1. TOILET PAPER
Give your baby hours of entertainment with a roll of toilet paper hanging up in the bathroom. Their gross motor skills will develop as they bat at the roll creating endless streams of tp. Their fine motor skills will improve as they rip apart the toilet paper into tiny little pieces. If they put those little shredded pieces of toilet paper in their mouth? No problem! The toilet paper will keep their bellies full a little longer till the next meal.
Parent bonus: They’ve saved you the work of having to unroll the toilet paper next time you have to go to the bathroom!
2. A TOILET
While they’re in the bathroom, make sure to keep the toilet lid up for even more additional hours of fun! All the splashing they can do in the toilet will be sure to delight! And just wait till they discover how to flush the toilet. Ecstasy!
Parent bonus: All the tiny little clutter around the house in reach of your little one will be quickly disposed of down the toilet, making for a cleaner, more clutter free house.
If you want to see how fast your petite little cherub can move, just open up the dishwasher! They’ll be grabbing the dishes out faster than you can put them in, particularly the knives and forks.
Parent bonus: If you didn’t do a very good job of cleaning off the dishes, no problem. Baby can slobber clean off any leftovers.
Is there anything more exciting?? Give your child the chance to practice their cognitive skills as they find each wire you’ve carefully hidden and maneuver it into their mouth.
Parent bonus: Yeah….there really aren’t any…
This is a must have if your tot is crawling! Just set them down outside and let them free! Their fronts will be covered in dirt in no time, and they will likely have already stuffed a handful of dirt into their mouth before you’ve even been able to stand back up.
Parent bonus: Your child’s clothes will all be stained a permanent lovely brown color, so no more worrying about trying to color coordinate outfits.
6. DUST BUNNIES
Forget about vacuuming or sweeping anymore. Those fabulous little dust bunnies are such wonderful free entertainment! Because no matter how many times you vacuum or sweep, they will find dust bunnies anyways.
Parent bonus: Use all that time you’ve saved not vacuuming or sweeping to catch up on all your shows that have been piling up.
Mail? Receipts? Dollar bills? Wrapping paper? It doesn’t matter what kind of paper as long as it’s crinkly, can be stuffed into their mouths and ripped.
Parent bonus: When the creditors start calling because you haven’t paid (or even seen) that credit card bill that was sent in the mail, you can just give them the classic excuse, “My kid ate my bill.”
Okay, in all seriousness though, we all want the best for our kids, and toy companies know that. All they have to do is somehow make us believe that our children will be smarter and better off if we buy this toy, or that gadget, etc. And according to these companies, if we want to give them the best start in life, we better start buying those toys while they’re young!
What Babies Really Want and Need
The reality is, though, that most babies need very little. As parents, we are their world, and what they want more than anything is to be a part of that world. They want to watch what we do, they want to listen to us talk, sing and read, they want to touch the things that we touch, smell what we smell, hear what we hear. They are soaking in everything we have to teach them.
I may joke about the aforementioned list (seriously, I don’t actually suggest letting your kid play in the toilet water or stick wires in their mouths…though I actually do recommend dishwashers, dirt and paper!). But our babies are more interested in the things we do, because these are the things that make up OUR world, not shiny, noisy toys. And these are the things that ACTUALLY teach our babies. Babies are curious about the world around them and the more they get to explore the things around them, the more they will understand about the world they live in.
So, do your wallet, your baby and the environment a favor and stop buying your baby toys that will just sit in a toy box gathering dust bunnies (which they WILL play with) and will eventually just be added to an ever-growing mound in the landfills.
What are some random things around the house that your baby loves to play with?