My first confession is this is a little post about mummy’s favourite presents, rather than the chief birthday boy’s!
Both these have gone down a treat though so I thought I’d do a little review for any of you who have a soon to be 1 year old as we struggled with age appropriate gifts which will last & be value for money.
Me and the Turk focused on clothes knowing that Jem would get toys from others, but the one toy we did splash out on was the ELC Little Roadster, which at £20 would need to last the 12-36 months advertised. Luckily we got it on offer so it was a bargain, but I was dubious about whether it would have that much entertainment value. I needn’t have worried, Jem had the key in his mouth the second it was extracted from the box and has already had plenty of use out of it! He likes to press the little buttons as they all make good noises, he hasn’t mastered inserting they key or altering the gears (perhaps too fine motor skills for his current level) but the indicator is a big hit…he likes to jig along with it as it ticks…it’s sickeningly cute.
I am pleasantly surprised, it does do what it says on the tin and the moving road in the middle along with the semi-realistic functions (gear change, ignition button, brake squealing…) mean I can see this lasting quite a long time. The plan was to take it in the car when he’s a little older to ‘drive along’ so it will be interesting to see if this works as a suitable distraction.
The other fab gift was the Chad Valley fire engine paddling pool, from a special auntie. It’s great when blown up and I particularly like the front end which offers some shade if you are using it outside. It took a long time to blow up (because we didn’t have a foot pump as recommended…shhh) but it was doable by one person and fits together easily and has even withstood Jem’s inelegant climbing into and out of it every 2 minutes. Clever auntie had an even better idea in fact, because I’m not sure how much use we will get out of a paddling pool this year (our garden is now cleared but not turfed…pool on a patch of mud perhaps looks a bit strange) so she bought a bag of balls to turn it into our very own ball pit! This is a smashing idea as it massively increases the life and use of the paddling pool by making it dual purpose. Jem loves the balls, sitting in the pool throwing them out, sitting out throwing them in…eating them…there are holes in several already! I really recommend this approach as (assuming it lasts) I can see a much older child still being interested in this. The paddling pool is for 3 year plus, whereas a purpose built ball pit would be from 2 years so we do have to take particular care as Jem is only 1, but it is working really well for us!