With thousands of toys out there capable of decimating wallets, it’s nice when a child is attracted to something inexpensive. Some say the best toy is a free toy – this theory holds that your child will have more fun with the doll house box than the actual doll house.
This may be true, but there are many cheap items that will keep him entertained, especially if you buy lots of them. Small multiples can maximize play while minimizing the impact on your wallet. Try a few of these ideas with your little one:
- Balloons – A big bag of balloons kept in a shoebox can be a lot of fun. Use them as dump truck fodder, make it rain balloons, cook some balloon soup, or actually blow them up!
- Puff Balls – You can get these at a craft store, and come in many colors. Separate them into colored piles, fill other things up with them, or have a puff ball fight.
- Party Ice Cubes – I bet you’ve seen these at the store, probably in the dollar bin. They are plastic shapes filled with water, and are to be used as ice cubes for partys. They come in colored cubes, footballs, baseballs, etc. These are great little toys that can be put into containers, counted, or throw around
- Balls – Bouncy balls, golf balls, tennis balls, racquet balls, and even cat toys can be fun in large quantities. Put them all in a box or bucket, and let the fun begin. A huge collection of bouncy balls can be inexpensive, and go a long way.
- Pipe Cleaners – Cheap, check. Quantities, check. Creative, check. Fun, check.
- Marbles – These are great fun, and can be counted, separated by color, rolled around the floor, and thrown through glass windows. Well, be careful about that last one.
- Beans – Get a bag of mixed beans, a couple bowls, some cups, and a spoon, and watch you little one go to town. There are many imaginative games to play with beans, and you can even toss them into the yard to watch them grow.
These ideas may seem silly, but cheap creativity can go a long way. Open-ended activities can also help develop your child’s attention span. Pretty much anything that is small and can be stored in large numbers will be fun for your little one, just make sure they are safe.