As Christmas marketing campaigns and expensive toy lists begin appearing on the internet, I wanted to start this series to remind parents and gift givers everywhere about simple, low cost, recycled toys that kids will wrench out of your hands and say, “Let me try!”
In case you haven’t heard about the creativity crisis that’s being heralded by lots of important people, I just want to leave you with this simple thought. As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher. They are constantly watching you to find out what you think, what you like to do, and how you handle a challenge. While we don’t need to teach our children how to play, we do need to positively model for them the joy of learning, experimenting, creating and doing.
How do you do that? You can let your child see you make things, solve problems, fix what’s broken….. be resourceful. There are a million ways to do it, but if you want a place to start, here’s one:
To make an egg carton gondola: Slide the slit edges of the tube onto the rivets and thread a string through the tube. You will need a tube thicker than a standard paper towel tube. A tube that has three or four layers makes a gondola that’s quite strong and will hold up to lots of play.
And one more thing. I’m challenging everyone who reads this blog to make a handmade toy for a child they love for Christmas. It’s not an official challenge as I don’t have the energy for another one after the Cardboard Costume Challenge, but I just want to give you permission to make something quick and homey, and even ugly, that you can play with together on Christmas day. I promise your child will never forget it.