Parents Reveal the Unconventional "Toys” Their Kids Love

From toilet brushes to Rice Krispie wrappers, sometimes baby's favorite toy comes out of left field.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published January 24, 2024
baby playing with toilet brush
Image: Zhuravlev Andrey | Shutterstock

Ever shopped for the perfect present for your kiddo just to discover they’re more interested in the wrapping paper or box than the gift itself? If so, you aren’t alone.

In a recent post on the subreddit r/Mommit, parents got the conversation going on all of the weird and unconventional “toys” that have become their little one’s favorites. “What are your favorite ‘I didn’t think that was a baby toy, but I guess it’s a baby toy now’ items,” the original poster asked. “I’ll start. My nearly 6-month-old is currently OBSESSED with her emotional support, individually packaged rice krispie bar. The kind with the shiny blue crinkly packaging. It isn’t for eating, obviously. Just for playing.”

It didn’t take long for parents to chime in with their kids’ favorite things. “My toddler loved the toilet brush so much, I just ended up buying him a clean, never-used toilet brush for Xmas. For months he carried it around like a Torch or sword, so proud and victorious that something that had been so off-limits was now his scepter,” wrote one parent. “My son was obsessed with a door stop,” another parent said.

Several others chimed in with food-related items. “Every trip to the grocery store requires holding an emotional support apple,” noted one parent. “My kid held on to a package of siracha for like 3 hours yesterday,” said another. “Current contenders are 4 limes, 3 cherry tomatoes and the ends of a zucchini and squash. Help me when they go bad,” one parent added.

Kitchen items from dish scrubbers to spatulas and Tupperware containers were also top contenders. The list of strange favorites went on and on with no real explanation as to why beyond, sometimes something new just sticks.

Whether your baby’s current obsession is an apple, wrapper or toilet brush, it’s important to encourage creativity and exploration while setting boundaries on what’s okay to play with and what’s not. If your little one is up and about and you’re worried about some big “off-limits toys” or dangers, consider this baby-proofing checklist to keep your space safe and free for exploration.

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