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What items are most useful for a toddler?

My son's first birthday is coming up and everyone keeps asking me what he needs. He has plenty of toys and clothes. I was thinking of saying I wanted a play yard. He has a pack n play, but I kind of wanted the yard that is the same material as a gate that you just put on the ground, but I'm not sure how much we'll use it. What items do you use the most for your toddler/older infant?

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Asked by sbastille at 8:32 AM on Jul. 14, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 2 (10 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • If u have a pack n' play I dont see the use for a play yard when he's turning one IMO. That would be an expensive gift too around $100. You could ask for diapers & wipes as gifts. A booster seat for travel. Walking toys, riding toys. Outdoor swing to hang from a tree. Bball hoop. Its kinda hard to tell ppl he already has a lot of toys b/c thats what ppl want to buy for the 1st bday. Books r great too.

    Answer by Mel30248 at 8:36 AM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • a box? my 1 yr old loves boxes lol

    Answer by chloeconnor at 8:58 AM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • Maybe tickets or a pass to your local zoo/aquarium/children's museum? Something like that?

    And I'm not sure what the other poster meant by "a booster seat for travel", but a 1 yo has no business in a booster!!!!!! He should still be rear facing in a car seat until he reaches the heigh/weight limit of his seat for rear facing (optimally until 2 yrs. and 20 lbs.)! A booster seat is for children 4 years and 40 pounds at the MINIMUM, BY LAW. It's even best to keep children in a 5 pt. harness until they are 5-6, because few 4 year olds have the maturity to sit properly 100% of the time. You can go to to find out more.

    Happy 1 year birthday to your child!


    Answer by Arkaidy at 9:15 AM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • Nothing confining! They get more and more independant as they get older and will find ways to escape! :)

    I think the booster seat the first poster said was a booster/highchair type seat to take to family, resturantes, etc. not the carseat booster. I have a boosterseat with the tray that sits at the table. I actually leave it on the floor and my duaghter thinks it's a great chair.

    Myabe ask for 18 month or 2 year old toys or larger clothing for your child to grow into. I also recommend people getting savings bonds or contributing to a savings account for yoru child so when you do need something, you can get it then.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:54 AM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • I would also skip the play yard. Things that my almost two year old twins have used a lot in the past year are: push/ride on toys, booster seats for the table (we still also use highchairs sometimes), books (the bathtub kind are great for them to carry around because they are soft and hold up better than board books), balls (all kinds), puzzles (starting a few months after 1), blocks, toddler sized chairs, cars/trucks, musical toys, kitchen & cooking toys, small climber w/ slide (I have this in their room and they use it every day), swings for outside, water table, buckets, big box made into a playhouse (recliner box w/ windows and a door cut in it), toolbench that makes music and tool sounds, dinosaur flashlight that roars, car that you shake to make it go, containers of any sort that they can carry their toys in, rocking horse, shake & giggle Elmo and Cookie monster dolls, toy storage bins, and toddler plates/silverware/etc

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 10:19 AM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • I know you said he had plenty of toys and clothes, so some may not be applicable. Here is what my kids loved at that age:
    - Blocks (wooden and Lego's Duplos)
    - Ride-on toys (push and ride trike, big wheel style, etc)
    - Craft materials: washable markers, paints, chalk, crayons, assorted paper
    - clothes in larger sizes for the next season
    - Books: a wide variety of formats and age ranges.
    - Small bowls, measuring cups, etc so they could "help" me cook. WE went with *real* items because as they got older they really have cooked with me. There helping for real around 18 months old.
    - Bubbles and other outdoor games
    - Playdoh and other items (like the aforementioned craft stuff) that you replace regularly.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 10:40 AM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • If you're concerned about him getting into things, I suppose you could get a childproofer. We have used one to install our gates. Our house isn't perfectly square, and he had to put boards up, with wedges, to get our gates right. Anyway, it wasn't really cheap, but we don't use playyards and things.

    Answer by apexmommy at 10:40 AM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • The booster seat for the table is a big one, we use that thing a lot both at home and when we're out. board books are great. Outside climbing toys are big at this age too, something from Step 2 or Little Tykes for climbing, marbe a slide. A baby swing seat to hang from a tree outside. A sand and water activity table is always a favorite at this age. Washable markers crayons and finger paints. Maybe not right away, but soon, as soon as he won't eat them.

    A gift membership to a local Little Gym or dance or gymnastics program. Swim programs often start at 6 months, and run through three years old.

    Basically, if you don't need clothes and he has toys, think about things to stimulate his imagination and start working on pre-school skills like coloring and sitting for stories, etc.

    Answer by jessicas718 at 10:41 AM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • Boxes and more Boxes. Forget the toys. I know of one friend who took contact paper and covered several boxes the kids could play in and gave some wipe off markers. THey had a blast.

    Answer by baconbits at 10:47 AM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • I just find your question interesting. My kids got out of crib and "play pens" by 13/14 months b/c all of them could and would climb out and jump down. So I took cribs down and play pens gave away b/c I didn't want injuries.
    My son is 18 months old and since he turned a year his favorite thing is a tri-cycle or riding toys. In and outdoors.

    Answer by angie2568 at 12:22 PM on Jul. 14, 2009

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