The Best (Free) Toy Ever

July 1st, 2011

In the two and a half years since I became a mother, I’ve spent a fair chunk of change on toys for my kids.  From teethers and rattles to push strollers and baby dolls to puzzles and books, the opportunities to spend money on your children are quite literally endless.  But after all of that, one toy stands alone above all the rest as by far The Toy that has brought the most prolonged enjoyment to both of my children…

Fabric scraps.  So simple, so basic, and yet so perfect.

The Christmas when Miss Mouse was one, I hit upon the idea of giving her an assortment of different-colored scraps to play with.  I confess that I actually did spend a bit of money in the clearance isle at Jo Ann Fabrics, picking out bits of shiny satin and soft velvet.  But if you’re crafty, you might very well have plenty of good fabric already.  My mom added some pieces of fleece and zig-zagged the edges of the fabrics so they wouldn’t fray.

What has amazed me about our little fabric treasure trove is that it’s been in continuous use ever since.  Because it’s such a simple toy, it can be enjoyed in many different ways.  At first, Miss Mouse loved simply picking up each piece, one by one, to admire it.  She also liked pulling the fabrics through a hole in the box we kept them in, or wrapping herself up and reveling in the silky feel of the material.

Then, as she got a bit older, the fabric was central to hours of “mommy is sleeping” play and “cover up the Mouse” games.  The fabric was also a big hit as Miss Mouse was learning her colors.  And now, at the ripe old age of two and a half, she still plays with her stash periodically, using the pieces as blankets for her dolls.

My wee Buggie has also started to enjoy the scraps.  We dump them all out on his head and he clutches them tightly in his fists, waving them madly over his head and playing peek-a-boo.

The fabric stash serves as a great reminder to me that you really don’t need to spend a fortune to keep your kids entertained!

This post is linked up at the Life As Mom “Frugal Fridays” carnival.  Check it out!

One response to “The Best (Free) Toy Ever”

  1. G'Mom says:

    Plus, they are learning to LOVE fabric. Oh yes – I see quilting in their future.

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