Do you see this?
These are the baby toys that we’ve acquired over the last six years. We’ve had others that we’ve sent to the Thrift Store or given to friends so the fact that these are still kicking around tells you that they aren’t bad. They’ve been played with here and there, but almost without exception, we probably could have done without them. Yes, even that Sophie the Giraffe peeking out there. I know, I know. In the natural parenting community it’s pretty much a sin of blasphemy to declare Sophie anything less than an awesome baby toy. But there you have it. All of these brightly coloured noisy (even scented) plastic, plush and wooden toys really have nothing to offer when compared to The Big Three Baby Toys.
This rattle was a gift from friends who traveled to Guatemala. It was probably cheap there but when you add the price of airfare, not so much. So it doesn’t win in the cheap or easy to replace if lost category. But, the handle is small and easy for clumsy babies to grab, pick up on their own and cling to, without fumbling and dropping it by accident. It is filled with pebbles or seeds likely, the kind of things that if it ever broke open would make it a certified North American safety hazard—though in reality they’re probably small enough to be swallowed and pooped out. Besides, that thing is never breaking open. It’s pretty bomber. The noise it makes is pleasant, not overly loud. It’s not hard enough that if baby smacks himself in the face it will hurt much and it definitely wins in the all-natural category.
This toy is easy to grab, easy to bite and for extra fun, it’s bendy. Babies can bang on it to produce a pleasant drumming sound but it’s not loud when thrown or dropped from a high-chair. Technically, it wins in the cheap category seeing as you probably have many of these laying around your house. This particular brand of yogurt, however, runs $4.99 for 500g so not as cheap as it could be.
Bonus points: this toy often gets recycled lost and requires you to purchase and quickly consume another container of Liberté Black Cherry (8% MF) yogurt before mom baby freaks out.
Ever heard a little story about my precious? One ring to rule them all? Well, folks, this is it. This toy is also easy to grab, easy to hold, easy to bite. It teaches babies about shapes that are hollow and sometimes falls onto their arm like a bracelet causing confusion and panic learning opportunities. It is shiny. It makes a nice clanging noise when banged on the floor or dropped from great heights. It is small. It is portable. It is cheap. I bet every single one of you have at least one of these in your kitchen somewhere even if you’ve never canned a single thing in your life. I know some people even tie several of these together on a ribbon for extra clangy fun.
We’ve done experiments holding up The Ring and one of the brightly coloured toys above. Every one of our babies reached for The Ring every time.
What are/were the best baby toys at your house?