10 Things My Toddler Would Rather Play With

Originally Published: 

Despite my very best efforts to provide wholesome and safe options for my newly minted toddler to play with, he inevitably finds something gross or dangerous to entertain himself with instead.

As a summer baby, he had his first birthday bash this past July. Friends and family gathered to shower him with gifts. Brightly colored packages hid the joys of every imaginable toy that – one would think – a small child would go nuts for. He received beach toys, sprinklers for hot days, building toys, throwing toys, and light-up-and-be-loud toys.

But this child will not be deterred. No amount of fresh batteries will convince this kid to stay away from these ten things:

1. Extension Cords. I’m not sure what the allure is but my kid cannot resist wrapping his drooly mouth around an extension cord and gnawing away at the plastic coated wire.

2. The Toilet. As the sole individual in my house who is not potty trained this child is deeply fascinated with the porcelain bowl filled with water. He wants nothing more than to swim in it. Or throw his toys in it. Or jam his hands in it.

3. The Stairs. My squirmy kid is showing signs of being a thrill seeker at en early age as demonstrated by his reverence of the stairs. He spends his entire day trying to figure out how to break through the baby gate to get to them.

4. Plastic Bags. Child, didn’t you ever see those PSA’s about not letting small kids stick plastic bags over their heads? No, I guess you didn’t. You make every attempt to jam your whole body into them.

5. Dirt. There is no end to his love of dirt and he does not discriminate about its source. I’ve seen him cheerfully sample dirt from the houseplants, the dog’s paws, the garden, the driveway, and the mudroom floor.

6. The Kitchen Trash. Is there a secret treasure in the kitchen trash that I am not in-the-know about? Does the trash can beckon my kid with promises of adventure? Seriously, what gives?

7. The Dog Food. The poor dog cannot eat in peace. Or drink water for that matter. My curious child is forever washing his toys in the dog water bowl or throwing the dry kibble all over the kitchen floor.

8. Under Chairs. While it is impressive to me that my kid can contort his body into a tight enough ball to fit directly under the dinging room chairs, it scares the ever loving wits right out of me. Kid, you could be squished!

9. The Dryer. I can thank my toddler’s older brother for showing him that the dryer door opens into a giant empty box where he can hide all sorts of evidence of trouble, like fistfuls of dirt from the houseplants.

10. The Hamper. I’ve actually photographed this one about 200 times. My toddler – God love him – will pull out underwear and try to wear it on his head. Can I get a collective WTH? He is clearly and thoroughly confused about the difference between skivvies and hats.

Next year I am going to put an asterisk at the end of the birthday invitation that reads, “Caution: spending more than $5 will result in this kid losing all interest in your thoughtfully chosen gift. A bag of old tube socks and an empty cardboard box is totally acceptable (and probably preferable!) thank you in advance your patience and understanding.”

This article was originally published on