Budget Lovers Guide to Entertaining a Toddler

As I add parenting of my third toddler to my parental resume, I realize that I have been doing it all wrong! Why did I spend money on baby toys? As I stand here in the kitchen and try to clean the dishes, cook dinner, dictate spelling words to C and keep D’s starvation at bay until dinner is served, I look down to find T, the almost walker, careening to the open dishwasher, pulling himself up and reaching for every sharp, shiny, pointy, jagged edged implement in the rolled out bottom rack!

QUICK – halt everything, grab his hands, put the knife back in the utensil compartment and pretend that pushing up the door is more fun than investigating what is inside the dishwasher! Smile, giggle, repeat “Push T, Push!” until the door is shut and he is safe from the contents inside. As I make this final push and T whips around to find his next source of entertainment in the kitchen, I realize the three baskets full of infant/toddler toys was a complete waste of money and is now a complete waste of valuable shelf space!

So for those soon-to-be mothers and fathers worried about the cost of raising a child…I have your first short cut! DON’T BUY TODDLER TOYS! Here is my list of alternate options that you most likely already own:

  1. Open Dishwasher – shiny, wet, just my height!
  2. DVD cases on an open shelf – light, fits in my hand and fun to hurl across the floor! (and really, who watches them anymore?)
  3. Tupperware Lids – colorful, round, fun to chew on!
  4. Fridge Magnets – bright, slides easily, sticks in place!
  5. Dirty Laundry – it’s not supposed to stay in the hamper is it? Pulling it all out is FUUUUNN!
  6. Toilet Paper – its light, sticks to my wet fingers, and rolls away from me…and it never ends!
  7. Pots and Pan Drawer – loud! reflects my image and gets everybody’s attention!
  8. Water Bottles – when I steal one from my brothers they roll away, they drip, the spout is chewy!
  9. CD Player – That old school CD player you left out when you were doing your last project, when I stand and put all my weight on the CD door it pops open! And I can do it again and again! (Yes, my 11 month old climbs on top of old CD players!!)
  10. Open Dryer Door – when you leave it open I can take all the wet clothes out faster than you can put them in! Fun…and you play with me!

So there you go! Don’t worry about finding room in the budget for toddler toys, you already have a house full of them…and you didn’t even know it!

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