Every parent, at one time or another, experiences their child shunning the array of wonderful toys they have in favour of something simple, like a jug or a toilet roll tube. And, younger children particularly are often more fascinated by the box that an item is packaged in, than the thing itself!
So, before you go spending money on fancy toys, here are some ways you can amuse your kids with things you might have around the house.
As mentioned above, toilet roll tubes offer endless fun and creative ideas. Put them to your mouth and make silly noises through them or stick a few together to make a telescope. You can also make great marble runs if you attach them to various size boxes, or slides for toys and dolls if you cut them in half lengthways.
Musical instruments are easy to make with various food items and a plastic cup or two. Rice, pasta and dried beans all make great noises when you shake them inside two cups taped together. And, of course, pots, pans and wooden spoons make the perfect drum kit.
Plastic laundry baskets can be used for many fun games. You can use them as a target to throw soft balls or rolled up socks into to help your child with hand-eye co-ordination skills. They also work perfectly as a pretend car or boat and will glide along carpet easily with someone pulling or pushing them.
Use a torch to make hand puppets on the wall and have a puppet show, or explore different shadows and shapes made by different items.