Have you ever seen the movie Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium? It has a character that receives a block, and continues to call it a plain piece of wood, until she believes it’s more than a block. I feel like this is a parenting point of view on toys. Your baby needs very few things when they first come into this world and those are; food, diapers, clothing, shelter and love. While it’s nice to have fancy gizmos and gadgets, if you are on a budget those items should be your main focus. If you are buying gifts for someone on a budget please keep this in mind as well.
Children have absolutely amazing imaginations, and low expectations when it comes to things to play with or keep them occupied. Currently, Baby Budget is playing with our dog pen, opening and closing the door repeatedly. This is where Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium comes in, we may look at a plain piece of wood and see simply that, however a child looks at that same piece of wood and sees something different. Parents often joke that they could have given the child the box the toy came in, instead of the toy itself, and this is true. When Baby Budget was first learning to sit we used a large red bowl to help her keep her balance, it was something we already owned, and we still use it rather than going out and getting something such as a Bumbo to assist her. Am I telling you to never purchase toys for your child? No, I’m simply saying that if you have a budget, don’t spend it on toys for a baby, find fun things to play with in your house.
Some examples include:
- Measuring Cups
- Boxes, of all shapes and sizes!
- Clothing – socks seem to be a favorite.
- A Blanket – Peek-A-Boo anyone?
- Bathroom Mirror – As babies age they love to look at themselves!
- Tupperware containers
- Music (This isn’t exactly a toy, however most kids love music!)
Anything that is safe meaning no sharp edges, can’t be swallowed, won’t suffocate a child; can easily be turned into a toy. Larger items such as blankets should be used under supervision unless the child is older and can safely play with it themselves. Again, I’m not saying your child doesn’t deserve toys, however buying them should not be at the top of your list when you only have enough money for food and diapers. They are little and they won’t remember not having every toy under the sun. Save your money for the important things, and if or when you have room in your budget, purchase a few small toys!