16 household items that are better than toys!

Ever wonder why we bother buying toys?? Here are 16 household items that are better than toys and great fun for busy toddlers (so much for that expensive birthday gift, I’m getting him a cardboard box!!).

  1. An old-fashioned rolling pin
  2. The (clean) mop
  3. A stepstool
  4. Laundry baskets – making a fort, a stepstool, toy holder, baby boat, etc.
  5. Cardboard boxes
  6. Calculators – Lil Duck has one where you push the button and the flap opens and props the calculator up, he can play with it for hours!
  7. Small pieces of luggage
  8. Pots and pans – not just for pretend cooking, also for filling with toys, Cheerios, etc.
  9. DVD cases (take the DVD’s out though, Lil’ Duck has snapped a few in half, rendering those $50 PS2 games useless).
  10. Shoes – the bigger, the better!
  11. Cell phones
  12. Big purses
  13. Dog toys (YUCK!!)
  14. Magazines/catalogs – Lil Duck will sit and page thru carefully, noting interesting items as he goes along. He especially likes Game Informer and Baby Talk – I think it is the characters and the babies.
  15. Wallets – I lost a few credit cards thanks to him…..
  16. Remotes (we have the battery compartments held on by gaffer tape so he can’t open them).

14 Responses to 16 household items that are better than toys!

  1. Leah September 2, 2009 at 9:03 am #

    i am doing a project in highschool for child care growth and developement and i’m making a book about parenting and how to treat a child and keep them occupied. Its going great ;) i have tried these ideas with the neighborhood kids and they all work :)

  2. Mike September 7, 2006 at 9:13 am #

    One of the Grandpa’s has a giant calculator with giant buttons that are better suited for his eyes. That has got to be one of the greatest kid toys of all time.

  3. Heather September 6, 2006 at 8:02 pm #

    Absolutely! I lost an entire wallet due to the interest in #15. And there is nothing better than a cardboard box and some crayons! We’ve been to Mars, won a NASCAR race and sailed across the ocean. What fun in a box … and to think we were going to pay thousands for a boat. :>


  4. Mary September 6, 2006 at 4:54 pm #

    LOL, yup, all of those are absolutely true! My daughter loves shoes, and remotes. Also, it is a given that I pick up the pillows from the couches, and 1/2 of the tupperware from the kitchen cabinet at least 10 times a day. I am about to give up!

  5. Kim August 30, 2006 at 2:47 am #

    My son LOVES the dog toys! They will actually play tug of war with them..GROSS!

  6. Samantha August 29, 2006 at 11:47 pm #

    We have definetely been there and done that, 15 times LOL At almost 4 yrs. old, the girls STILL love pots and pans, and ESPECIALLY my husbands paint brushes from work. I’ll give them a bowl of “paint” (really water) and a paint brush and they’ll go to town painting the porch :) Daddy thinks they are going to grow up to be house-painters like him hehehehe

  7. jen August 29, 2006 at 10:29 pm #

    Daniel’s crawling has taken off in the last week or so
    His favourite bee line is for the rubbish bin in the kitchen – so far he hasnt got to it – than goodness

  8. She August 29, 2006 at 4:37 pm #

    The P-nut has played with just about every single one that you’ve mentioned, more than once I’m sure. He had a time decorating our moving boxes for us. And now that we are pretty much moved in, lets just say that there is a permanent “Home Depot” box that is now part of my living room decor. :P

  9. Heather August 29, 2006 at 2:30 pm #

    I don’t have kids yet, but my niece and nephew have both proved this list completely true! Too funny!

  10. TC August 29, 2006 at 1:02 pm #

    Too funny! boxes are a big hit at our house too.

  11. Barb August 29, 2006 at 9:51 am #

    #5, hands down. Any kind and any size cardboard box is a big hit with my little grandson. He’s currently running around with a Polident box he rescued from the bathroom trash can. It’s a tad embarrassing for my hubby but he didn’t like it one bit when I tried to take it away. Another hit around here? All the (safe) kitchen utensils I keep on the kitchen counter and every pot I own. We still can’t find our soup ladle!

  12. Lynanne August 29, 2006 at 8:45 am #

    Great list! The only essential I’d add is measuring cups – they’re almost as fun as stacking cups :)

  13. carmen August 29, 2006 at 7:53 am #

    They work for cats, too, you know. ;)


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