Babies don’t like costly, colorful developmental toys, writes Joanna Weiss in the Boston Globe. Her infant son loves to play with lint.
I’m thinking of starting a company that sells lint. Lint, dust balls, and small pieces of string. It would have a name designed to attract well-meaning new parents, like “Crawling Companions’’ or “Motor Skills Mates.’’ Or something with the word “Genius’’ in it.
Her son is entranced by “a piece of string he found on the living room rug, or a piece of curved plastic from a water bottle wrapper.”
It’s yet another reason to feel good about having a not-so-spotless house. (Another one: Dirt triggers the immune system! It’s true!) But it also highlights what many well-meaning parents and grandparents already know: Those carefully designed developmental toys quite often go to waste. One friend told me her toddler plays almost exclusively with the dust bunnies that have built up since her younger brother arrived this spring. A set of exquisitely designed European toys, meanwhile, sits desolately on a shelf.
The latest baby toys claim to “promote development and early education, to woo parents with the promise that a toy can help with movement, make babies smarter, or instill some nascent sense of social consciousness,” Alison Marek, managing editor of s toy industry trade magazine. tells Weiss. “The most recent trends, Marek said, include eco-friendly toys in earth-toned colors.”
Weiss suggests putting the baby on grass.
When you’re young, everything’s educational.