How can I find a gift for my young nephew that my older nephew won't want?
November 1, 2008 8:17 AM   Subscribe

Please help me find a gift toy for my one-year-old nephew. I want to find something that will interest him, but that his 3 and a half-year-old brother (a toy hoarder) will find totally uninteresting.

I've searched the archives and found lots of good suggestions for toys and gifts that would appeal to one-year-olds (blocks, Scoot N Scoops, the Shape-O) but I am specifically looking for a toy that will basically both attract the one-year-old and repel the three and a half-year-old.

My gut feeling is that the three-year-old wants whatever the one-year-old wants so the specific gift won't matter, but I'm hoping there may be a developmental psychology loophole?

I can't interfere or make suggestions parenting-wise, so that is out of the question.

Normally I just buy books, but am hoping to briefly subvert the power differential in favour of younger nephew with a toy--if possible.
posted by OlivesAndTurkishCoffee to Human Relations (9 answers total)
Ball Party - Tomy
posted by maloon at 8:36 AM on November 1, 2008

Does your older nephew look up to you or want to impress you? When the gift is opened, just turn to the older boy and say, "Hey, I know that toy is really for babies. Sorry I didn't pick out something you'd want to play with too, but he's still a baby and he'll like it. Hey! While he's playing with his baby toys lets go catch bugs/paint something/hammer some nails/get ice cream!" Make him not want to play with it, though this might be a stretch for a three year old.
posted by Science! at 8:42 AM on November 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

pull toys?
posted by chickaboo at 9:43 AM on November 1, 2008

There is no such thing, as mom and dad let the older nephew take the younger nephew's toys. (Not saying it's horrible, most 1-year-olds are perfectly happy sans official toy).

Teething rings/chewable toys might work, if they get slobbered on they might become much less attractive to older brother.
posted by sondrialiac at 10:16 AM on November 1, 2008

Get them the same toy.
posted by rhizome at 10:44 AM on November 1, 2008

Wooden spoon? I noticed that, when our son was 12 months or so, he wasn't particularly interested in specific toys - he didn't have any favourites. We could have given him anything to play with, and he would have been happy.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:46 AM on November 1, 2008

A set of empty boxes. Seriously. Infants love boxes. Also, they're cheap. You can make a choochoo with them or whatever.
posted by TomMelee at 12:16 PM on November 1, 2008

I would bring something for the older child, too. And make a big deal about his big boy toy vs the baby toy.
posted by Linnee at 12:35 PM on November 1, 2008

I don't think there is any such thing. I have kids the same age. The elder will chew on teethers, bang on pots and pans, play Peek-A-Blocks, etc. Part of the attraction is wondering just why that baby wants those things and whether one can get special attention for using them. It's the same reason a 3.5-year-old boy will start crawling around on the floor, ask to be spoon fed at lunch and ask to be burped.
posted by acoutu at 2:14 PM on November 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

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