Well….not as literally…but I am always amazed at how my boys can be so fascinated by stuff that one would usually think of as trash and not glance at a second time. When you think about it, it’s like your home is a really cool discovery center and learning lab!
I am putting down a list of a few such things that my kids seem to love and also what we do with them together:
1. Cartons – of all sizes…cardboard cartons are like a dream come true for the boys. The smaller ones they use to stuff with things like bags and paper and then they love to pull it out one by one and throw it in the air. I sometimes hide a few toys along with newspaper for them to find. The bigger cartons are great to climb into. They can be a house, a cave, a hiding place, a car or a bus..it depends on what you can imagine…and kids can imagine pretty much anything they want to! Small cartons are also good as percussion instruments – so spoons banged on them make fun noise-makers.
2. Cardboard tubes from toilet paper rolls can be used to peer through and when we are looking for something or playing hide and go seek. They can also be used to make craft stuff with the kids..things like an owl or octopus, a train engine, etc.
3. Empty yoghurt containers (small ones): These are great for playing with water. My boys also pretend that they are tea-cups. I like to use the empty containers to hold crayons
4. old soda / cold drink bottles (plastic). My little fellows love to play with these. They can spend so much time just twisting and untwisting the bottle tops. They also like to fill them up with water in the tub and listen to the sounds that makes..then the next part is emptying it out and imitating the sound it makes! When my kids are doing water play i usually just put them in the bathroom. That way they can make as much of a mess as they like and i am not worried about the floor being wet and slippery.
5. Old newspapers (or sometimes new ones too) – great for crumpling, shredding, tearing! Siddhant loves holding long torn strips of newspaper in his hand and then running around like crazy with a loud shrieks and a loopy grin on his face. Don’t have a pic of that but will try and post one later
6. Old socks – Just stick googly eyes on and these make fun puppets
7. Old sponges or wiping cloths: I think kids in general love to clean…sweeping, mopping, dusting, wiping. A sopping wet sponge is like Siddhant’s dream come true. He gets busy scrubbing ad wiping just about anything.
8. kitchen utensils: I give them different sizes to stack into each other. they are also great noisemakers if you can deal with the noise. I usually give them a spoon to bang on the utensils.
9. Leftover paints from an art activity: i just add lots of water and make colored water in different little containers. The boys can pour this, mix it…whatever rocks their boat!
10. old scarves, clothes…My kids are enjoying pretend play and dress up. They love to wear my stuff and walk around.
My boys also love being in the kitchen, helping shell peas, sort vegetables from the shopping bag, etc.
These are jut a few ideas. I am sure there will be tons of other stuff that you will find around the house that you would never think of as a play possibility! Would love to hear about some of this stuff from you.