Gurpreet Randev: Bollywood Babies


The Best Hand-Me-Down Toys

Mastering the art of collecting toys that stand the test of time

When you’re a parent, you’re either a collector or a hoarder. There’s just no way around it—your children’s toys and baby gear overtake the house.

If you’re likely to make it on the next episode of Hoarders, you are the unfortunate parent who has an alarmingly large and ever-expanding toy box that is full of half broken toys that your child is never fully satisfied with. These toys rarely keep your child’s attention for more than five minutes, teach them nothing, break apart with the first tantrum toss, and need to be replaced almost immediately. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all unwillingly been this parent.

But then you learn. Boy, do you ever learn.

Eventually you start to put some thought into the toys you buy. Toys that will be taking up valuable real estate in your never-big-enough house. You want toys that will actually do what they promise to do — entertain your child and help your child learn in a fun way. Toys that are built to last and hopefully can be passed on from one child to the next. And that is when you become a collector.

I’ve now mastered the art of collecting, my friends. I have learned the fine art of deciphering which toys are quality built and which will simply be a waste of my money. I look for toys that will stand the test of time and that can be passed down from my toddler to my newborn when she’s ready to enjoy them.

I also like to hunt for toys that will help my child learn in a fun and innovative way; toys which will actually keep hold of their attention. And perhaps, most importantly, I look for toys that will aid in my quest to occupy my children long enough for mommy to get some things done. Important things like a hot shower and dinner.

That’s why I was so excited when Fisher-Price asked me to write about a few of my favourite products from their Fisher-Price Favourites. As a seasoned parent to young children, I have learned that Fisher-Price makes awesome toys and baby products.

Quality built and durable? Check.

Fun and innovative? Check.

Educational and stimulating? Check.

Let me get chores accomplished around the house? Checkmate.

Every one of their products that I have bought for my older daughter is still in great condition and I know my younger daughter is going to enjoy them just as much.

My newborn is not yet three months old and she is already showing a strong preference for the Infant-To-Toddler Rocker. I think it’s the combination of bright colours, eye-catching toy bar, and soothing vibrations that appeals to her most. I can put her in the seat after a feeding and she will happily play in it without fussing. I also love the fact that I don’t have to buy a new seat for her as she grows since it converts to a toddler’s rocking chair. What does this all mean? It means less baby gear in my house! *Jumps up and cheers*

She also loves the Ocean Wonders Aquarium. Truthfully though, I think I might just love it more. What is it about the water and fish and seaweed that enthralls children so much? Not that I’m complaining. I can put my daughter down for a nap in her crib and I know this aquarium will soothe her to sleep. It doesn't matter if it takes a while either since the toy can play up to eighteen minutes of calming music. But the best feature, by far, is that if she wakes up while I’m in the middle of some important activity (usually folding laundry because that’s all I ever seem to do), I can activate the aquarium with the remote control and she is entertained for a while longer. Seriously, how genius is that? I'm telling you, there should be remote controls on everything.

The Laugh & Learn Say Please Tea Set is one of my older daughter’s favourite toys right now. She loves to have tea parties. Maybe because she has seen her mommy guzzle a lot of it in her short life thus far. Don’t judge please. But whatever the case may be, she’s become a bona fide barista. She’s already started serving tea to her baby sister and I can’t wait until they start having proper tea parties. I’d bet money on the fact that my younger daughter is going to enjoy this toy just as much as her older sister. It’s the quintessential girl toy with a modern twist that allows her to learn about counting, shapes, and opposites. It even helps with her manners! It’s almost like a pretend mommy figure. I also like the fact that this toy set allows me to interactively play with her in a way that is fun for both of us. I love watching her use her imagination even if it means that she gets all three of the included desserts because they will make my (and only mine) tummy hurt.

The toy box at our house are full of Fisher-Price products and for good reason — they stand the test of time. And there’s something oddly comforting about knowing that my younger daughter will inherit a lot of her sister’s toys. It’s almost like I’m somehow holding onto their baby years just a little bit longer. And it’s keeping me from being the next Hoarders casualty. Yay for that!