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2012 Baby Toys of the Year

I know what you're thinking.  You're wondering, "Isn't it a little early to have already chosen the best baby toys for the whole year?"  Well, the answer is no - apparently we can start declaring things The Best of 2012 as early in the year as we like.  For example, in some circles they had decided who TV's Best Looking Stars were before we were even a whole week into 2012!  So a big "sorry 'boutcha" to any celebs who'd planned to really get their acts together and clean themselves up by, say, mid-July in hopes of being voted Most Aesthetically Pleasing Human on Television this year - it's too late.  Maybe the voting committees for these types of honors are nervous that the Mayans were right about Doomsday coming in December, and were afraid that they might miss out on an opportunity to superficially judge people if they didn't act quickly, to which I say, "Bravo - how very proactive of you."

Which brings me to my own Best Of list.  Baby toys are something I know a little bit about, since I'm lucky enough to stay home with Maddie these days, and we spend a lot of time playing.

I know what gets Maddie's attention and what doesn't, so I'm pleased to share my list of 2012's Best Baby Toys with all of you expecting mothers, parents of young babies, and frequent baby shower attendees, so that you don't end up wasting your money on a bunch of stuff your baby wouldn't so much as drool on.

"In a sea of playthings, what should I ignore first...?"

1. Empty Candy Wrappers

It's no secret: babies love crinkly stuff.  Sure, we have Baby Einstein-approved crinkly toys out the wazoo here, but nothing seems to keep Maddie occupied quite like the satisfyingly crisp crackle of a (thoroughly washed) empty bag of candy.  Unfortunately for my midsection, we always  have empty bags of candy around here, so we're never more than arm's reach from the tools we need for a soothed and content baby.  Granted, I wouldn't recommend leaving Baby unattended with one, based on the vicious gumming she gives them and how voraciously she tries to rip them into bits, but I believe that technically  we're not supposed to leave her unattended anyway.

2. Electronics

Have you considered getting Baby her own iPhone?  You might as well, because if you don't you'll spend a considerable amount of your time and upper body strength trying to keep her away from yours.  I don't know what her fascination with it is (although she's probably thinking the same thing about me), but she'll do about anything to get her mitts on our phones and attempt to lick the germs off.  And while we're on the subject, why stop with a phone?  Babies love all electronics - the more expensive, the better.

3. Empty Baby Wipes Containers

When searching for the ideal baby toy, don't overlook things you might otherwise consider chucking unceremoniously into the recycling bin.  One of Maddie's favorite things is an empty box of baby wipes; it doesn't have  to be made by Pampers, as ours is, but I think Maddie chose this one because not only is it not  a real toy, but we also got it for free and I think she could sense that.  This is also a good way to make use of any toys that you spent your hard-earned money on that are actually intended to be played with - just grab any small toys that, under most conditions, are totally invisible to your baby, plop them in the box, and voila!  It almost looks like your baby is playing with the real toys while she removes the intruders from her beloved wipes box and then bangs happily on the lid.  And speaking of banging on things, don't forget you'll need to provide your baby with...

4. Anything That Can Be Banged Against Another Thing

Noise, noise, noise - it's all about the noise with babies.  Crinkly noise is good, but it lacks the sheer eardrum-popping power that banging things together provides.  Any two graspable, hard objects will work - Maddie is particularly fond of these balls because, in addition to the noise they make when she cracks them together (repeatedly), they also each contain a rattle, which makes (you guessed it) more noise.

(Editor's note:  Yes, I know her outfit is terrible.  Don't judge me.  Earlier this morning we had An Incident (please note Haz-Mat Suit reference in the chart above), which necessitated the third wardrobe change of the day at 7 AM, so I grabbed the first two baby-sized things I found in the clean, unfolded laundry, figuring at least it would be two items I wouldn't have to fold and put away.  At the rate my morning was going, it was the only way any laundry was coming out of the basket today.)

5. Soda Cans

I believe I've covered this before, but it's worth mentioning again - Mads loves soda cans.  It has to be cold, though, and preferably you should be trying in vain to take a drink while she paws at it eagerly.  Sometimes she'll wait relatively patiently for you to take a sip, but as soon as the can is back within her range she'll pounce on it like a monkey on crack (or some other idiom that actually makes sense).

6. Pan Lids

This is one we only recently discovered.  Gerry was washing a pan lid, Maddie caught sight of it, and she was instantly intrigued with every aspect of it, including the screw that holds the knob on.

Then she wanted to taste the whole thing, including the knob, the edge, and the glass part.

This has been one of my own favorites, too - ideally, a baby toy should be entertaining for the parents as well, don't you think?

"Hey, whatcha guys laughin' at over there?"

Well, I hope you've found my 2012 Best Baby Toys review useful and informative.  Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go play with Madeline some more, as she has forsaken all her other toys (and non-toy playthings) and opted to entertain herself while I was blogging with a stack of clean (but now slobber-soaked) diapers.

I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing!


Julia said...

Ha ha, just amazing :) love you review of favorite toys. I have small daughter and she loves exactly the "toys" :) .

Robyn Welling said...

Glad we're not alone! :)

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