Creative alternatives to recalled toys

Am I the only one tired of the recent toy recalls? Not because I necessarily have those toys, but because it is a painful reminder of the commercialism of our children. Not to mention to cost and limited ability of the toy you buy. It will only do one thing and usually recalled toysdoesn’t encourage much creative imagination.

We as Americans have become dependent on entertainment for stimulation, education and even “babysitting”—and it needs to stop. Here are some things you can offer your younger children instead of licensed plastic toys.

  • Blocks of all kinds. Plain, wooden ones with no paint. A friend or relative can cut some for you in a jiffy, and the kids can help sand them down.
  • Tea set with mis-matched Corelle dishes from a thrift store. They won’t break and they are much more affordable than the cheaply made ones from the toy store.
  • Use your imagination. Enough said.
  • Help your children start their own business.
  • Learn a new hobby, like sewing or knitting (or bookmaking!), together.
  • Go outside and PLAY.
  • Give your girls some of your old makeup to play in.
  • Put on a family play or make a home movie. Write a script, create costumes, the works.
  • Sponge fights are fun on hot days. A couple of buckets filled with water, some jumbo sponges and a couple of kids are all you need. They soak the sponges and throw them at each other. What’s not to like!?
  • Have a regular sing-along night.
  • Get your kids the real thing. If they like to tinker, get them real tools (even from a garage sale) and find some scrap wood or old clocks for them to take apart. Get them a real sewing machine or gardening tools. They will learn much more and things won’t break the day after you bring them home.
  • Put them to work. Children must learn to serve others and doing it as a family is better than playing with a certain blonde doll. Give them chores, adopt a needy family, whatever. It will do wonders for their character. And *bonus* your house will stay cleaner!
  • Read aloud often. Listening to good literature is a joy.
  • Go to the library and research something you all want to learn about.
  • Go on a pretend vacation. Learn all about where you would like to go. Make a lapbook, cook some food, decorate the house and enjoy your “vacation.”

For lots more fun ideas, check the web, or use your own creativity. Let your children escape the television and enjoy their imaginations. at first they will complain but after a while you will wonder how you ever had time to watch all that TV. And you’ll save a ton of money on toys kids only play with for a little while.