Monday, June 1, 2015

Cheap Fun for Toddlers and Preschoolers

My husband sometimes accuses me of being a cheapskate. (Every marriage needs one, no?) Lately I've been excited about thrifty homemade fun. Here are some activities we've been enjoying:

I have no idea where this crooked plank even came from, but it's been a major playtime hit. Gray has used it as a bridge (Culligan salt bags make great bridge pillars, in case you're wondering), balance beam, stuffed animal picnic bench, train track, and ramp. 

Corn pool
This brilliant idea came from my sister. $8 gets you a 50-pound bag of corn and countless hours of fun. We poured the kernels into the kids' wading pool and added scoops, dump trucks, and diggers. A tarp underneath helped keep the mess in check.

Water play 
What is it about kids and water? They can't ever resist its draw. I grabbed this big bucket and some funnels on a whim, and now we use it on days that are too chilly for the wading pool.

Nature Collection
Gray collected these treasures during a family hike, and we arranged them on a tray after returning home. I smile every time I see the display; not only are God's creations stunningly beautiful, but the collection reminds me of our slow-paced Sunday evening togetherness. I also love that Gray regularly visits the tray to smell the pinecones, and their kitchen table placement has prompted several mealtime discussions about our adventure. I think collections will become a regular part of our hiking routine!

How about you? What kind of thrifty fun have your kids been enjoying lately?