• Ever Deane

Gifts for baby: Toys and Books for 9 – 18 months


1. Xylophone

My mom got this xylophone for Oliver’s birthday after a lot of research. She went and tried different ones out to make sure they had a nice sound and even returned one with good reviews because the notes were out of order. She landed on this one and Oliver can use the mallets to slide up and down or beat the bars. It’s technically a glockenspiel because it is made of metal instead of wood but I won’t get technical, it’s great!

2. Radio Flyer Wagon

I wanted to get Oliver a really nice present for his first birthday. Something he would use right away, but also a gift that would last a while. I looked online and asked around and finally settled on the Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon. Oliver has been pushing around a cardboard box, his high chair and stroller, but we hadn’t fallen in love with anything else we had seen yet. I skipped over this wagon because it’s a little pricey, but it is such good quality and can last for any future kids we might have so I am so glad we got it.Oliver loves putting his stuffed animals in there (or anything for that matter) and taking them for a walk. It is so sturdy and supports his weight without any help from me. He hasn’t learned to turn it yet, so he bashes into bookshelves and couches, but goes around to the back, and pushes it back the way he came, holding on to the wooden sides.

Left to right: Rainbow Stacker, “Hungry Caterpillar” pull-toy, caterpillar gear toy, and an abacus.


3. Rainbow stacker wooden rings

This rainbow wooden ring stacker has been so tricky for Oliver but he has just gotten the hang of it! He is so proud of himself when he puts the rings on correctly, after a few failed attempts. I took the red ball off that came on the top of the ring because Oliver puts everything in his mouth and even though it’s not too small, it’s just not too big either. I’m sure I’ll introduce him to it early next year.

4. Caterpillar gear toy

This is a lovely toy that can grow with your children. They can dump all the cogs off and match them by color, but for now my little one just enjoys turning the cogs and throwing them around or placing them on the shelf above the one it sits on.  Thanks Dad for organizing to get this for him!

The “Hungry Caterpillar” pull-toy (to the left of this gear toy) was not such a hit. Maybe once he is walking more confidently he will enjoy pulling it around, but I’m actually going to take it off the shelf for a little while and try to re-introduce it again later.

5. Abacus

While we were searching for a floor bed at Ikea, I passed this abacus and couldn’t leave without it. Oliver loves spinning the beads and I can imagine it feels great on his hands. A lovely sensory experience. We can eventually count using this but Oliver is more keen on picking it up and moving it around at the moment.


Dump Truck

Another great gift thanks to my cousins! This dump truck is made from recycled plastic containers and they use soy inks for the color, how impressive! It’s red and yellow, but it’s oh so green! The back part really dumps and is a fantastic indoor or outdoor toy.

Oliver likes books with animals or babies/children in them, and rhyming! Sometimes he can sit through me reading five books, and some days he can’t finish one.


7. Books

Books are always a great gift idea for any age. Oliver got some dog-themed books from us for his birthday like my childhood favorite “Good Dog, Carl” by Alexandra Day. Some of the other doggie books are:

  1. Baby Woof Woof: A lift the flap style book

  2. Doggies by Sandra Boynton

  3. Where’s Spot by Eric Hill

And these are some of his favorites:

  1. Baby Touch and Feel: Cuddly Animals

  2. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

  3. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

  4. I love you through and through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak

  5. Humpty Dumpty: Finger Puppet Book (all of these type of books are a hit!)

All waiting for some hugs and kisses.


8. Stuffed animals

Oliver took a while to love stuffed animals, but now he loves to hug and kiss them and, of course, take them for a ride in his radio flyer wagon. We got these as gifts but you can find similar ones for the white puppy here, the Labrador puppy here and the koala here.

Oliver playing with the pounder in his Montessori style nursery.


9. Pounder

Oliver has recently got the hang of this pounder even though he actually prefers pushing the little pieces in with his fingers rather than pounding it with the hammer. It is so sweet to see him push all the pieces down then flip the toy over and do it all again. I’m just glad when he takes time and plays with his inside toys, because he has preferred to be outside sweeping as well as at the park eating all the wood chips and climbing the steps to the slide like he is 5 years old.

Hope this was helpful to you when looking for gifts for little ones. Let me know of any of your favorites so I can think about Christmas gifts now that he has all of these already!

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Hi, I'm Kendra

I am a qualified Montessori teacher and yoga teacher up to my ears in diapers, toy cars and the best kisses a mama can handle. I am passionate about connecting with moms and supporting each other on this journey of motherhood. I share family-friendly recipes, my pregnancy, postpartum and parenting journey, Montessori inspiration, and products we loveI am a South African living in the US with my hubby and two boys.