Friday, December 21, 2012

Put the credit card down - new toys are everywhere Part 1

Your house is filled with toys - that you already own. No, not the crazy loud toy with all the buttons and lights. But to the penny pincher's delight, there are so many things you can use as toys! I have turned around a toddler tantrum with some of these gems and you can too!

We all know about the beauty of cardboard and kids. But it never hurts to look at it in new ways. I have pinned many a new idea on my Pinterest page and I have kept more boxes than my hubs would like. In fact when I see something I need to throw away I start thinking, "Hey nut job what else could you do with this before you throw it out?" (Yes I call myself names, it's cool,  me and the "others" are just like that.) You will see what I mean as you scroll. Just please don't call Hoarders, by not buying toys (that is a Grandparent's job right?) and using everyday stuff I have kept my house just out of the range of natural disaster.

Standard disclaimer - don't try suing me. I may be a penny pincher but I still have no money - see my career choice! Anyway, always supervise your kids as needed, make sure items are appropriate, yadda yadda - aka use some sense and if you don't have any... well may Mr. Rogers be with you!

    1.  Laundry Basket - are you kidding me this is a standard for years of fun. I remember my brother and I pushing each other down the icy ramped driveway in a laundry basket in high school. Yes, you read that right - never stop playing! But early on it is great to put a kiddo in with warm towels out of the dryer - start teaching them to fold and sort! Push them around in it like it is a go cart - add a steering wheel by giving them a large plastic lid. Sock balls are fun to play with but if you wanna spend a little, take your sweet buns to Target and pick up a bag of 150 plastic balls for $14.99. Instant ball pit!! Hours of fun - dumping the balls, picking up the balls, diving for hidden objects in the balls. You could also use the good ol' laundry basket as a cage like I liked to do with my brother, but some frown on that.

2.  An old wallet and "credit cards" - you can use those fake cards you get in the mail, used, empty gift cards, reward cards you know you are never gonna use but you signed up for because that girl behind the corner was pushy and you felt trapped, shoot my kid loves a good business card. They love to take them out of the slots and try to put them back in. Older kids love to think they have cards like their parents.
3.  An old wooden foot massager makes a great musical instrument either a drum stick or use something else to run up and down the ridges - great sound.  It can also be used as a phone or microphone as my son loves to do.
4.  Egg carton (cardboard is the best) - fun for sorting items, storing small toys, and best if you have some of the plastic Easter eggs.  I like to put small snacks in them.  He loves to shake them and find out what's in there!  Snack time and play time all in one!!!!  It's fun for pretend cooking too.
5.  Paper- Yep I give this kid all junk mail, printer paper to recycle, wrapping paper scraps, magazines, little pads of paper from hotels (you know you take them too).  Wrap up boxes with a snack or old toy in the box - some of the fun is unwrapping anyway.  Paper airplanes - My kiddo loves to chase them and then run back with it for me to throw again - until the day I first tried this I forgot how much fun it can be to fly paper airplanes!  Magazine are fun because they love the bright colors and even better if it has pictures of kids! Paper ball fight, laundry basketball, or volleyball. Oh the possibilities of paper!

Trust me I have many more and I will share but this is getting long!  Use your imagination and you are teaching your child to use theirs!  See what everyday items you can turn into great new adventures and share with the class!

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