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Unconvetional forms of entertainment

>> Thursday, September 8, 2011

My son's third birthday is this Friday. That means I've been busy trying to figure out what toys to buy him that he will really enjoy and will keep him busy through this process of moving to a new house. I went to Toys R Us and saw about a billion things that I thought he would love. And then I remembered what people say about "kids have more fun playing with the box then the toy that came in it." It's funny, but so very true! It got me thinking about all of the unconventional toys that he enjoys playing with so much.

Here are some of the unconventional toys that have kept him busy recently:

A real piggy bank with real money. My husband would come home and dump his spare change on the kitchen counter and one day I finally just took it all and put it in a piggy bank for my son. (Actually, it's an elephant, so...an elephant bank). I had to make sure I bought one that was pretty sturdy and not break so easy. My son LOVED putting the money in, then taking it out, then putting it in, then taking it out. I kid you not, the first time he played with it, he did that for 30 minutes. And since my son has the attention span of a gnat, that was impressive. It also turned in to a good way to teach him the names of all the coins and to try to help with his counting.

Real tools. (Are you noticing a theme with these things needing to be real?) Perhaps letting your children play with a chain saw or drill wouldn't be wise. But my son found one of my husbands small wrenches and loves to go around fixing things. He'll find all the bolts he can and make sure they are in working order.

A small, retractable tape measure. My husband got it for him from Home Depot for about 99 cents. He loves pretending to measure things. And he loves to lay down on the couch and have me measure him to see if he's growing. We measure his legs, arms, hands, feet, back, etc. And he has me do it over and over.

Anything with a cap. My emptied spice bottles, drink bottles, or cleaned out vitamin bottles are one of his favorite. He loves putting the lids off and on, and putting things inside of them to carry around. When other people come over to play and find the empty bottles with his toys, they probably think we don't know how to throw things away.

Our old, still chargeable cell phones. As much as I hate, and I mean HATE, that my son is so in to electronics and that he knows how to use a smart phone better than I can, there is just no getting around it. We have a couple of our old cell phones that he loves to play with to listen to the ring tones, and to send texts to his sister. (His words, not mine) The real ones, even if they aren't in service, are way better than the toy ones, and kids totally know the difference!

Pots, pans, bowls, spoons. I think we all know how much kids love to play with everything in the kitchen. For months it looked like my kitchen threw up because I couldn't keep anything put away. There is just something about those things that kids love...Oh yeah, it's all the noise they make!

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