Cart | Because you've got to have a way to cart around all the play food your mom bought you ; )
For all you mamas (and grandmas) out there - what are some of your favorite toys and gifts for a one-year old? I'd love to know your favorites!
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