Christmas has come and gone, and most likely, several new toys have made your house their home. Your child may have received new books, new dolls, new trucks and trains, but that does not mean that the buckets and baskets filled with “old” toys no longer have a purpose!
Before school starts back, consider these 5 new ways to play with old toys:
- Add a Cardboard box: Isn’t every three-year-olds favorite toy a brown paper box? Give your child a blank space to play and create. You son could make new tracks and trails for his train, while your daughter might create a farm for her animals to play. Allow your child to explore and use their imagination.
- Switch and Share: As they say, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!” Allow your children to switch toys and share – even if for a day. Give them opportunity to pick out a toy to share with their brother or sister. This gives everyone a chance to play with something “new” without purchasing more! Before you know it, your children will figure out new ways to play with familiar items! Encourage them to explore and reinvent. Invite friends in on the fun – have a Toy-Swap Play-Date to encourage even more switching and sharing!
- Put them in the Tub: Have you ever tried moving your Little People toys or trucks into the water? Giving toys a new environment will change the way your child plays. Adding water is always fun! Maybe GI Joe joins the Navy or farm animals join Noah’s Ark. Just make sure it is a toy that can go in the water. (Batteries not included).
- Bring them outside: Now that new toys have entered your home, move some of the worn, loved toys outside! Putting action figures in the sandbox or adding new toys to the tree house is a great way to use those well-loved toys longer! We all need an adventure every now and then – and so does the loud, musical guitar and drum set – so try taking the excitement outdoors!
- Get one, Give one: Sometimes receiving new toys does mean we need to give a few away. One of our awesome team members, Leiloni, shared her words of wisdom with me on this. For each new toy that her child receives, he has to choose and old toy to give away. What a beautiful way to teach generosity at a young age! Sometimes he gives the toy he doesn’t enjoy playing with anymore, but sometimes he gives his most prized possession. Use this season as an opportunity to teach your child to be generous with his treasures!
Just because new toys have moved into the home does not mean the old ones no longer have value. Talk about these ideas with your child and be creative! It should be fun to reinvent, reimagine and repurpose.
What are some fun ways your family makes old things new again? Share your ideas with us on social media and use the hashtags #MakeLearningFun or #illuminateSTARS!