Monday, November 12, 2007

Babies- Top 8 Toys for One Year Olds

Top 8 Toys for One-Year-Old Babies
From Heather Corley,Your Guide to Baby Products.FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!
Choosing baby toys from the millions available can be tough. This quick list of fun baby toys will help you choose birthday and holiday gifts for one-year-olds. Babies of this age are always on the go, and they're on the cusp of becoming full-fledged toddlers. The following toys allow babies to get out some of their extra energy or develop some new skills, such as imaginative play. No matter which skill they're developing with these toys, the learning will be fun!
1. Fisher_Price Baby Gymtastics Bounce & Spin ZebraAs the name indicates, this cool toy allows baby to bounce up and down, as well as spin around, while riding a colorful zebra. I like this toy because it encourages active play, instead of just sitting in one place. It also encourages imaginative play, which is important as your baby enters the toddler years. The Bounce & Spin Zebra has lights, music and animal sounds that make this toy even more fun for toddlers. It can be used from about one year old up to age three.

2. Playskool Weebles Weebalot CastleDo you remember Weebles from your own childhood? I do! The Weebles still wobble, and they still don't fall down. This castle has a drawbridge that raises and lowers, a moat for Weeble boat rides, and a revolving tower for easier night watch duty. The four included Weebles characters can explore the castle along with your child. This toy can easily be enjoyed for several years.

3. Fisher-Price Little People Animal Sounds FarmFisher-Price has updated this classic baby toy to include battery-operated sounds that babies will love. The set includes the familiar barn and several animal pals, as well as a farmer figurine. Babies will enjoy practicing their animal sounds and exploring life on the farm with this fun activity set. The whole barn closes up, housing all of the accessories inside, so you can easily store it when play time is over.

4. Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug Ride-On ToysWheely Bugs are a fun update to the classic ride-on toy for babies and toddlers. Available in ladybug, cow or bee patterns, these ride-ons have swivel wheels that allow baby to move back and forth, side to side, or any which way. The soft seat is comfortable and easy to wipe clean if necessary. The padded handlebar is nice, too. The toddlers who tested this toy for me were instantly in love with the Wheely Bug. It's a sturdy and entertaining toy that should last for several years. The small size is best for smaller toddlers. A larger size is available for ages 3 and up.
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5. Brio Natural BlocksI can still remember playing with a set of blocks like this from an early age. A classic set of blocks gives a baby or toddler lots of playtime options, from the favorite "build a tower and knock it over" game to creating wooden roads for toy cars and more elaborate games. This 50-piece blocks set has plenty of shapes and sizes to help baby build almost anything. The unpainted, natural wood will stay in good shape for years, too.

6. Playskool Busy GearsIf you're looking for a toy that encourages critical thinking skills, this Busy Gears toy from Playskool may be a good choice. All babies see is a fun thing to play with, but as baby is stacking gears, rearranging the gears, and watching the gears spin around, those little brain cells are developing. Which way will the gears turn if I put another gear over here? What happens if I stack another gear there? Music and lights accompany the colorful, spinning gears.

7. Manhattan Toy Cirque du Soleil TwisterellaThe Cirque du Soleil toy line from Manhattan Toy features gorgeous colors and fun circus themes. Twisterella is a stacking toy that can be rearranged in lots of different ways, so baby can get creative. The different pieces make noise through squeakers and rattles, or are fun to touch thanks to crinkly fabrics or slinky materials. This is a cool, unusual toy that would make a great gift.

8. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn 2-in-1 Learning KitchenPretend play is so important to babies at this age. In a toy kitchen, babies can imitate what they see mom or dad doing every day, or make up their own stories for playtime. This kitchen is great for younger kids because it doesn't have lots of small, fussy parts. Just by crawling through the kitchen "doorway," baby can activate the music and sounds of this toy kitchen. The sounds teach classic children's songs as well as new phrases. Activities on the kitchen itself can help baby start learning colors, shapes and opposites. Toddlers can easily use this toy kitchen for pretend play, too, so your baby can get several years of use out of it.

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Baby Books- Top 5 to Read to Babies

Top 5 Books to Read to Babies
From Heather Corley,Your Guide to Baby Products.FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!
Reading to baby is a great way to boost development and early reading skills. When choosing baby books to read for your infant or toddler, look for bold, interesting pictures, rhyming text and simple words that are easy for babies to follow. The act of reading to your baby is more important than the book you choose, though. A warm lap and the rhythmic sound of a familiar voice is what matters most to baby. To get your baby book library started, here are my favorite books to read to babies.
1. The Rainbow Fish by Marcus PfisterThe Rainbow Fish is a beautiful book, in terms of story and illustrations. Babies will enjoy the lovely drawings in calming colors and the fish's sparkling scales. Parents will love the message this book teaches about sharing. The Rainbow Fish is an excellent bed-time story book, too, thanks to the restful colors and soothing text. The sparkling scales also look great by night-light.

2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleThis classic book has sold more than 12 million copies and has been translated into 20 languages. The story of a caterpillar's journey to becoming a butterfly, and his many meals in between, is a favorite for babies and parents alike. Younger babies will like the bright colors and simple pictures. Toddlers can sharpen their new-found counting skills by counting their way through the caterpillar's snacks.

3. Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise BrownA perfect bed-time story, this book follows a young rabbit as he says goodnight to anything and everything to try to avoid sleep. The rhyming text makes it a great choice for younger babies. Toddlers may identify with the bunny's desire to stay awake, but will soon find themselves calm and ready for bed thanks to the soothing poetry and pictures that progress from evening to night.

4. Pat the Bunny by Dorothy KunhardtBabies will love to touch this book and follow along with the activities such as patting the bunny and playing peek-a-boo. The interesting textures and smells will hold baby's interest during story time or even on a car trip. One of the top selling baby story books of all time, Pat the Bunny was first released in 1940, and has been a favorite family book for several generations.

5. Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie GerthTouchable, three-dimensional ladybugs and bright, bold illustrations make this a wonderful book for infants, who will enjoy the rhyming story of ten ladybugs who disappear one by one. Toddlers can practice their numbers and colors, as well as identify familiar creatures in the illustrations. Ten Little Ladybugs provides hands-on learning and fun for babies of all ages.

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Baby Shower Gifts

Your best friend is having a baby!! She's meant the world to you for as long as you can remember. And now you want to give her the perfect gift.

Baby Memory Book- give the parents a lovely way to commemorate every one of baby's achievements. Parents will love filling in the pages, adding pictures and notes. Added bonus: one day, when the baby grows up, it will make a great keepsake!!

Bouncy Seat- what mother wouldn't love this? Newborns love bouncing away, and are soothed by the movement. Parents can squeeze in a few chores knowing the baby is safe. Plus it is versatile and portable.

Baby Monitor- perfect for nervous parents to watch for their little one without hovering.

Baby Bottles and Bibs- she may not appreciate it now, but once their little one comes, you will be the one she remembers, EVERY DAY, EVERY HOUR as she feeds her little one!!

Baby Carrier- Baby's will love being close to their parent and parents will love having their hands free to get through their day.

For more ideas, visit a baby website like or a baby toy site