Toys Are Not Us
So far, I think we’re doing a pretty good job as parents. RR is a pretty happy, smiley, and now occasionally chuckling, kid. You know, as long as she’s well-rested and fed, which we try to take care of before she turns into a demon. She spends her weekdays at school, from around 8:15am-5:15pm, Monday through Friday. Her room at school looks much like any daycare, I would imagine – cribs for the babies, and brightly-colored toys for miles and miles. Mats, gyms, stuffed things, bouncy chairs, a swing, an exersaucer – all in shiny reds, blues, and yellows. No wonder RR’s eyes light up when we drop her off, and she’s oftentimes deep in a nap when we come to pick her up. Compared to our house, school must seem like Wonka’s chocolate factory.
I took off Friday of last week to stay at home while two very nice men installed carpet in our basement. 572 square feet of our basement, to be exact. When faced with the fact that our main living area upstairs is not particularly infant-friendly, nor do we have any toys in stock other than whatever we throw in her pack ‘n play with her, we thought we’d dedicate some of that 572 square feet to potential Wonka-like toys to be bought and to provide a soft, crawlable, rompable space for RR to spend on her evenings and weekends. How generous of us, I know.
This morning, I was prepared to go online and buy some kind of overstimulating contraption to break in on our newly cushioned space, but have found myself numb by all of the choices. Mid-week this week, RR will turn four months old. She enjoys tummy time, laying on her back, shoving things into her mouth, knocking herself in the head with rattles (or anything else she has in her hands), kicking her feet, and standing up with some assistance. She also likes things that crinkle or light up. We don’t know if she likes things that make noise on their own, since we don’t own anything that does that. She (still) hates her swing.
Aside from polling her teachers at school at what her favorite toy is when she’s there, I though I’d ask you nice folks if you have any recommendations. What toys/activity contraptions have your kids (four months and older) really enjoyed? Is one playmat the same as any playmat? Anything you’d steer clear of? Thanks, in advance.