Cheap or Free Toy Ideas from Simple Mom

Cheap or Free Toy Ideas from Simple Mom

Julia Cho
Aug 19, 2008

We've heard it again and again- kids don't need all the bells and whistles of fancy toys- they have great imaginations and when given the right tools- can amuse themselves for hours. Simple Mom created a fun list of items that will do just that.

There's no plastic, and a lot of recycling going on here too- even better.

Below are her first six suggestions. Visit her site for the complete list. And add your own ideas below!

1. Egg cartons. They make great caterpillars, they're good storage containers for little treasures found on walks, and they can even become airline seats for little animal toys.

2. Chalk. On sidewalks, on chalkboards… endless fun, and it hoses right off.

3. Water and cups. Our 3-year-old loves to "wash" dishes. Just give her a step stool in front of the sink and a few dishes - she's lost in her own world.

4. Paper and safety scissors. Old newspapers, expired coupons, scrap paper… give some to your kiddo with a pair of safety scissors, and he'll be engrossed forever.

5. Dried beans or rice. It's fun to pour into bowls and cups of different sizes, and it's a good sensory exercise. Sand works well, too.

6. Toilet paper or paper towel tubes. They're great telescopes for your budding pirate, you can cover the ends and pour some dried beans inside for a musical shaker, or you can sit them upright as bowling pins.

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