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.