Babies are given so many toys when they're born, and let's be honest, it's fun to buy the latest age-appropriate gadgets for them to interact with. But they also love the everyday items that we take for granted. Lana Hallowes reflects on the crazy non-toys her kids were fascinated by.
The other day my cousin and her 12-month-old baby came to visit. I pulled out an array of old baby toys I had lying at the bottom of the toy box but I really shouldn’t have bothered.
You know what she ended up playing with? The tissue box, squealing with delight as she pulled the sheets of white out of the box and we stuffed them back in for her.
It made me think back to the things my boys loved as babies more than their toys. Here are nine of them.
1. Quality mirror time
I don’t know if it’s the thrill of a potential ‘playmate’ in the room or just the fun of seeing a little person move and giggle before their very eyes, but my boys used to love interacting with their reflection in the mirror. So much so that ‘mirror’ boy would often receive sloppy kisses. Awww.
2. Unused pads
Whenever my baby rummaged through the shopping bags on the floor when we got back from the supermarket, I knew I would have to gift him my packet of pads to play with for the next 20 minutes while I put everything else away. I even got into the habit of buying the bright fun colourful ones over the white generic brand ones as I knew this would make his day.
We had to move our toddler’s cot away from the light switch as he was flicking it on and off all the time. He loved them so much that he would whinge and whine until I hoiked him up on my hip for a light-flicking session. Who needs toys?!
4. The toilet brush
Icky, ick, ick. I caught my crawling son (on more than one occasion) playing with the disgusting toilet brush. The day I found him mouthing it was the day I locked it away in the vanity cupboard.
I was one of those mums who walked around with a teething necklace. My baby loved playing with whatever was hanging around my neck so much, that I ended up making this teething friendly and let him go to town gnawing it with his drooly mouth – I know, so stylish of me.
6. Pot plants
Before we had kids, we used to have indoor plants. One by one the plants got moved outside after their soil ended up all over the carpet. One pot plant, in particular, was filled with pebbles and was like a red rag to my inquisitive baby who would pile them up everywhere. As soon as I realised it was also a choking hazard though, those pebbles and their plant were banished from the house.
7. The washing machine
If I ever needed to buy myself some quiet time, I would do a load of washing. For the 40 minutes it took for my machine to run a quick wash, my baby would be mesmerised, planting his face in the window and watching the clothes spin this way and that. The below picture sums up how much he loved it!
8. The recycling bin
Bottles, caps, containers! To my babies, the plastic recycling box was a goldmine of fun. So much so that emptying it drew tears and the favourite items had to be retrieved for another day before being secretly tossed.
9. Clothes washing baskets
To my babies, the clothes baskets were buses for daddy to push them around in or cars for their teddy bears. The washing basket also made a comfy bed, when a little someone curled up in it with his blankie and fell asleep. My heart!
This post originally appeared on Babyology.
Maggie Dent: Your kitchen cupboards are the best toys for toddlers
Let your toddler's inner investigator get to work!
13 resourceful hacks for organising toys
Because kids spread them EVERYWHERE.
If we’ve given up plastic bags, should we also give up plastic toys?
Where are the eco-friendly alternatives for small collectable toys, asks presenter Shevonne Hunt.
These eco-friendly building blocks will rock your socks
They look exactly like the original favourite toy.
Mum loses it over her messy house but discovers a brilliant new cleaning hack!
Another great cleaning hack, brought to you by rage cleaning!
Middle child traits we bet you can spot in your second born
Middle child truths that all parents of three or more kiddos will know to be true.
Save those precious drops! 7 ways to raise little water warriors
Seven easy ways to teach our kids to conserve water.
Chinese New Year: Welcome to the Year of the Rat!
What to expect from babies born in the Year of the Rat.