Buying Toys

Buying Toys

Looking for simple, inexpensive toys for your child that require no batteries, assembly, and keep his or​ her attention for hours? Here are some ideas for simple things around the house that will entertain your children while you accomplish all the things on your to-do list.

1) Play-doh. This is​ easy to​ make and lasts for a​ long time if​ you keep it​ in​ an​ airtight container. Kids love things that squish and squash, so put down some wax paper and let their imaginations take over! to​ make play-doh, take two cups of​ wheat flour, two cups of​ water, two tablespoons of​ oil, one-third cup salt, and one-fourth cup cream of​ tarter and mix them in​ a​ saucepan over low-medium heat. Stir until all excess moisture has evaporated and play-doh consistency has been reached. Let cool and store in​ plastic containers or​ bags. For a​ little extra fun, when you mix all the ingredients in​ the saucepan, add some food coloring for colored play-doh!

2) Boxes. a​ cardboard box can be colored on, painted, and cut, and can be easily moved or​ disposed. an​ empty box can turn into a​ ship sailing the high seas, a​ cabin in​ the woods, or​ a​ castle on a​ hill. Many grocery stores have large, empty boxes that they are willing to​ give to​ anyone asking.

3) Pots and pans. When I was little, my mom would pull out her pots, pans, and metal bowls, fill some of​ them with water, and let my brother and I play “cooking.” We’d take cups, spoons, measuring cups—anything that could hold water—and transfer water from one pot to​ the other. We spent hours concocting various brews and soups, and usually ended up soaking ourselves. Because it​ was just water though, there were no stains to​ worry about and the mess was relatively easy to​ mop up.

4) a​ cheap toy. Never underestimate the power of​ one small toy. Another story from my childhood: my brother and I had two small action figures that we’d gotten from a​ kids’ meal. Those two men went everywhere with us! Outside in​ the dirt, in​ our little pool, on car rides, and so many other places. They “helped” us wash dishes, do homework, play in​ the yard, and kept us entertained for many afternoons. Some of​ my fondest childhood memories are of​ my brother and I playing with those action figures.

5) Old clothes. Children take great delight in​ playing “adults.” Oversized clothes become disguises for miniature CIA agents or​ fancy outfits for little starlets. Ties, ribbons, shoes, dresses, sunglasses, and dress shirts are especially fun for kids.

Simple things, when seen through the eyes of​ a​ child, can become the most fun toy in​ the world. All you need are a​ few of​ these easily-accessible items and a​ health dose of​ imagination, and your children will be playing happily for hours!

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