In Search of a Magic Toy

by Roo on July 30, 2014

in parenting, sponsored

Sparkbox Toys | SemiproperWhen Remmy and Sophie were super tiny, I’d stalk message boards with reasonable and desperate questions. Reasonable: How long does your two year old nap? Is there usually a sleep regression at six months? Desperate: What is the one magical toy that keeps your child occupied for fifteen minutes? Tell me. Tell me and I will donate my gallbladder to you should you ever need it.

I kept thinking that there has to be - there just has to be - some toy out there that will occupy my kids long enough for me to throw a load of laundry in the washer or put the dishes away or lie down on the floor and make carpet angels. I researched and researched! I bought toys on Amazon! Big light up ones that you can crawl through! It makes farm animal noises! You can drop eggs in a chute! You can close a door! It only cost something like 15 small cheese pizzas!

That toy (all of the toys I bought on this mission) were amazing. For an hour on the first day. For twenty minutes on the second day. For five minutes on the third day. It was nearly invisible on the fourth day.

“Girls, gather around. I did not spend 15 small cheese pizzas on this amazing light up toy for you to ignore it. I want you to love it like a tiny child, do you understand me?”

And the two year old solemnly nodded, and the six month old all but gave me the finger.

(Sidenote: I did find one magical toy when Remmy was a baby. This thing kept her occupied in her crib for 30 minutes every morning up until she was about four months old. It doesn’t get any points for being attractive, but I’ll say it again – 30 minutes every morning. Rinse and repeat for siblings, as well.)

This phenomenon behind little kids falling out of love with their toys is probably nothing new and probably nothing isolated to my own family. When the owner of Sparkbox Toys emailed me, I poked around the website and thought immediately, This is brilliant. This is Netflix for kids’ toys.

I could almost stop there with that description (Max, I think I gave you your tagline, no charge), but I’ll explain. Sparkbox Toys is a curated educational toy system. They have people that are infinitely smarter than me curate toys that are fun, educational, and age-appropriate. The box they sent me was put together with Minnie (age 2) in mind, but they put a couple of toys for Sophie (age 4), as well. Surprise surprise, my almost first grader was into it, too. Their package contained four toys (they’re all examined, cleaned, and sterilized) and info cards for each.

When you’re done, you stick the return label on the box, and get a new package via UPS. Super easy.

Sparkbox Toys | Semiproper

Sparkbox Toys | Semiproper

Sparkbox Toys | Semiproper

Sparkbox Toys | Semiproper

Sparkbox Toys | Semiproper

Here’s why I like this: we keep our toy selection pretty slim. I think kids can get overwhelmed by toy clutter, so limiting their options definitely works for them. Sparkbox allows for them to try out new toys every month or so (depending on your plan), without contributing to the mess (or the footprint, as it were). It’s a fantastic solution to kids outgrowing/falling out of love with toys. If you get a toy that one of your kids gets really into (“I’ll never let go, Leap Frog!”), you can buy it at a discount, if you so wish.

I also think it’s a great gift for the winter months when outside play is scarce. Something to keep in mind if you work from home (like me) and your area of the country is prone to getting lots of snow (like me) and your kids clock several snow days each season (like mine).

They’re eco-friendly / they don’t contribute to clutter / they keep my kids occupied /someone else does the research for me. I’m into it.

Want to try? You can get 50% off your first month with the code ROO.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sparkbox Toys. All opinions and bad Jack-and-Rose references are my own.


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