I find myself drowning in intense anticipation while watching my child open a present – not in the ‘I-can’t-wait-to-see-what-Kare
Every time a new toy enters our house, or even re-surfaces it’s way to the top of some abandoned pile of fellow misfits, in one way or another, it never delivers its intended purpose – usually resulting in some fight or brawl between my boys. It doesn’t matter if there are two identical toys available, they’ll find a reason to argue their need for the exact toy the other one is clenching onto with no intention of letting go.
Although their lack of ability to share accompanied with their relentless epic battling over toy ownership is unavoidable, some additional considerations would make this experience less painful. Never would I instruct someone what or what not to give or buy my child, but in the off chance you’re looking for some guidance or helpful hints, see below:
If this toy in question makes a noise of any kind, I want you to listen to it. Again. Again. And again. Keep listening to it over and over for at least a good half hour on repeat after which I want you to ask yourself, does it drive you crazy? Do you want to rip your hair out? Do you continue to hear this sound on replay in your head long after it stopped making that noise? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, maybe it’s not a good fit. If you still decide to purchase and present this toy to my child, it might remain at your house so every time they come over for a visit you’ll have the luxury of listening to its constant racket.
My boys have the uncanny ability to make anything into a weapon and have more than mastered the art of rough-housing. Much deliberation must be taken into the material of an object that most likely will be used as a fighting instrument. Is the material hard and unforgiving in the event it was to be thrown at you? Let’s just say you happened to get hit in the head with this particular item, would it hurt? Would it inflict serious injury requiring a trip to the ER? Would it cause significant damage to my house or put in a hole in the wall? Maybe not then. Better to be safe, then sorry.
My kids love putting things in their mouths. Disgusting, I know – but regardless, a fact of life. My youngest will soon be a crawler whose mission will be to grab and taste everything and anything she can get her hands on. The worst offender of all is my middle child who hasn’t met a toy he hasn’t attempted (and sometimes successfully) taken a bite out of. He’s even left his mark on non-toy items found around our house with bite marks and chunks taken out of them. Nerf balls, books, pool noodles – nothing is safe. If possible, let’s make sure the item your contemplating on purchasing is non-toxic. That would be awesome.
Are there any small, detachable pieces? Even if a portion of the toy wasn’t manufactured with the intention of being removed, my children will find a way to remove it. They’ll either bite or somehow manage to rip off a portion. Then what? If it doesn’t clog up our toilet after getting flushed, it’ll either get swallowed to which I’ll find remnants of it days later in their poop or it’ll become inserted in their nose and ears. I’ve already been to the ENT once this month, please be kind and allow some time to pass before I need to return.
Additional Help Required
I love playing with my kids. With that said, I also love when my kids are playing contently by themselves or with each other not requiring assistance from me. I don’t mind helping and joining in the fun, but when I’m doing all the work and the result is my children watching me play, that’s not my idea of a good time. Now, if you’re looking to buy something for me to enjoy, I can send you a whole other list of ideas, but when it comes to my kids, maybe it’s best you put back that 1,000 piece puzzle.
You may be thinking what’s left? Honestly, I don’t even know, but if you come across a toy or an item that passes all these criteria, you have my permission to buy up the remaining stock.
At the end of the day, like most kids, my boys would rather play with non-toy items than toys specially designed for their entertainment and amusement. Right now, containers are what’s ‘in’ – blender bottles, Tupperware, boxes.
To save you the trouble, feel free to raid your cupboards or your neglected ‘donate’ pile for potential ideas. Better yet, take them for a trip to a local garage sale. You’ll not only take them off my hands, you’ll save yourself a buck or two by finding an affordable alternative to the latest and greatest toy on the market that won’t last a day in my house.