Sure, toddlers are attracted to knives and scissors, but everyone knows those are objects to be kept well out of reach when toddlers are in the home. So what about all those “innocent” items that are so entertaining to little hands? I have found from personal experience that there are a multitude of seemingly boring items in my house that end up giving many more hours of entertainment to my toddlers than all the $20 toys their grandparents can buy. Here are the top 10 items in my home for entertaining my wee ones.
10. A good old box of crackers. And for the the crackers with the highest crumble factor, go for the saltine crackers. Months later you will still be finding the crackers under the seat cushions and hidden in drawers. Maybe the toddler will even find the leftover crackers and have a snack.
9. A box of wet wipes. There is no end to the enjoyment a box of wet paper products will bring. They won’t fit back into the box quite as well after they have all been removed and crumbled by little hands, but lets admit it, they will still do their job.
8. The computer. Other than locking the door to the computer room, I just haven’t found a way to keep the mouse and keyboard from attracting a young ones attention.
7. The older sister’s chap stick. After all, the baby dolls and other toys need to have soft lips too!
6. A puzzle, especially the 1000 piece boxes. Sure, you may try to keep all the puzzles up on a high shelf, and this is where the assistance of an older sibling may be required. Stacking boxes on top of unstable boxes may be necessary, but nothing should stand in the way of entertaining a little sibling.
5. A box of markers. We would all hope they are the washable markers, of course. However, if a permanent marker should be found, never fear, Mr. Clean has a nice eraser that will take almost all of the marks off of the walls, floor or any other area of the home that obviously needed some decorating.
4. The telephone of cell phone. It may even happen that the toddler is able to figure out neat features on the phone that a busy mom hasn’t had time to figure out yet. Hopefully the person that gets speed-dialed will be a very understanding person.
3. The Kleenex box. It is similar to the wet wipes box with one big difference. The crumpled Kleenexes should not be replaced in the box and reused! Guests have a hard time distinguishing between a truly “used” Kleenex and one just used to keep the little one quiet for a while.
2. A cup or bottle of liquid (without a fancy spill proof lid). This will help wash down that box of crackers and make nice squishy spots to step on as you re-stuff wet wipes and sweep up cracker crumbs.
1. Mommy’s wallet. Ultimately the best thing to entertain a toddler is something packed with lots of paper and plastic to rearrange. Others behind you in line at the grocery will certainly understand when you spend three minutes searching for the credit card in your newly jumbled wallet.
So don’t worry about the fancy toys that line the aisles at Walmart. Stick with the tried and true entertainment tools for toddlers . . . or build LOTS of very high, lockable storage cabinets in your house.