I don’t know about you other parents, but when it comes to toys, I am at a complete loss. I feel overwhelmed at the plethora of toys available to our kids these days. I struggle with which ones are good, and which ones are just a waste of money. I guess if the kids are playing with them, then it wasn’t really a waste of money, right? But let’s be honest, how many of their toys creating that mountain of Lego’s, stuffed bunnies, doll clothes, and puzzle pieces in the corner of your child’s room do they actually PLAY with? Even more so, do they even realize those toys are there? That’s my struggle. I have purchased toys that I think my son (who is now 2) would totally adore, and they go untouched and gather dust on the book shelf. Other toys that seem like something he would have no interest in become his go to play thing for a week or two, then they spend the rest of the month in bottom of the toy bin. I feel like I have tried just about every type of toy that I can think of too; stacking blocks, cars, trucks, Lego’s, balls, animals (both stuffed and plastic), play tools, simple home made craft activities, books, musical instruments, coloring books & crayons, pup tents, pillow forts, ect. You name it, I’ve probably tried it. Some of these things he does really enjoy, but it’s fleeting and I almost always have to be involved.
I have become victim to the classic mom struggle- Finding that “perfect toy”.
I struggle getting rid of toys as well. We still have toys that I bought for my son when he turned one, which truly isn’t that many compared to some of the friends we have had play dates with (I have one storage container that I switch out toys once a month so his toys seem “new”). I haven’t gotten rid of some of these formerly “age appropriate” toys, because when I bring them out he still gets excited to play with them. But that usually only lasts a day, max. I justify keeping them because if he still shows even an ounce of interest, the toy is worth keeping because it may end up becoming his favorite toy, eventually. Right? Yes?
Currently my son LOVES to take my cookbooks, (or any hardback book for that matter) remove the cover, and carry it around for a while. Then he stacks the books up and knocks them down. While I truly do want to support a love for all books and literature, I am not sure that allowing this play is going to inspire a respect for the written word. Plus, MY books are getting beaten up.
Every time I am out at the store, I scour the toy aisle for yet another toy that will keep my toddlers attention for more than 10 minutes. Thus far I have been unsuccessful. Most of the time he will play with whatever toy I grab off the shelf in the cart for a few minutes, but the toy inevitably ends up on the floor, or in the cart basket because he spots something else that he wants even more. When we go to a friends house to play, my son will find a toy and play with it for the duration of the play date. He will even cry when we leave because he “wants to keep” said toy. I have even gone to lengths of buying that exact toy for him, and when I give it to him at home he has absolutely no interest in playing with it AT ALL! I don’t know about you, but it is so incredibly frustrating.
I guess I have such a desire to find my son a “perfect” toy to play with because I myself desire some “time off”. I feel like I have to entertain my son all day long, and for the most part I have no problems thinking up/doing activities and crafts with him, but sometimes all I want is 30 minutes of quiet time to myself that doesn’t include the help of the television, which luckily doesn’t always have his interest anyway.
So the search for that “perfect” toy continues, and I have a feeling this adventure is not going to conclude until he is past the “playing with toys stage”. My question to you, my friends, is have you found the perfect toy? One that will keep your child’s attention and enjoyment for more than 10 minutes, and doesn’t involve the “TV Babysitter?” Please share! I’m sure I am not the only mom out there searching for that perfect toy.