Just like any other mama I’ve have been preparing for my little one’s first birthday for months now. I don’t know if it’s a first-time mum kind of thing or if this feeling just never passes (I kind of hope it doesn’t). My daughter Alexis turned one on the 21st of May and it could not have been any more special than it was. Unfortunately, a lot of the stuff we had planned did get cancelled due to coronavirus (COVID-19) but we still had a fantastic day.
So without further ado, what do you buy a one-year-old that already has everything?
I feel like a first birthday is a hard one because they still haven’t transitioned from their baby toys. At the same time, they still don’t really know or understand what’s going on. I want to make her day special but without breaking the bank because let’s be honest, she’s got plenty of years to be spoilt rotten. I have searched the internet far and wide and found some fantastic ideas and even better some great deals.
*None of the products mentioned today are sponsored or gifted in return for advertisement. These are products I have found of my own back and wanted to share my genuine opinion on.*
HAPPYLAND FANTASY PALACE:
Before having Alexis I didn’t even have a clue that Happy Land was a thing. Then again how often did I spend my spare time in toy shops? Not very often. Back in those days, I was too busy recklessly spending my last £20 on yet another accessory that I did not need.
When I first saw this Happy Land fantasy Palace I knew I wanted to get it. All the pieces were big enough so that she could not choke and it was completely different from any of the baby toys she already had. This was a grown-up baby toy and I could not wait to see my grown-up baby play with it. Happyland is such a great brand as there are so many different sets you can purchase and put together. They have everything from pirate ships, farms, fairy treehouses and Noah’s ark too. These are just a few of my favourites however, there’s plenty of different themes to choose from.
Both The Entertainer and The Early Learning Centre sell this brand and quite often offer good discounts on them too. At the moment, they have on average around 30-35% discount off each individual sets. If you’re looking for the perfect birthday and/or Christmas gift then it’s worth checking them out. That’s if you’re organised and have already started Christmas shopping like me. I’m absolutely crazy, I know!
MY FIRST DOLLY AND PRAM:
I’m pretty sure your very first dolly and a pram is a MUST for a first birthday right? I mean it’s every mum’s dream to buy their baby, a baby. As cliche as it is I want everything pretty, pink and completely girly. With so many to choose from it was hard to decide which one to get. I didn’t want anything too expensive or too technical as I have to remind myself she is only going to be one. In the end, we went for this simple yet beautiful Wooden Princess Doll Pram from Amazon. Some we saw were completely way out of our budget but this one was only £34.99 with free delivery.
We also decided to go for the My First Baby Annabell Doll. This doll is perfect for little ones from 12 months up to 3 years. We chose this one because it’s soft-bodied rather than being hard plastic making it easier for a one-year-old to hold. Plus, I have to admit that baby Annabelle was my first dolly so I just had to get Alexis the same. I searched the web far and wide for the best doll and Hamleys was our number one choice.
Currently on offer for only £15.00!
Bathtime is our favourite time of the day. It’s time for us both to wind down together and get ready for bed. Alexis absolutely loves playing in the bath but at the moment she’s only got a few ducks to play with. She’s recently started to take a real interest in playing around so I’ve decided to treat her to some more bath toys. When I saw the brand Bathtime Fun in The Entertainer I just had to invest in some of their range. After spending ages looking through their playsets I decided to go for the mermaid kit and the water wheel. They have many different choices but these were my favourites. I’m sure these will go down a treat and if so, I’ll definitely be returning to get some more in the near future.
Alexis’s birthday being cancelled was just one of many issues that we are currently facing. Has your life also been affected by COVID-19? If so make sure to check out my latest post: Top 10 Ideas For Keeping Your Kids Occupied During Self-Isolation
SAND AND WATER PLAY TABLE:
This sand and water play table from B&M was one of the best items we purchased this summer. Even more so because it was only £20 and is still in perfect condition to be reused next year. We have used it for so many different messy play ideas and Alexis has thoroughly enjoyed it.
As we are all stuck in lockdown at the moment we decided to set it up and give it a go. At the time we didn’t have any sand at home so instead, we filled one side of it with cloud dough. Cloud dough is flour and oil-based homemade duplicate for sand. It’s much better for the younger kids just in case they pick it up and put it in their mouths. You know what the little bubbas are like for putting things in their mouths!
VTECH MY FIRST CASH REGISTER:
Just like any other little kid my daughter loves buttons and loud sounds. Anything that she can touch and get a noise from she absolutely loves! Well, I say touch but mostly it’s hit, smash and completely destroy nevertheless she enjoys it. Not only does this have sounds and buttons but it’s also very educational and fun. I’m not expecting a 1-year-old to be able to perform food shopping role play but she will grow with it. Stuff like this are great investments and will hopefully last a long time too. Also, the benefit of these types of toys is that they are gender-neutral and will be great to save for your next child. If of course, you want more than one kid but if you’re sensible you’ll probably just stick to the one.
ELC MY FIRST GADGET SET:
Although this was originally purchased for Alexis’s birthday I crumbled and gave it to her early. I was sick and tired of her wanting my phone, keys and the bloody TV control. Why is it that they have access to every single toy in the world but they always want what they can’t have? Don’t worry this phase doesn’t last long especially if you invest in what I’m about to show you!
The Early Learning Centre has saved us all by bringing out their first gadget set. At first, I thought that it was a little pricey but it really does do the job. It is probably Lexies most favourite toy and its brilliant because it looks so realistic. She really believes that she’s being naughty and has got her hands on the TV remote. It’s actually quite amusing to watch because she thinks shes outsmarted us, adults, when in fact, we’ve outsmarted her!
Alexis was born in May so with luck the weather around that time should be nice. She has never had the chance to experience the outdoors properly so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to buy her some garden toys. I didn’t want anything too big, extravagant or expensive. I also wanted something a little different and I hadn’t seen any of these before. This hop-along rabbit was only £16.00 so it didn’t exactly break the bank and will hopefully last a long time too. I feel that it’s something she can grow up with and will be used for a while. I also thought that it looked super cute and I can’t wait to see her hopping around on a little bunny!
You might also be interested in reading: Baby Products You Never Knew You Needed.
MY FIRST SHOES:
Around the age of 12 months, most children start to learn to walk. That’s exactly why I thought her first birthday would be the perfect time to buy Alexis a pair of shoes. Although, it is said that your child does not need shoes until they are confidently walking around I wanted to buy her first pair for when she’s ready. Accessories like this come at a price and by 12 months old I’m sure you’d have realised how expensive children are. That’s why the first birthday is the perfect opportunity to buy your kid the bits they need ready in advance.
Of course, we just had to purchase some from Clarks because where else can you get quality and price in one. Although Clarks has always been known for their superb quality they never used to offer much of a range of designs. Now they have some of prettiest, cutest ranges I have ever seen!
We decided to go for the Roamer Polka Toddler White Combi and the City Sheriff Toddler in White. Both of these are from their adorable Disney range. It was actually very difficult to decide between which ones we wanted so we got both.
START THEM A SAVINGS ACCOUNT:
It’s fair to say that at 12 months old there probably isn’t much that your child actually wants or needs. This is why we have been slightly sensible and started a trust fund for Alexis. Instead of getting loads of unwanted toys and duplicate gifts we’ve asked for money for her little piggy bank. We have done this for every event since she’s been born. This was the most beneficial thing my mum and dad did for me and I’d like to be able to do that for Alexis too. By the time I was 18 I had over £1,500 and managed to save up to travel around Asia, Australia and Indonesia. Just £10 here and there doesn’t seem a lot to us but when you add it up over 18 years it can end up being a huge amount.
Wow, what a great selection of gifts for the younger generation. Such spoilt brats aren’t they? It’s definitely changed since the days of getting an orange in your Christmas stocking that’s for sure. If you are like me and HAVE to have somewhere to store all those toys then make sure to invest in the IKEA Kallax range. Not only are they sleek and stylish but they are extremely affordable and versatile too. You can also use this DIY Kallax hack to customise it very easily to your own style.