“I’m living in a material world, and I am a material girl!’ Does it ever feel like your kids could accurately sing this song?! Trying to raise kids who are NOT materialistic feels like fighting against the tide most days but I do believe it CAN be done, so help us God! We will need His help to do it!
My mom gave me a list of free and inexpensive toys that grow our children’s imagination shortly after I had my firstborn. It has been a great reference point as we expanded our family…and I will post it tomorrow as I can’t find it right now. Like I said, it’s been so cherished that I lost it.
But I do recall what one of those items was…COSTUMES!! Even us grown-ups like those, why else would we go out dressed up like silly maids and scary pirates for Halloween parties?! It’s just so darn fun.
“The List” recommended a bin or box of costumes and ever since Gideon was old enough to take off his pants, he has had a variety of career options to try out: pirate, Transformer (what is the pay for those guys these days anyway?), Star Wars Jedi knight, Spiderman and more.
My life is never dull. Here I thought I had just regular kids…but that is not so!! One minute they are Clark Kent (“Just a regular guy” they say as they stroll by) and the next minute they are in a phone booth (i.e., a pillow fort) and jumping out (singing the theme song) to my GREAT surprise as SUPERMAN!
I came about all these costumes in typical Mom Cole-fashion: bargain hunting and being a creative cheapskate. Most of them were garage sale steals, thrift shop throw togethers and alas, their all time favorite costumes of super-heroes with capes were actually my old tablecloths I cut up and sewed on the back! (as pictured)
You can do it, Super-mom!! Grab an big basket (heck, even a laundry basket works), sew on some capes (who needs tablecloths anyway when kids are so darn messy!?) and let their imagination take flight…literally!*
*Disclaimer: not responsible for any injuries caused by young children thinking they really are superheroes and jumping from tall objects with no regard for the pain that may be inflicted upon them.
TEN ESSENTIAL TOYS
(Creative & Cheap or FREE!)
1. Puzzles Fun for any age. They can provide hours of fun while teaching
patience and logic.
2. A Costume Trunk Include clothespins with discarded outfits to customize the fit. You can get all sorts of shoes and dress up clothes at garage sales or thrift stores.
3. A Craft Box Include crayons, markers, scissors, stickers, glue sticks, string and plenty of paper. Leave the kids alone (depending on their age!) and let their creativity bloom!
4. Legos Kids love these tiny plastic squares. They can built and create almost anything with these-cars, rocket ships, castles, houses or entire cities. This isn't just for boys.
5. Balls You can kick them, throw them, shoot them, roll them or even sit on them. Get as many sizes and styles as you can! Your kids will play with these from childhood through adulthood.
6. Dolls Give them clothes to change them, bottles to feed them and blankets to keep them warm. Use a box with a pillow and a towel for a bassinet.
7. Puppets Help your kids make their own hand puppets out of socks or papier-mache. Use a table with a blanket over it as a stage. Then let the show begin.
8. Cardboard boxes From shoe boxes to refrigerator boxes, it's amazing what kids can do. The more variety and number of boxes the better. Add duct tape to join boxes and markers to decorate them.
9. Bug Jar & Magnifying Glass Go on a bug search and examine what you find with the magnifying glass. Teach your kids to safety scoop up the critters and place them in a sealed, clear plastic jar with some holes on top. Watch the bugs a few hours then let them go!
10. Play Money & Toy Cash Register Play store and stock it with empty food boxes or cans. Provide a pen and stickers for pricing. Then take turns being the cashier or the customer.
*From the book "List to Live By"