I love toys, don’t you? For Christmas, we bought our child a $20 set of kid-sized cleaning tools. You know, a little broom, a mop, a duster, all his own size, what fun!
Do you know who hates toys? Children. Especially if they are within the age range that the toys are intended for. Those are the absolute worst of all. I hand my kid a set of blocks from his room and he looks at me like I’m trying to hand him a warm blueberry-and-chia-seed poopy diaper.
But, we have found a few toys around the house recently that my son actually loves to play with, and here are our favorites:
Unlike those icky “toys” you’ll find with the age range written on the side, Mr. Swiffy is fun for all ages. There is no minimum or maximum age on the joy of running with a metal stick all through the house. You may have seen a picture on the box of Mr. Swiffy moving back and forth on the floor, but believe me, Mr. Swiffy is a lover of all surfaces, walls, ceilings, kitchen counters, and any lamps in your home that your child has yet to break due to his short arms. Don’t worry about those pesky wet and dry pads, Mr. Swiffy is as happy undressed as the toddler who will be wielding him.
Expected Play Time: 20 minutes, or until Mommy gets tired of saying, “If you hit me one more time with that, I’m throwing it down the stairs!”
If you thought Mr. Swiffy was cool, then buckle up. Mr. Suckey has a power button and a battery pack. If your child claims she is scared of the sound of the vacuum, Mr. Suckey will have her loving that loud noise faster than you can say, “Stop trying to Mr. Suckey the cat!” Mr. Suckey works best while the baby is trying to sleep, or Daddy is trying to talk on the phone to the tax accountant, for five minutes, for crying out loud. If you like a clean floor, Mr. Suckey may not be the toy for you. For every one stray cheerio your toddler sucks up, she will smoosh three more into bits with Mr. Suckey’s nose, and then leave them there “in case Mr. Suckey gets hungry later.” And when “later” comes, Mr. Suckey’s battery will, indeed, be dead.
Expected Play Time: 15 minutes, at which point the battery will die. Unlike your toddler, Mr. Suckey adheres to a strict nap schedule. At least one per day.
Yes, we spray our kitties when they are bad, but only because we don’t believe in spanking them. And while the kitties are behaving themselves, our toddler likes to punish anything in the yard within spraying range. The side of the bottle says you can use it for: Cleaners, Weed Killers, and Tepid Three-Day-Old Water that your toddler will spray into his own mouth and drink and claim is way more delicious than the fresh blueberry-and-chia fruit smoothie you made him for lunch. Warning, you will have a wet, and well-hydrated child after he plays with the Bad Kitty Sprayer, but I consider it his shower for the week and move on with my life. I suggest you do the same.
Expected Play Time: 30 minutes, or until your backyard squirrels finally coordinate and fight back.
Calm down! No, I would never give my child a dirty, bacteria-infested, sponge from my kitchen sink. I only use that to wash the wine glasses. But, my child doesn’t need to know that. This one takes a little prep, but it’s totally worth it.
Take a clean sponge out of the package. Slow down, don’t give it to the child. She would never play with something so benign. While your child is napping, Ha! Just kidding. While your child is playing with your phone or having “quiet time,” take the new sponge out in the yard and bury it in the dirt or sandbox. Then dig it up again and place it on the kitchen counter within the child’s reach. Now, after “quiet time,” or whatever, your child will wander over to the counter, look up, see something she’s not supposed to have, and grab it. She will then look at you to see what your reaction will be. Time to get your Oscar, Mom. Repeat after me: “That isn’t really for kids.” Then go about your business. Get a cup of coffee. Whatever. You just bought yourself 10 minutes of freedom. What will your child do with the forbidden sponge? She’ll make it her new best friend. She’ll rub it on her face, put it in her mouth (might want to follow-up this game with Bad Kitty Sprayer, I’m just saying), rub it on the lower half of all your windows and walls. You know, basic stuff. Either way, let’s remember, she’s happy, and you’re hiding around the corner eating Junior Mints alone. You know, the dream.
Expected Play Time: 10 minutes until Infinity, depending on how “bad” your child wants to be. Mine named his Mr. Scrubby and took it to bed with him.