Babykins loves her dolly that we bought her for her first birthday. Dolly is a simple 12-inch baby doll whose blue eyes close when you lay her down. Babykins plays “Mommy and Baby” with Dolly regularly. Yesterday, Babykins was cradling Dolly on the couch next to me. “What are you doing with Dolly?” I asked.
“Me rock her,” Babykins replied. Then she shifted Dolly upright so her head was resting on Babykins’s shoulder. Babykins continued her story, “Dolly is up now so she watch you. She always up so can watch you aaaaaalllll the time.”
Because that isn’t creepy at all.
We have toys for Babykins. She has dolls, a play kitchen with play food, blocks, and more. She does play with these items. Many of them she will hopefully start to enjoy more as she grows. However, the top 5 items that Babykins plays with best (which means they’ll hold her attention for 15-20 minutes–an eternity in toddler-time) aren’t toys.
1. Crayons: I suppose these could be considered a toy, but Babykins doesn’t color with the crayons. She instead does things like line them up, take them in and out of their box, and carefully study them. The only downside is that she shows she is done playing with the crayons by eating them.
2. Empty containers: Babykins loves containers that have a lid that can twist on and off. She hasn’t figured out how to get the lids off and occasionally needs me to help, but otherwise she’ll happily examine the containers and see what items can fit in them. Her current favorite containers are an onion powder container, vanilla extract bottle, and pharmacy pill bottle.
3. My wallet: Babykins has been pulling my wallet out of the diaper bag for months now. I recently got a new wallet and tried to give her my old one. No go. Mommy’s wallet is the best, not the wallet Mommy is not using. Unfortunately, she can get the cards out of my new wallet.
4. Toilet paper tubes: I started collecting empty toilet paper tubes for future craft projects. I pulled them out on a whim on day for Babykins to play with. She loved them! Her favorite activity with them is try to get them to stand upright in a line.
5. Empty boxes: Of course, what child doesn’t prefer boxes to whatever came in them? They have so much potential! Boxes can have things inside them or outside them. They can be opened or closed. They can even go upside down. My mom recently sent a care package to us. It was a win-win: I ate the cookies, Babykins played with the box.
The truth is, when you are a toddler, everything is a toy.
P.S.–All of these toys also entertain our cats, especially the empty boxes.