Jan 6, 2009

Triplets find zero uses for the Bilibo

Is this a joke? Some kind of mother sucking scam? Have I been bamboozled? I wish somebody had told me all that before I took this $27 toy seriously.

But The Bilibo received such high praise from a few blog friends out there, that I had to get it for the kidsos.

"Open ended fun!"
-Anonymous blogger #1

"Every time I think [Jane Doe] has done everything she is going to do with this one, she finds something new to do with it."
-Anonymous blogger #2

And isn't it Swedish? Of course they always do things better (except food & music) than most of the globe, so there must be ingenious weaved into every plastic fiber. There simply must be because it looks like a hunk of nothing to me (but I'm not Swedish so can't trust me).

We have had it for 2 weeks now and so far the triplets have enjoyed zero open ended uses from it. Just when I think they can't think of anything to do with it, they find another way to ignore it. Well, I guess I saw Sira sitting in it once while playing with his new barn on the floor. Then last night he nosed dived into it a couple of times. And I think I remember Tsega throwing it across the room more than once. Oh, yeah, Sira filled it with cars and then dumped them over his head about 5 times in a row the other night before I told him to stop (there's only so much our soft wood floor can handle and the plasma cars will be the end of it someday). And more than once we all played helmet head with it. But a few minutes of mild interest over the course of many weeks was not what I had in mind.

Oh well, it's kind of a cute piece of expensive junk to store little toys in. And wow, I have 2 of them. Lucky me.


Mama Papaya said...

Well now technically throwing it across the room and distressing the fir floors both count as found uses my friend. Just saying.

Throw it outside in the summer. The things that can be done with sand and water are amazing. And disgusting. Oh and it does make a remarkably good sled.

Sorry they were a flop. At least you have some hip buckets to dust now. But seriously, they haven't started the obsessive compulsive spinning yet?

Anonymous Blogger #2

Christina said...

Thank you, thank you. I was JUST ABOUT to go buy one of these, b/c all these blogs raved about it and I thought maybe I was depriving my son. Perhaps I can hang on to my $30 a while longer until D has a chance to test drive one at a store.

Christina said...

hehe Carrie ~ as if we didn't know it was you. Maybe we can all play a game of count-the-number-of-pictures-on-MP's-blog-that-feature-the-bilibo? :)

Cindy said...

Anon #2- We tried it, it looked like fun, but my boys flunk physics so far. They just kept toppling over before they could get a good spin going. Remember, unlike Figs, my boys are shaped like weeble wobbles except they do fall down. (And surpisingly, their new sit and spin isn't getting much spin action either).

Oh, boys. Pile them with cars upon cars except for Tsega who only plays with running water and spatulas.

Nancy said...

Makena spins herself and her baby around in hers.

They are fun to pack snow into.

She has on occasion thrown bean bags into it.

She uses the little Bilibos to play with sand, water and rice.

Personally, I think the big ones make for an ideal sized serving bowl for banana splits :)

Robbin said...

Haha!!!!! I swear its on my wish list. Its the dumbest gift ever......


Mark and Sarah said...

And let's not forget, Carrie, the triplets have a free, in-house obsessive complusive spinner, namely Jerry...recall the crazy, mad spinning video of a few months ago? I don't think a Bilibo can do THAT!

Ruth said...

I feel out of touch as I've never heard of or seen such a thing before! Of course I just recently entered the world of buying toys as Nadia is 6 months old and has only recently begun to play with a wider variety of toys. Well I guess not every toy purchase can be a winner like the plasma cars. Happy New Year! ;-)

Heather said...

Just wanted to say that I've found that kids don't usually start really enjoying the Bilibo until they are a bit older than your kiddos. From the testimony of others I know who have one, plus my own observation of how my kids play with it, they're more likely to really "get" it when they're 3 or 4. So keep it around and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised in six months to a year.

P.S. My brother and his wife are adopting from Ethiopia too, and we are so excited!

MotherMotherOcean said...

I think it would make a nice salad bowl.

Emily B. said...

Wow-- how clueless am I??? What's it *supposed* to do?

Heather said...

Hi Cindy, my name is Heather Antoine. We are traveling to Ethiopianext Friday, and are hoping to stay at the Afar Village Lodge, and it was mentioned to us that you took a trip there when you traveled. Can you tell me how you got there from Addis? By the way, your kids are beautiful!

FrogMom said...

I almost got it for my Sunshine this year, but bought it for my nephew instead since it seemed more his thing. Now I'll have to check with his mom and see if he found any uses for it.

Jennifer and Ty said...

Ummm....it looks like a bedpan. I am with Emily. What is is supposed to do?

vanvoorst said...

Your post echoes my thought exactly. Our 2 1/2 year old uses her bilibo as a potty chair for her dolls:)

ethiograndma said...

The Swedes don't do music? Did you forget about Abba? Just call me Dancing Queen :)

jayme said...

We've had ours for 2 weeks as well, and the potential for these is unlimited. So far the twins have:

-spun around endlessly in them
-created bassinets for baby dolls
-made tunnels for our toy trains
-drummed on them
-practiced balancing on top of them
-cleaned up toys by putting them inside the bilibo and carrying them across the room
-used them as helmets on a "rocket ship ride"
-used them as caves for their schleich animals

We haven't taken them outside yet, but I'm excited to try them out while sledding, building a snow fort, making igloos, and playing with sand, water and dirt in the summertime.

I'm always concerned when I hear people ask what a toy is "supposed" to do. The whole point is that single function objects limit creativity whereas toys like this encourage children to "think outside the box".

As someone with a lot of background in both child development and psychology/sociology, I cannot stress enough how important it is for our kids to learn to think creatively on their own.

As a society we're trending more and more toward standardized testing as the standard for recognizing achievement, and, as a result, we are creating an entire generation of people who have no idea how to think for themselves.

Multiple business associates of mine have commented that each year it seems like college graduates become paralyzed when it comes to making decisions on their own -- they've always been told exactly what to do, and so they only understand how to take direction.

But I digress. My point is that not everything needs to have an express purpose. Granted, if you don't want to spend the $27 for a Bilibo, a few cardboard boxes and some art supplies would probably serve (sort of) similar purposes. There are definitely other ways to feed creativity, but this has been a great toy for that purpose.

And Cindy, I'm definitely *not* trying to say that any of this applies to you or your household, or your parenting style (absolutely not!), but some of the other comments clearly hit a nerve for me... I actually agree that the triplets will probably find tons of things to do with these when they get a little bit older.

anyway, sorry for the rant, happy new year and all that jazz.

Cindy said...

Oh Jayme (aka Anon Blogger #1), always the serious one. :) I knew you would write back with the 1 million uses your twins have derived from the toy. We can't all be E and I and Figgies. I guess crawling around the floor roaring is creative enough for me--even if they don't incorporate The Bilibo into jungle play.

And you should see what Tsega can do with a spatula and a plastic tiger. Amazing.

Hehe. ;)

Someday I'll blog about how terrible I am at providing structure and planned activities for my kids and then you'll see that I am the last one to stomp out creative freedom. But you know that about me.

Silly goose. 8-)

Kerry and Tom said...

$27.00????!!!! Cindy why dont we go and invent something tonight shouldnt take long at all from the looks of that thing and give it a silly name ,slap a price tag on it and become wealthy overnite and then i want to do some traveling whatcha think??

Deirdre said...

I was just thinking the same thing as I tripped over the one Santa brought us. Big flop here, too. Then I thought, "Well, at least we can use it for sledding." Until I read the "Don't, under any circumstances, use this for sledding" warning.

Now what?

Deirdre said...

P.S. Just read Jayme's comment (love you, Jayme!), and I think this is precisely why I'm so disappointed in this toy! I am all about imagination fosterification, so when this object that, apparently, breaks open the doors of other kids' creative potential goes completely unbothered by my own child, I start thinking, uh-oh, have I totally stifled my kid's imagination? Is that why he can't think of a SINGLE use for it? Like, he can't even figure out that he can sit in it? Or spin it (even after I've shown him)? Or put stuff in it, or put it on his head, or … anything? Ack! What's wrong with my linear-thinking kid???

So there's my rant. :-)

Kursy said...

Well, first of all, the thing pictured above is Swiss made, not Swedish. :) The second - Swedes make great foodies ...the kind that keep you healthy, strong and very slim till your late seventies. :) Sounds like something good to try on? - Man, oh yeah. :)

And getting back to that Bilibo - perhaps your kiddies were simply too little to enjoy the toy. Maybe it's worth to wait a wail and give it one more try later. Not sure if you've come across this demo in the past, but if not, here you have it - lots of inspiring things you make up using this toy:
(You just go click the blue frame with the lil girl in it.)