Last week, my first son reach a milestone. He’s been alive one revolution of the earth around the sun. During that time we’ve both done a lot of growing. I’d like to share with you a few of the things that I’ve learned.
One of things we’ve learned is that he’s not impressed by expensive toys, yet. In fact, he loves a lot of really cheap toys. Specifically,
- A Dollar Store Pot – A local dollar store had a plastic cooking set for a buck. The pot is perfect for him to hold and bang on any table, floor, or wood-burning stove (when off, of course). He loves the sound of it on different things. My wife thinks this is an indication that he’ll grow up to be a great chef. I just think he’s exploring the world. He’ll grow up fast enough, we probably don’t need to typecast to a career yet.
- Giant Hand Clapper – This is another dollar store find. This may be giving the wrong impression that we do a lot of shopping at the dollar store, but these are the only two items we’ve bought. I’m hesitant to buy more, why mess with a perfect record.
- Baby Crab Hat – It’s not the exact hat in the link, but that’s a representation of it. To be fair, this isn’t a toy and it actually wasn’t frugal. I had to throw it in so that I can write, “I got my baby addicted to pot and gave him crabs and the clap.” (I’d go into more detail, but I’d have to run it by my lawyer first.)
- Curious George’s Opposites – This was one of the first books we got (it was a gift) and it was a hit from the beginning. I’m think it might have a calming effect like I get with an old Seinfeld re-run. In truth he loves all books, but he’ll go dig through his whole toy bin pick up the book and bring it to us to read to him. It was amazing to see him do that when he had just barely managed to crawl.
- Look, Baby Flash Cards – This is just a step below Curious George Opposites. Between these two, I’ve been able to distract him from severe teething pain while the baby Tylenol takes effect. Combine all that with Baby Oragel and the biggest meltdown becomes sleepy time.
- Baby Einstein on YouTube – We have a number of Baby Einstein DVDs, but I’ve found it is easier to call up YouTube on my TV. Can’t beat the price of free. I realize that there’s evidence that baby’s under two shouldn’t watch television, but he really enjoys it and I can tell he’s actually learning from it. If I were an expert in baby education perhaps I could a better job, but I’m not. My favorite of the videos is Primeras Palabras as it covers learning Spanish complete with baby sign language from Marlee Matlin.
As for the watching of copyrighted material for free, I have to imagine that Disney, worth around 115 billion dollars this morning could easily get it removed if they wanted to.
What are the best frugal baby toys you’ve found?
Victor Wooten says
Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’ve also become a dad again recently – my little one is now 13 months.
One area where you can definitely save a lot of money is childrens/baby shoes.
A pair of top quality baby shoes costs around £25.
My wife buys them pre-used on ebay for around £5-£7
They always look brand new – how much walking do tiny babys do ???
Kostas @ Finance Blog Zone says
The cost of baby equipment is very high and I think it is great that you have found some ways to save a little money. YouTube is a great source of free entertainment for adults too!!
These are great tips! I’ve found plain old cardboard boxes work great too! Hours of fun and toddlers learn about shapes and the concepts of in, out, on and under!
I second the cardboard boxes. Take empty food packaging boxes and use clear tape to close them up and your kids have hours of entertainment building castles, etc.
+1 to Baby Einstein on YouTube. Grandma bought the entire set on eBay, but YouTube is just faster. Really not sure why Disney doesn’t care.
We also buy only used shoes besides the ones we get for gifts. Otherwise my kid would spend more on shoes than me!
Lazy Man says
Shoes are a lot more expensive that I thought. Since Little Man is just getting old enough to get on his feet now, I hadn’t looked at the cost of shoes before. I saw a few $40 pairs at Stride Rite today! I don’t pay $40 for my own shoes!
My wife looked on Ebay for used shoes and said that they were still fairly expensive there. We’ve had some good luck at T.J. Maxx and Target/Walmart clearance racks.