When we moved into to our home a few years ago, we reduced our livable square footage significantly. Gone are the days of walk in closets in every bedroom and countless storage options. I like to think of our home as cozy, i.e. small, but, it truly is perfect in most ways for our family.
However…as our family continues to grow, our stuff seems to be multiplying by the day. Our closets are packed and the basement is full to say the least. Well intended and much appreciated birthdays gifts, Christmas surprises, and Easter basket trinkets, are not helping our situation. In an effort to regain control of our ‘problem’, I now seek out gifts that are sturdy and timeless; yet entertaining, so that they can be passed on to younger siblings. Below is my gift to you – a list of timeless, very much loved gifts we have enjoyed over the years:
- Convertible bike – This is by far one of the best first birthday gifts my daughter received! She is now 2 1/2 years old and her love of this bike only seems to be growing.
- Ride on toys – a small car or bike is great option for zipping around the basement for a bit in the winter months.
- Pop-up tents and tunnels – we LOVE our play tent and tunnels from Ikea. They store nicely, are quite affordable, and are still in good shape after two heavy years of play.
- Child-sized table and chairs – our child-sized table is used every. single. day. by my kids. We do crafts there, eat snack, and use it to build forts, garages, and castles.
- Wagon – a well-built metal, wood, or plastic wagon provides hours of fun for the whole family. Whether going for a walk down the road or throwing it in the mini-van to take to the park or zoo, a wagon is fun alternative to a stroller or walking.
- Bouncy horse – This horse is an imitation to a more popular variety; what can I say, I am frugal. However, it looks and functions just as nice as the day we bought it. It is also great at burning off some we’ve-been-inside-all-winter-long energy.
- Play kitchen and sturdy play food – Our play kitchen and pretend food are used/abused daily. We splurged and bought/asked for wood play food. I have found plastic and cardboard play food last just hours in our home. I think playing ‘restaurant’ and pretending to cook is an activity that brings most kids happiness at some point in their childhood.
- Wooden building blocks – my husband cut and sanded a set of ‘natural’ wood blocks a few years ago and they are still in excellent shape. He used a few 2×4’s cut in a variety of shapes and sanded them off. Sets of similar building blocks can also be purchased from many major toy manufacturers.
- Sippy cups, plates, silverware, placements – Ok, yes a super boring gift, but practical ones! We love the children’s tableware from Target. At $0.79 a piece, these can’t be beat and they store nicely.
With baby number three’s first birthday coming up at the end of the year, I know I’ll be on the hunt for another great gift idea.
That being said, What are your favorite children’s first birthday gifts? Which have stood the test of time?