21 April 2008

Quiet loud toys with caulk

Caulk toy speaker holesDawn's a smart mom:

I don't know about you, but I've found that most children's toys that 'talk' are way too loud - - too loud for me, and I'm sure for the tiny little ears that are even closer to the toy. So, I finally figured out a way to quiet them.

All the advice about covering with tape and stickers didn't work for my little J, since she's fascinated by anything sticky and immediately sets out on a mission to peel it off. One day, while working around the house, I realized the caulk I was using could be a lifesaver. Test toy number one was a Dora plastic bike that was frighteningly loud. I carefully caulked the speaker holes and......Voila! MUCH quieter. (See attached photo) You can still hear the music and what she's saying clearly (well, as clearly as before), the volume's just much lower. I've found that it works for all plastic toys.

For tiny, tiny speaker holes, I squirt a little pile of caulk on wax paper and apply it to the speaker with a q-tip, toothpick or handle end of a small paintbrush. Ahhhhh, the peace and quiet.

Related: Muffling noisy toys

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Removing the batteries really worked for us.

Our other solution was not to buy these kinds of things. Lot's of blocks and pots and pans and spoons and stickers and other stuff that's fun, educational and QUIET.

I think this is a good idea, but keep in mind that some caulk contains less-than-nice chemicals which will emit fumes. Also, unless your kid doesn't put anything in his/her mouth (and I'd like to meet this kid if so), be sure the caulked parts aren't reachable by small mouths.

I think caulk is brilliant! We use clear packing tape to do the same thing, but it doesn't work on every toy.

I love this idea! I don't understand why so many kids toys have to be so LOUD. Even the ones that have volume control usually default to the loudest setting. I think this will work better than my old duct-tape-and-baby-washcloth method. (Oh, and I just have to add that pots and pans have to be the loudest toys of all, batteries or not!)

You could go with open ended waldorf toys and they are never loud,encourage imagination, and will last you generations. Thewoodenwagon.com has a great selection.

I never invited noisy toys into my home, but they came anyway. While I've successfully hidden them away now, they were used while new. I tried clear tape, duct tape, cotton pads under tape... you name it - and all without really quieting them. I'd have happily tried caulk.

The worst offenders are the ones without an OFF switch! That dang Sesame Street saxophone starts spontaneously playing when I clean up the storage room and items shift around. Daddy plays the sax so I just can't make myself toss it out. My goal is to hide it until they're too old for it!

I have never once purchased a talking/singing/beeping toy for my son (in fact, I haven't gotten him many toys at all) Grandparents and aunties, however, just cannot seem to control themselves when it comes to electronic toys. I would love it if my son's toybox were full of only non-plastic, educational, artistic toys, but that would mean hurting the feelings of well-meaning relatives.

I never bought the loud/talking/noisy toys. They were usually gifts. And we did everything we could to quiet them--packing tape, taped over the buttons, removed batteries (which are so hard to get to). And when it was time to give away a box to Good Will, they were the first to go out the door. If we had a really enticing substitute (bribing with an ice-cream treat works great right after the toy-drop), there was no battle over the give-away. And usually they were replaced too soon by the grandparents. We do enforce one rule which helps: Toys stay in the toy room or the kid's bedroom. If they come out, the toy (noisy or not, expensive or cheap, however treasured) goes in the trash unless the toy goes back to the toy room before we count down from 5. And sometimes, even I have to cringe when a fun-looking toy has to go into the trash--I admit to have rescues 2 toys, to stash them in the garage. After 3 toys went in the trash during Christmas time, we rarely see anything but paper scraps around the house now.

Good hack! If you are worried about fumes, buy the kind of silicone that is designed for aquariums - if the silicone is safe for fish, it will be safer for you too. Noise toys at are house are fairly minimal - Fisher Price is pretty good at making toys with 'loud' and 'less loud' settings. My mom likes to pick up spare toys at I've-Outgrown-It sales, and my only rule is if it's electronic and noisy, it has to live at her house. This rule has prevented the purchase of some exceptionally noisy and annoying toys.

GENIUS.

Love this idea -- I've been a duct tape queen for years which has worked reasonably well but this solution is more aesthetically pleasing!!

I would recommend using aquarium safe silicone. It's 100% silicone and completely inert after it dries. Does not contain fungicides or other harmful chemicals. Walmart, petsmart and fish stores carry it.

We've received a few doozy toys from snickering grandparents, and Elmer's glue has worked for us!

Brilliant! Thank you thank you thank you!

My husband opens up the toy and wraps the thing inside that actually makes the noise in electrical tape. After he closes everything back up, my sons are none the wiser.

I have no idea how my husband does it. He sort of opens up the toy, fiddle with the wires and voila, the toy is a whole lot softer. He is an audio buff and builds his own hi-fi stuff. For me, I open up the toy and and tape the opening where the sounds comes out from with cloth.

I have no idea how my husband does it. He sort of opens up the toy, fiddle with the wires and voila, the toy is a whole lot softer. He is an audio buff and builds his own hi-fi stuff. For me, I open up the toy and and tape the opening where the sounds comes out from with cloth.

Great idea... I don't let loud toys into the house myself, and if one of the relatives deems it necessary to purchase them, I always tell them how wonderful of them it is to buy toys for the buffin to play with when he visits them. ^_^

I have to echo Carrie, who lets the loud toys reside at the home of the gift-giver who thought they were a good idea! I can remember opening presents AT Grandma's house and when leaving after supper, being told to put them in the special toybox in the back room, to play with next time we visited. This may not work so well if grandparents home is not local, but it worked for my mom.

In fact, one time when a collection of cousins were visiting and playing with all those loud toys, my Grandma asked who bought all those loud toys? 'YOU' said various aunts and uncles!

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