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Smarter Mom: Free "Toys" For Kids

Posted by on Dec. 13, 2012 at 12:00 AM
  • 61 Replies

Holiday expenses are starting to mount up....gifts, food, outfits, etc. But some of the most fun things that a kid can play with are probably in abundance around your house this season, and come free with all those boxes showing up at your door.

I found this cute post about free toys on Wise Bread. I'm not sure I would wrap any of these up under the tree, but they make great bonuses for your kids while you're unpacking and wrapping.

My favorite suggestion (and most kids' too, probably): A big giant cardboard box. My kids lose their minds with happiness when a box is available, and it's really fun to see the creative uses they come up with for it: bed for a stuffed animal, secret playhouse, rocket ship.... You can even hand them markers and kid-safe scissors and let them design to their heart's content. I've seen "color your own playhouse" sets at fancy toy stores for like $40 that are basically cardboard boxes with windows and doors...why not let them go to town on the one that showed up on your porch for free?

Second favorite: a big roll of bubble wrap. Okay, this might be just for me. I love the de-stressing effect of snapping bubble after bubble (much to my husband's dislike); back before my home office became a child's bedroom, I used to keep a stash of it for emergencies. Now, my kids like stomping on it. Really, any kind of packing material is big fun.

The one I disagree with is his suggestion to hand the kids the wrapping paper tube once the paper is gone. Yeah, in my house that would become a deadly weapon (deadly to my china cabinet and candle holders, anyway) in about 1.2 seconds and would summon Yelly Mommy for sure. The rest of it, though? Great ideas.

What free "toy" is your kids' favorite?


by on Dec. 13, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Jukebox_Jenny
by Jenny on Dec. 13, 2012 at 12:02 AM
All good options! Lol!
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Mommy2justone
by on Dec. 13, 2012 at 12:02 AM
1 mom liked this
Pot lids and wooden spoons
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Fields456
by Silver Member on Dec. 13, 2012 at 12:07 AM

Cardboard boxes  bubble wrap and empty paper towel rolls well any empty cardboard roll    Are my dds favs 

and my dd 14 months loves straws 

KristinRox
by on Dec. 13, 2012 at 12:25 AM

My kids have great times decorating cardboard boxes.. they stack them into forts, and color them, and paint them. Boxes are fun times. 

Hannahsmommy816
by Platinum Member on Dec. 13, 2012 at 12:28 AM

 great ideas!

dusky_rose
by Sue on Dec. 13, 2012 at 12:40 AM

My son loves bubble wrap!


Mami2oneboy
by Platinum Member on Dec. 13, 2012 at 2:05 AM
Spatulas, and tp tubes lol
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lyrick24
by Platinum Member on Dec. 13, 2012 at 2:15 AM

 i have given all three of those to my grandkids this christmas and they have had a blast.

MixedCooke
by Silver Member on Dec. 13, 2012 at 2:42 AM

junk mail--i shred it and we call it snow!  It creates a big mess but a lot of fun!  They really love it!

mom2jessnky
by Platinum Member on Dec. 13, 2012 at 6:50 AM

We wrapped books for every student at my youngest dd's school (PTO does it every year) and the small kids that were in the room with us had a massive sword fight with all the empty tubes... I was a little jealous, I love cardboard tube sword fights.

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