I recently visited my cousin who's little boy has captured us all. He is delightful, beautiful, cherub-like, and perfect in every way. But while gushing about my nephew isn't why you're reading this article, what's so incredible is about my new nephew is how he was easily pleased by the rather mundane items around the house, as opposed to his soft cuddly toys, especially cardboard.
Kids are amused by the simplest things, babies even more so. As long as they can hold whatever it is that has caught their eye and it is safe (no sharp edges), you've got nothing to worry about. Cardboard ticks those boxes, so why bother with expensive toys?
If your little munchkin is ignoring the new toy you've just bought, and they're happy playing with the cardboard that surrounded the new light fittings then let them - and think of the savings you've made
Toys for kids, but babies in particular can be very expensive because toy-makers corner the market as toys promise learning and progression for children - and of course we want the best for our little ones. When new things come on the market, and retailers claim the new toy promotes brain growth it is hard to not buy it. There is however, a solution to the money making schemes and a way to keep your little darlings happy.
An empty bike box, or TV box, for two - three year olds is the best, free toy you could've not bought them. I recall witnessing my two year old nephew having an absolute blast running in and out of an empty box the new TV came in, a few Christmases ago. He spent hours turning it into his little den, a tunnel, a wall, and we found a few crayons in there once he'd gone to bed.
Cardboard is the unsung hero when it comes to rubbish around the house, that doubles as piece of entertainment for your little ones.
An empty (small) TV box can be turned into an astronaut helmet, a flat-pack furniture box can become a secret passageway, and a candle box can store their crayons.
If the house is a little messy because you have some excess cardboard lying around don't fret, the kids will make use of it, and remember, you're allowed a bit of mess - you have kids.
Cardboard and "women's magazines" with drawing tools and clay are nearly all they need for a long time! Leaves and flowers stick to cardboard really well, toilet roll centres, pingpoing balls, bits of coloured wool, cotton wool and coloured paper are essentials for activities. Later, buttons (from op shops) really add flair & fun.
For too long today's parents have failed to help kids learn creativity by continually giving in and expensive buying toys not worth one-quarter of hard-won money paid.
In the first 3-4 years, it is much better (& most welcomed) to give a $ gift to be put into a Savings account or Life insurance account for the child, and just enjoy the party with everyone together. Bring food or one funny foil filled balloon.
Think about it for a bit.
So many kids have far too much 'stuff'.
We really do need to go back, return, to simpler creative activities especially for our children.