First let me start out by saying the best activities come when we least expect them and sometimes they come when they’re needed the most. We celebrated a late Christmas celebration with family yesterday on New Years Eve. It was a 2 hour drive to Sacramento and a 2 hour drive back. My oldest twin was up at 2 am, so not only did we have over stimulated and cranky children but both came down with bad colds.
My husband on his own accord knew the boys needed something different. He marched down to the van loaded with presents and selected the biggest gift received, the V-Tech Go Go Smarts airport. He brought it in and immediately by boys went darting towards him. They waited next to him as he put the toy together. After taking apart the 20 plastic pieces and twenty minutes later, their toy was set for exploration and play.
Sadly, I stepped out to run an errand. Dad, taking initiative…I was not about to ruin the bonding time. I came home to the toy in pieces and scattered in our play area. I asked how it went and my husband said the toy lasted 10 seconds. I was astonished. Their first motorized toy and it lasted 10 seconds, how could that be?
I asked him to put it back together again and show me and sure enough, the airplane would get stuck in each bend of the track and it would get stuck on the elevator. The box read ages 1-3. I thought to myself…how is it that my dollar activities can outlast this $50 activity? Scratching my head, I looked at my boys with pale skin, runny noses and knew this momma needed to do something to prevent meltdowns.
I found myself in the boys bathroom and of course it didn’t take more than 2 seconds to be tracked and hunted down by one of my twins. He happily sat next to me going thru his bath caddy. To the left of me was their bin of bath toys and an Ikea kitchen utensil holder. When I purchased it I had thought it made a perfect water container for my boys to see water streaming from it. Immediately I thought, hmmmm…now what could I insert thru the holes and immediately, pipe cleaners came to mind.Now I’ve seen this done before on Pinterest using a colander so I can’t take all the credit. However, the quick advantage of using the kitchen utensil holder is the ability to insert, pull the pipe cleaner multiple times to create an in and out sewing pattern effect. This made it a tad more difficult for my son who is inquisitive and gets bored quickly.
You might be wondering did it work?Not only were they busy for 10 seconds, but try 15 minutes. They took the pipe cleaners waved then in the air, put them in their mouths, and enjoyed the ringing sound they heard as the pipe cleaner was released from the container. At one point my youngest son looked inside and discovered how on its side
the container rolled.
In its standing position, the container was the perfect size for my sons who are strong enough to sit up independently. In the next coming days I’ll be taking out my colander and giving that activity a good try. I’ll probably think of things to add to it!
So to the parents that think spending more money on a toy equates to sustain activity, you’re wrong! Sometimes a bit of creativity is all we need to capture their attention! The best part is that these items are inexpensive and can be reusable!
Stay tuned for more! And thanks for stopping in!