I need to declare something: I’m not a fan of garish plastic toys that are a.) gender specific, and b.) garishly plastic and tacky-looking.
Ada has lots of toys (her current favourite being a wooden spoon and some simple stacking cups from IKEA). Recently, she’s been showing more interest in fiddly things like zips, shoelaces, and tags on clothes – typical scenario of “we bought her a toy and all she wanted to play with was the packaging!”
As a result of Ada’s new-found love of fiddly things, I found myself in a haberdashery, which is most out of character for me. There, I picked up half a metre of thick, red string and some multi-coloured giant buttons (the Giant Buttons in my usual repertoire are made by Cadbury), and handed £2.50 over to the nice man at the till.
At home, I spent two whole minutes threading the buttons on to the string and exercising my own fine-motor control. A knot at either end later and, ta-da! Ada had an exciting new toy to play with… okay, fine – to chew on.
Easy, cheap and a hit with the baby.