Top Ten Broke-Ass Mom Toys

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If you’re starting to empty your pants’ pockets, digging change out of the laundromat fund, and breaking open your piggy bank to buy your baby the latest and greatest toy in the hopes of keeping up with the Joneses cut the cord and stop.  Maybe you’ve noticed small yelps coming from your kitchen cabinets, closets, and drawers.  That’s the sound of your household items pleading for the chance to double as a hat, a drum, or a spinning top. Below is a top ten list of toys that will last longer than anything you will find in Toys R’ Us, Target, or even FAO Schwartz (however awesome that store may be!).

       Top 10 Broke-Ass Mom Toys

  1. Plastic containers are perfect nesting toys. Find four or five plastic bowls that fit inside one another, and let your child go to town. They might not get it at first, but that’s part of the beauty.
  2. Tie a piece of ribbon or string to your heater/AC vent or fan, turn it on and watch the ribbon and giggles fly! (Coincidentally, thick string or rope is a phenomenal chew toy for your teething baby.  Sure you may be treating your child like your dog, but you have to admit there are several similarities between the two.)
  3. Find some quarters and nickels from your Vegas fund, and spin them around on the kitchen floor.  If you’re kid is apt to swallow your last dime, literally, then try empty milk jugs, or plastic soda bottles instead.
  4. Not sure how you’re going to get dinner on the table before you and your partner start gnawing off each other’s limbs?   Secure your baby into his high chair (doing this on the floor works well too) and give them a plastic bowl and big plastic (or wooden) spoon.  They can “help” you by stirring while you do your chopping, cutting, etc at the table with them. If they’re not interested in stirring, turn the plastic bowl over and it’s now a drum that’s loud enough for your baby to hear, but quiet enough that the neighbors won’t call the cops.
  5. It’s hard to believe, but kids love emptying the dishwasher.  This activity is more for the toddler, and you might only want to have them empty their bowls and plates, but who cares, you’re conning your kid into helping you with household chores.
  6. Clear out a drawer in your kitchen and put in cans that your child can use for stacking. Be warned though, this is a game that needs some supervision – cans can be quite heavy for tiny little hands and even more heavy on tiny little toes.
  7. A full (or empty) laundry basket is easily converted into a push toy, or a wagon depending on who’s doing the pushing.  If you don’t have a laundry basket, a new diaper box, or  wipes box can be used the same way.
  8. One simple paper bag can make the most beautiful hat you’ve ever seen.  Plop your baby on the floor while you kick, stomp, crumple, and jump all over the bag.  Once it’s nice and soft, turn it inside out and roll from the bottom until it fits your baby.  She’ll love it forever.
  9. Go shopping around the house with one of your more fashionable canvas grocery bags .  Then once the bag becomes too heavy, you can enjoy putting it all back.  (No this isn’t sarcasm, seriously, putting it all back can be just as much fun as collecting it).
  10. Throw a blanket or a sheet over your kitchen table, put a flashlight and a couple of toys under there and you have yourself an awesome fort for a rainy day (or hangovers).

Broke-Ass Moms know these toys are better than a mobile hanging from your stroller with so many things going on that you’re about to go into convulsions any minute now just looking at it .  Still think you’re depriving your child? Rest assured you can rely on your friends and family to give you enough Infantino, Leap Frog, and Baby Einstein toys to fill an entire closet.  So why bother spending your money, when they can spend theirs?

**Disclaimer: is not responsible for anything that might happen as a result of your child playing with the above mentioned items.


Photo by: Thomas Troy Playing with Boxes

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Jennifer White - Mommy No Bucks

Jennifer White - Mommy No Bucks

Jennifer has been a bit of a nomad having lived in seven different cities. Her life as a gypsy has settled down for the moment in San Francisco with her husband and two-year old son. Recently, she decided to throw caution to the wind, quit her job as an analyst to be a full-time mom while chasing her dreams (and the Pulitzer Prize). When she's not writing, she's aspiring to be a luddite (although blogging isn't helping), knitting the occasional hat, or running in the park with her son and his secondhand compost truck in tow.