Leave the batteries out of toys to double the fun

Tracy, I don’t know how long it will be till the kids are onto this, but it’s brilliant.

At our house we get double duty out of our toys. When introducing a new toy we try to use it without batteries first… Then after using it that way for several weeks or months we add batteries for an almost new toy with all new experiences! This is especially good when your children are really young – it helps to develop their imagination in a world that is so "electronic crazy."

This brings back memories of my kids’ loud toddler toys. The worst was an older version of the vTech Sort n’ Go car (I don’t know how it sounds now). We were so happy when the batteries ran out. Why we didn’t take them out I’ll never know.

Muffling noisy toys
Quiet loud toys with caulk
Salvage batteries when weeding out old toys


  1. Kai says

    We do this with nearly every electronic toy we receive, but many times our daughter has so much fun without the batteries that we just forget about it! We started when I brought a toy our of the closet that I thought was non-electronic. When my daughter noticed the battery cover and asked, I internally cringed and ended up telling her we were out of batteries. She ended up loving it.

  2. says

    Ouch. We just leave the batteries out. My feeling is that most of the battery powered toys actually reduce the amount of imagination needed to play with the toy.

    Our daughter makes a lot of different noises for her toys that either have no batteries or where the batteries were removed, but lets the toy make the noises when we leave them in.

    The most horrifying was a Build A Bear that Grammie put the option to have it say, “I love you.” And that’s all my daughter ever did. She either pushed the button to make it say that, or mimicked it’s annoying voice herself.

    When we removed the battery, suddenly she started having full discussions with the bear, and it’s activities grew dramatically from a passive love object to a super bear, a doctor bear, a baseball bear, etc.

    Battery powered toys can be very good, but to a large extent I find all the designers do is use electricity as a distraction instead of a helpful addition.

  3. says

    In our church nursery we have a saying when a new parent picks up a toy and says “this needs new batteries.”

    “Nothing NEEDS batteries. Some things COULD have batteries, but they’re better off silent.”

    I was a victim of that saying once and was shocked – now I’m the one saying it!

  4. Anissa says

    We did that w/ the Fisher Price house. Our son was loving it and then a few weeks later we introduced the sounds and he was agog that the toliet could flush and the phone ring!

  5. Carrie says

    Our daughter received the Fisher Price castle for her birthday. It takes batteries but we haven’t gotten around to putting them in. She doesn’t need them! She doesn’t know that the castle is supposed to make noise, so she’s not missing out. And my nerves are not shot from hearing the SAME noises over and over again.