Baby and toddler years are filled with dreams and wishes for the future—which is why it’s a great time to capture and record all the love and memories surrounding the babies in your life. Down the road, they’ll appreciate being able to look back at this time. 


Books with Personal Notes

Babies and books go hand-in-hand. Purchase a few books from this list of All-Time Best Books for Toddlers, and ask the child’s family to write personal notes inside each of the books’ covers. As the child learns to read, they’ll be reminded that their loved ones have big dreams for their future.

Start a Baby Scrapbook

Thanks to digital technology, today’s babies are the most photographed generation in history—but keeping physical photos and mementos is becoming increasingly rare. And as anyone who’s ever been a busy parent knows, sometimes you’re so focused on taking care of everything that you forget to stop and record the best moments. If you’re not a child’s parent, but you’re around a lot, you’re in the perfect position to start keeping a scrapbook. The years of memories and photos you compile will be a treasured gift for the whole family, including the child.

Arts and Craft Projects

This is a gift that checks a lot of boxes: it’s a great quality time activity, it helps little ones develop sensory and motor skills, and if you save the work, you’ll have a keepsake that they and their parents can look back at later. Here’s a Pinterest board full of age-appropriate art projects. 

An IDeal 529 College Savings Account

Of course, at IDeal—Idaho College Savings Program, we believe that the gift of college savings is one of the most impactful gifts a child can receive. By starting to save in the first years of a child’s life, you’re maximizing your opportunity to build up the savings little by little over many years. 

IDeal has been helping Idaho families save for higher education for fifteen years. It only takes $25 to open an IDeal account, and any family member can contribute to a beneficiary’s account. IDeal makes it easy to get other family in on the giving, and Idaho residents can receive a 2016 state tax deduction for contributions and gifts made by December 31st

Get started today.


"Last year my kids each received $100 for Christmas from a grandparent, with no strings attached. They both chose to invest in their IDeal college savings accounts. Going to college is something that we talk about as a family.

My parents used to say, 'Money comes and goes. Health can be unpredictable. But once you earn an education, that's yours. Nobody can take your education away from you.'"

Robin Kelley Rausch, IDeal Account Owner
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*By clicking on any of the links in this page’s description of gift ideas, you will be redirected to third-party websites. IDeal does not necessarily endorse or promote any of the websites or sources promoted here. IDeal receives no compensation for and has no connection with any of the third parties linked on this page.

Important Legal Information

By clicking on one of the social media icons, you are leaving the IDeal website, maintained by Ascensus, and are being redirected to a social media site solely maintained by the State College Savings Program Board (“Board”). Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC, the program manager for IDeal, does not monitor or endorse the Board's social media activities. All IDeal social media activities are the sole responsibility of the Board.

Mr. Thiros is a registered representative of Ascensus Broker Dealer Services LLC, 877-529-2980, 95 Wells Ave, Newton MA (member FINRA/SIPC) and is not employed by the State of Idaho.

For more information about IDeal - Idaho College Savings Program ("IDeal"), call 866-433-2533  click here to obtain a Disclosure Statement. The Disclosure Statement discusses investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information. Because investing in IDeal is an important decision for you and your family, you should read and consider the Disclosure Statement carefully before investing.

Please Note: Before you invest, consider whether your or the beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in that state’s qualified tuition program. You should also consult your financial, tax, or other advisor to learn more about how state-based benefits (or any limitations) would apply to your specific circumstances. You also may wish to contact directly your home state’s 529 college savings plan(s), or any other 529 plan, to learn more about those plans’ features, benefits, and limitations. Keep in mind that state-based benefits should be one of many appropriately weighted factors to be considered when making an investment decision.

IDeal is administered by the State College Savings Program Board ("Board"). ABD, the program manager, and its affiliates, have overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations, including investment advisory, recordkeeping and administrative services, and marketing. The Vanguard Group, Inc. ("Vanguard") serves as Investment Manager for IDeal. Sallie Mae Bank serves as the Savings Portfolio Manager for IDeal. IDeal's Portfolios invest in either: (i) mutual funds and a separate account offered or managed by Vanguard; or (ii) an FDIC-insured omnibus savings account held in trust by the Board at Sallie Mae Bank. Except for the Savings Portfolio, investments in IDeal are not insured by the FDIC. Units of the Portfolios are municipal securities and the value of units will vary with market conditions.

Investment returns will vary depending upon the performance of the Portfolios you choose. Except to the extent of FDIC insurance available for the Savings Portfolio, you could lose all or a portion of your money by investing in IDeal, depending on market conditions. Account Owners assume all investment risks as well as responsibility for any federal and state tax consequences.

Not FDIC-Insured (except for the Savings Portfolio). No Bank, State or Federal Guarantee. May lose value.