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
Watching 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
7. That’s Not My Baby
8. That’s Not My Pony
9. That’s Not My Teddy
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.