Plant a tree or a bush. Just as your loved one will grow taller and stronger each year, so will a tree. A tree symbolizes growth, strength, courage, success, and more. Can you think of any gift that would last as long and yield so much fruit (pun intended)? Bonus: This could be the start of a tradition to have a picture taken of your grandchild each year alongside the tree. They can grow together.
Photo Album. A photo album makes a wonderful gift. Whether your kids send you pictures, you take pictures from their social media sites, or if they send you pictures, making a keepsake photo album of baby’s first year is a delightful gift idea that will be treasured. Shutterfly is an excellent resource for creating an online photo album. They often have 50% off sales.
Photo Calendar. Whether you decide to use Shutterfly, an online calendar creating software, or make it with Microsoft Word and some photos, a photo calendar of baby’s first year will be a constant reminder of how quickly baby grows in a year. You could even add special dates like Grandparent’s Day and Big Brother/Big Sister Day as gentle reminders for parents to reach out to their family members.
Face Look Book or Book of Faces. Laminate pictures of you and baby’s relatives that live at a distance. You can bind the book by drilling holes at the top and bottom and using book rings. Pinboard Media even makes a very professional Book of Faces. For the do-it-yourselfer, there’s quite a few ideas for making a baby board book. I just used some chipboard and laminated the pages. The lamination didn’t hold well on one side especially so that side became the binding.
Time Capsule. A time capsule can contain any number of things. My favorite first birthday idea is to ask baby’s relatives to contribute by writing a letter to baby to be opened on their 18th birthday.
Take a birthday photo. Take a birthday photo along with important stats such as weight, height, things baby enjoys and favorite foods, toys, places, etc. Write on chalkboard or use the computer to create the interesting fonts. *This would also make a nice page spread in a photo album.
Write a birthday letter. Interview Mom and Dad to find out about baby milestone, daily schedules, and daily life. Include a few pictures of daily activities (eating, brushing teeth, taking a nap, etc.). Keep this letter somewhere you will be able to pull out to read on his next birthday.