Tuesday, March 1, 2011

our toy story...recyclables for baby

Does your kid go through the trash like a hungry raccoon? Or plead to play in the recycle bin?

Ain't it grand when you don't have to buy toys?!

I'm here to tell you there are many surprising (and obvious) ways for toddlers to enjoy recyclables - so long as mom and dad can get over thinking it's "trash". Here are some ideas that your little recycler may like to try:

Lids. My son has Lid-Mania, if that's possible. Cinnamon jar - cool flip top lid and also smells nice. Shampoo bottle - tiny flip top lid easy for tiny hands to twist. Yogurt lid - large snap on lid tough to pull off, and bonus, you can put things inside. Juice, milk, and soda tops - fun to shake and play with together, also fun to carry around as if they are precious coins.

Milk Jugs. Combine the love of "tricky" lids with a handle and VOILA! Perfection. Milk jugs are easy to carry around, shake, bang, etc. Fill one with rice, dried beans, or pasta and now you've got a music maker!
Toilet Paper Rolls. Ah yes. They can be looking glasses. Binoculars. Tunnels for lids. Giant wheels to roll. Things to stick inside other containers. Cut them into sections and they can be giant beads or cuff bracelets.

Mesh Produce Bags. These are great because your child can see through the bag but has to work at figuring out how to get objects out. Tots can practice putting things away. These make a great way to store all your special recyclables, too.

Newspaper. You can crinkle it! And you can...crinkle it! Yeah, that's pretty much the draw here. At least as a toddler. With some encouragement, you can crinkle it to fit inside of other containers or wad it up with tape to make a simple ball.

Air Pillows or Bubble Wrap in Packaging. These are fascinating and weird to a little kid. The air "pillows" can be used as just that - pillows for Teddy. Or you can gently puncture them and help your child squeeze the air out to see how it deflates. The bubble wrap can be snapped and popped. (Like you weren't already excited at the mere mention of bubble wrap!) For older kids, bubble wrap is great for art projects.

Egg Cartons. Hide things in it. Shake it. Open it up again. Hide things in it. Shake it...you get the picture?
E's very own "kitchenette" made by yours truly. It keeps him happy for now...

Cardboard Boxes. Now, this is more a project for you than him at first. But if you wrangle up some cardboard boxes and tape them together, you can configure your very own kitchen set. This can get very fancy but even a simple version like mine is a crowd pleaser. (Check out where I got the idea here.)

Do you have some other cool ways for toddlers to use recyclables? I'd love to hear your comments!

COMMON SENSE NOTE: Please, please supervise your child during playtime. Keep an eye out for choking hazards. Double-check for anything potentially dangerous before you let your tot play.

1 comment:

  1. I love it! Can't wait to use some of these ideas when Chris and I have kiddos! Besides, isn't funny how kids would rather play with box then am expensive toy??


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Yes, peas are delicious - and funny!

Yes, peas are delicious - and funny!
Our little guy at 15 months, February 2011.