Homemade toys

Piggy-backing on the post I wrote earlier this month about play, I thought it might be good to remind everyone (and when I say everyone, I am often just talking to myself), that sometimes homemade toys are better than fancy ones that we buy in the store. Over the weekend two homemade toys have received the majority of play around here. And this was real play; play that lasted for at least an hour and in which the children were focused intently. The kind of play that warms a mother's heart and allows her a moment or two to catch her breath.

 The first homemade toy of the weekend was this stove made out of a cardboard box. B. was given by a family for whom he was babysitting a set of play kitchen pots and pans to give to G. and L. They loved them and so I decided they needed a stove to cook on. (Our actual play kitchen is still living outside.) Here's the stove.

They loved it. The cooked and baked and served me food. Food which was created out of small scraps of shredded paper. They played and played and played. My only role was to make the appropriate eating noises when a new dish was brought to me.

And then they played with some more off and on for the next two days. Here are the little cooks.

L. (on left) and G.


The next toy was K.'s brain child and nearly all of his creation. He saw a picture of a play house made in a box with paper and cardboard and wanted to make one himself. Here it is. (I had trouble deciding which way the picture should go... it didn't look quite right from any angle.) J. helped by making the stove and fireplace, but the rest (including the blue couch there on the right) was made by K. This kept him busy for quite a while.

By the second day, all the little people wanted in on the act and were busy helping to make people and other things for the house.



L. (in the Mickey Mouse hat she wore for the entire weekend)



Even the dog wanted to get in on the fun of homemade toys. The trouble is, Gretel's idea of a homemade toy is to find anything lying around within her reach that looks as though it would be good to chew and take it, run behind the chair, and chew it up. It is not one of her more endearing qualities. Especially when it is a brand new tube of sunscreen. 

Well, thankfully the sunscreen tube was extra durable plastic, because she wasn't able to puncture it completely enough for the sunscreen to ooze out the holes. (I'm sure it's because we found it in time. It wasn't for lack of jaw strength or determination.) Well, no one wants to throw away a completely good tube of sunscreen, but it is also inconvenient to have the sunscreen start to squirt out holes in the tube when squeezed. J. solved the problem by covering it duct tape.

And to show he still has a sense of humor added this message on the other side.

In case you can't read it, it says, "Now with dog saliva for EXTRA slimy protection".
So it looks as though I will finish in 6th place and not quite make it into the top 5. Well, unless a whole bunch of you decide to vote. Only a couple more days of this to go.


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