1. Happy Meal Toys – We are partial to McDonald’s but any fast food restaurant will do. I am not promoting Happy Meals as a nutritious meal, but on occasion, we do treat our kids to lunch or dinner at “HotDonald’s.” My kids are always thrilled with their new toys. They are just the right size for toddler hands and they are always different. We have Shrek, Teenage Mutant Turtles, Pirates of the Caribbean, Strawberry Shortcake, robots, cars, puppies, to name a few. These toys are always a big hit and you get a meal too!
2. Matchbox or Hot Wheel Cars – They go anywhere and kids just seem to love anything that has wheels. They are not just for boys either; my daughter loves to play cars as much as my son. Our couch, the windowsills, their play center rug and even my arms and legs have been transformed into roads or racetracks for the cars to drive on. There is an endless variety to choose from and they never “tire” of them.
3. Flashlights – I bought my kids Disney flashlights this past Christmas. They use them on many of their imaginative adventures. Whether they are pretending to camp in the family room or searching for clues to solve a mystery, they have hours of fun. Plus, they love to make shapes on the wall. The only thing that wears out is the batteries, not the kids.
5. Squeezy Soft Animals – This last item I am including on my list because my kids still play with the farm animals and dinosaurs almost every day and they have had them for over a year. The ones I purchased came from Toys to Grow on but when I checked out their website recently I couldn’t find them. I don’t know if they are discontinued but I am sure there are plenty of other similar toys. For under $10, they each got an assortment of 8 “squeezy soft” and very durable animals that came with their own storage boxes. The boxes themselves are great not only for storing but also for carrying. And they make great hats for toddler heads!
I don’t really understand why we spend a fortune on toys when most kids can find amusement and entertainment with just about anything. All it takes is a little imagination, a little freedom and some supervision and even the most ordinary objects can turn into toys. Like the expression says, sometimes the box is just as much fun as what’s inside.