Ways to trick your baby:
Problem: You have too many toys. Your mother in law gets you stuff, you have hand-me-downs from friends or family, you've bought a few things and, of course, over the holidays you collect baby knick knacks given with love. Your kid, though, is only interested in about five things at a time. The rest clutter your space, for, apparently, no reason.
Solution: Keep toys your kids have seemed to lose interest in inside a closet or storage space. On days when they are particularly cranky, go into the "special closet" and give them a "new toy." You can keep most baby and toddler toys evergreen for years because your baby will have exceptional expertise in finding new ways to play with it and use it. In my house, we just did this with a Leap Frog table. The babies loved it when they were 9 months old and learning to stand and walk. They could balance on it and slam the buttons in celebration of their accomplishment. In taking it back out, at age two, they're making up dances to the different musical selections, and repeating the colors and shapes after the toy says them aloud.
Ways your baby can trick you:
Problem: Some of the new uses they think up for those old toys may not be particularly safe. At nine months, my babies balanced on the table to steady their unused feet. At two years, they balance on the table - on top of the table, in preparation to jump onto the furniture, of course.
Solution: Keep a close eye on your toddlers. No matter what you give them to play with, if it gets too quiet or too loud, they're doing something you don't want them to do. And usually you won't have even thought of it, until you see them do it.