There are so. many. options. for things to purchase for your baby. So many ideas on what is appropriate and necessary for baby to play with. So the question is….what do you REALLY need for baby?
During the first year of the Wingmans life, we did buy him some toys. He had a couple stuffed animals, a couple toys that had the big rings for babies just learning to grip, some books, etc. He had an exersaucer and when he was 10 months old I won a wooden block set in an online giveaway. A friend gave us this fun dinosaur toy hand-me-down that has different slots to put some balls, which then bounce down stairs, swing a pendulum, or roll down a slide. It’s pretty fun and I am very thankful it was gifted to us, because it sells for $80 brand new!
But his favorite toys were not toys at all. His favorite toys have been…
- Water. He loves to touch and splash in water, whether it’s in the kiddie pool, the bath, or a bowl I fill for him.
- Water bottles. He loves to crinkle them and shake the water around.
- A spatula. I don’t know why this is so fascinating, but he loves it.
- A shaker. A friend got a small clear medicine bottle, filled it maybe a quarter of the way with beads, and glued the lid shut. Wingman loves it!!!
- An envelope. You know those envelopes that come with the clear window to see the address through? Wingman had so much fun with this, crinkling it and turning it. It doesn’t even need the clear, crinkly window….he likes to play in general with the mail. We often give him the junk mail to play with.
- Anything outdoors. He loves grass, wood chips, rocks, etc. Just be careful of course with what goes in the mouth.
- Tissue boxes. If we let him, he would pull tissues out all day. This only happened once though. 😉 I have plans to make him a tugging box like this one.
- A bottle brush and nipple brush. He loves the textures on it.
It really is true that sometimes the best toys aren’t even toys. Personally, I think that not only does it save money, but it can develop the child’s imagination and cognitive skills better than a lot of marketed toys. I have been really surprised to see how so many non-toys hold his interest a lot more than some of the developmental toys we have bought him.
Of course there have been manufactured toys that have helped him in reaching milestones or working on hand-eye coordination. This stacking train, for instance, and this Sit-to-Stand Walker. So I definitely give manufactured toys their place, too!
What did or do your babies play with?