It's been a month since my baby had his first birthday, and it's time to call the winners of the Best Birthday Present for a One-Year-Old competition.
First prize goes to the Fisher-Price Baby Gymtastics Bounce and Spin Zebra. My parents gave this to Henry, and he lovvvvvvves it. So do his 3-year-old siblings: the twins are a little big for it, but can still play on it. It spins around, it bounces, it makes noises and plays songs in response to bouncing, and it's extremely sturdy: you really can't tip it over. It's a space commitment, but well worth it-and I don't take space commitments lightly.
Second prize goes to this Fisher-Price Music Box Teaching Clock, a replica of the clock I had as a child in the '70s. (This toy is tricky to find online; I found it at a Target store.) It was stickers over wood then; it's stickers over plastic now. It plays the same tune though without the tick-tock sound, and it's a real turn-knob music box mechanism still, no batteries. I was disappointed because of the tick-tock thing, and because the pictures under the hands stopped turning after only a few days, and because the stickers are already peeling at the edges. In fact, this toy shouldn't even be eligible for a "successful toy" contest, but Henry loves it so much it's comical: he can be screaming and crying, and we get out the clock and he starts smiling and laughing. He is CRAZY for it. And so, unfairly, the poor replica wins second prize.
And third prize goes to the LeapFrog Learn & Groove Alphabet Drum. Henry is too young to care about the letters, but he loves to hit the drum and hear it call them out: every time he hits it, it says the next letter in the alphabet and shows it on the drum. It has other modes, too, for drum sounds and for music. This toy, too, gets bonus points for doing double-duty as a toddler entertainer.
Come back in a year for the results of the Best Birthday Present for a Two-Year-Old contest.
You can find more cool products, useful tips, and idea sharing for busy moms at Kristen's regular Milk and Cookies column at Work It, Mom!