Sharron - posted on 07/23/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )
Just thought I'd share my ideas for non-toy play ideas. I worked in a parent/toddler group for a few years as a mummy volunteer, and the nursery it was based in was run by a principal who was a great believer of non toy play things.
I have made Theo (8 months) a 'treasure box' which contains nothing but non-toy items....in it are
a wooden spoon
a set of metal measuring spoons on a connecting link
a spiky pink laundry softener ball
a clean loofah
a natural sponge
some silky blue material
some black and hot pink floral material
a piece of fake fur
a piece of shiny hologram card
a net bag of glass pebbles (the kind you put in a fish tank or a candle vase)
a plastic carrier bag (the crinkly kind) knotted in the middle
a little cardboard box with dried pasta in
a pastry brush with rubbery bristles.
He absolutely LOVES his treasure box and we rotate the items so he never has the same combination.
everything came from pound shops (I think the americans call them Dollar Tree??) or discount shops....the fabric pieces were off cuts from the scrap bucket on my local market, and are just kept for babys use.
The possibilities for the box are endless, as long as they have an interesting sound/texture, colour/smell or a combination and are safe...its fun looking at different household items through a babies eyes and thinking "if I were 8 months old...what could I do with that, or what would I think of that" instead of thinking about it with a parents point of view...."oh a nail/tooth brush is just for the bathroom, a spoon is for stirring, a plastic bag is FAR too dangerous" and so on.
Theos favourites are the wooden spoon, the bag of pebbles and the plastic bag, and he sits for soooo long playing with the stuff from his box, and indeed prefers this to most of his toys.
Another great money saving idea is making a mobile from CD's....you can use blank ones from your local Pound Land or any scratched ones you were going to therow away...strink a few together and hang them from a coat hanger or crossed sticks, and hang them in front of a sunny window....they cast the most amazing rainbows around the room as they spin, and the colours just dance round the floor, walls and ceiling :o)