That face! That is the reason why I love giving good gifts. It's getting more and more fun as Trey gets older.

I wanted to share some first birthday ideas here, even though we know that the non-toys are some of the best toys (the dishwasher, the dryer, a good cardboard box...those are all hot items around here). But sometimes you need a more traditional gift idea, like for a first birthday party or when the grandparents ask for a wish list. These are some early toddler toys we are enjoying:

Pinhole Press Book. This is a DIY board book, and the creative possibilities are endless here. The layout is one word (or phrase) per page, paired one photo on the opposite page. We have friends who've done the "family tree" style, a name and face for each person, and I've also seen "routines" like for getting out the door (ie "first I have breakfast, then I brush my teeth, then get dressed," etc.) I did ours in a "first words" style, just by rounding up some things that he's into and thing that are relevant to his life right now. It was fun and easy to put together and he loves looking at the photos. A favorite and a keepsake.

Xylophone. Musical instruments are great for this age. This one is also a pull toy, (great for early walkers) and the mallet is attached so there's no hunting around for it. Trey loves it.

Bath toys. Ones that help the parents too are a bonus, like this hair rinser and spout protector (check out those reviews!).

Backpack. Perfect if your child attends day care, or for overnights at grandma's, or later on as a lunch box. Lots of animals to choose from.

Raincoat. If it's a winter birthday or you're Seattle people like us. Swimsuits are equally cute for a summer birthday or warmer climates.

Other's we're into: trucks, stuffed animals that give back, walker (more for 9m), the baby version of a toddler basketball hoop, and bubbles.

Bigger ticket items:

Micro Mini 3in1 scooter and helmet. This scooter! The Amazon reviews are incredible. The upper seat is removable and so is the loop handlebar, converting into a regular scooter and fitting from ages 1-5. (What other ride-on kids toy can boast a four year span? Incredible.) Trey loves it. The helmet is super protective and comes down lower in the back, offering more coverage than a standard bike helmet. We are really enjoying this one and it's the first time we have been able to go on smaller family walks without a stroller. Awesome gift.

Play kitchen. This is a placeholder until the one I have my eye on comes back in stock at the end of this month. Can't wait to share.

Wagon. This one is classic. Super versatile and great for summer.

Water table (similar). So fun! This was an aunt gift for Trey this year and it's been a big hit.

Scoot bike. I think this is a better 2 year old gift than 1, but if you have an early walker who's ready for a bike it could be a good fit. I'll look into these for next summer.

Happy gifting!