But! you say. They're not for you!
Yes. I know.
But all that garish plastic! Those buttons that come off straight away! The lack of imagination! The horrendous ditties!
Don't just take my word for it though. The Bean just doesn't seem to like this stuff. There are, admittedly, a few exceptions:
pink plastic cutlery (of course)
collapsible & stack-able cups
Playgro clip clop horse
Otherwise, I honestly don't think that many plastic baby toys are all that interesting or satisfying to him. In addition, I feel really bad about spending money on something that will end up in landfill after only having been played with for a short time. Some of these plastic toys may even be harmful.
So, partly to keep him busy, partly to save money and re-use what we have at home, I started making simple toys.
I watched him play, saw what he interacted with, and made things that would be sure to appeal to him.
He loves lights. He loves hiding behind the curtains and peekaboo out of them. So a wigwam with fairy lights it was.
Four amazingly sturdy cardboard edge guards that came with an Ikea delivery
A big poncho
I cut the edge guards down to about a metre each, and argued with the twine until I had all four posts tied together.
Then I wrapped the fairy lights around the top and put the poncho over it.
Finally, I put a flat cushion underneath.
What I like about it is that it's sturdy enough to stay up, but as it's light it also moves around easily and can't hurt the Bean if he thwacks into it. When we're sick of having it in the living room, I can just untie the twine and put everything away. Admittedly it's not the prettiest of wigwams, but anything more crafty would take up too much permanent space in our tiny flat.
In any case, the Bean approved. Very much. (Although he doesn't bother sitting on the cushion. Should've known.)