March 25, 2011

Cheap, Cheaper, Cheapest

It's nothing more than the concept that kids love to play more with the box than the toy.

We don't own any computerized or electronic gadgets or toys for our kids. They are fascinated by them for sure and love to play them when other people have them, but we've never bought any, for lots of reasons. The fact that we are cheap being a big one.

The kids always want to play games on the computer, but mine is a nine year old iMac, it doesn't have any games on it. And Hubby's computer died, so he's using a computer from work, and it has no games on it.

I suppose someday it will all change, but for now, we have to find entertainment the old-fashioned way. Which is still fairly easy since our children are still young. Heaven help me when they become teenagers.

You know what? I don't even want to think about it.


Ah, butcher paper, such a bad name for such a wonderful product.

Found at almost any craft store, you can buy it for mere cents a yard. (Okay, so this roll was given to me but I have bought butcher paper plenty of times before)

There's just nothing cooler than having your whole table covered in it so the kids can go wild!

Well, nothing cooler except for maybe balloons.


Whoever said balloons were only for special occasions? A bag of balloons for a dollar can go a long way. And the best part is, they are easily replaceable when broken.

For the last three days, my kids have been playing with them nonstop. *sigh* It's been bliss.

They always start off by playing "don't let your balloon touch the mud, or the hot lava" (isn't hot lava a little redundant?) and ends up turning into...

balloon wars! Dueling with balloons tends to create far less tears and we end up using far less bandaids than just about anything else they dual with.

Well, except for perhaps when they get out their...


Pillows! They have been so into pillow fights lately. And I'm totally cool with that. I really am. 

Because of all the pillow fights I've ever been in, and all the ones I've seen my kids get into, I have never once seen feathers fly like they always show in the movies.

*sniffle* I think that's a little unfair, quite frankly. Lame stuffing.

Hmmm... my parents used to have feather pillows. Maybe I could borrow them sometime....

And speaking of the box being more entertaining than the toy, I may just have to bring some old boxes up from the basement. Just to keep them busy and entertained for a while.

So I can shower and eat chocolate in peace.

16 super cool people speak:

T said...

perhaps "borrow" wouldn't be the most accurate word when you take those pillows... because when the feathers go flying (awesome photo opp there) they're probably not going to want them back :)

Neisha said...

way to go on the "true" entertainment for the kids...a good way to get them to use their imagination :)

Sue said...

I think you've got something here!

My siblings and I had more fun playing "hot potato" with a balloon (our version of "don't let your ballon touch the hot lava") than anything else we did in the house!


ldsjaneite said...

Yes. "Hot lave" is as redundant and silly as "frozen ice." (I'm rolling my eyes, if you didn't get that from my electronic tone.)

I love making use of cheap, ahem, inexpensive things. I see it more and more as I work with kids. Yesterday, with reading "Freight Train" at storytime, I pulled out a couple of boxes we've received tax forms in and used them as train cars. Best thing that could come out of taxes, I think.

Cheeseboy said...

You should write a kid's craft book for all the crafts and stuff you do. I'd like to write a craft book that teaches how to make crafts out of all the craft books on the market.

Never buy your kids a DS. I swear they make those games so small so you have to fork out $40 every time your kid loses one.

Amanda Joy said...

I work for the LDS Church and we get to take the end rolls of the printing paper. Most of the time it is the thin stuff used for scrpitures. It works great for coloring, wrapping paper, stamped table cloths to match a party, spray painting... I love it. The only problem is that it is see through, and tears easier. But hey it's free so I don't feel guilty when I have to go 2-ply.

The Martos Fudge said...

Hey, thanks for the idea... I am going to go cover my table right now and let them play. TOTALLY STEELING YOUR IDEA.

Mama Smith said...

I remember your dad making "weapons" out of wood...swords, guns, shields, and stuff...GREAT toys...! Or...making a fort...out of huge boxes...cutting out windows...and a doorway...Talk about CHEAP! You so come by it "naturally"...(smile)

Carrie said...

I was always a big one for magnets. The could keep us entertained for hours. That an duct tape. Which is another story altogether.

Love this!

Valerie said...

Best toys ever for little ones!

gigi said...

Fun good times! Boxes and I mean big boxes are the best!

The Kooky Queen--Rachel said...

AHHH, butcher paper---my kids could use a whole role in like 3 minutes! Great ideas!

The Bagley Family said...

Cheap scotch tape...sticks to nothing but

Patty Ann said...

On holidays, we cover the table in butcher paper and tape it down. It becomes the "holiday" table cloth. Then I usually buy some holiday themed stickers. Michaels always has the buckets of foam stickers that are holiday themed for about five dollars. The put crayons and colored pencils in a colored box on the table and EVERYBODY colors. This is something even my grown kids get totally into. We have the best decorated tablecloths in the state. Trust me on this. The best part is when they get dirty, we just change out the butcher paper and start over. Usually only once a day and a bucket of stickers last for at least a week. (Or until I get tired of them and hide them till next year). Gotta love family activities.

hjsmith said...

Sooo funny. I guess we are cheap, cheaper and cheapest too(: hehehehe I love the dollar store and we go through our share of balloons(: Pillow, really whatever is soft....ok sometimes something hard gets into the equation(:
We also dont have any electronic gadgets and our kids will play anyone elses when given the chance(: oh they get older we are telling them if you want it you can earn it....we dont do allowence but will pay a penny a page for a "real" book read....insentive...If they want it bad enough they will read read read(:
Have fun while they are still young and before their wish lists get more expensive(:

Royalbird said...

We are the same way. When we moved into this house, we taped a whole bunch of big empty boxes together into a fort and then covered the fort with butcher paper. The kids were in heaven decorating their "house" and playing in their fort.

Great fun. Bubbles are great fun also and pretty cheap too.

Who needs those expensive electronic toys?

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