Top Toddler Toys I'd Send to Room 101

When you have kids you kind of accept that you're going to acquire a lot of stuff. When they're tiny you concern yourself with the practical things - bedding, feeding apparatus, clothing (things that will help keep them alive) rather than toys. Yeah, there'll probably be a Lamaze squirrel and a Sophie the Giraffe kicking about but the play things aren't excessive. They're controllable. Things are organised and neat and lovely.

Then they get bigger. They need entertaining. There are birthdays, Christmases and countless shopping trips where the only way to quell a tantrum is to promise them a new book/car/Macca Pacca water squirter on the way to the checkout. The collection grows and gradually your house becomes overrun with toys. They seem to multiply, spilling from room to room like brightly coloured, plastic, molten lava. They can't be contained. Not by plastic storage boxes, colourful IKEA baskets or that flatpack toy box from Argos that you put together, weeping, slat by slat. Before long your living room looks like an explosion in Toymaster, your garden is a dense jungle of battered, broken plastic and you have a spare room that you daren't set foot in because it's full of crap and it overwhelms you.

Everywhere you turn there are books, puzzles, lego, crayons, flash cards, action figures, trains, teddies, musical instruments, golf clubs, blocks, animals and cars...dear God, the cars. I am genuinely convinced that I'll meet my doom at the hands of a misplaced Hot Wheels on the top stair. But those aren't the worst; these are the top toddler toys that I'd send to Room 101 and how they are slowly taking over our home.

Statement gifts
The statement gift is often presented to children on birthdays/Christmases by well meaning friends or relatives. It has two resounding characteristics: it is big and it is useless. For the first three minutes child may well be enthralled by the 4ft Winnie the Pooh or life-size, battery powered vehicle (batteries not included) but then their interest will evaporate and you'll be left smiling gratefully while thinking 'Cheers knobhead, where's THAT going to go?!'

Urgh, bits. So many bits. A piece of a train track here, a piece of a different train track there, a plastic scalpel from a doctors kit, fencing from a long forgotten farmyard, bits of random (often unidentifiable) plastic. It's endless and it enrages me for two reasons: firstly because it's EVERYWHERE and secondly because it means very few of the toys we own are actually in full working order. The other day I somewhat optimistically bought Jack a Frozen puzzle book. Each page was a jigsaw and as I watched him gleefully dismantle the elfin features of Anna and Elsa I knew that this was the first and only time that this jigsaw would ever be in one piece. I may as well have cut out the middle man and torn a fiver into several pieces then hidden them around the house. Now we do jigsaws on the iPad.

Free shit
Props to McDonalds, their Happy Meal toys have come on leaps and bounds since I was a sprog. Even I got a bit excited by the penguin periscope a few months back. Nevertheless, this is still cheap, plastic tat that doesn't need to be added to the growing collection of overpriced, plastic tat that we already own. The same applies to Kinder toys and anything that comes on the front of a magazine (with the exception of the Mr Tumble telephone which I often use to 'tell Justin that Jack is being naughty'). Once the initial interest has worn off I usually try to discreetly dispose of them but if I'm caught in the act I get told off. 'Toys no go in bin, naughty mummy!' Busted.

Drawing equipment
In our house, drawing usually means making one solitary scribble on a blank page before moving on to another one. Then another one. Then another one. In this way a full drawing pad can be used up in minutes and the house quickly becomes a highly flammable shit-tip that would make a tree hugger weep. And when he's bored of drawing the only thing left to do is tear his masterpieces into a million pieces and treat himself to a little papery snow storm. The rage continues.

Ball pool
This was a great toy for a 6 month old. A little piece of soft play in our own living room where he'd sit gurgling contentedly among the brightly coloured balls for ages. Fast forward 18 months and there is no sitting. Now the best game EVER is to tip 200 balls all over the floor and watch mummy pick them up. Repeatedly. Bonus points if you can get them to the back of the sofa and all those other hard to reach places. This isn't where my hatred of the ball pool stems from though. No, the amount of occasions I've found myself showering down a bath full of balls following an explosive nappy/projectile vomit incident really sealed that deal. Now the ball pool is tucked away in the spare room of doom and we do not speak of it.

Play Doh
Whenever Jack used to come home from nursery he'd talk about Play Doh. Granted, the tale usually involved his friend Tyler who seemed to have a habit of eating it but he still showed enough enthusiasm for me to assume it would be a worthwhile Christmas present. I bought him the Play Doh Burger Maker with high hopes of the fun we'd have mincing burgers and cutting out gherkins. What a fool. Why did nobody warn me about Play Doh? It stinks, it mushes together into revolting colours that all resemble dog shit and expose it to air for more than 3 seconds and it crumbles into a substance that is ideal for treading into carpets. AND it comes with a plastic knife, perfect for flicking Play Doh at windows and stabbing up mummies. People have since advised me that Moon Dough is a less offensive alternative but that advice has come too late for my carpet and my sanity.

How do you cope with your toddlers toys and which ones would you happily send to Room 101 (or at least a car boot sale?)


  1. Yes, yes, yes! The 'bits' actually make me feel quite anxious. I can never find them all, they're all in different boxes, I can't even remember which car / shop / creepy little person belongs where - it's awful! I am fearful also that as he gets bigger, so will his toys...

    1. Oh I'm so glad I'm not the only one! When picking toys for birthdays etc, I'm so drawn to instant gratification things like his karaoke keyboard. Yeah its loud and irritating but at least it doesn't need a full scale house search before you can use it. Sadly I think the collection will keep growing as they get older, definitely need to sort a car boot sooner rather than later...

  2. I love any post that can fit in the word 'knobhead', one of my personal favourite insults. Keep up the good and funny posts! And I'll carrying on tidying up all the ELC vomit on my carpets x

    1. Thank you, a favourite insult for me too :) x

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