WATCH: Would your child rather play with a random object than the expensive, educational toy you bought? Because same

Agh! Why is my little one more impressed with the gift box than the well thought out gift I bought?
Agh! Why is my little one more impressed with the gift box than the well thought out gift I bought?

Any ideas of what you’re getting your little ones for Christmas? To get you started, we’ve already put together a list for big and small. But, let’s be honest, at least for your littler ones, it really doesn’t seem to matter.

Real talk: Even if you give your one-year-old a magical stuffed animal that comes to life when you squeeze it, that’s been personally handcrafted and packaged by Santa’s little elves before making its way all the way from the North Pole to this here South Africa, they’ll never be quite as thrilled as they would by the television remote, a plastic container or the wrapping the present actually came in.

The following video proves that. In a game of baby toy vs. random things, the junk you’ve already got at home will always win.

The video was posted by mommy and blogger of Story of This Life, Esther Anderson. Each time she placed a toy in front of her little one, Aubrie, the baby always picked the television remote, set of keys, cellphone, empty water bottle, sunglasses and pack of wetwipes over a colourful toy. 

The reason has much to do with the fact that, while we’d love for our little ones to play with age-appropriate, educational toys to encourage and stimulate development, they’d much rather have something they can bang against the wall or wrapping paper they can roll around in.

Julie Brierly, a lecturer in Early Years and Education, explains that children usually play with random objects because they find it more stimulating than a simple plush toy that can’t really do much for them. “When children explore and experiment with objects such as boxes, paper and ribbons, they are using both their sensory and physical senses to extend their thinking.”

She continues, saying small kids will usually think to themselves, “What is this and what can I do with it? Can I fit my hand inside? What else fits in?”

The many buttons on the television remote would intrigue a toddler’s developing mind, while a set of keys that cling and clang, with lots of key rings to explore, would certainly be amusing. And it all does what you hoped those expensive sensory toys would: stimulate develop and aids learning, through their own explorations and discoveries.

So this year, don’t fret too much about buying your tiny babies the biggest plush toy on the shelf. Chances are the packaging will do.

Are your little ones the same? Would they also find a box and wrapping paper more appealing and entertaining than the actual toy? What are your little ones' favourite random things to play with? Tell us by commenting below or emailing and we may publish your comments.

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