Calculator as TV remote stand-in

Serena pulled the remote switcheroo on her son with good results:

Here's our most recent parent hack – my son Noah (12 months) is obsessed with the TV remote – and when we take it away from him he has a bit of a tantrum. Recently my sister-in-law was grading papers for her English class and Noah grabbed her calculator. We've now started replacing the remote with a $5 calculator from Target – no need to worry that he'll break it, reset anything or figure out how to turn on the TV. Of course we still don't want him to eat it, so this is a supervised toy!

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  1. Fernando says

    Good one. What we did here for our now 13 month old boy (he started playing with the remote at around 9 months) is to give him a “decomissioned” remote. In this day and age of universal remotes, we gave him the old VCR remote. Worked great for a while, though he now realizes that it “doesn’t work”….

  2. Nathan says

    We did the same with an old remote and no batteries.

    Look out in two months when he figures out the calculator doesn’t affect the TV!

  3. Eric says

    As he gets older, you might be interested in this:

    I have one, and really like that I’ve empowered the kids without giving them access to ANY station we have. Things like Noggin, Disney, Discovery, etc. we let the kids watch.

  4. stacey says

    weemote looks super cool.

    we tried the calculator trick but it only lasted a day. ditto on the batteryless remote. my son MUST see that his button pushing makes something happen on the TV.

    the weemote might actually get him to stop pushing the buttons on the actual TV/DVD now that we have moved all of the remotes out of reach.

  5. erin says

    Aparently my 11 month old niece has figured out the remote, even identifying that it needed to be pointed at the TV. They tried subbing in a non-functional one, but she wouldn’t have it: it didn’t make the type of impact on the TV that she was anticipating.

  6. Jeff - OWTK says

    Our houseold calculator was always a pretend phone for our little one (maybe that is because the TV is never on…although it is not as if we were always on the phone either. hmmm). She would constatly pretend to be calling “Uncle Mike”. This was hilarious as she was kinda scared of Uncle Mike and his silly faces. But she loved to have fake conversations with thim on the calculator, err, I mean phone.

    Jeff – OWTK