Sitting here Sunday evening, thinking about what to write. My daughter, 7, and my son, 3, are playing in the other room. As I watch them, I notice that, even though they are surrounded by a roomful of toys, they choose to play with the following inexpensive items:
- My son is busy rolling two tennis balls around the room. He puts them in and out of the tennis ball can. He stacks three cans together and knocks them down with one of the tennis balls. A can of generic tennis balls costs less than $2.
- My daughter has a ‘tea set’ that she’s put together. It consists of plastic cups from birthday parties, family gatherings, and church fellowships. She fills a large container with water, sits on the back porch, and plays ‘tea party’ for hours.
- My daughter loves to read. At the end of last school year, her teacher gave her a stack of ‘old books’. She’s been reading them to my son all summer.
- I recently purchased new tennis shoes for the kids. My son keeps little balls, pieces of candy, and other little toys in his. My daughter keeps Mommy’s old fingernail polish, notes from her friends, and candy in hers. A little glue, some craft paper, and some imagination and those shoe boxes have become ‘treasure chests’.
- My kids have created some new form of checkers that I cannot, for the life of me, figure out. Basically, it involves using the checkers, a checkerboard, and lots of laughter. I do not understand the rules, but it looks like lots of fun.
- My mother-in-law travels with her job. She collects the “schwag” that she receives and then gives it to my daughter. My daughter has pens from Atlanta hotels, paper from Jacksonville restaurants, and a mouse pad from a convention in Nashville. My daughter loves pretending to be a school teacher. She uses these supplies for her ‘classroom’.
- My son loves to walk around with our broom. Why? I have no idea, but he loves to sweep.
- Two words: Bubble wrap.
- We live in Georgia, where it’s hot for half of the year. I’ll put a sprinkler in the backyard and my daughter will run through it’s spray. My son? Not so much. But, he loves to splash in the puddles.
- I’ve yet to try this one, but I’m thinking about it. I have an old video camera that uses tapes. I have a ton of blank tapes, just sitting in a closet. I also have an old tripod. My daughter has show some interest in ‘helping’ me when I video tape birthday parties and family events. So, as a special treat, I’m going to sit down with her and teach her to use the video camera. She’ll love it, she’ll learn from it, and we’ll get to see the world from her perspective. Of course, if I had to go out and buy a new camera, this would not qualify as an inexpensive toy. But, the camera is just sitting there, collecting dust.
This is just a partial list of inexpensive toys my kids love. If you have ideas for toys that don’t “bread the bank”, let us know! Leave a comment. If you’ve written a post about this subject, link to it in your comment.