The vast majority of Tricky's toys are second hand - they've been passed down from friends, found for a bargain price at an op shop or baby market, or picked up from the side of the road at bulk rubbish collection. Yes, I find my child's toys on the side of the road, call child services.
We do it partly to reduce the amount of new plastic that comes in to our house (and therefore the tonnes of non recyclable plastic shrink wrap packaging and twistie ties that end up in landfill), to keep our costs low on our single income budget and to encourage Tricky's imagination.
So last week, with that in mind, I decided to get my craft on and channel the guys on Play School and get creative with some boxes, some tape and a Sharpie. Just call me Noni Hazelhurst.
Grab any boxes you have, stick them together and get drawing - it's that easy. I used some bowls to get the shape of the hotplates, a ruler for the straight lines and a sandwich to distract Tricky while I did it. There's no right or wrong and it doesn't have to be perfect - I've left 'bench space' for him to use but you could draw in a sink. If you do it indoors make sure it's in a well ventilated area or you'll end up with a massive Sharpie induced headache after colouring in the hot plates!
I must say, I'm kinda happy with how it turned out. Actually who am I kidding? I freakin' love it and when people come over now I drag them towards it singing "Come look at the kitchen I made for Tricky!!!"
Kids don't need the most expensive, realistic looking toys with sound effects... how are they ever meant to develop their imaginations if we do it all for them? Plus how many times have you given your child a toy and they've played with it for a few minutes then turned the box it came in into a car, an aeroplane, a cave or a house?
Tricky thinks it rocks and has been cooking for me ever since using some plastic fruit and veg, a chopping board, 'knife' and a little saucepan. Each time he runs to his cardboard kitchen and does the same, then holds up his 'dish' sniffs it and declares "Mmm yum!". I melt every time!
|Go away, Mama, I'm cooking you a special dinner|