If this hasn’t happened to you yet, it’s bound to happen to you soon — You buy a cute-looking toy, only to quickly find out that its sound is very annoying.
In our house, a toy fitting this bill is a set of Fisher-Price Musical Teether Keys that make sounds resembling car horns, even when no one is playing with them. My sister and brother-in-law, meanwhile, couldn’t stand the educational songs their daughter’s Rockabye rocker plays, and other parents complain of the sounds of toys such as Furbys and the toys on the Sight and Hearing Association’s “Noisy Toy List.”
Luckily, there are methods that can help you muffle such sounds without breaking, or getting rid of, toys — two such tricks make up today’s hint.
Use Elmer’s Glue. This trick comes from Hint Mama reader Michele, who has long found many of her 18-month-old daughter’s toys too loud. Initially, Michele muffled the sounds by covering toys speaker holes with her hand, but then she figured there had to be a way to permanently cover the holes. She ruled out both duct and masking tape (a trick suggested by Parents.com for older kids and moms over at BabyCenter) because she didn’t want anything on the toys that would be noticeable or easily removable by her daughter.
Then, she came up with an idea that ended up working for loud toys and books. She dabs a tiny amount of liquid Elmer’s Glue – just barely squeezing the glue bottle to get a drip going – onto toys’ speaker holes. The glue “dries clear and muffles the sound,” she says. “Yay for mommy’s ears!”
Take the batteries out. My sister and brother-in-law, meanwhile, silenced their daughter’s Rockabye rocker using another simple, and perhaps obvious, trick – they took the batteries out.
To be sure, you can potentially avoid running into this problem by buying toys from the get go that come with on-off switches, volume controls or don’t make sounds at all. Still, that’s easier said than done.
What are your tricks for muffling and silencing toys’ annoying sounds?