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#31 of 50 Old 11-16-2009, 09:17 PM
 
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This is a pet peeve of mine, and recently I have been seeing commercials for a toy that I almost cannot believe--- the fisher price easel that plays music more and more quickly the more quickly a baby scribbles on it. What in the world is this teaching children except that a) the purpose of art/creative expression is just to achieve some other purpose (i.e., not for the pleasure of the act itself) and b) scribble as hard and fast as you can?

We got rid of our exersaucer and I don't plan to buy another one. DD enjoyed it a bit, but it took up huge space and was really a bit of an eyesore. This new baby is a boy, so I am planning to really crack down on toy mania around here. It would be one thing to just have lots of dolls lying around, but I cannot cope, in terms of cleanliness, with the plethora of new types of toys that will be coming our way. Oh my.

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#32 of 50 Old 11-16-2009, 10:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MaterPrimaePuellae View Post
This is a pet peeve of mine, and recently I have been seeing commercials for a toy that I almost cannot believe--- the fisher price easel that plays music more and more quickly the more quickly a baby scribbles on it. What in the world is this teaching children except that a) the purpose of art/creative expression is just to achieve some other purpose (i.e., not for the pleasure of the act itself) and b) scribble as hard and fast as you can?

We got rid of our exersaucer and I don't plan to buy another one. DD enjoyed it a bit, but it took up huge space and was really a bit of an eyesore. This new baby is a boy, so I am planning to really crack down on toy mania around here. It would be one thing to just have lots of dolls lying around, but I cannot cope, in terms of cleanliness, with the plethora of new types of toys that will be coming our way. Oh my.

It seems like I get rid of 5X more toys than we buy. A lot of the toys/gifts that people have bought for my kids wind up at goodwill. I've tried suggesting things that are more in line with our family values, but I think when people give gifts they are often giving more for themselves, to live viacariously. A few times, I've put gifts away to re-gift later - to someone who would appreciate it more than we do or to give to toys-for-tots. I routinely clean out my girls room and purge. Just last week I got rid of 4 LARGE boxes of books and toys (they went to Daddy's new apartment).

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#33 of 50 Old 11-17-2009, 12:29 PM
 
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I happen to not mind some plastic, flashy toys, to be honest. DS has a LeapFrog table that he loves to play with, and he gets a real kick out of toys that have buttons he can push to get a reaction. I got him a calculator, and a toy laptop for his birthday. He also has unfinished wooden cars, a play kitchen from 1980 that doesn't need batteries, a bead rollercoaster, and giant legos.

Little babies don't need all that crap, though. I've told people not to get us ANYTHING that we don't specifically request, because we have all our stuff from DS still. I did put this bouncer on my amazon wish list because I like the low-tech toy bar. I also have one of these that I used with DS to much success. We also have a wind-up swing that we got from a tag sale or freecycle or somewhere, and a battery-operated one that creeps me out a bit. The swings and seats I think will come in handy during toddler diaper changes when DH has the kids alone. I also just got an ERGO for $80 on sale that I think DH will find handy (he has a hard time with other carriers).

Now if I can just find a bell-and-whistle free potty chair, I'll be golden.

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#34 of 50 Old 11-17-2009, 01:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ivymae View Post
I completely agree, and while i have been able to find simple items, they are $$$$$ and i am way too cheap for them.

Like this: http://www.csnbaby.com/bloom-E10601-CCW-OOM1049.html or this: http://www.csnbaby.com/Cariboo-C8412-1-VE1053.html

Most of our baby stuff has been thrifted/handed down from friends, so we have been fairly lucky about finding simple toys on a budget. Of course, then I gave away all of that stuff after DD2 was born.... We'll see what make it's way back to us, but I can see taking off the flashy bars and batteries out of loads of things.
Oh those are so beautiful!

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#35 of 50 Old 11-17-2009, 02:58 PM
 
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i agree w/ the pps who have pointed out that when you actually can find nice, simple baby things that aren't overstimulating, they're ridiculously expensive!!
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#36 of 50 Old 11-17-2009, 03:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MaterPrimaePuellae View Post
This is a pet peeve of mine, and recently I have been seeing commercials for a toy that I almost cannot believe--- the fisher price easel that plays music more and more quickly the more quickly a baby scribbles on it. What in the world is this teaching children except that a) the purpose of art/creative expression is just to achieve some other purpose (i.e., not for the pleasure of the act itself) and b) scribble as hard and fast as you can?
Oh my god! I'm trying so hard to make those feelings go AWAY in my life (work housecleaning trying to fit everything in hurry hurry must meditate etc)! I can't believe they're trying to train it into the kids! Scary

My father in law has been talking about buying us a ton of crappy, noisy, light up toys for the baby. This was one of the first things he mentioned after we told him I'm pregnant... apparently DH was given some direct-from-Taiwan (where his grandfather lived) super obnoxious toys that have made my FIL build up some revenge scenario in his head for years. There was immediate mention of "Hungry Hungry Hippos" (and I thought, "oh, good, I loved that game!", but apparently it's suuuuuper annoying to hear your kid play that, or something) and all kinds of light up musical instrument toys. I still think that it's kind of ridiculous - just because they let my husband make a ton of noise and drive everyone crazy doesn't mean I won't know how to give bad toys to the Goodwill or at least take out the batteries - but I can see this "indulgent grandparent revenge" thing becoming a problem as the kids get older...

Nevermind that my husband is also a musician, and spent years making awful "teaching himself to play" noises in his parents' basement. I know it sounds awful, but my hope is that at least our girl will want to play the guitar or keyboards instead of the drums! DH literally made an old lady move away from next door to his parents' condo (they shared a wall) with his drumming
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#37 of 50 Old 11-17-2009, 03:17 PM
 
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Nevermind that my husband is also a musician, and spent years making awful "teaching himself to play" noises in his parents' basement. I know it sounds awful, but my hope is that at least our girl will want to play the guitar or keyboards instead of the drums! DH literally made an old lady move away from next door to his parents' condo (they shared a wall) with his drumming
My husband, also a musician (though not professionally) has recently started teaching himself to play drums. We live in a town house! Luckily our neighbors don't seem to mind, and he doesn't play often or overly loudly (not that you can play a regular drum set quietly). But, yeah, we have those "teaching himself to play" noises and my DH is an adult!

I told my mom I didn't want a ton of loud flashy plastic toys and she basically told me, "too bad."

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#38 of 50 Old 11-17-2009, 03:44 PM
 
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I always recommended practice pads to the parents/spouses of my percussion students. There is also a way to dampen drumsets if they are playing set (although I can't easily explain it here). Really, though, they need to learn rudiments before starting set, so an inexpensive drum pad to practice on would be invaluable.

Concerning gifts...remember, as the gift giver they can give whatever they want. However, as the parent, you can keep, donate, return, or trash whatever you want. This has worked well for us. By the time the kids were old enough to understand, they understood about quality toys and what we really care about, that there are some kis who don't have toys, etc. My MIL gave my dd a "slap in the face" gift this year for her 5th birthday. We saw MIL this weekend and MIL asked if dd had played with it. Dd answered, "No. We took it back." MIL wanted to know why and dd very politely and matter of factly replied, "It was against my values, but I was able to get a lovely music box. Thank you."

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#39 of 50 Old 11-17-2009, 04:10 PM
 
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I told my mom I didn't want a ton of loud flashy plastic toys and she basically told me, "too bad."
Then "too bad", it goes to goodwill!! My mom did that, but I think she's realized that the tons of plastic crap she's brought over here is NOT HERE ANYMORE! It just disappears... So, she stopped bringing it, and her compromise is if she buys anything noisy/obnoxious, it stays at her house. I'm an adult now and she can't dictate what's in my home. Unfortunately, ds has realized this, and now begs grandma to bring HER toys over whenever she visits. We live in a townhome too- a tiny one, so I also use that as an excuse when she gets something huge and crazy- sorry, no room, keep it at your house.

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#40 of 50 Old 11-17-2009, 04:48 PM
 
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We make our preferences clear to those who ask, but most people either do not ask, do not understand, or will buy whatever they want to regardless. We've donated a bunch of toys to the toys for tots program (like new, still in the box, just taken out to look at), and toys that don't fit their bill either go to the local crisis nursery or to ARC. We really, really try to keep our toys simple and geared towards imagination play, but there are certainly some that sneak in and we let run its coarse. My girls are young enough that even the flashiest toy gets forgotten in a short period, and then those toys 'disappear'.

We also have the tradition of doing a toy purge before birthdays/Christmas. We donate the toys we are getting rid of, and there is room in the toy box for the new things.

A great thing for older kids (toddler+) is to find out what is offered in your area (children's museums, church play room, etc) and you may find that there is already a fully stocked play kitchen that they can play with there, and you can save room in your own house. We had a ton of dress up clothes, but then i realized that they preferred to play dress up at our co-op school, since their friends were there, and I donated the entire trunk. I have more space, the girls will actually play with it now, and other kids get to play as well.

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#41 of 50 Old 11-17-2009, 04:51 PM
 
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Then "too bad", it goes to goodwill!! My mom did that, but I think she's realized that the tons of plastic crap she's brought over here is NOT HERE ANYMORE! It just disappears... So, she stopped bringing it, and her compromise is if she buys anything noisy/obnoxious, it stays at her house. I'm an adult now and she can't dictate what's in my home. Unfortunately, ds has realized this, and now begs grandma to bring HER toys over whenever she visits. We live in a townhome too- a tiny one, so I also use that as an excuse when she gets something huge and crazy- sorry, no room, keep it at your house.
My big issue is that I get guilt ridden over giving away stuff people give me. I have to find away past that or I'm not going to be able to see the ground in my house once this baby is here.

I just remember what my room looked like as a kid... broken toy pieces everywhere, couldn't see the floor, didn't play with a tenth of it, didn't even know what some of the pieces went to, etc. I do NOT want that for my kids.

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#42 of 50 Old 11-17-2009, 05:58 PM
 
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great discussion on this thread!

just want to join in to say that my mom and i have been having a wonderful, ongoing conversation about STUFF, and the many reasons we want to continue to make similar choices we've made for ourselves going forward w/ kids. she totally gets it, in fact it's been a great topic for us to connect on.

i worry a little about my husband's parents, but i think it's going to sink in as we talk respectfully about it with them. they have seen first hand w/ my SIL's kids, how a house can become overrun with crap, and i THINK they will understand where we are coming from. after all, they've had years to get used to us and our different ways anyway.

so, making a very concerted effort to bring them alongside us in a positive way, talking about the good things they can contribute, and getting us and them excited about those things... they live near us, so it shouldn't really be too hard. and, their house is already full of all the toys grandkids could ever possibly need when visiting!

i'm more concerned with them letting our kid(s) watch a lot of TV, but we'll cross that bridge...

i DO have at least one friend who's made the, oh, i can't wait to give you loud plastic crap statement. however, he will have to decide which he'd rather - use his money for toys we'll immediately donate, or play along

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#43 of 50 Old 11-17-2009, 11:14 PM
 
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I happen to not mind some plastic, flashy toys, to be honest. DS has a LeapFrog table that he loves to play with, and he gets a real kick out of toys that have buttons he can push to get a reaction. I got him a calculator, and a toy laptop for his birthday. He also has unfinished wooden cars, a play kitchen from 1980 that doesn't need batteries, a bead rollercoaster, and giant legos.

Little babies don't need all that crap, though. I've told people not to get us ANYTHING that we don't specifically request, because we have all our stuff from DS still. I did put this bouncer on my amazon wish list because I like the low-tech toy bar. I also have one of these that I used with DS to much success. We also have a wind-up swing that we got from a tag sale or freecycle or somewhere, and a battery-operated one that creeps me out a bit. The swings and seats I think will come in handy during toddler diaper changes when DH has the kids alone. I also just got an ERGO for $80 on sale that I think DH will find handy (he has a hard time with other carriers).

Now if I can just find a bell-and-whistle free potty chair, I'll be golden.

I have a potty chair I got at IKEA for $2.50. It's so simple, and it's black to match my bathroom! It's just like this one http://www.amazon.com/BABYBJ%C3%96RN...8510434&sr=1-3

I like this one also
http://www.amazon.com/BabyBj%C3%B6rn...8510434&sr=1-1

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#44 of 50 Old 11-18-2009, 01:15 AM
 
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My husband, also a musician (though not professionally) has recently started teaching himself to play drums. We live in a town house! Luckily our neighbors don't seem to mind, and he doesn't play often or overly loudly (not that you can play a regular drum set quietly). But, yeah, we have those "teaching himself to play" noises and my DH is an adult!

I told my mom I didn't want a ton of loud flashy plastic toys and she basically told me, "too bad."
Ha ha ha! My DH was about 13 and his "learning to play" music was pretty over the top (not only have I heard recordings, but I've known him since he was 14!) - noise, chaos, teenagery yelling, obnoxiousness. I guess once you have a teenager it's a whole different ballgame anyway.

My mom has been doing the "too bad" thing with a lot of stuff, ugh. Oh well.
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#45 of 50 Old 11-18-2009, 01:19 AM
 
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oh and even though we have not yet gotten any baby presents, the hand me downs are already pouring in, and I didn't realize what a very mixed bag (literally) they would be. So now I have a huge trash bag of the most hideous girly baby clothes to donate somewhere... I feel bad because I can't imagine anyone wanting them, but the mother who gave them to me obviously was happy enough to submit her daughter to them so I guess it will be the start of a beautiful friendship between me and the thrift store!
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#46 of 50 Old 11-18-2009, 05:13 PM
 
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Ooh, ooh, also check to see if there is a kids' re-sale shop near your house! DD got a TON of new clothes when she was born & other people gave us their old stuff, too. If you cannot return clothing or a new toy that you do not want, DO NOT remove the tags! We have a Once Upon a Child store near us & they actually pay pretty well for clothing. I also found that they bought *every* clothing item that still had tags, even if it was out of season. They can sell brand-new clothes for more, so it's better for them.

Obviously, taking stuff to the thrift store is a great way to get rid of it, too, but I save that for the stuff OUaC won't buy

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#47 of 50 Old 11-19-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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I have noticed the same thing about baby items! My DD has always gotten over stimulated easily...she doesn't like loud toys at all. She only has one battery operated toy. It's that big house toy that plays music and has a giant light switch and a door bell and things. She loves the song radio on it. Otherwise none of our toys require batteries!

The exersaucers are the worst, in my opinion. There are so many toys attached to the tray! As a baby my DD would have freaked out at not being able to pull them off. I found an exersaucer with an empty tray for $3 at Goodwill once and she loved it for short periods of time before she learned to walk.

This is the bouncy seat we got as a gift for DD, and we will get it out again for this baby.
http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-O...8148862&sr=8-2

You can turn the bubbles on in the little aquarium, or the music on, or the vibrating on the seat. Or you can just not put the toy bar on the chair, the chair still functions fine without it! Without the toy bar it's just a plain bouncy seat.
I had this one and loved it.It was not too loud and my DD loved it.We got the other FP bouncwer witht he feet on it that made noise if baby kickied the feet.That oo was not too loud.

I am not opposed to battery toys at all.But the exersaucers man they have so many dang things on them that I am afraid the babies would get too over whelmed.So I took some off the tray.

As far as the swing as long as it had a good swing to it and some light and music I was happy with it.My kids sleep better when there is noise such as music or the fan going.Im the same way.I cannot sleep without a small fan going.
I know when I go to the hospital I am going to haev to ask if they have one if not then I will havew to find a small fan to bring with me.

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#48 of 50 Old 11-19-2009, 08:55 PM
 
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Now if I can just find a bell-and-whistle free potty chair, I'll be golden.
What, you don't want one that can potty train your child by itself?? (sarcasm..)

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We make our preferences clear to those who ask, but most people either do not ask, do not understand, or will buy whatever they want to regardless.
Does anyone else feel like other people think their doing us favors or something by buying these overstimulating toys and gadgets for our kids? like our children are deprived or going to grow up stupid if they don't learn at a very early age that pressing buttons makes things light up and make obnoxious noises.. because i'm convinced that that is *all* children learn from the vast majority of these "educational" toys
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#49 of 50 Old 11-20-2009, 04:30 PM
 
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Does anyone else feel like other people think their doing us favors or something by buying these overstimulating toys and gadgets for our kids? like our children are deprived or going to grow up stupid if they don't learn at a very early age that pressing buttons makes things light up and make obnoxious noises.. because i'm convinced that that is *all* children learn from the vast majority of these "educational" toys
My aunt, who I do love dearly and get along with v well, has gotten nothing but musical flashy toys for her granddaughter. The baby and her mother do still live w/ my aunt & uncle, so they have to listen to the toys all day, lol. Anyway, she once said to my mom, "Doesn't dogretro want any electronic toys for dd?" and my mom said, "Dogretro prefers that dd make the music herself." So, yeah, I guess my aunt did feel that dd was being "deprived", but she has still, thankfully, always asked what to get for dd and not gotten annoying toys.

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#50 of 50 Old 11-29-2009, 12:29 PM
 
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DDC crashing
We have a FP Aquarium bouncy seat thing, it's my one concession to batteries. DS1 wasn't nearly as "into" the lights and sounds and vibration as DS2. With him, we'd set him in the seat mostly when we were eating meals and use our foot to gently bounce him. Or it was a great place to put him (shhhhh!) up on the table out of reach of our obnoxious dog.

Then with DS2, well he LOVED the vibration. I could set him in the seat, he'd pass out for a nap outside and I would be able to leave him to sleep outside the door (we live in the middle of nowhere) while DS1 and I went inside to make supper. He also found the lights and sounds to be entertaining sometimes, other times we'd just take the bar off and voila! It's just a regular old bouncy seat.

Most things you can remove batteries and all the toys to make them much less stimulating. Especially swings - if you want your child to relax, they definitely won't want all these bright patterned toys 6" from their face!

DH and I - totally winging life with our four children, DS1 (6.5yrs), DS2 (5yrs), DD (3yrs) and DS3 (1)!

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