Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Lest we start thinking video games and lead-infused plastic are our only options for playthings, here are a few cheap and eco-sensible ideas.

Peekaboo, how-big-is-baby (etc) with a parent or sibling
Wooden spoons and pots
My little ones are usually happiest on my hip or toddling after their older siblings!

Preschoolers/Younger kids:
Painting, especially finger painting
Homemade playdough
"Circle time" games like I'm a little teapot and ring-around-the-roses
Plain cloth dolls
Wooden blocks
Tea parties
Lacing toys
Water play--Fill a basin of water and give them measuring spoons, straws, etc. When it is too cold to be wet outdoors, we do this in the bathtub.
Small musical instruments, including homemade ones. Remember making a guitar froma shoe box and rubber bands?
Imaginative play! When you take away a small child's toys, they make up the most amazing stories and narratives. "Spoiled" children are actually being robbed of their imagination.

Older kids:
All of the above, plus:
Reading library books
Playing with/training pets
This is a great age to learn productive work, like crocheting, weaving, basket-making, carpentry, and cooking--with supervision of course.

There is a woman in my homeschool co-op who just gave birth to her sixth child. I am always amazed by her children's projects. They are the most accomplished kids, always dissecting owl pellets or weaving Egyptian-style belts. She finds the time with six children between teen and newborn, plus running a very successful business, homeschooling, remodeling a home, and all of the little things that take up a mommy's time, so I know that I can do better!