The Big Green Parenting Experiment

raising a healthy family in a toxic world

baby loves to repurpose!

on September 1, 2012

Just a quick tip to share with all of you moms out there…

As I was cleaning the playroom and putting toys away earlier, I was cracking up at Schy’s enthusiasm over items that aren’t really toys at all.  I love this because it makes new use out of things that basically would’ve been garbage otherwise.  It also encourages creativity, which I loooooove!  I can’t wait until she’s a little older and we can get into some really dirty creativity together… finger paints, play doughs, moon mud!  Yes, yes, YES!!!

I read a blog a while back, possibly as far back as during my pregnancy, that offered some great suggestions for simple playthings.  I would gladly credit her, but my memory has been lacking a bit since Schy was born.  (I used to remember everything.)  So, in this post, the writer talks about saving the plastic twist-off lids from the jars of grocery items that we all have in the house, peanut butter, orange juice, peanuts, etc.  Apparently, the colorful plastic circles are very exciting to young minds and hands.  I thought, wow, that’s a great idea!  What the heck!  They’re going to be washed and placed into the recycling bin anyway, why not start putting them aside for Schy to play with someday?  And so I began to save.

Well, the time came about a month ago.  Schy was professionally mobile at this point and getting into everything, especially in the kitchen.  I was trying to prepare dinner and keep her entertained at the same time and having some difficulty.  I happened to notice this crazy tower of plastic caps that I had been saving, grabbed them and tossed them onto the kitchen floor.  Her face lit up!  She quickly scrambled to them and scooped up as many as she could hold, chewed them, placed one inside another, threw them around… it was awesome!  She was literally entertained for 25-30 minutes!  I was able to finish dinner and be entertained by her delight in the process.  They have now become part of the family and it makes me smile every time I toss them into the toy basket.  Even after her birthday party and the introduction of countless fancy new toys, she still loves these things and plays with them nearly every day.

It’s so amazing to watch a little mind at work playing with simple, colorful plastic circles.  I am so glad that I saved them.  Now I need to work on the color variety a bit.  We are creatures of habit when it comes to groceries, so we’ll have to expand our horizons based on the color of the product lids!  So, seriously, give this a try.  Your kids will love them, I promise.

Any other simple toy suggestions?  Schy and I would love to hear them!

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7 responses to “baby loves to repurpose!

  1. inherchucks says:

    Love this idea! I have seen a lot of mamas using empty oatmeal containers, baby jars filled with beans/rice, etc, empty kleenex boxes, empty egg cartons, boxes…the sky is the limit. Funny how they love to play with everything BUT their toys 🙂

    ps: pinterest is always chock full of ideas!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Jessica says:

    When I was a kid, my mom said I liked to bang on old pots and pans and tupperware. My daughter still sometimes prefer the packaging that a gift comes in to the actual item! Thanks for linking up at Sweet Saturday!

  3. I love this! My daughter has her drawers in the kitchen with Tupperware and she can stack, sort, and organize (all over the floor) while I’m cooking. It is funny how trash is treasure to kids, they are just so creative. Thank you so much for sharing and linking up with Simply Better today!

    • Alli Ferraro says:

      Thank you for stopping by! We have just converted a lower cabinet into a “baby friendly” zone. She loves it! It makes her feel like she is participating when we are in the kitchen! It’s great to include her in everything. 🙂

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