My littlest baby is turning one next month (gasp! wail!) and the upcoming birthday has led our relatives to ask the inevitable question - "What should we buy for baby?"
Thankfully, we've had one year olds before, so I know exactly what a one year old needs.
When my oldest was a baby we were given a small grocery bag of (used) baby toys - rattles, chew toys, etc. Those toys (there were about a dozen) went into a small wicker basket in the living room. We also spent $10 on a Walmart walker. It was green plastic and had two toys stuck to the tray. And that was all she had.
Not only was she kept happily entertained by her small assortment of toys (and lots of other household items), our house stayed tidy and she grew up to have an expansive imagination. As more and more children joined the family, and our circumstances changed, we fell into the same trap thousands of parents are prone to and we bought all kinds of light-up, sing-song, battery eating toys. My current little one has a Little Einsteins exersaucer with a dozen toys, some of which light up and sing, a VTech train (that lights up and sings in three languages), some kind of toy that he pulls himself up on (that sings, counts, says the ABCs and has a bear that dances) and a playpen full of other toys.
It's ridiculous. My house has been overrun with the stuff. And to top it off, here is a list of his favorite playthings:
Empty sippy cups
Empty water bottles (especially the 'eco-friendly' ones because they crinkle)
Paper (in particular school worksheets)
A dollar store beach ball
Balls of all kinds
His sibling's toys
Obviously we don't allow him free reign with all of these, even if they are his favorites.
So save your money, folks. We've got all the empty water bottles and socks we need.