Non-toy Toys

On any given day, the mess of toys scattered throughout my living room and kitchen includes things like an empty yogurt container, a few bowls and spoons, a strainer, and enough “perfect pairs” of socks to cover the top of the coffee table. We’re big fans of non-toy toys – things that aren’t by definition toys but can be used in many different creative ways and become toys.

An empty bread crumb can makes a good drum. Plastic cooking spoons are great drumsticks. Couch cushions can become bridges, ladders, slides, and roads. Empty paper towel rolls can be bats, telescopes, horns, a violin and a bow, or (when unrolled and taped to the kitchen floor) roads. And of course everyone knows that the cardboard box is the most fun toy of all, and the possibilities are endless. Climb inside and make it a grouch’s trashcan! Flip it over, lie down on top, and it’s a doctor’s exam table!

It’s so great watching the things that Love Bug comes up with to do with the most ordinary objects. Last week, he pulled every pot, pan, and strainer out of the cupboard, got a dish towel out of a drawer that I couldn’t believe he’s even tall enough to reach, and laid it all out on the kitchen floor. Then he started filling them with different toys – Sesame guys, foam numbers, Duplos…. I gave him a few plastic spoons, and he started “cooking.”

Sweet Pea was dying to get in on the fun, too. He was crying to get to the stuff, but of course LB didn’t want him messing it up. Eventually, LB took a break and SP took over – for half an hour! Anything that keeps an 11-month-old occupied for 30 minutes is all right with me.

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Love Bug making some “Sesame pasta”

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Sweet Pea enjoyed transferring things from one pot to another.

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About Kelly

I'm a stay-at-home mom to two boys and a girl. My Love Bug is 4 and has been doing art projects since just after turning 2. My Sweet Pea is 2 and tries to do everything his brother does. Little Flower is 4 months and has no idea of all the fun she has ahead of her.
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