Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cheap Or Free Games and Toys

I love it when I can find or make games and toys for free. Here are some ways we've done that around our house. Some of these ideas lasted 5 minutes, some of them were a hit for days or weeks. It's impossible to predict what will thrill a child - the $40 toy backed by millions of dollars worth of research and planning, or the garbage it was wrapped in. Who knows :) 

Call it "Toy Color Match". I laid down colored sheets of construction paper, and had the kids race to their rooms to find toys that matched each color. We started with one color. Ready, set, GO! They ran, they sought, they found. It was great fun. 

-Good for color recognition, sorting skills, and physical activity

This is a house. No really. My crate shelving (which, as a side note, I got for free...) is turned to face inside the 'house', (works as walls and interior shelving), and I taped the cardboard door onto the side of my entertainment unit. (my boy loves doors) 

This house stood for months! They loved it. It was like having an extra room just for toys! 

Good for imaginative play, role play, sharing and relationship building. 

Guess we like playing in the living room ... this terrible mess is actually a maze. Couch cushions, dining room chairs, coffee table, shelving, you name it we used it. 

Sometimes it serves as an elaborate house with  many rooms. We even hide treasure in it sometimes. 

Great fun.

Good for team work, searching, imaginative play.

This Sewing Card is both a craft and an activity

Construction Paper
Pencil  crayons or markers
Pen (for poking holes)
String or shoelace for 'sewing'.

I drew this bee onto construction paper, glued it to a pre-cut piece of cardboard, trimmed the edges. Then I poked holes around the edge, widened them as needed and voila. 

This was a dud for us. Basically, the kids watched as I made it. My children were 2 and 3 at the time though ... I'm thinking this was just beyond them. Maybe when they're older it'll be a nice quiet time activity.

Good for fine motor skills, restful play.

I'd love to hear your ideas too!

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