Living with a Toddler: The Joy of Noise Toys

Photo by K. Emily Bond

I swore up and down that I would refrain from supplying my son with noise toys, if only for the fact that too many bells and whistles and an excess of honks and sirens “get on my tits” as my British-Aussie husband would say.

It took me a long time to figure out what most veteran moms already know about noise-toys: if you have any hope of grabbing a few minutes of uninterrupted peace and (relative) quiet, you must arm yourself with a handful of annoying, yet effectively distracting, talking, thumping, beeping, banging, singing, dancing, questioning and multilingual noise toys.

Here is a list of my personal favorites:


Photo by K. Emily Bond

What Does the Cow Say Again?
When I asked my father to send us a care package of good-old-fashioned American toys, this is exactly what I had in mind. I remember spending copious amounts of time playing with the See ‘n’ Say as a child. The same goes for my niño with his modern upgrade. The pull-string has since been replaced by a choking-hazard-free lever and the toy comes with danceable tunes like Old Macdonald Had a Farm.
Price Paid: Gratis, as in gift from grandpa.
Time gained: Anywhere from 2-10 minutes  



Photo by K. Emily Bond
Another Gift from Grandpa: The Multi-talented Tow Truck

Once I got this thing out of its sarcophogous of cardboard packaging, I thought I was going to have to have an awkward conversation with my father about Ezra’s (i.e., my) toy aesthetic. Once my son tore into it, though, I quickly changed my tune. Now it goes something like, driving down the highway, loaded up with cars! Beep beep! Honk honk! I’m on my way!
Price paid: Gratis again
Time gained: Sometimes up to 30 minutes! 



Photo by K. Emily Bond
Drummer Boy

Here in Seville, not a week goes by that we don’t encounter a marching band following a Virgin or crucified Christ down the calle. Ezra loves watching every devoted beat and such an occasion will grant me about 20 minutes of stillness. To buy myself this kind of time at home, I bought myself – I mean Ezra! – his own drum kit from Imaginarium, a European store and brand distributed in the United States by Toys “R” Us and Amazon.

Price paid: About 18 euros, give or take.
Time gained: Half-an-hour of banging bliss. 


Photo by K. Emily Bond
Around the World – One More Time!
Another Imaginarium find, this features twelve (count ‘em, twelve!) music samples ranging from classical to jazz. There are also some African beats, which Ezra likes to listen to in tandem with banging his drums.
Price paid: Over 24 euros
Time gained: I’ve lost track




Photo by K. Emily Bond
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man
I bought Ezra this drum for his first birthday. Sadly, it’s fallen down his list of priority toys and, as such, doesn’t buy me as much time as it used to.
But it has not outlived its usefulness quite yet. Ezra goes wild for sombreros and hats. If all else fails, I stick the tambourine on his head and send him on his way.
Price paid: It feels like ages ago, but around 10 euros
Time gained: I break about even with this one. When he’s game for tambourine man, I can’t resist but play right along with him.

So, there you have it: my favorite noise toys pics. Tell me, what’s in your toy box?

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