Babies and toddlers love figuring out how things work. Right now, zippers are king of the toys in my house.
Daycare baby likes undoing zippers. It’s part peekaboo game, and part investigating how things work, and part finding interesting things behind the zipper. I learned quickly to wear something under any shirt that had a zipper in it when out in public with her. I have a zip-up bag that used to contain toy blocks but I can put anything in it and zip it up, and she’s always excited to unzip it and find a spoon or toy car or some goldfish crackers in it.
My toddler has a pair of pants with a zipper pocket and I reserve them for days when we ride in the car, because he can unzip the pocket, put a little toy in, zip it up, unzip it, get it out, repeat repeat repeat. He’s just getting the fine motor skills to attach the two ends of a zipper together and do his jackets up. I’m almost sad that it’s summer and there’s no need for zip-up winter boots and coats.
There are lots of toys and dolls on the market to teach little ones how to dress themselves with zippers and snaps and buttons – I like this cute monkey from Alex toys, although real world clothes work just as well for learning. Daycare baby is a ready-made dress-up doll for my toddler, when they are both in the right kind of co-operative mood. Otherwise I’m happy to volunteer to have my hoodie zipped and unzipped.
So both of my little ones are getting plenty of entertainment, developing motor skills, and learning real world skills from zippers.
In a fortuitous coincidence, just as I was thinking how nice zippers are, I discovered that one of our lesser observed holidays, National Zipper Day is April 29. For real! It’s the 96th anniversary of Gideon Sindback patenting his invention. I don’t know if he had kids, but if he did, his babies probably loved playing in his house.