Real Remote Toy

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New Life for an Old RemoteSony and iHome remote controls laying on carpet

  • What: Real remote toy 
  • When: 18 months to 4 years
  • Why: Give kids an alternative to the remote control
  • Where: Your home

Have a toddler obsessed with the remote? Try this trick to keep a remote lover happy.

Remote control next to HBO advertisement on coffee table
Kids can’t resist a remote in easy reach.

Instead of tossing your old remote, keep it handy. You can even store it with the regular remotes. When your child wants to play with the real thing, you can hand them “their” remote to explore, with no concerns about turning on any electronics, or changing the volume. Just make sure you remove the batteries. For extra credit, use the old dummy remote yourself a few times to make it appear functioning, which will make it extra desirable.

Child playing with old inactive flip phone
I used a remote to get my child to sit still for photos.

Old remotes also work great for travel entertainment toys. They work particularly well on airplanes, where young kids can explore it, but it makes no noise. Just be sure adults keep an eye on the action so no buttons or other loose parts come off and pose choking hazards.

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