4 Alternative ‘Toys’ For Your Baby To Play With

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

Baby playing wtih 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!


Clothes Pegs

Baby playing with pegs

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

Baby with 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 playing with onions

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? Let me know below!

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  • We’ve not had the fascination with pegs or onions but the other two have been popular with my girls. I got to discover just how loud the TV can be (thanks for that kids!) and we have very random stuff recorded too! 🙂

    • Haha, yep I’ve had the volume turned up loads too. I like Homes Under The Hammer, but don’t really need it shouted at me! Ah man, your kids are missing out, give them an onion! 🙂

  • You Baby Me Mummy

    Babies are properly bonkers aren’t they?! Baby loves all of these things and actually took an onion on a walk with us once…. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

    • Big time, proper odd balls! Haha pleased to see you’ve discovered the wonders of an onion too 🙂

  • Sons, Sand & Sauvignon

    Haha! Yep! Kinley has mastered the army crawl now, and the speed he can pick up when he spots a packet of baby wipes is amazing! Yep, baby wipes! He is obsessed, and can spot them a mile off! xx

    • Haha, good shout. Pretty sure babies think baby wipes are a game – take them out, put them back in, take them out, put them back in…

  • Sugarandrhubarb

    onions! That’s amazing. Marni’s favourite toy at the moment is my eyeball….. I beg of you small child, please find the rubber giraffe more fun than my eyeball!

    • Yep, isn’t it just. I’ve not experimented to see whether she likes to play with other types of veg yet. Maybe when she’s a little older. Haha, ah yes, the old poke and scratch of the face technique. kids!

  • I was nodding in agreement until you got to the onions! Weirdo 😉 Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

    • Hahahahah – perhaps your the weirdo for never embracing the onion?

  • Mama Zen

    Ha! So true. I am reading this after giving up trying to locate the remote control, which I will inevitably find in the bin or somewhere similar …

    • Ha, yep definitely – I think it’s some kind of toddler/kid logic that the things you shouldn’t lose are the things that are best to hide.

  • Helen – Mess, Stress & Fancy D

    That bloody remote control. Find something cheaper to replace to fall in love with. We have three virgin remotes now as they get stolen daily. The onion is pretty far out though! Love it! xxx

    • Haha, three remotes. They aren’t cheap things either. I reckon the likes of Virgin and Sky make them so that they appeal to babies, which in turn means they can sell overpriced spares to unsuspecting parents!

  • Haha this is so true! I’ve never given Emma an onion though, I bet she’d actually love it! The photos are too cute! #fridayfrolics

    • Thanks 🙂 Give it a go, I’m sure she’ll enjoy the onion!

  • Mummy Muddler

    My daughter was so obsessed with my keys and so disinterested in her toy ones that I made a set of real keys for her. I just got blank ones from the keycutters and a few key rings from the pound shop. She still plays with them now at 2.5! #thelist

    • Wow, what a genius idea! I’m so going to steal that! It never crossed my mind, although strangely, someone bought her a set of toy keys a few days after I wrote this.Hopefully she won’t get bored of them.

  • Ha ha so true 🙂 We haven’t tried onions (!) but keys and the remote control are firm favourites over here! Always thought I wouldn’t need to buy any toys for her, but we are still massively cluttered with all manners of toys thanks to very generous friends, grandparents and family relations 😀 #the list

    • Yeah exactly, it feels like we’ve hardly bought anything because of the generosity of others (and perks of blogging!).Give the onions a go – pretty sure you can get a pack of like 10 for 79p 🙂

  • Rebecca

    Onions! That’s a good one 🙂 My 6 month old hasn’t found any interesting toys yet.. I’m sure he will before too long!

  • Tom Briggs

    Ha! Onions are a new one on me, but don’t they result in tears before bedtime? 😉

    • Surprisingly not – maybe she needs to get to some of the inner layers first…

  • This is so true!! They like everything but proper toys!! LOL My 1 year old also likes keys and the remote control but I will also add the telephone, my mobile, my laptop or any gadget that she sees me using!! Is so annoying but what can you do it is part of their curiosity! 😉 xx

    • Yep exactly! A lot of it has surely got to be imitation – see us on our mobiles, using the remote etc. Not really sure about the onion though, it’s not like I walk around the house with one! 🙂

  • Beau is Blue

    Every point is spot on, except onions! haha! Although i usually see Elliott munching on a potato…

  • Coombe Mill (Fiona)

    The loo brush was always a favorite here, makes house keys and onions feel much better! #BriliantBlogPosts

  • Budget Beauty and Babies

    My little girl is totally the same. She is far more interested in non-toys than actually toys. Her current favourite as of this morning is the ruler that fell out of my planner. She is fascinated! #brillblogposts

  • Brilliant and let’s face it you give them ‘proper’ toys and all they want is the box or with my kids, still anything in my handbag and usually anything potential dangerous they can get their hands on. Next time, we’re playing with onions!

  • Musing Mumma

    Hehe. Love it. And I’m with you on checking before you throw things away. I’m finding my car keys in the strangest of places, along with pieces of food, cups of milk, random blocks, pens, receipts. It’s funny what they treasure. #brillianblogposts

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