We have all seen the videos of the toddler, ripping open the brand new, expensive toy, only to cast it aside and play with the box for hours. Whether it’s a cardboard box or some old newspaper, kids can turn almost anything into a plaything. For parents on a budget, parents looking for ways to engage their children’s creative thinking or parents just tired of the same old toys cluttering their living rooms, there are a ton of options that can be found beyond the “toy aisle.” In fact, most of these items can be purchased at your local hardware or dollar store or supermarket or even lying around your house.
My mother often calls me, “Miss Law and Order,” not because I work in the legal field, but because, from a young age, I tended to always follow the rules. If my family played a game together, you can bet I observed everyone’s moves closely, lest they attempt to cheat. My mom, who is never one to just go with convention, would chide me for being no fun.
My innate desire for things to abide by a predetermined set of regulations regularly clashes with my desire to let my children engage in free play. I fight my urge to grab the instruction manual and shout, “No, this is how you do it!” Continue reading →
Rainy days were awesome at summer camp. We put on our least favorite clothing (hopefully for our parents’ sake), find an open space in the middle of the field and plunge on to our bellies. Sliding through the mud we didn’t care how wet and filthy we became. We were kids having fun.
I’m guessing you have a similar story from your childhood. Remember how amazing stomping in puddles felt? The sound of the splashing water. The squishy sensation of your boats. The smell of rain. Continue reading →
Growing up as a girl in America, my life was full of Barbies. Though my memory is somewhat foggy, I am confident I had close to a hundred over the course of my childhood. I loved my Barbies. I loved dressing them in the best of late 80s fashion. I loved playing salon with them, at the expense of many a bad haircut. I loved all the typical girly things one can do with a Barbie.
Your toddler is playing with a toy truck at the playground. The truck was donated to the playground and does not belong to any child. Another child spies the truck and asks you nicely if he can play with the truck.
While watching a program on snow monkeys, I was fascinated by how their young played. There was hitting, pushing, punching, among other aggressive behavior, yet it was clear that there was nothing malicious going on. They were just children having fun. Continue reading →