Having a variety of playthings for your kids means hours of entertainment and optimal developmental opportunities. With so many toys on the market, you won’t be wanting in the entertainment department. However, you don’t have to shell out big bucks for playthings for your kids because fun abounds in everyday things.
Oh, the power of an empty box. You may have noticed that your child likes the box more than the toy. That’s because they’re an open-ended item that can become anything. Maybe your child turns it into a rocket ship, a cave or a fairy princess’ carriage. Boxes are a great item for your list of playthings for your kids. Chances are, the box will transform itself many times before it’s so worn out that it must go in the trash.
No, I’m not suggesting dumpster diving. But, many of the items you toss in your recycling bin make great toys. Save yogurt and sour cream tubs for the sand box. Hang on to lunchmeat containers, which make great bug homes and boats for floating down the river. Cardboard and magazines are perfect for many craft projects and cereal boxes or oatmeal canisters become instruments in mere minutes. Just make sure you wash everything well before the fun starts.
If your Tupperware drawer is overflowing, consider gifting the extras to your kid. They are perfect for dipping and pouring water in the bathtub or wading pool. They’re also ideal for making beds for small dolls and stuffed animals and they stack really well for constructing towers.
4. Fabric Scraps
If you sew, chances are you have a box of scraps left over. If you don’t need them for anything, consider handing them over to your little one. They make warm blankets for stuffed friends and the different patterns and textures are fun for babies to feel and look at. Older kids might even like learning to sew with your scraps.
5. Old Keys
Kids love pretend play, so save your old keys and put them on a special key ring for your child. He can pretend to drive a car, unlock the door or simply wave them around to make fun music. Just make sure your little one knows that your own keys are off limits, or you could find yourself stranded while you hunt them down.
6. Halloween Costumes
They cost money and kids only wear them for one night. Don’t despair. Just turn them into dress up toys. Put the costumes on small hangers and install a low bar in your child’s closet so she can grab an outfit any time she wants. The day after Halloween is a great time to stock up on discount options for a dress-up closet that rivals any.
Kids are pack rats. They love to collect things and can often be found with a weird assortment of things you’d never expect to see together. Buckets are great way to foster this game. Give your child a bucket at the park for collecting nature or corral his action figures in one so he can carry them from room to room easily. My advice is to never be without a bucket.
What’s your child’s favorite non-toy plaything? My kids are partial to boxes and toilet paper tubes. Keep on having fun!