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Monday, June 20, 2011

Toys That Aren't Toys

Toys overflowing the toybox. Toys all over the floor. Toys in the corners of the room. Toys downstairs. Toys upstairs. Toys blocking the stairs. Toys under the couches. Toys, toys, toys. But you know what's more interesting than toys? Things that are not toys.

Sometimes, my toddlers are just plain bored with every one of their millions of toys. There's not one of them that can hold their interest for more than a few moments. Bored, bored, bored, they say. Actually, to me it sounds more like, wah, waaah, waaaaahhhhhh! But the meaning is the same.

So, what do we do? Buy more toys? Yeah, right.

No, we take the classic toddler trick that's been working for generations upon generations and turn not-toys into toys. Here are some of our favorites:

1) The laundry basket. Otherwise known as a sled, a fort, a carrying device for other toys, a big pot for making pretend chocolate and a giant stepstool. The babies could play with a laundry basket all day.

2) Pots and pans and buckets, oh my! They use the loud metal ones as drums. They'll raid my silverware drawer (which consists of just spoons these days) to mix up some delicious make-believe goodies, and when those delicacies are ready for cooking, they open the bottom cabinet and use the old coffee maker and crockpot as a stove and oven.

3) Flashlights. Whether they're making shadows on the walls, following / chasing the lightbeams or searching for monsters in the dark, flashlights mean up to an hour of mommy-less fun.

4) The sliding glass door. This one is not a mom-free activity, as little fingers love staying just a moment too long on the wrong end of the door, and you don't want anyone's hand to get shut in the door. But with my supervision, the babies can delight in knocking, asking who's there, and letting her sister in or out, over and over again.

5) Feathers. This little guy fell off of my feather duster. I was just about to toss him when the babies rescued him to add to their non-toy rotation. They've discovered that tossing it into the air gives it a flying / floating effect. They take turns "flying."

There are so many more, too. I swear, I could get rid of almost all of their real toys and they wouldn't even notice. Thank goodness for toddler imaginations.

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  1. Boxes, cardboard tubes from paper towels are two of the most loved toys in our house. My youngest actually took a cardboard tube out of the paper towel roll. I'm not sure HOW she did that as they are usually glued to the last one, but it was gone and it wasn't before she had it lol.

  2. I *love* the sliding door one! Too bad my son has no one else to play with at home (besides mommy and daddy)! I will have to try that for a play date! The flashlights are good too!

  3. Floor mats that bring physical activities out of kids are also very famous in today's market. These mats are usually decorated with bright lights and colors to attract the kids.



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