I love it when my girls make their own fun from nothing. I think we have relatively few commercial toys, although some days it does seem like I cannot see the flour for them, I much prefer to encourage little imaginations with a few basic props. Cardboard boxes, a few bed sheets, some old kitchen tools or some of my old clothes can entertain for countless hours.
Playing cars or buses seems to be the favourite games of late. Miss Three and Miss One make use of any box, tub or group of chairs to go for a drive.
My favour for these games no doubt stems from my own childhood. I vividly remember collecting every chair in the house and lining them up in the lounge room to become either a bus or a classroom. Being the eldest of three I was always more than happy to boss the others around and tell them how it would work. I was always the Teacher. I loved putting paper in some old ring binders, pretending to take the attendance or do some marking. It turns out I was just practicing for my future, I did go on to become a Teacher ;-). My girls are not quite at this stage of play just yet but I will be sure to guide them when they are older…I wonder who the Teacher will be?
Sheet cubbies I also remember dearly, and are another favourite here today. There is quite some skill involved in balancing a heavy blanket (heavy blanket so it’s nice and dark inside) over the backs of the dining chairs without the middle collapsing or the chairs being pulled over. I still enjoy making these with the girls, although I do need to remember to breath deeply when one of them trips over and takes the whole lot with them!
Dress ups. What kid doesn’t love dressing up. I love watching my girls role play and run away with their imaginations while wearing my shoes, scarf and handbag. We have a good collection of old phones and wallets, some scrap paper cut into rectangles passes as money and they are set.
And then there are babies. Well. If they could choose one toy in the world I am sure it would be a baby each! Basically anything I do with a baby, they do with a baby. Breastfeeding would have to be the cutest thing they attempt.
The latest edition to the ‘make your own fun’ games was the mud kitchen. I had been wanting to find a perfect piece of old furniture and recycle it into an elaborate kitchen with a sink and an oven for ages. Until one day I decided that this was just never going to happen. Instead I spent 5 minutes hammering some nails into the fence and propping up an old stool. Equipt with some old bits from the kitchen, sand and water we had Miss Three creating ‘Slimy Juices’ and ‘Salted Fig Pies’ (as she called them) in no time.
It might be time for a sheet cubby tomorrow 😉