Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Birthday wish list for an almost-one-year-old's helpful daily calendar just reminded me that there is less than a month til Ollie turns one (panic attack), and they had some toy suggestions for gifts for a one year old.

As it happens, Ollie doesn't need much in the way of toys. Santa was good to him and our neighbours have been even more generous with hand-me-downs. Of course, we can tell that to his grandparents and aunts and uncles, but it's pretty unlikely that they'll be able to resist the urge to spoil him and Chris and I are already going back and forth on whether to wrap an empty box (wrapping paper is all the fun!), or get him a super special gift (keepsake forever!).

So I've been thinking of a few things that will come in handy over the next couple of months as Ollie gets older and the weather gets warmer.

Please note: if Ollie ever hands me a list like this on the occasion of his birthday, he'll probably be grounded for presumptuousness. 

Bike Accessory 
The thing that Chris and I love most about living in a major urban centre is that we literally never need to drive anywhere. In the more temperate months, we're cyclists and we can't wait to start bringing Ollie along with us. Originally I thought we'd want a front mounted bike seat for our little one, but after doing some reading and talking with other mums, we're thinking that a trailer makes more sense.
Although the view from a trailer is less exciting, a double trailer means that one of us will be able to take Ollie and a friend out for a ride, and we'll have room for any other little munchkins that come along. Our friends have just ordered the Wike Moonlight Double (not the model pictured), a Canadian made double trailer that is priced at about the same point as its Schiwnn and MEC equivalents, and can be converted to a double stroller if needed. At around $360, that's an awfully generous gift, though.

So while that's a pie in the sky wish, another great get-around-town option we've been thinking about is a wagon.
Simple, cute, and great for hauling groceries AND babies, I suspect that Ollie would love to be pulled around in one of these sweet rides. When I originally thought of getting a wagon I was picturing the more traditional red wooden slat model, and although the molded plastic definitely lacks charm, it makes up for it in practicality. Two seats with seat belts and a door for easy in and out once the little one is walking on his own. Our neighbours have kids well over wagon age and they still use their similar model regularly for trips to the store or the park to tow sporting gear.

Walking/Riding Toy
Ollie has started pulling himself up over the last couple of weeks, and I've cleverly figured out what direction that is heading.. walking! I know lots of babies who love their push toys and ride on toys, one they pull themselves upright, but I don't relish the idea of a crazy plastic dog or whatever, hanging around my house. Finding a wooden equivalent that is for both walking and riding (two birds, one stone), and that is available in Canada, is really challenging, but the UK appears to be overflowing with them.

There are plenty of wooden walking toys. And plenty of wooden riding toys. But has anyone around here thought to stick a handle on a riding toy? Nope.

A google search yielded the very cool Mishi Design "Grow Up" Toy. It doesn't seem to be available in Canada (but if you know otherwise, please let me know), and is $120 US, which seems awfully steep for a baby toy. But it is a combo walker and bike, and I can always throw in the old "and it can be handed down.." argument, so maybe Ollie will find himself unwrapping this beauty, if he's lucky. (His Dad is already eyeing it approvingly).

Non-Marring Blocks
These foam blocks made the list partially because they are amazing - huge, bright, soft but sturdy, and partially because they're name is hilarious. I don't know what parents with regular, marring blocks are thinking, but they clearly don't care about the safety of their children. Again, the price is high on these blocks, but there are so many and they're so big that my tiny fella could literally sit inside a castle built from this set, and that is an opportunity too good to pass up!

The gift I'm honestly most excited about:
So I've obviously been totally grubby about this birthday wish list, but these are just dreams, people! The gift on the "suggested gift list" from Babycentre that got me most excited, is also probably the most simple. I didn't know a year was old enough, but I just need one expert to tell me it's alright, and I'm off to pick up a pack of...


I can't think of anything better than spending an afternoon scribbling with my little monkey!

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