Keep ‘Em Busy

My son is soon to be 16 months and he is just EVERYWHERE and into EVERYTHING.  It takes every trick in the book to get him to sit still for two minutes so I can run upstairs real quick or better yet, to get him just to sit for a diaper change!  I’ve pretty much mastered the “grab whatever is around and give it to him” approach.  The things he loves the most are the real life items.  Things like empty toilet and paper towel rolls, empty cereal boxes, he’s really into an old ground cinnamon spice bottle at the moment.  I think he really just wants to be a big person like the rest of us and this gets him feeling like he is.  If you open up your boxed goods really carefully you can save them.  To keep them lasting longer all you have to do is stuff a little newspaper inside and tape up the ends.  You can then use these items and make your own play kitchen area in your house and the kids will be able to play with real items instead of the tiny fake toys that come with a store-bought kit.

instead of throwing all these goodies away in the recycling bin...

instead of throwing all these goodies away in the recycling bin…

Some ideas for dramatic play:

  • Cereal boxes
  • Waffle boxes
  • Cracker/cookie boxes
  • Sticks of butter boxes
  • Empty spice bottles-which they can also open and smell-engaging their other senses
  • Empty frozen vegetable boxes
  • Empty milk/juice jugs
  • Empty egg cartons
  • Yogurt containers

Really anything you have around the house you can use as long as its cleaned out and free of sharp edges.  Would love to hear your ideas!


  1. Rose says:

    Hi I’m stopping by from Mom Bloggers Club. Love this idea… the actual toys are usually never touched my kids have always liked to play with anything we use. I give them plastic measuring cups, bowls and cups to play with as well.

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