Fun on (Almost) Zero Dollars a Day

Are you tired of buy, buy, buy? Do you just want to have fun? So does your child. Here are some free toys for you both to play with.

With the holidays upon us, pressure is on to buy expensive toys. However, for babies and toddlers, play = the chance to smell, taste, hear, touch and see different things. That is how babies and toddlers explore their new, exciting world. Here are some tips for simple and almost free things you can make for your toddler this holiday season (with thanks to Rachel Payne at Brooklyn Public Library):

  • Cover a table with a sheet of contact paper sticky side up. It teaches your child the meaning of sticky.
  • Make a set of blocks out of cardboard boxes you already have at home. Think about those empty cereal boxes and spaghetti boxes you plan to throw out or recycle and repurpose them.Cereal Box
  • Stuff a scarf into a paper towel tube and what do you have, an instant game of peek-a-boo.
  • Tape some bubble wrap to the floor and let your child walk on it.
  • Have a paper shredder? Let your child play with the shredded paper put into a box.
  • Large cardboard boxes are everywhere this time of year. Let your child crawl around, in, and under one. To make it extra fun, precut some holes in it for instant peek-a-boo fun.
  • Tape some aluminum foil to the floor or floor mat and let your child look at things from a new angle.

And don't forget, your participation is the most important ingredient. If you have fun, your child will too.