However, even when I was a child there was nothing like unwrapping a toy for your birthday or at Christmas, so as much as I may love clothes and books, I know that most children would much rather have toys.
I had this discussion a few days ago with my Mum, who said the kids have way too many toys. Which they do have, but I also know that these days are short, as much as the mess drives me crazy and I love to close the door to the playroom, I also know that the days they will spend on computer games or playing with their phones up in their bedrooms is also not that far away. So let them be little and play with all the toys they can manage.
So below are some of the toys I find myself purchasing again and again for all the new additions in our friends and family and for the manyyyyyy birthday parties we spend our time attending. I always get asked what the kids would like or need and sometimes it is so hard to answer so I hope this list can provide a starting point for you all. Most of the toys below are the more simpler classic ones, as I find my kids return back to these again and again even at the age of 5 and 2, I have tried to include the toys that have withstood the test of time, please click the links to see images and examples of where to purchase.
0 - 3 Months
1) Baby Black and White Book - As they can only see in black and white initially this is great to give them something to focus on for the short time they are awake for, also sometimes you do not know how to entertain them when they are so young so at least you feel like you are doing something useful.
2) Rattle - I love this rattle as its soft and with a great musical bell to get babies attention and encourage gentle head movements.
3)Links - I am not sure the official name for these but they are so versatile, great for attaching toys to highchairs in restaurants, baskets on planes, car seats, and as toys within themselves.
4) Baby Mobile - Great for attaching to cribs, Moses baskets or jungle gyms to give babies something more stimulating to look at and follow, although I still do not know any babies who fall asleep to it, more playtime.
5) Personalised Items - My favorite shop for this is My 1st years, blankets, clothing, gowns, toy trains, toy boxes, basket etc are always a lovely present for a newborn and they all come beautifully gift wrapped.
1)Lamaze toys - My kids had sooo many of these by the time they both turned one, however they are great and I passed them on happily to the new babies in our family as they last really well. Colourful, fun and with lots to catch their attention.
2)Floor Tiles - Lots of fun designs to choose from now, these are great as babies become more mobile and begin to situp and try to explore their surroundings.
3)Tummy Time Roller - I am yet to meet a baby who loves doing tummy time, I guess its a bit like adults and sit ups, so this tries to make it more fun, you do not actually use these for that long, so I do not feel you need to spend a lot on them but they do help make the process less painful for both babies and parents.
4)Sophie - Teething Toys - I love Sophie, but any type of teething toy at this age makes a great present, to help soothing those gums.
5)Baby Maracas - I have lost count how many of these baby musical shakers I have ordered, they make great party bag fillers for younger guests and perfect for little hands to grip.
6- 12 Months
1)Building Blocks - My kids have these exact ones, a present from over 4 years ago and they are still going strong, so many uses from alphabet learning, building forts and towers to practicing finer motor skills.
2)Stacking Rings - Another wooden toy that both of mine will still pull out and take apart and then put back together using team work skills.
3)Tomy Eggs - I remember buying these when my oldest was around 6 months from the local supermarket for £5, inflation I have found has increased the prices over the years but still one of my favourite presents to buy for babies. My kids still play with it, trying to match the colours and shapes as they get older.
4) Pull- along Toys - Great to help with crawling and cruising at this age.
5) Musical Tables - Perfect for cruisers and to encourage standing, both of mine walked fairly early on, partly as they spent most of their time playing with similar tables to these, the exact ones they had are no longer available.
To check out ideas for toddlers and older children see my links below: