My children have plenty of toys. They’re very fortunate to have a family that treats them and this blog brings with it great opportunities to test out and review toys and products regularly. We’ve lots that they love, but do you know the things that I can guarantee will hold their attention are often the things you’d probably be able to find in a pound shop! So here’s my list of top activities for little ones that’ll cost you pennies rather than pounds…
1. Bubbles. A crowd pleaser every single time! Just a cheap little bottle of bubbles can keep my kids happy for ages. Now, add in the excitement of different shaped wands, or more people playing, and they’re in their elements!
2. Pavement chalk. A game of hopscotch, drawing pictures, scribbling, practising their letters and numbers. This is one that adults can join in with, too, as my husband will be quite content to sit there and draw with them for hours! There’s something really novel about being allowed to draw on the floor or fences, so just assign them an area and let them enjoy.
3. Balloons. What is it about a balloon that has children going mad for them?! You can normally pick up a decent sized pack of them for no more than a £1, and as long as you’ve the puff to keep on blowing them, they’ll keep on playing with them. Chasing just 1 balloon can burn off a lot of my children’s energy, and the laughter and giggles it can elicit is priceless.
4. Colouring In. If we could do with a little quiet time, I pop onto the computer and print them off whatever colouring in they’re most into at that time. Yes, we have stacks of colouring books, but they can’t compete with me grabbing them a picture of Elsa to colour in just after watching Frozen, or the Gruffalo just after we’ve read it. I keep a Pinterest board with the best I find, so can go straight there and print things off.
5. Recycling Materials. Have a rummage through your recycling box, or better still, search through it with the kids, and I can guarantee there’ll be things to create with in there. Kitchen roll holders are always popular here, as who can resist a pirate’s telescope?!
6. Sensory Play. Be it jelly, custard or cream, stick it in a box or on a tray and they’ll be delighted! Just buy the cheap stuff, as they’re only going to destroy it, not eat it! Just running their hands or toes through it is great fun, but for extra play, add in some other toys that won’t be destroyed by the food, such as little Happyland people or cars.
7. Music. Yes, just put that iPod on and the possibilities are endless! Musical Statues is very popular here, as is crazy dancing, Musical Chairs (proceed with caution, as small ones can get wild and dangerous with this one) and a personal favourite is to learn dance moves – my 4 year-old is a dab hand at the Time Warp!
8. Den Building. A sheet, a few chairs and you are set. I wrote a step by step guide to indoor den-building here for you, if you’re in need of inspiration.
9. A Cardboard Box. The ultimate treat. Interest in the box’s contents tends to be fleeting, but the desire for the box? Intense and can last for days!
Word to the wise – do not do all of these things on the same day – your kids may well spontaneously combust with excitement!
Which of these activities do your kids love to do?