Christmas is over and all the new stuff is unpacked, especially the noisy toys. If you have children, you know what a nightmare this can be. Toys with no off button. Toys with no volume adjustment. Toys that just…make annoying noises. January (and just after birthdays) is the most brutal time of the year for this unique problem, so why not get our biggest complaints off our backs?
I was chatting with a parent friend of mine before sitting down to write this. I’m not alone in my complaints. They got their son “this transforming action figure from VTech for his birthday. It turns from car to dinosaur but has no off switch. So he’s dropped it enough times that last week it just kept repeatedly triggering its lines. I ripped the batteries out like a Mortal Kombat fatality.” We are all on edge here.
So, who gave your kids the most annoying noisy toys this year? Was it Grandma? Auntie and Uncle? I bet it was them. It’s always them. It used to be me too, back before I had children. Now I know better. Now I’m just doing it to myself. We got our two-year-old daughter the Disney Frozen Elsa’s Enchanted Lights Palace this year. Fun fact, it has a button that sings about three lines from Let It Go, and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to her. Frozen came out six years before she was born. Why did I do this to myself?
It’s not just the toddlers either. Noisy toys find their way into your home at any age. Even brand-new babies get toys that play songs and light up. Exersaucers, hand held toys, even the Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick & Play Piano Gym & Maracas my daughter had before she could roll over, all of them could drown out my own thoughts. But it makes the wee ones smile, so thoughtless we live.
“…even the calm, quiet gift ideas have made the move into noisy toys.”
My son’s getting a little older. At six years old, he is into things like LEGO and Beyblades now. But even the calm, quiet gift ideas have made the move into noisy toys. LEGO VIDIYO Beatbox exists. LEGO Super Mario is battery operated now. As Mario hops around the track he boings and giggles. So much for peace and quiet. I’m pretty sure the toy industry even found a way to turn colouring products into noisy toys. Check out the Crayola My First Color Me A Song if you want to be baffled.
All of that doesn’t even touch on the more technical side of noisy toys. What about tablets, or even video games? Tablets are a blessing and a curse. We have talked about too much screen time here on Parental No-Scope, but we never really touched on just how noisy they can be. Of course, we want to be good parents and monitor what they’re doing on YouTube and YouTube Kids, but if I hear one more verse of Baby Shark, I may explode. How about Netflix? The newest evil, Cocomelon, or as my daughter calls it “baby”, is just bad nursery rhymes on repeat. Sometimes the tablet or TV “battery” just has to die. There is no other choice.
“Sometimes the tablet or TV “battery” just has to die. There is no other choice.”
Video games are another culprit, though I’ll say a slightly more responsible one. Most games thankfully have volume control where you can adjust music, sound effects, and voices. However, it WILL break your child’s heart if you change them, so beware. I play Fortnite—a lot—but when my son jumps into my lobby he constantly emotes, immediately making me crazy. It’s like an extended visit to Spawn Island that you can’t get away from because, well, you spawned it yourself.
The world of audio has only done one good thing for children and their parents. SafeAudio. You can get headphones that have a controlled volume so your kids cannot crank their devices and listen to their games or shows at outrageous volumes. The BuddyPhones Play+ headphones come in only three volumes, 75dB for toddlers, 85dB for kids and 94dB for travel mode. Another brand that does the same is iClever. These are great examples, and you can get away with telling your children to plug into their devices, so you can get a moment of peace, guilt free.
As long as there are noisy toys and electronics, we, as parents, will need to endure. Thankfully, small products out there exist to lessen the blow. But I beg you, if you’re a friend, aunt, grandparent, or just anyone buying for children, please think of the parents. Buy a puzzle.