Top 10 Worst Toys for Babies & Small Children

Before buying a gift for a small child ask yourself this simple question: Would I like to be smashed in the face by this at 5.30 in the morning?

No? Then put the stupid toy down and buy the parents a lovely bottle of wine instead.

Here is a list of the worst toys in the Eeh Bah house, to be avoided at all costs.

1. Plastic Pram

1-DSC_0578Watching my 9 month old daughter ram her pram into the wall over and over again as she took her first steps was charming at first. Months later as she did laps round the house the rattling plastic noise almost had me volunteering for the Human Centipede sequel.

Sadly the pram broke when mummy smashed it repeatedly against the wall folded it the wrong way. Whoopsy. It was either me or the pram and this time Eeh Bah Mum was taking no prisoners.

Next time they remake Psycho again (Oh it will happen) they should edit the shower scene to the tinny, plastic rattle of a child’s pram and issue the audience with nappies.

Good Points: The sense of elation I felt when I binned pram number one justified buying a replacement. Both children love playing with it. Comedy value of seeing children stuck in it.

2. Fifi and the Flowertots Musical TV.

This was a present thus I feel bad about throwing it away which is why it’s still in 1-DSC_0580the house.  Also there is a picture of a bin with a big cross through it on the back.

I presume this has been put there to warn owners that once in your possession this item cannot be simply thrown in the bin. I suspect only the flames of Mordor will destroy it.

Shaped like a television this pink plastic box plays a screechingly awful 15 second refrain from the Fifi theme tune, I can only assume it was originally developed by the military as some kind of sonic weapon capable of incapacitating everyone within a 5 metre radius.  It’s worrying that such a sound has ended up in a children’s toy and even more disconcerting that the person who gave us the toy denies doing so…

Good Points: Stick it in the garden and deter cats from using the lawn as a toilet.

3. VTech Toot Toot Cars.

With two young children, a partner who’s default setting is EXTREMELY LOUD and a house with wooden floors my ears are constantly ringing.

My biggest bugbear is noisy toys. In particular noisy toys made by Vtech.

To be specific noisy toys made by VTech, promoted as ‘encouraging learning’.  Because…erm, well everything encourages learning for a baby that’s all they do -play and learn -my son has spent the last hour entertained by an empty CD case (David Bowie if you’re wondering).

But still the evil drones at VTech seem to be intent on transforming my kitchen into a brand new circle of hell crammed with loud tuneless plastic crap.

Everything they make emits some dreadful ditty that will NEVER leave your brain. We are the proud owners of a VTech Toot Toot police car, ambulance and fire engine  – all come with realistic sound effects. What a stroke of genius! I mean who wouldn’t want three different sirens ringing in their ears whilst a two year old smashes a wooden spoon onto a pan?

Good Points: None whatsoever.

4. Sandpit

I have been telling my daughter the sandpit in the park is closed for her entire life (too wet, too cold, too sunny, too busy).  Now we have our very own in the garden it is also permanently closed (too sandy).  I’m not a clean freak and have no problem with my children getting filthy but I HATE SAND more importantly I hate scraping sand out of the bum crack of a small child.

If you are buying a gift for a baby try not to give something that involves hours and hours of cleaning up every time it is used.

Good Points: The garden was in need of some plastic decoration, far too many plants and flowers out there.

5. ABC Foam Floor Mat

1-DSCF5024

Or giant nibbly floor biscuits as my offspring like to see them. They were originally put down as a safety cushion to stop the children banging their heads on the floor. Ha! How optimistic we were, thinking we could protect our babies from injury with a 4 foot square mat.

Even if we covered the entire floor, the walls, the ceilings and every item of furniture in styrofoam and only allowed visitors over the doorstep who were packaged head to toe in bubble wrap my children would still manage to injure themselves.

I seem to spend my entire life on my hands and knees reassembling the mat and rescuing dribble covered foamy letters from the jaws of Eeh Bah Son.

This is not what what I had hoped to be doing with my life at 40.

Good points: Letters do allow for limited creative expression. See picture.

6. That’s not my Tractor That snot my baby

7. That’s Not My Baby

8. That’s Not My Pony

9. That’s Not My Teddy

10. That’s Not My Donkey  

I know I’m cheating as far as the top 10 list goes but if there were 10 toys I hated in my house I would be too busy filling a plastic tea set with my own tears to write this list.

And anyway small children like repetition. As a grown adult repetition can be just a teeny weeny bit annoying. Especially when if it’s the repetition of something you didn’t really think was any good first time round.

Some books improve with constant re reading. Julia Donaldson’s poor old fox  has lost his socks in our house every day for the past 18 months. It’s true testament to her writing that I can still pick the book up and read it without the urge to smash myself in the face with its spine. In fact I’m proud to say we have now lost the flaps on our second copy of the book.

Eric Carle’s From Head To Toe  is basic like the ‘That’s not my’ books yet it has the whole family jumping, stomping and dancing round the house. With just three sentences.

Willy The Dreamer by Anthony Browne is an epic book with one short sentence a page (and worth a read even if you haven’t got kids). 

My main beef is that these touchy feely books are completely lacking in any rhythm which in turn makes the adult reading them sound like a total moron.

But what would I know they are obviously making millions. Joey Essex is probably recording the spoken word collection as I type.

Good Points: I’m looking forward to their new release: That’s not my hummus. Its chickpeas are not organic.

So there you have it my (not quite) Top 10 toys to avoid. If any PR people would like to send me toys to review please send them to:

The Bin, Outside My House, Yorkshire… Thanks

I’m off to play imaginary picnics again. I have never had such a healthy diet – I’m on at least 20 portions of plastic fruit and veg a day.

26 thoughts on “Top 10 Worst Toys for Babies & Small Children

  1. Brilliant! This had be laughing out loud! Many an occasion toys in our house have ‘unfortunatley’ had an untimely demise and had to be binned because it didn’t have an off switch! I once cut the wires on a doll that wouldn’t stop crying unless it had it’s dummy in!

      • We were on holiday and she really really really needed one! I think the sunshine had got to me and we agreed not realising there wasn’t an off switch! I doubt they had, they made them look cute so you were sucked in!!

  2. Slowly letting all our battery operated toys die. Downside of this is that the noise is now reminiscent of some freaky, badly made horror film with toys that talk/make noise at the wrong pitch.

  3. We avoided the pram and went for a plastic shopping trolley instead. Same principle, but it breaks in half and allows the kids to practice being crazy old bag ladies instead of parents.

  4. I am totally with you both on the foam mats and the plastic pushchairs – totally useless!

    The battery fairy keeps taking them batteries from anything overly annoying in our house 😉

  5. Great post! I’n glad to see you like comments, even rude ones (depending what type of rude you mean!) as mine is 😉 we also own several variations of the ‘That’s not my…’ series, and while I was impressed with your chickpea version, I’m willing to put it out there that the version my husband told me the other night is better. I won’t repeat it word for word but let’s just say that the subject matter was lady parts and their various characteristics (desirable or otherwise!) and had me in stitches. How married life has changed since having children! Who needs romantic poems 🙂

    Bells X
    http://www.bellslittleones.co.uk

  6. This post is very true, however, on the flip side toy gifts are an excellent passive aggressive way to get back at people in your life. After our recent trip to Australia, for example, I brought each of my nephews indoor boomerangs to teach my brother a lesson for being such a dick to me. (Unfortunately my evil genius came unstuck when in my jet lagged state I accidentally gave the gifts to the boys at the beginning of a visit to my house…but in theory was a good plan.)

  7. The plastic floor mats drove me wobbly-bonkers. Instead of protecting our eldest daughter’s head as a toddler, she happily took them all apart. All the little bits. Every day. They are now in the loft, to be passed on to my brother when he has children. 🙂

    • Haha we were given them by my fella’s sister ( she hated them too!) I think Heather got it bang on in her comment above!

  8. I hate the plastic foamy floor mats 2. My son (27 months) saw the pic you’d posted above, and has now got them out of the cupboard (where I’d hidden them!) So thanks… 🙂

  9. May I add to your list?
    11. Playdo – only purchased by those who must secretly want every piece of furniture I own to have the bloody stuff ground into it for eternity.
    12. Ballpit – the balls are never in the pit. A more accurate description would be “balls all over your living room” but I can see why they didn’t go with that.

  10. Imagine the Fifi TV but with Baby fecking Jake singing ‘Yacki Yacki Yoggi’ or whatever it is his deranged ramblings are. We received that delightful article last year. Do you want to swap? At least the song would be different.

    We had a toy which was a rip-off of the vTech bear. It became known as ‘devil bear’ by everyone who met it and the saccharine American-accented ‘I love you’ didn’t help at all. Despite regular threats it never actually managed to be drop kicked over our back fence. We have no idea where it is now but neither my partner nor I will admit to disposing of it. I suspect it is hiding in our wall cavities somewhere plotting to kill us all while we sleep.

  11. My husband’s Aunt gave us a talking animatronic mummy and baby bear (from M&S of all places) that is hideous!!! Mummy bear says “bedtime, little one” and the baby says “I don’t want to go to bed. I want you to read me a story”. So stupid mummy bear proceeds to read the whole of Goldilocks or something. My son was initially terrified of it, but then learnt that he could operate the on and off buttons to create a sort of ‘mixing’ effect with the first three words over and over and over and over….. Unfortunately I don’t hate anyone enough to gift it to them, so it’s languishing in the loft where it is frightening the mice away.

  12. This made me laugh so much and brought back some mildly traumatic memories 😉 My “darlings” are 6 & 8 now so on the who torture me with endless relentless crafting activity which comes entirely from my side of the family and is further enabled by me regularly emptying my purse at Hobbycraft. Unfortunately this means I have no one but myself to blame. Still nothing gets hubby focused on a household job that needs doing more than the words “..or you could help the girls do sponge paint print pictures…”
    Finally I implore you never buy your children “Golden Chocolate Coin Maker” the most positive reviews said “I lost the will to live” and “crap”. Learn from my mistakes people. xx

  13. Hilarious! We have been bought an unimaginable amount of tat already and J is only 3 months. Can’t wait for joys like these to start appearing :/

  14. I found this article by Googling “I hate Vtech toys” and I must say, I’m not disappointed! I might as well have typed “I hate my in-laws,” because they’re the evil ones who keep buying this mindless garbage.

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