Tomorrow is my son Arthur’s first birthday. Since I am getting a wisdom tooth pulled tomorrow, we are going to celebrate his birthday today. While I could write about many things regarding this past year, I got excited about some of the gifts we were giving him, and I wanted to share some that he’s gotten throughout the year. There are affiliate links to the Amazon page for each of the products mentioned, so, if you like any, please consider purchasing them through the links.
Books- Some of his favorite things have actually been books. I often sit and read to him, and he follows along, looks at the pictures, tries to eat the pages or throw the books around.
Non-Euclidean Geometry for Babies. I’m starting with this one because, well, it’s my favorite. It starts off talking about dots and line in different colors and numbers. Arthur likes to points at the dots and follow the lines as I read to him, so it seems that the pictures keep his attention. The part I really like; however, is that the author then talks about what happens if we don’t assume the parallel postulate. What types of amazing things can happen? I’ve taught a class on geometry, and even in college this seems to confuse many people, so it was fun for me to talk about this subject with my son. I know he doesn’t yet understand it, but I like it. I will say that it is a normal paper back book, so when Arthur gets a hold of it on his own, he quickly bends the pages. He hasn’t ripped it yet, though mostly because I’ve been quick to get it back from him. As such it isn’t a book to just let him play with at this age.
Baby University– We got these two baby university books for him as they were the two that stood out most to my wife and I. They do, however, offer these books in many science fields. I enjoy that we can look through the books with him one letter at a time and talk about something math or physics related. While I may have chosen different words for some of the letters, I realize there are many options and this is a preferential thing. What I really like about these books is that we got the board books for Arthur. The cardboard is much more resilient than a normal paper back is, so we can let him carry them around, flip the pages and play with them himself. He also likes to chew on the books, but they have been holding up well.
My First Touch and Feel Book– My mother got these for my son as an early birthday present when she was visiting last month. My wife has a particular interest in dinosaurs and baby animals are always fun. Again, there is a whole line of these books for different interests and the are board books, so they have held up well to the chewing and throwing that Arthur has put them through. These have the additional benefit that if you press the buttons they make sounds, and Arthur loves this. He bangs on the buttons and listen to the noises over and over. Unlike a lot of kids toys, the sound is loud enough that he enjoys it, but it is not so loud that it becomes annoying to me as I let him play with it.
Blocks- His next favorite thing to play with are his blocks.
Uncle Goose Blocks– My sister got the periodic table blocks for him and they’ve been a lot of fun for him (and for me and my wife). We enjoy looking at the different elements on each of the sides of the blocks and talking to him about their properties. We also try to spell out words with different elements (this would be easier with the ABC blocks but the challenge is the fun part). We really wanted to get Arthur, but the closest we could get was Argon Thorium Uranium Radium (ArThURa). He often has a block in each hand as we stands and walks or one in his mouth as he plays on the ground. The wood blocks have done great and show no wear as of yet.
Diapers- My wife and I decided to use cloth diapers for our son. While it is nice not to put as much plastic in the landfills, this wasn’t our primary motivation. My wife just loves they way the look. The different prints available excite her as she just wants to collect them and look at how cute they are on him. I like it because we have been saving a significant amount of money (unless my wife gets carried out and orders every print she likes).
bumGenius– We used diapers other than the bumGenius, but these ones are my favorites. In particular, the first print is the “Albert” print which references Albert Einstein. The blackboard style with math and physics notations written all over is really cool. From the earlier version of the diaper to the current version, they got rid of a lot of the equations and put a big baby front and center as a way, I believe, to appeal to a more general audience. I, however, love the previous version of the print and wish they hadn’t changed it. The “Neil” print referencing Neil Armstrong is also a fun print including items used in space exploration. In addition to having wonderful prints, the diapers are always a very good quality and we haven’t had issues with diaper explosions that disposables often have.
Pokémon– My wife is a big fan of Pokémon, and we like to get out for walks and play Pokémon Go together. It’s nice to push him around in the stroller as we wonder through the local parks. I originally bought this Pikachu and the Charmander plush for my wife for her birthday. However, Arthur quickly appropriated to Pikachu as his own. He carries it around at home and when we go out for walks and loves to talk to it. While this isn’t STEM related, he loves it enough that I thought it worth mentioning.
Camelbak water bottle– This has come in handy with him and we use it all the time. The large cap of the eddy bottle made it easy for him to drink on his own much earlier than he was able to suck through a straw. This made it a lot easier for us to make sure he was getting enough water, particularly when we were outside with him. The many options for decorating also allowed us to pick something that would help get him excited about science. In this case, we really liked the sharks.
Phone, Remote, Games, Computers– We didn’t buy these for him; however, he still wants to play with them anytime we try to use them. For more, read the post Is it fun, or is it just that someone else does it?
I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the things Arthur’s been using over his first year of life. If you have suggestions for educational toys, let me know in the comments.