Okay make that birthday wish list for a one year old's mother ;) Or it could be called: what my kids try to sneak home from their friends' houses. Or it could be called: what won't end up in the donation pile.
My brother, Conor's godfather, asked me a bit ago what to get Conor for his birthday. I answered with books! because we can never have enough good books. We'll give Conor an extra bath and some streamers on his birthday, but we aren't going to buy him any presents because ... he is one. Maybe we are weird. Sorry, boys, maybe you drew the short end of the stick on this one! But, just because we aren't going to buy anything ourselves doesn't mean that we don't thankfully accept gifts from doting grandparents and the like. I rounded up a bunch of quality items that my boys always make a bee line for at other people's houses starting around this age. I could make this whole thing books, but I will refrain for another day. Here is a budget-friendly list of classic toys + regular items that the baby will love, should last for the long haul and that won't make the you recoil at the thought of the annoying noises that will plague you post-birthday.
Toys Under $15
1) Melissa & Doug Magnetic Wooden Alphabet I think you will find these on many, many refrigerators in this country. You can't go wrong with a good way to buy some time for cooking dinner without someone hanging off of your leg.
2) Hape Tambourine. This one is easy to hold and lightweight so shake, shake, shake!
3) The Original Toy Company Pop Up Fire Truck. The peg fire fighters are cute, but I love how much Ryan would concentrate when pushing down to get the pegs to pop up.
5) Inflatable Beach Balls - I know they are meant for the beach, but I'm picturing these bringing lots of entertainment through the long winter. Like most babies, Ryan and Conor love balls and these have a low likelihood of knocking anything over.
Toys Under $25
1) Melissa and Doug Classic Bead Maze. A true classic.
2) Learning Resources Jumbo Farm Animals. Again, going with animals is kind of a guarantee in our house. I like that these are life-like and a bit bigger so they aren't as easy to lose.
3) Pacific Play Tents Find Me Multi Color 6' Tunnel. This would be another winter lifesaver. Lots of energy to be spent.
4) EverEarth Jr. Size Ramp Race. It's pretty fun to watch the baby's eyes go back and forth, back and forth as the little wooden cars race down.
5) Plan Toy Push Toy. Another one for exercise. Tire those babies out!
Items You Probably Already Have
1) Solo Cups. Right? Baby's favorite.
2) Water bottles, plastic or metal.
3) Measuring cups and spoons. If you get sick of having to counting how many 1/3 cups you added to your cooking because some cute baby snagged your 1 cup, just find a set for the baby at a garage sale or thrift store.
4) Sunglasses. It's nice that it seems that giving away free, cheap sunglasses at events to be a thing because we somehow have many pairs Ryan and Conor can wear/break without a care.
5) Empty wipes containers. Conor has been trying to push things into the wipes slot, but you can also fill it with scraps of fabric so your baby can pull them out.
You can normally find any of these toys at a local consignment shop so check there first before buying new!
Last note - make sure you keep the boxes because we know those are really the golden ticket to those babies' hearts.
So tell me, what other items that aren't even toys are great for you? What toy has been a hit?
I originally intended to just list five toys, but then it grew and grew. But the sets of five still make it eligible for Five Favorites, right?