The first birthday is one of the most exciting child milestones for any parent! Birthdays are bittersweet moments; your little one is growing up before your eyes and learning all about the world around them. Around this time, many parents start wondering what else they should be doing for their child’s development.
That first birthday party is an excellent opportunity to purchase educational, enriching toys for your little one. Wooden toys are the perfect option! Wooden toys are beautiful, high-quality toys that promote open-ended play and will last your family a lifetime.
By a year old, there are certain milestones that are important to recognize for proper development, and wooden toys are a great way to support many of these milestones.
3 categories of developmental milestones include:
- Physical milestones
- Language and communication
- Cognitive development
Meeting Physical Benchmarks at 1
At a year old, your baby should have made significant leaps in their physical development. Babies this age should be pulling up to a standing position, and they could be walking. Don’t worry too much if your little one isn’t quite running around yet because walking and running can take a little longer than a year! Additionally, they should be able to independently feed themselves small bits of food.
Wooden toys are great for aiding in physical development. Playing with small wooden toys is wonderful for fine motor skills and can be used to encourage movement from little ones. Wood animals could even be incorporated into mealtimes! After all, broccoli pieces are just trees for wood dinosaurs to snack on!
1-Year-Old Speech and Communication
You’ll be pleased to know that you will start hearing more and more words around this age! Your child will likely be well-versed in a few basic words and calling mom and dad by their preferred name. Try using wood animals to encourage communication; they can be a great addition to story time and will help little ones with animal recognition and sounds.
Learning, Thinking, and Problem-Solving Skills for 1-Year-Olds
Cognitive development is important to pay attention to during all of childhood, but especially that first year! At this point, children should have developed object permanence, meaning they recognize that something still exists even when it’s out of their sight. Use your wooden toys to play a little game of hide and seek; if you put a wooden toy under a blanket or on a shelf, they should look around for it and be delighted when it’s finally revealed.
Appropriate Gifts for a 1-Year-Old
The first birthday can be tricky in terms of gift-giving; these little ones are starting to outgrow toys for babies and are moving on to more advanced toddler toys. However, many toddler toys should be avoided because of small parts and the risk of overstimulation.
The best gift for a one-year-old is one that promotes learning and answers simple questions. As babies develop, they start to wonder why certain things happen and develop an understanding of cause and effect. Toys for kids of this age should be fun, simple, durable, and safe. Wooden toys fit the bill perfectly!
Why Should I Choose Wooden Toys?
Wooden toys are superior to their plastic counterparts because they promote imaginative play and require critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Many plastic toys have bright lights and play songs. While that can be fun, it provides limited entertainment for little ones and can’t hold their attention spans for very long.
The idea that wooden toys are healthier for development than their plastic counterparts is not new. In fact, the Montessori Method has supported this notion for years. The Montessori method is all about child-led learning, allowing little ones to discover and learn through play in a more independent environment. Montessori supports wooden toys for their ability to encourage critical thinking rather than just mind-numbing entertainment.
Additionally, wooden toys are generally healthier and safer than plastic. There are rarely any harmful chemicals or additives in wooden toys. They also last much longer and are not as prone to damage, so they will last your family for many years!
Why Wood Animals Make Great Gifts for 1-Year-Olds
Wood animals are perhaps one of the best gift ideas for a one-year-old’s birthday. Wood animals are resistant to teething and can withstand any drool that might get on them, which is pretty likely to occur at a year old!
Around this time, children will start understanding more about animals and become invested in learning about them. Recognizing animals and learning animal sounds is a popular activity starting around a year old, and wood animals are the perfect way to start. A great gift for a one-year-old might be a simple wild wood animal set. Your baby will be roaring like a lion before you know it!
Wood animals allow children to develop empathy for other creatures and understand their place in the world. Little ones can also play with wood animals to prepare for caring for their own live pet. They will feel a sense of responsibility for their little wood animals and learn valuable lessons from that.
Our Favorite Wood Dinosaurs
We love all kinds of wood animals, but wood dinosaurs have a special place in our hearts. Wood dinosaurs are great because they are multifunctional; they promote imagination development and can also introduce complex science topics in a kid-friendly way. Our favorite wood dinosaurs include:
Polepole wood dinosaurs are beautiful, hand-crafted pieces made in Bali by skilled artisans. They are made with Albizia wood and painted with vegetable-based paint. These all-natural wood dinosaurs are perfect for little hands to grab and play with. The wood dinosaurs from Holztiger offer a little more whimsy with bright colors and fun patterns. All products and paints are non-toxic and safe for even the youngest kids!
Wooden Toys are Perfect for Littles
Whether you’re looking for a gift for the soon-to-be toddler in your life or you’re hoping to surprise a little one with a treat, wooden toys are the perfect option. At Hazel & Fawn, we pride ourselves on providing only the highest-quality wood toys for your baby to enjoy for years to come.