Three-eyed two-horned flying blue chocolate phobia eater
Sick Day

Five Toys That Are Made of Magic

FULL DISCLOSURE: These are not paid product reviews. If they were, I probably would not get paid, because I'm not sure toy companies appreciate being compared to monstrous black magic hell demons. The links are Amazon Associates, meaning if you decide to buy a monstrous black magic hell demon today, you can click through and reward me with a shiny 1/8th of a penny, or you can open up Amazon in a different browser tab and navigate to the toys yourself, muttering "fuck you, Amalah" the whole time. I am totally fine with either.

1. Hasbro Playskool Busy Ball Popper

The Busy Ball Popper works thusly: you drop some balls into a chute, press down on a lever and and the balls pop up and out and back down the ramps as a merry little circus theme plays. And your kids. Go. Apeshit. They lose their ever-loving goddamned minds over this thing. Babies, toddlers, preschoolers. Even a jaded emo teenager would be powerless to resist squealing and clapping and jumping up and down because OMFG BALLS. Do you remember that scene in Knocked Up where Paul Rudd wishes he liked anything as much as his kids liked bubbles? I don't think there's anything in my adult life that has brought me as much crazed joy as the Ball Popper brings to my children, and I'm including the battery-operated stuff in the nightstand. The Ball Popper is a breakdancing TiVo, an iPhone that shits unicorns, the last faint beacon of hope between this generation and a smoldering pile of war and toxic air and financial ruin.

Picture 2

Cost: $27.99  Alternatively, you could probably make your own with some bent PVC pipe and a hair dryer, but I'd be worried that my neighbors would see the effect it has on their children, and then they'd storm the house in the middle of the night, with torches and pitchforks and their best witch-burnin' stake.

2) Ocean Wonders Soothe & Glow Seahorse

Soothe and glow seahorse

Okay, so I know this thing doesn't really resemble a seahorse. I think it looks more like a Care Bear crossed with My Little Pony sperm, but NO MATTER. You press the beetle-like shell of a belly and it lights up and plays music, just like dozens of other toys that light up and play music, except that this one has apparently been bewitched with magical sleep powers. Yesterday I put a squalling, protesting baby in his crib while I went to retrieve some socks from a nearby laundry pile (shut it), and he kicked and cried and somehow sort of sat on the Spermhorse and the music played and he went into a dazed, silent, thumbsucking trance. Within 30 seconds, he was sound asleep. I honestly keep waiting for an indicator light to come on and tell me it's time to replace the vaporized opium packet located somewhere near the battery pack.

Cost: $14.99. Also available with an extra X chromosome.

3) Ocean Wonders Aquarium

Picture 4
Also bewitched with magical sleep powers of simulated ocean sounds, but be warned: It will eat through your soul at pretty much the same rate it eats through batteries. It will become the bulky, heavy bane of your existence as you feel compelled to drag it with you everywhere that your baby MIGHT POSSIBLY need to sleep, never once encountering a crib design that actually seems compatible with the straps on the back, leading to various precarious jury-rigged arrangements on Pack-n-Plays and relatives' nightstands, because your baby CANNOT SLEEP WITHOUT THE AQUARIUM. NO. NOT EVER. It will demand nightly sacrifices at 2 am of four fresh D batteries, and of course you have no choice but to placate the bubbling, lullaby-playing monster, because without it your baby might wake up at 2 am, or something.

Cost: $49.99, sucker.

4) Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Learning Piggy Bank

Picture 3
You know a toy is educational when they manage to cram the word "LEARN" into the name twice. (Just wait until the Fisher-Price Busiest Busy Ball of Poppin' Pop Balls hits the market. It's gonna be awesome.) And yes, while both of my children were uniformly delighted by this toy, I must admit I am really including it because 1) its red curly tail looks EXACTLY like a baboon's ass, and 2) one of the song lyrics says "you can put coins in my slot and you can take them out." 

Cost: $18.72. Slot. Heh.

5) Goodnight Moon


In the great green room there was a telephone and a red balloon and a picture of the cow jumping over the moon and there were three little bears sitting on chairs and one little boy on a big wheeled bike, and an elevator that flooded the hallway with blood and REDRUM REDRUM REDRUM...wait, what? My point is, kids really like this book. A lot.

Cost: $8.99, though don't be surprised to look around one day and realize that you own no less than seven copies of it, even though you don't actually recall buying it in the first place. You back away, a little unsettled. You trip over three or four copies of Guess How Much I Love You. The lights grow dim. And then the bunnytaur is upon you. Goodnight. NOBODY.



That stupid ball popper is indeed magical. Once we learned to sleep through the music, we realized we could put our child on the floor with the ball popper and go back to bed for another hour. (Parents of the year!)

You can buy extra balls for super cheap, btw. Saves the kid from waking you from a delicious slumber when the few balls that came with it disappear under the bed.


My boyfriend's nieces have that glowing Seahorse thing and I can attest to its magical, hypnotic, sleep-inducing powers. It very nearly put me in a coma.

Mark Kaye

I bought my kid the Busy Ball Popper. Turned it on, it tipped over and shot three balls right into my sons face. It was magical alright because I made it dissappear from my house!

Mama Jamz

Thanks so much for this post! I am totally going to buy the busy ball-r-rama and the spermhorse for my 8 month old. Possibly the aquarium, although I am slightly intimadated and loathe to buy another battery-eater - but we're going to have retire the mobile soon in favor of a bedside sleep-inducing item. I was just thinking, while feeding the dogs and the babe's naptime music plays over the monitor, that I MUST get cracking with the Christmas shopping...


Great timing! I was wondering if the ball popper would be a good Christmas present for my 7 month old. Will be on my list!


I'm getting that ball popper stat! My sister read from Goodnight Moon at my mom's funeral - it's taken me 15 months to be able to read it to my kid without collapsing in a pool of wails. He sort of looked at me like 'really'?...and went back for the 'Sheep In A Jeep' book - which I would also recommend!


We have had ball popper love here for the last 3 years. I keep thinking soon... very soon i will be able to donate that thing, but alas... kids still love it.


We have all that was posted but the piggy bank! Goodnight moon is the best book eva! we put stars on my 14 month olds ceiling and when we get to the "goodnight stars good night air part" he looks up and points to the stars on his ceiling. So totally awesome


Don't tell him I told you this, but my almost-7-year-old first grade boy still has an earlier version of that aquarium on the nightstand beside his bed. Just last night I heard it warbling its tired battery little tune at about 3am.


Perfect. Can we request Christmas gift lists in the very near future? Please, please, please?!?!


Also, we have four of the five. No spermhorse. The ball popper is a love/hate kinda thing. It eats batteries like the aquarium and I can't figure out what's worse, when the ball popper runs low and refuses to pop the balls, or freaky sounds coming out of the aquarium at 3 am.


I am sitting here at my desk, trying not to Snort-Laugh too hard, because OMG. GOODNIGHT MOON IS CREEPY.

There, I said it.

Megan@Blueberry Scones

For the piggy bank, it also sings about its little piggy face and snout. That's comic gold!

If you want #6, I suggest anything in the "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" series. My daughter LOVES all of those books, and I'm still not sure why. (I can't stand 'em)


@Andrea - your son sounds adorable! Now all you have to do is buy the bank...or wait for some random friend to buy it for you. Some awesome random friend.


Dude. We have the slotted pig, but it's the Spanish version so all I hear is "Soyyyyy chico taco enchilada" and I had no idea there were slot lyrics. I NEED THE ENGLISH VERSION.


I nannied for twins (!) in college and the only way to get them to both sit still at the same time was with that ball popper thing. It was magical. They fucking loved it.


I want to get my son the ball popper. I know he will love it forever and ever, amen. I wish I could have a magical seahorse to put him to sleep, even a battery sucking fish tank would be nice. But no, mine likes nipples. We are to the point where he wants to sleep with his hand in my shirt, touching a boob. There are a lot of middle of the night hand smacks, because it's just not OK.


We have a Fisher Price CD player that is reminiscent of the piggy bank; that CD player is the bomb. My two year old got it for a birthday present, and I swear he and his four year old brother AND the nine year old have turf wars over it.

I also have to put in a plug for this Handy Manny truck we got, the one that turns into a little fix it shop. Good Lord, my children never get tired of fighting over that. "You fixed..the fan." "Muy bien! You fixed...the clock." "Bien! You have been indoctrinated into the bilingual directive!"


I am tempted by the ball popper (that sounds dirtier than it should) but I have to give a shout out for the most magical book ever: Charlie Parker Played Bebop. If my kid is freaking out in the car, I just start saying the words from memory and viola! instant calm. LOVE IT.


We have the ball popper, the pig, and the ocean wonders aquarium. All were big hits, but ESPECIALLY the ball popper. Kids of ALL ages LOVE that thing!


When my oldest was a baby, I hid "Goodnight Moon" because I was so freaking tired of reading it all the time. Mother of the Year, no? Anyway, I apparently hid it so well that I cannot find it to this day. And that "baby"? He's almost 11.


Holy hell...last Christmas we put the ball popper together for our son and spent the remainder of the day pulling furniture out from the wall to corral balls.

The seahorse has made bedtime a breeze, and I freely admit to having a spare tucked in my nightstand in the event that "Glowy" has an accident and doesn't work.


I pretty much chose to have a baby just so I'd have an excuse to buy that ball popper toy. Don't tell my husband.

And the spermhorse actually sounds better than what we currently use - a giant purple ghetto blaster playing a mind numbing lullaby CD on repeat all night. I'm looking forward to the reaction of our hosts when we drag is to their house next weekend.


GOD, Goodnight Moon. I hate that book. Every time I read it I hear Christopher Walken's creepy-ass voice. Thanks for that, Simpsons!


Wait! Where do you buy the spare balls? NEED!!!!!!


What, no mention of the Goodnight Moon/Runaway Bunny crossover?


My daughter got the ball popper for her first birthday (I think) but it totally freaked her out until she was about 18 months. She loves it now (as do all of her cousins - ranging in age from 9 months to 12 years.)

No spermhorse or aquarium; she is a good sleeper and we sort of misplaced the piggybank. Goodnight Moon got real boring real fast - I think that we are holding steady at 2 copies. Yeah, the lyrics of the piggy bank were...different.

Totally second the 'Christmas Gift List' suggestion!


Oh god the ball popper! She loves! Keep a wire hanger handy to fish out all of the random toys that she puts in there that get stuck and then the balls don't come out and the air doesn't blow and it doesn't work and there is a major breakdown.


The ball popper! Oh how much I love the ball popper. This is somewhat awkward considering I don't have children and thus don't own a ball popper, BUT I get hyperactive when I get the chance to babysit a friend's kid that does indeed have one. Go to sleep, kid, it's my turn to play with the ball popper.

Sprite's Keeper

My daughter never got the slotted pig (Shout out to Toy Story), but practically assaulted the damn thing at her cousin's first birthday party. I'm guessing the next kid will get one. And ball poppers? We had to ban them when our terrier went psychotic upon seeing it perform. He actually thought the thing was his own personal ball thrower. He spent many nights sitting guard in our closet, hoping it would fall from the shelf we placed it on.
Great guide!

Jessica (@It's my life...)

We bought that ball popper because my husband saw it at a friend's house and went apeshit over it.
Then we discovered that our house is most definitely not flat and mommy got sick and tired of going to the far corner of the dining room to gather up all the balls, so she left them there one day too many, and the cleaners threw them out (and the Netflicks DVDs) and the ball popper last all it's magical ball tossing mystique. No balls + ball popper = really loud thing that does absolutely nada.
So now it lives in the garage where it probably dreams of electric balls.

Our Goodnight Moon has mated with Pat the Bunny. It was messy.


My son has a Lullabye Glow Worm, which for us, has two advantages over the spermhorse: 1) it's nostalgic for us and 2) it's $5 cheaper. The only problem with it is that when Danny has his weekly babysitting/playdates with a little girl a year older than he, she tears it right out of his hands as soon as she sees it light up.

Melissa C

This? "You trip over three or four copies of Guess How Much I Love You. The lights grow dim. And then the bunnytaur is upon you. Goodnight. NOBODY." Is hysterical.

OH GOD, I can't stop laughing. That book always walks the line between sweet and creepy, depending on my mood. Though I do have good memories of reading it to my now-almost-9-year-old. When I would say "in the great green room there was a telephone" he would say, "hellooooooooo?" in his sweet little baby voice. *sniff*


Awesome toy review! I may have snorted a couple of times. We can also attest to the power of the spermhorse and for those not a fan of underwater type baby-sedators i can also attest that the jungle version works just as well.
And Goodnight Moon? THREE copies! I bought NONE! How does that happen?


I found your blog through that Marriage Textbook thing that went viral, but I just wanted to say thanks for Obamaiconning the Ball Popper! Love that! I'm totally getting that Ball Popper for Christmas. For my baby, I mean.


I got my nephew a busy ball popper and he really did lose his little mind over it. He LOVES that thing. He also loves cramming other vaguely ball-shaped toys in it, which can be a pain to remove so it works again, but whatever, he's having fun.

all things BD

"the last faint beacon of hope between this generation and a smoldering pile of war and toxic air and financial ruin."

I read that as "bacon", and you know what? That also totally works.

Pinkie Bling

All I could think of was this:

"Peace out, coin slot dryness!" HAAAAAA!

Heather Ben

too funny, love it.




OMG! I think I may have to go change my pants! Too funny! and just right... I was just wondering what to get my tiny one for the holidays and some of these look perfect!


Get used to that damn aquarium. My son is almost 6 and we still use it at bedtime every night. A common threat if he's being naughty is that there will be no aquarium music at bedtime. I'm fairly sure that the product dev team was headed by some guy named Svengali.


The Ocean Wonder Aquarium is, indeed, made of magic, and totally worth paying full price for. But I recommend expectant parents first call everyone they know who had a baby in the last five years and ask if they have the magic Aquarium packed away "just in case". I got mine from my sister in law.

I busted out laughing at "Fisher Price Busiest Busy Ball of Poppin' Pop Balls"-ha!


I LOVE this blog! You always make me laugh and I agree with you on the ball popper and the books. Hil-arious!


I am convinced that G.M. has some hidden subliminal a Pink Floyd album. And fuck that old lady...she can't tell me shit.

You forgot Made of Magic Toy #6...The box all the other shit came in.




We have lullaby glowworm, too. Why is the button so hard to push, that the baby can't do it herself?

We don't have the aquarium, but she likes the jungle version of it.

Also, our "magic-baby-silencing" book to recite from memory? "Are You My Mother?"

It's amazing.


Both my kids were addicted to the FP Aquarium, for real. We would hear it in the middle of the night as they learned to turn it on and soothe themselves back to sleep.

We used 2 sets of rechargeable batteries and once we forgot to charge the other set and my husband had to drive 20 minutes to the all-night WalMart to get a replacement set. True story. Another time we had left the aquarium at my in-laws' house and I had to drive over there at bedtime to retrieve it. After that I ordered a backup one from Ebay.

I always give the aquarium as a baby shower gift and would suggest to anyone who is about to try CIO with their baby: GET THE AQUARIUM and teach them how to hit the button. It's a miracle!


We love the ball popper and the pig too. Err I mean . . . my son loves them . . . did I saw we? Oops. Also a big hit is the ball popping train.

I think you can buy replacement balls at under customer service. For some reason it doesn't list the ball popper specifically, only the airtivity one. I dwould assume the balls are the same - I know the train ones are the same and here is an order form for extra balls for that.


ROFL! Absolutely hilarious, and so true! Every single one of those things (minus the CareBear sperm) has occupied my son for longer than I thought possible.


We bought the busy ball popper for my best friend's kid when he turned one. Six years later and they still have the thing and all the balls.

We buy the same toy for my kid for her first birthday. Three years later the ball popper sits dismantled with everything but balls shoved inside. And I couldn't even tell you what happened to the balls.


Every time that pig sings about its slot, I look around like "did anyone else HEAR that?!?" Slot. That's funny.


"Fuck you Amalah, fuck you Amalah, fuck you Amalah." NOT. more like... "I love you Amalah, I love you Amalah, I love you."


I think this is my favourite post yet. Love it!


Goodnight. Nobody has me laughing so hard I am crying...trying to be silent so the baby stays asleep


I have a love/hate thing going with "Goodnight Moon". My daughter LOVED the book, my sons, not so much. Other than the, "Oh how cute, let's find the mouse," thing, I don't get it.

On the other hand, has anyone read, "Love You Forever"? It's about a mom who sings this to her son every night after he's fallen asleep. She does this as a 2 y/o, 9 y/o, teen, etc. The first time I read this I thought it was sweet; no matter his behavior during the day, that's how she ended the night. Until. Her son grew up, moved out of the house, and got married. Then the mother took a ladder, drove to her son's house across town, climbed in his bedroom window, and laid him across her lap. Can anyone say CREEPY??? What. The. Fuck.


The ball popper is perpetually on sale here in the MDW and right now it is available at Target for $19.99. In case you are in the market for more!


I may have given you a whole penny!

Amy K

My 7-month-old loves the ball popper, but mostly because the balls only manage to make it through one ramp rotation before they pop off across the room somewhere and she can crawl after one of them and chew on it with her new teeth NOM NOM NOM. She learned how to turn the aquarium on and off herself recently, so it's gone from sleep-inducing to VERY EXCITING (squeals, kicking, smiles!) which is adorable but maybe not what I'm hoping for in the middle of the night. She completely ignores her seahorse. Goodnight Moon is why we refer to her baby rice cereal and oatmeal as "mush." We'll have to look into the piggy bank.


You want to really blow their minds? Buy a bag of various sized pom-poms from the craft store. Stuff into ball popper. Turn on. I couldn't get the kids (and husband) away from it. And they run to clean them up from every corner of the room- so they can stuff them back in again.

Seriously. You must try this.


Ok, seriously Amy? Did you have to make my girl crush on you worse? Or did I just completely imagine that there was a vibrator reference snuck in there?

And my 2.5 year old is often found using her aquarium thing as a pillow...we have the rainforest version.


Goodnight NOBODY! That's my favorite page!

Goodnight slot.


I whole-heartedly agree with everything you mentioned, except for the ball-popper from HELL!

Good god, you would have thought the thing shot out flaming balls of napalm or something the way C screamed at it...


I whole-heartedly agree with everything you mentioned, except for the ball-popper from HELL!

Good god, you would have thought the thing shot out flaming balls of napalm or something the way C screamed at it...


Don't have the toys but I am with you on Goodnight Moon. I could recite it from memory until my oldest was four. We even decorated his room from the book, he loved it so much. I will be rememorizing it soon as no. 2 son is nine months and will be needed the fix before bed soon.


"doesn't really resemble a seahorse. I think it looks more like a Care Bear crossed with My Little Pony sperm"

*SNORT* Unbelievably funny!


LMAO... I had been mulling over encouraging the inlaws to buy the ball popper for Snackbox's upcoming birthday and/or Christmas... although it sounds like it would be almost more fun to buy one to torment their little shit dog.

I am on my way to buy the Spermhorse RIGHT NOW. We have the Sleep Sheep set on Waves (the whale sounds give me nightmares) and it's great - UNTIL IT TURNS OFF AND HE WAKES UP. Who decided 23 minutes (I kid you not - that's the setting) was the perfect duration of wave action? So we downloaded a recording of ocean waves and loaded on the iPod to play all night long (we even took it to Kauai, since I had a feeling real wave sounds would not be enough).

I'm not sure I'm mature enough to handle the piggy bank (either financially or emotionally).


We have the ballpopper but it stop popping. Bleh. Now it is a magical ball levitator.


For a change of pace, try Goodnight Opus.


Slot. That's fucking hilarious.
We had the Amish version of the ball things with little wooden ramps and a bell at the bottom and seriously. Hours of play. I could keep tabs on my toddler while in the kitchen or otherwise out of eyesight by listening for the clack-clack-clack-TING-hahahahahahaha-clack-clack-clack-TING-hahahahaha


Yes, the Ball Popper has been a hit around here, too. I bought it for Arun's 1st birthday and we are still using it 3 years later. Rockin' Robin!

Our bits of magic are those Safari LTD Animal Toobs (such as, Animal Babies in a Toob, Dinosaurs in a Toob, etc) Reasonably priced, little tubes of magic! Now, I always have animals tucked into my purse to pull out in dire cases of need.


also a good time:


Classic Amalah! Helpful, illuminating, and so completely hilarious. THANK YOU.


My two-year old figured out (immediately) upon receiving the ball popper that if she stuffs her arm in as far as it will go while it's trying to blow.....and then remove arm (when mom yells), the balls shoot sky high. It's pretty hilarious for adults to watch too. I'm thinking it won't be so hilarious when we're in the ER trying to get her little arm removed from the innards of the ball popper! Hasn't happened yet, but I have my's like crack for toddlers!

samantha jo campen

THE PIG! Oh the PIIIIIIIIG! Theo LOVES that thing. He cracks up every single time the pig sneezes and says "Oh, exCUSE me!" It is pretty cute and not that annoying at all IMO.

Good list :-)


aquarium, pig, seahorse, sure yeah loved them.

That ball thing, OMG, couldn't break the stupid thing fast enough. It is soo loud, the balls go every freaking where and then the girls crammed a ball that didn't fit into it thus we had to take the whole thing apart to learn it was really just stuck and broken. Will only buy for people I hate kinda toy. At least someone gets some joy out of it I guess.


Your mention of Goodnight Moon reminded me of this spooky take on it:


Ha ha. Balls. We had the magical aquarium 9 years ago when my oldest was a babe. She was freaking addicted to it. We became the aquarium's bitch and had to travel with it. I remember one time we picked it up at the luggage carousel an something was pressing in on it causing it to play music. Ha funny! But at night when she was ready to go to bed-no music. Dead batteries. Not funny at all.

So several months later, I convinced my husband to rig it up to fit an adapter, and that saved us for a while. She later finally outgrew it and our 2nd wouldn't have anything to do with it. No self soothing at all for that kid, but it was nice and magical while it lasted with my first.

bethany actually

Somehow we managed to get through 5 years of my daughter's life and only owned one of these, the book. Which she used to love, and then around age 2 just flatly refused to let us read it to her anymore. I think it's because she was SO OVER it.

Also, I'd like to say that I learned something from you today...I always thought the expression was "jerry-rigged" so I looked up "jury-rigged" and lo and behold, they actually mean the same thing and are both accepted expressions. So thanks!


Wow, you have almost exactly described my son's toybox! I am a bit "meh" about the ball popper because I ended up chasing after the balls every 2 minutes, but at 3, my son still sleeps with his "little buddy Gloworm" every night. Not exactly the same as the spermhorse, but close enough. We also have a Gloworm at my parents and my in-law's. The Ocean's Wonder was great, especially after he learned to turn it back on. I would hear the music stop, then a ruslting of the crib, then a "smack" and the music would start again. It sounded like he was snoozing an alarm clock, but the opposite. This is the first that I have seen of the pig, but it is fabulous!


I agree with this list, with two boys, 4.5 and 1.5. The ball popper is amazing. Also, we don't have the seahorse but do have the glowing sea turtle and ladybug - same principle. And instead of the piggy bank, we have a frighteningly expensive cash register. I would add the Parent's toy where you have a little mallet and whack the balls into the holes. Also, the playmobil pirate island set (some better parents would worry the not-quite-2yo would swallow the small playmobil pieces, but luckily that isn't an issue for us.) If you are going to get Good Night Moon or Good Night Gorilla (good night! good night! good night!) get the giant versions so you can see the detail in the drawings - I was amazed at how much more I could point to as a result.

Lisa Marie

I had to take apart that ball popper to disconnect the sound because my husband couldn't stand it. I think that thing has 50 freaking screws holding it together.

I swear that aquarium used to cost $20 (7 years ago). We also had the Ocean Wonders Aquarium Cradle Swing. That thing was pure magic.

Snarky Mommy

We have four of those five things (no seahorse) and I can attest to the magical properties of all of them. Also, let me recommend "Goodnight Moon 1-2-3" as a companion piece to "Goodnight Moon." Shorter and equally as mind-numbing.

I did a whole photo essay about two years ago about trying to retrieve a cell phone out of that goddamn ballpopper. Not to highjack, but you might find it amusing...


Am mesmerized by the 2009 luxified version of the aquarium. We have the clunky 06 model. Not nearly as serene and bubbly looking.

I thought I was the only one who snorted over that pig's baboon ass and usage of the word 'slot'. Glad to know I'm not alone.

Why is Good Night Moon such a draw? That book is f*cking creepy. I hate reading it to my kids. The colors and feelings it gives me are like scary, nightmares I had as a kid after watching too many Twilight Zone episodes on HBO.


So--you think the spermhorse or maybe the aquarium might, like, work for grownups? I totally need something with opium vapors.

AMY FOR THE WIN--one of the best posts EVAR.

Steph the WonderWorrier

The little guys I baby-sit for have that ball popper and the 1-year-old is extremely mesmerized by it. EXTREMELY.

I never owned a copy of Goodnight, Moon but my Grandma did and I used to make her read it to me every time we visited.

Kimberly C

That damn ball popper. We lost the balls (haha "balls") and I had to hide the darn thing because our 2.5 year old was jamming random stuff in there. The third time I had to dismantle the thing and remove half of an easter egg, it was banished to my closet. Glad everyone else had fun with it:)


The AQUARIUM. YES! My daughter had the (thankfully) smaller version, and that thing traveled to more states than most of my relatives.

We bought two sets of rechargable D batteries (and the massive charger) and were very anal about making sure that the batteries went right from the aquarium into the charger (and vice versa) so that when the crying started at whatever horribly inconvenient time, we didn't have to fish (ha!) around in the "junk drawer" for batteries.

Over time, the fish stopped moving. Then, the light bulb started to go dim. Then, I noticed that the screws in the top were looking a little rusty in that water. By then, we'd had it for almost 5 years, and decided it was time for something more big-kid-like. I think we were all a little sad. :(


For our ball popper we taped some sheets of craft foam around the rim of the top so that when the balls pop out they mostly go back in again instead of shooting all over the room. Sanity saving.


We have all of these except for the ball popper (heh) so I guess I'm going to have to get that next for the baby (er, 13 mo).

Shan @ Last Shreds Of Sanity

As soon as I saw the picture of the ball poppeer, the song popped right into my head and won't go away. Thanks for that. I appreciate it.

It is endowed with some type of magic, just not sure it's not Santeria or Voodoo. My daughter has had it since she was about 2. She STILL loves it and she's almost 5.

BTW, this is the most honest, forthright and hilarious review I have ever read.

Southern Bella's Ways To Save

Best line in a review EVER: an iphone that shits unicorns.


Ball popper + craft store feathers = actual SCREAMS of delight.


For some reason whenever I tried to load your website in the google Chrome browser, it gives me an error. It's working fine in Firefox now though.

I have Goodnight Moon memorized. Every damn word.


I couldn't stop laughing at this today, thanks for sharing your toy-sanity with me/us! I have worked with kids for about 20 years now (none of my own) and I'm familiar with these and alot of other toys.
Ball drops & poppers etc, yes, they are really drugs for children. I don't EVEN get it but it does buy a certain amount of peace if you can ignore the insane soundtracks that go with those toys. And after nannying for twin newborns, god I wish they'd had an aquarium!


that busy ball popper was, by far, Isabella's FAVORITE toy.

check this out:

I promise you will watch it 100 times.

Halala Mama

Ahh.... I hate the ball popper. Mine is either a.) a different brand or b.) mentally challenged because it will not stay in one piece. Adam loves the balls, but not the popper...

Seahorse on the other hand is his first love next to mommy, daddy, and apple pie. He sleeps curled around it every night and swings it like a lantern over the side of his bed in the morning. I had to buy a back up seahorse so that he wont' have a melt down as a 2 year old when it's too germy to let near him again. I might buy a third...


I DIES SCREAMING this was too funny!! I saw that little aquarium at Walmart (and there was NO WAY I'd drop $45 for that thing so I bought it for $5 from a Facebook Kids Buy/Sell)... Jakob LOVES it. Well, for the 90 seconds he's awake to see it! We've gotten through half of Goodnight Moon, (he loses interest in books...)and I'm wondering how old he should be before I buy him the ball popper. Is 4 months too young?


Low-cost solution to a low-battery ball popper:
1. switch the thing on (will balls inside pls).
2. put your hand over the top of the exit tube, creating a vacuum.
3. whisk your hand off after 2 sec.
4. Watch in amazement as the balls literally fly to the roof and bounce off various house furniture.
5. Never stop looking for said balls as your toddler learns this trick and sends balls flying everywhere over and over again.
6. Decide to just get more balls instead of retiring the darn thing coz hey! he's actually staying put and playing in one place! instead of climbing the walls! yay!


I actually think this is the funniest post I have EVER read - and that is saying a lot after reading all the marriage guidbook posts you wrote!

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