I’m going to put it out there. Babies are bloody fickle! I’ve previously established they are feckin annoying, but I’m willing to add fickle to the mix.
No matter what you do, what you buy them or what you give them, they’ll always want something different. An item they loved yesterday will become the most hated thing in the world the following day. I’d love to explain why they do this, but sadly I have no answers.
Take toys, for instance. Baby L has a lot of stuff. Too much stuff, some might say. Stuff to hit, stuff to shake, stuff to climb on, stuff to ride, stuff to throw, stuff to push, stuff to pull, stuff to stack and stuff we don’t even know what it does yet.
But, for our little diva, that just isn’t enough. Despite having more stuff under one roof than Geoffrey the Giraffe, it’s often the things that don’t belong to her that create the most excitement, intrigue and, dare I say it, pleasure.
This got me thinking. Why do we spend so much money on kids toys, particularly when they are so readily discarded? Why not give them stuff they actually want, rather than to pander to the demands of huge toy companies?
With this in mind, I thought I’d share four of Baby L’s favourite things to play with which are, let’s say, a bit more alternative to your usual cuddly toys, musical instruments and stacking blocks. Check out what entertains my little weirdo:
Car and House Keys
For whatever reason, the little one loves keys. House keys or car keys, she isn’t picky. The common factor seems to be that they jingle, make a loud noise when banged and tend to open high-ticket items.
I’ve seen people wave keys to entertain little ones before, so it obviously isn’t just our sprog who finds them captivating. I’ll admit, I’ve jingled them in front of my face to see what all of the fuss is about, but they barely entertained me for more than three hours straight.
Like a baby version of a magpie – or even a baby magpie – she’s drawn to the shiny metal and can spot them at a fair distance. Now that she’s mobile, it’s a foregone conclusion that she’ll eventually get hold of the keys.
Be it dangling from the keyhole in the door or out of the way on the armchair, the sprog will find a way to get them in her tiny, little hands. This often involves standing up at the door and pulling at the keys until they fall out of the keyhole, or using the footstool as a leg-up to the armchair where she can sit and admire her discovered loot.
Just a word of warning. Check, check and check again whatever you’re throwing out. We nearly lost a set of house keys after Baby L stashed them in a cardboard box that was going in the bin!
Although an item which us adults view as functional and a tad boring, a bag full of clothes pegs is a treasure chest of surprises for a little one.
Like most babies, our sprog loves to empty things and generally cause a mess. Be it the missus’ handbag or the bin, there’s a great pleasure she derives from taking small items out of larger ones and stealing things she shouldn’t. So, imagine her delight when she first discovered a bag full of colourful clothes pegs which she could strewn across the floor and treadmill (yes, we do randomly have a full-size treadmill in the living room!).
Since that eventful day, she’s always made a beeline to the peg bag whenever she’s spotted it. She’ll climb up onto the treadmill (it’s the only action it sees), then happily pick up the begs, drop them off the edge or throw them at the dog. It’s not just fun for her though – I’ve had many hours of entertainment clipping them to her clothes to create a human hedgehog.
With fun for both baby and parent available, perhaps it’s time to elevate the old peg to the stature they deserve?
TV Remote Control
It’s hardly a surprise that the little one loves the TV remote – after all, she sees what a fascination I have with it! Whenever she’s up on the settee, she makes a conscious effort to find the turn-er-up-er-er or turn-er-over-er (names coined by my mum), prior to holding on to it for dear life.
Let’s take a second to reflect on the TV remote. Not only does it control the big, light up, box thing which shows Iggle Piggle and Peppa Pig, but it is the perfect size for wandering hands and wandering mouths. Not only this, but it comes with loads of buttons of varying sizes, shapes and colours. As a bonus, press any button and a red LED lights up. Magic!
As a result, we’ve found that she’s done some really weird stuff with the TV, not too dissimilar to Marcel changing the audio of the TV to Spanish on Friends. We’ve found that TIVO randomly records Emmerdale despite us not watching soaps, The Simpsons has been given three thumbs down and we have a weird information thing in the top corner of the screen.
Baby L’s new favourite game is a little different to some of the classics like “Peekaboo”. However, that doesn’t mean that she gets any less excitement out of it, even if it doesn’t do much for the missus or I.
She crawls into the kitchen and opens the cupboard door – coincidently, this is the chalkboard cupboard door I made myself, so read into that what you will. She then stands up and has a rummage on the second shelf, which is where we keep some of our veg.
It is here that she finds our stash of onions and proceeds to take one out of the bag. Her new found toy then becomes something she’ll carry around, try to chew on and offer to the dog. If we take the onion away and put it back in its rightful place, the little tyke repeats the entire process. Still, at least it’s one of her five a day.
So there we are, four alternative toys to the usual stuff. Next time you’re in need of a toy for your sprog or a present for a new baby in the family, all I ask is for you consider one of these instead of the usual tat. What do you reckon? Does your baby/kid(s) prefer other things to their toys? Do they have any weird habits such as stealing onions?