Babies Play With Everything, But Their Toys - An Ever-expanding List
Babies are weird. But the things they insist on playing with are even weirder. Weirdly specific. This articles explores some of that weirdness.
This article deals with funny things that babies reach for. For an in depth discussion on whether children should be allowed to explore on their own, see this discussion.
Although our little shop is still in its infancy, we have met so many supportive and helpful people. Apparently, we weren't alone as parents when we we were trying to stop our babies from playing with things that aren't toys, and why they loved regular household items so much.
This support comes in many forms, some less obvious than others. A big one for us has been receiving literally hundreds of future product ideas from baby parents of things that their children try to play with that are not toys. Some of these ideas seem quite popular. So many parents mentioned TV remotes as something their babies grab, that we may just have to add them to our shop soon (wink wink). Other ideas appear less popular but still were submitted a number of times (a blankie covered in tags?! Sign me up!). We hope to eventually expand our product line to those too.
But, some parents shared things that their kids play with that were hilariously specific. Although we highly doubt ever developing these as products to sell, we are extremely thankful for their sharing. The communal laughs themselves are worth it.
To spread the laughs, I am trying to recall some of the really funny ones we've received.
- There's the sneaky toddler that's constantly snatching his dad's inhaler. Maybe that has to do with its understandable feeling of importance.
- I was cracking up at the 10-month-old that refuses to go to bed without a (hopefully closed) jar of peanut butter in his crib.
- The baby that made a best friend out of the silicone omelet flipper is unforgettable.
- And finally, and this is one's from my own baby, the little cap that covers the screw on the bottom of a toilet.
I wish we could create enough concepts to cover everything, however I am pretty sure you are on your own if your kid is THIS specific.
Here's a fun idea! Every now and then, when a mom or dad send a new, funny and specific idea, we'll chuck it on this little list.
- Today two mom's mentioned their babies are obsessed with two funky food items. One baby loved salt and pepper shakers and the other baby insists on playing with dog food. One bite of either of these and they'll probably be seeking new favorites!
- Today I heard about two babies that had strange obsessions. One can't let go of empty water bottles and the other baby competes with the dog for the dog's dog toys. *Shrug* All is fair in love and war.
A Tiktok video of a child refusing to part with a whisk, even while sleeping, went viral. As of this writing, about 25 million people viewed it. Obviously, this video is quite pertinent to our little shop, so we reached out to the mother of this young man, requesting permission to share her video. She obliged. But, we had something else in mind as well. Like most things with a lot of internet traction, she received a sizable dose of unearned judgement for... letting her child play with something thats not a toy. And we took that personally. So, to show our support for this fun-loving momma, we sent her a set of our metal baby keys for being the creative sort!
After sharing her footage on multiple platforms, we had our own mini viral moment (not 25 million, around 0.15% of that). But what's even more entertaining, is that parents (many from an influential group on Reddit called r/Mommit) began adding to our list of hilariously specific thing their kids play with. Products so specific, that even if our shop began producing them, you'll know we've reached the bottom of our list. So without further ado, here's addition 3 to our list. It's a doozy.
- We heard of the toddler that demanded to sleep with a building block. Oh, and only blue would do.
- There's the girl (now grown up) that would haul around a plastic chair constantly. She even gave it a name. "Friendie."
- A rag enthusiast was mentioned. This girl would play with rags at the park!
- After sharing that her daughter played with a plastic bowl, one mom divulged that, as a girl, she had a longtime relationship with a... potato.
- A bag of dirt? One mom mentioned that that's what her son asks to play with.
- We heard of one transportation enthusiast that collected and played with bus transfers.
- Multiple reports were received on toddlers wishing to play with their mom's bras. Perhaps a coping mechanism during weening?
- We know kids play with basketballs, but to sleep with one was news to us. The b-ball is named Naggie.
- Spatulas, potato mashers and tongs (called snap-snap or chompers or shark) apparently are a thing to play with. When I asked if the mom of the boy that loved the spatula if he grew up to be a chef, his mom responded: psychologist (correlation does not equal causation!).
- One that we can't figure out how it's even possible to play with is street taco tortillas, which one mom said her son plays with. Sounds crumbly!
- Do you like french fries? Well, one child slept with a fryer basket, so you can hope you meet each other in dreamland.
- The holiday season is loved by all, but one girl took it a step further by adopting a package of gold tinsel to play with, brush and take on walks.
- Forget shaking rattles, these babies shake boxes of baking powder or Shake and Bake as their form of play.
- Playing with a gourd! That's produce that I don't even eat and she's playing with it?
- The non-Jewish boy who insisted on sleeping with a Menorah really lit up our faces with laughs.
- One girl goes on a literal dream-spree with the expired credit and membership cards she takes to bed each night.
- Emotional-support-silicone-baking-brush? Essential.
- Let's go out to the ball game as this girl plays with... a bottle of yellow mustard.
- Going to sleep with a pair of goggles on your forehead seems pivotal for swimming in your dreams.
- Brighten your day and sleep with the continuous presence of a snuggly flashlight.
- Keep your dreams clean with a bottle of your favorite hand soap under your bed each night. Still figuring out why it needs to be under...
- This girl never parted with her fly swatter (fortunately unused) which played/practiced with constantly. Rumor has it she's now a black belt of fly-swatting-ninjaship.
- Today I heard from a mom about her kid who adopted a mini crockpot as a pet. He loved it and never let it out of his sight. He would frequently take it on walks, using the electric cord as a leash. Man's best friend!
Parenthood can be strange but if we learn to laugh along it can be beautifully strange. Please share in the comment section any other random obsession your baby has!
Catching up on some random things I heard some babies played with!
- A baby playing with measuring cups? Sounds like an examined life....
- AirPods are this toddlers favorite toy. I am actually surprised how infrequently I hear about this one.
- An empty box of candy does sound like a highly stimulating baby toy.
After we shared our take on a viral video of a toddler clinging to a packaged HDMI wire, many people came forward with stories of their own children grabbing oddly specific things.
- Don't know what nutrients cauliflower has specifically but one child would not let go of a bag of frozen cauliflower.
- A toddler would carefully assemble, and then sleep with easter eggs.
- Loofahs. This young one would insist on playing with loofahs. "Simpler times," according to his mom.
- Towels are toys, right? At least, this is what one kid thought, not letting that absorbent rag out of its sight.
- Diaper bags play quite a vital role in the lives of babies, but never have I thought of them as their toys.