The cheapest toys can usually be found in our own home, especially kitchen and today Emma from Adventures of Adam will share with us various ways to play with things we already have at hand:
When my son was 18 months old I looked around our living room and noticed I was surrounded by plastic. Every inch of carpet space was occupied by a toy that either made a noise, had flashing lights or moved. However, Adam was bored. I flicked through a toy catalogue to see what toy I could buy next to occupy him when I realised we would be in the same situation in a few days time. We would have yet more plastic in our living room, less money and a bored toddler. Something had to change.
The saying “the more a toy does, the less your child has to do” holds true. Typically toys require our children to sit and watch the toy perform which is entertaining rather than educational. I wanted to find another way to entertain my child.
Whilst making lunch I opened our kitchen cupboard and suddenly saw the items inside it in a new light. Here I had so many resources that could be turned into toys or sensory play experiences. I never needed to visit a toy shop again!
Adam and I embarked on a 100 day toddler play challenge which opened my eyes to how many everyday household objects can be used to entertain and aid young children’s development.
15+ WAYS TO TURN KITCHEN CUPBOARD ITEMS INTO TOYS
Pegs – most households have them readily available. Clothespins can be used as a simple peg drop activity, seen as an emergency play activity in our house. It’s amazing how long toddlers will concentrate on transferring activities.
Pegs can be easily painted in a zip-loc bag and made into a Hungry Caterpillar, a Heart Decoration or a Clothespin Rainbow Busy Bag. As your toddler moves on to pre-writing skills opening and closing clothes pegs is a fantastic way of developing a pincer grip.
Toilet Rolls – not usually seen as a play activity but the possibilities are endless. Not only are toilet rolls great for stacking and rolling but save the cardboard tubes and they can be used in many different ways.
From Giant Threading to a DIY Marble Run to Ribbon Sticks those tubes you would normally recycle can be used for free play instead.Straws – not just to be used for drinking with. Grab a variety of kitchen cupboard items and a packet of straws and see what activities your little one makes up – items with holes in work best.
Plastic bottles – these can be recycled into a number of play activities. Place small items inside to create discovery bottles or see if your little one can post pipe cleaners into a large plastic bottle.Place a bottle on top of a mirror and push pom poms in through the top – it creates a fantastic optical illusion. Plastic bottles can also be used outside to create a huge DIY water wall!
Plastic Cups – How many different ways can your toddler find to stack plastic cups? They are also great for filling, aiding your child’s concept of volume, building towers and knocking them down will teach your child about cause and effect.Colander – Pushing pipe cleaners through the holes of a colander is a super activity for fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Pots and pans – these make super musical instruments. You can either place them in a circle on the kitchen floor or why not attach a string to the handles and hang them from a gate, bush or laundry tree. Using a variety of kitchen utensils – your toddler will have great fun banging away and creating their own music. They will be experimenting with listening to the different sounds made as each utensil strikes the individual pots.
Kitchen cupboard items can help develop fine and gross motor skills, enhance your toddlers thinking skills and thought processes and help build your child’s self-esteem as they accomplish new tasks. Plus you never have to rely on having AAA batteries in the house ever again!
During a difficult pregnancy suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) Emma vowed to make every day an adventure once she had recovered. Adventures of Adam is the outcome of completing a 100 day play challenge with her toddler as part of that promise. Emma has a section dedicated to HG friendly play activities so that Mums can still be part of their children’s play whilst they are ill. Follow Adventures of Adam on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
All 24 articles we will be sharing during February have been written by a number of prominent family friendly bloggers (some educators, all parents). These articles will be collected and you will find them on our page Less Toys. More Play.