Parenting Plight #7: Puzzles and Blocks and Toy Crumbs, Oh My!

For our last parenting plight, I picked one that I know all moms and dads are familiar with. I was reading a blog a while back (honestly, I can’t remember which one) and came across the term “toy crumbs”, meaning the little pieces that go along with every toy that are inevitably getting lost or broken or scattered about apart from the main part of the toy. Puzzle pieces and blocks of all sorts are the primary perpetrators in our home.

EK loves puzzles. She has all kinds: ones that make noise, fuzzy ones, flat floor puzzles and wooden puzzles with holes cut out for the pieces to fit in. Most of them are from Melissa and Doug so they are adorable and durable and well loved. However, we never have a moment that all the pieces to all the puzzles are where they should be. Shall I rephrase that? The. Pieces. Are. Every. Stinking. Where. I recently spent a few hours with my mom organizing a lot of the toys in our house. Most of the puzzles had their pieces close by, the blocks were with their kind, and we put away lots of the things that are too old for J, but a little boring for EK nowadays. Already, a week later, our house is an explosion of mostly puzzle pieces, because EK loves them so much that various pieces get carried around to every room in the house, and left there. I guess maybe one day I’ll have rid my house of the puzzle clutter, but no time soon.

Christmas morning, 2013, EK playing with her instruments puzzle (that makes sounds!)
Christmas morning, 2013, EK playing with her instruments puzzle (that makes sounds!)

Blocks, on the other hand, are more than just an annoyance; they can cause near-fatal wounds. We have all sorts of blocks at our house, and stepping on them is an unavoidable bit of torture. Legos specifically are designed to injure the most tender part of a foot, with their corners and edges galore. We have lots of wooden blocks, also… and while those aren’t quite as painful to the foot, they are smooth, slick even, and slide gracefully across the floor and underneath any piece of furniture that isn’t quite touching the floor. Therefore, what can a child do but purposefully slide them across the floor, as if playing hockey, to every corner of the room to be found only by a vacuum? The only other  blocks we have besides Legos and wooden blocks are cardboard blocks. Who decided that kids needed cardboard covered in shiny paper as a toy? It’s my child’s personal mission to make sure that paper is ripped off by whatever remotely sharp item she has on hand (fingernails, teeth, a stray pen left out with a journal).

EK with her nesting and stacking (cardboard) alphabet blocks from Melissa and Doug.
EK with her nesting and stacking (cardboard) alphabet blocks from Melissa and Doug.

Long story short, toy crumbs invade the houses where children can be found. Do you agree? What is your toy crumb kryptonite?

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