Friday, April 17, 2015

5 Nearly Free Toddler Toys

The boys are 13 months old now. They walk, run, play all day and need constant supervision. [Hence the recent decline in posts.] Luckily, there are two of them and they can play together quite nicely. But that also means twice the clean up, food prep and double the trouble to watch out for. At. All. Times. Seriously, all times. 

While the boys do have a butt-ton (ass-load?) of toys that they received for Christmas and their birthdays, I find myself constantly needing to come up with activities for them. Activities that will keep them occupied for AT LEAST a half hour. So I can have some peace and quiet, eat lunch or, heaven forbid, clean something!

Here are a couple of toys and activities I have come up with over the last few weeks that are free or nearly free, easy to create and provide at least a half hour of entertainment.

1. Old magazines and newspapers. Heck, even a couple of pieces of scrap paper of junk mail. Anything that they can carry around and then shred whenever they fancy works. One old magazine can be shred into thousands of smaller magazines if they really set their minds to it! Once the pieces get too small, they tend to bring them to me as though I have magical powers to put it back together. They used to try to eat the pieces but have since grown out of that stage so this is a great distraction for when I need to focus on cooking or even just run to the restroom. Yay!

2. Balloons. I bought a pack of 25 balloons the last time I was at the dollar store and they have lasted almost 2 months. A couple here, a couple there. The boys love kicking, hitting and throwing them around. The cats also get in on this action which makes it even more exciting for the boys. If I have the balloons out, I stay nearby so I can see or hear if any of them pop so that they don't become choking hazards.

Loving the balloons during their birthday photo shoot with Auntie Kara!

3. Sensory water bags. Put a couple of small trinkets and waterproof items in a quart-sized heavy duty Ziploc bag, fill with water, remove excess air, and seal. These are a hit and are actually quite durable. It probably won't even cost you a penny either considering most households have plastic bags and small junk items within an arm's reach. When/if they spring a leak you can either toss the whole thing in the trash or plop it into a gallon sized bag to extend the life expectancy.

This kept them busy while I wrote this post in its entirety... heck yea!

4. Food. Lemon and lime slices to be specific. If I'm cooking a recipe that calls for lemon and/or lime, I'm sure to save the slices for the boys and let the hilarity ensue. Be sure to video tape or capture some pictures the first time you do this because it is PRICELESS.

Really unsure, but going back for more.

So shocked that his hair stood up! ...just kidding, he has bed head.
5. Bottles with lids. Andy has these over-sized, durable plastic bottles for his Soda Stream. The caps are huge as well so we don't have to worry about choking hazards. The boys love to mix and match and put the lids on the bottles. They haven't figured out how to take the lids off yet, but they will bring them to me. It's a little work on my part but it keeps them busy for a good, long time with minimal effort and attention on my part. This one is a hit while I prepare dinner because they can be in the kitchen and close by to me while they work on this project.

Smart little cookie hard at work!

Also, in case you haven't seen this super cute twins video that went viral over the last few days, here it is. The Best Kept Secret - surprise gender announcement/twins announcement! If only this would have ever crossed my mind before we announced my pregnancy!

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