You know that cliché about how kids like boxes better than the toys that come in them? It’s a cliché for a reason. My little ones are no exception – they really love boxes. Boxes that can be buses, elevators, and space ships. Boxes that you can cut to make robots, trains, or even a Buzz Lightyear costume. Just boxes, everything about them.
But let’s not stop there. Those containers aren’t the only hidden gems my kids have discovered in our home. Here’s a list of common household items that are just as fun as – nay, better than – the children’s toys that are designed specifically for them.
1. My bras
You know what’s hilarious? Wearing things on your head. You know what’s the funniest thing you can wear on your head? Mom’s clothes. Especially when those clothes are shaped strangely and create giant ear pods when wrapped around your head. If I can’t find my bra, I know where to look … oh there it is, my son is wearing it as a hat.
2. Light Switches
Not only are light switches super fun to play with – making mom hold you at just the right height to press up and down and up and down and up and down – they’re also magic. When you press them up, the lights turn ON! When you press them down, the lights turn OFF! Magic! My kids could (and do) spend hours marveling at the wonders of electricity.
3. Trash cans
I don’t know about you, but in our house, we have a magical eating machine. It will devour anything you put in it, yet you can still reach in and reclaim your item. It, of course, is a trash can and it is very funny. It’s funny to open the lid. It’s funny to pretend like you’re throwing something in. It’s funniest to actually drop something in and then – hahaha – take it back out.
4. The toilet
Even better than the trash can is the toilet. Ah, there are many, many ways to play with a toilet. You can shake the handle. You can actually hold down on the handle until the water goes down with a delightful WHOOSH sound. You can lift up not one ,but two lids which, you should know, make a lot of noisy noise as they bang backwards or into each other. And, of course, there is the most popular way to play with the toilet: throw things in until mom screams. Bonus points if you make mom cry.
5. The dishwasher
This thing has it all. Buttons to press on the door. A door that pulls down to become a climbing perch. Drawers that pull out. And, oh, the joy of when it’s full. In that case, there are dishes to try to lift, glasses to bang on and silverware to grab and brandish at your sibling. Dishwasher: fun for the whole family. It cleans the dishes for you and entertains the little guys for hours.
Tape is the end-all, be-all, magic fixer of anything and everything in our house. Broke a crayon? Tape. Ripped a shirt? Tape. Need a Band-Aid? Wait just a minute there, buddy. My son loves to tape his pictures to the walls or, skipping the pictures entirely, just decorate his walls with tape. Tape is fun to cut. It’s fun to use. I can’t be the only person whose son has a collection of Scotch, masking and duct tape, can I?
Ever since my first son learned to stand on his own, he’s been putting his feet in any shoes he can find. Dad’s shoes are good, but my heels? My boots? Hilarious. He’ll literally fall over from laughing too hard when trying to scoot around the house. And now my toddler is following in his footsteps, so to speak, and trying on all the shoes. When he’s not trying to eat them, that is.
8. The cat
Our poor cat. Our poor lonely, forgiving, loving cat. We adopted her when our first son was almost 2. Since then, she’s grown accustomed to heavy pats, sticky fingers, tail grabbing, and foot inspecting. Now 5, my older son doesn’t harass her much, but my toddler in enamored with her. He thinks she is a pillow, a stuffed toy come to life, and a friend. He is in awe of her. He is in love with her.More On