My house is full of toys! I remember thinking as we prepared our home for a baby that we’d have a neat little corner in one or two rooms where toys would be kept and put away after each use. Books would stay in her room, because you only read books at bed time, right? I figured since puzzle pieces for little ones are massive they’d be easy to see and therefore never left in the middle of a room to stub my toes on.
My little girl would have a small but adequate amount of educational, non toxic, sophisticated toys, that were easy to put away, clean up after use, and would just fade into the background of my home decor. LO-Fucking-L.
Before they can walk, their toys (and all their other crap) end up strewn across the room. Then when they can walk, you find toys in the pet bowl, the trashcan, the toilet, the freezer, and basically anything and anywhere reachable from a few feet off the ground. Of course they tire of toys quickly and in your constant battle to keep them occupied and happy, you and others end up buying more.
Some toys are great, others only mildly annoying, but here are a few that I have found extra irritating as well as one that I absolutely love.
Window crayons – This seems like such a great idea at first. They love the idea of writing on the windows (mine was the glass slider in the kitchen). This provided hours of distraction while I cooked, cleaned, or answered emails. So there is a huge silver lining in this one. However, the clean up is horrendous. I think I scrubbed my glass doors for a least 20 mins each time. Also, my daughter then thought it was ok to draw on other things like the wall, the antique furniture, and the rug. (FYI – take marker and crayon out of fabric and rugs with hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol…no joke…it worked!)
Magic or Moon Sand – There is nothing magic about this stuff. It’s sand that when mixed with water sticks together somewhat and acts more like play dough. Except it is not exactly like play dough and ends up drying back out and covering your floor. It also loves to stick to your hair, your toddler’s hair, and the cat. It can be easily ground into the carpet and your clothing (at least ours was white). If you must, keep it outdoors.
Push Popcorn Popper – Somebody is going to give you one of these. Maddie got one for her first birthday from a family member. I knew when I saw it…uggg..she’s going to love it and I’m going to hate it. Since she could already walk it wasn’t needed to help with that, so after a few weeks of incessant popping, it was donated. Although looking back I should have just recycled the damn thing and saved the next set of parents the frustration. Bottomline, it’s ugly and it makes the most annoying sound ever. ‘Nuf said.
Glitter – It’s not really a toy, but kids love it and it’s a bitch to clean up. This should be pretty obvious, but it gets everywhere, I mean everywhere – think floor, furniture, clothing, tile groat, floor board cracks and even body cavities (yes gross). Yes we still have it and let her make art projects with it, but just keep a vacuum handy and keep it to an area that is easy to clean.
There are many more that I either blocked from my memory or just weren’t annoying enough to be top of mind. What are yours?
BUY THIS INSTEAD!!
To end on a positive note, we recently discovered (well actually our amazing, don’t know what I’d do without her, nanny did) Water Wow by Melissa and Doug. These have kept my daughter happy and occupied at restaurants, during car rides, while I’m cooking, answering emails, you name it. I wish I’d found these a year ago. It’s basically like watercolors without the paint and when it dries the color disappears and you just paint (with water) again! Get some of these and keep one in your purse, each vehicle, and on the kitchen table at all times!