Plastic tat - suggestions(2 Posts)
I've just come back from a carboot sale where I sold, among other things, plastic tat for 5p a piece. You know the sort of thing - Happy Meals toys, bits from crackers, Kinder Surprise contents, left over party bag gubbins etc. Stuff that would usually end up in landfill. I suppose ultimately it still will but at least it's getting a bit more use first. It made me think of other ways their life could be extended and I thought I'd share on here in case it's inspiration for anyone:
Gather the bits together in a shoe box labelled 'The Get Better Box' to be lent to your little one when they're ill in bed. The novelty value will add a bit of interest and distraction when they're poorly, and you can have it back off them when they're better so 100 bits don't end up over the house. Plastic can be easily steralised too!
Likewise keep a bag of them in the car, in the glove box or something. You never know when you might break down and have to wait ages for recovery, or get snarled up in a traffic jam due to an accident or whatever and need to keep restless kids entertained with no notice.
If it's as good as new, recycle in party bags or in layers of 'pass-the-parcel' or whatever at your own kid's birthday.
With decent sized plastic tat (nothing too tiny) keep them in a box in the shed or whatever and the children can use them in the garden. It won't really matter if they get left out and rained on, or lost, unlike with quality toys that you'll probably want to keep safe indoors.
When you are ready to declutter them, let the children sell them for pennies at a stall at the front gate. Setting everything up will take most of the morning (have them make bunting to decorate the stall with, count the bag of change you'll need to have handy, learn about the charity any money raised will go towards, etc) so it's a good activity for the summer holidays when they're feeling booorrrrred.
As Christmas approaches, have them make their own crackers and put the surprises inside. Kitchen roll tubes and scrappy bits of used wrapping paper will do the trick. They can give them to friends, or if you pull them within the family at least their interest will be renewed briefly.
For little ones who are learning their letter sounds, see if any of the bits might be useful for a sorting activity. For example I have an old soap box with three sections, and when working on letter sounds place a card with a letter written on it in the bottom of each section, then give the children some tiny toys to sort. The mini plastic penguin goes into the 'p' section for example, while the tiny car from the Kinder egg goes into the 'c' section, the random marble goes into 'm'.
Tiny figures and miniature plastic tat can become toys for the wooden dolls house children, if you have any!
If you have a baby or young toddler, make 'discover bottles' with tiny plastic junk added to a clear bottle filled with water and a few drops of oil, so they can watch them floating about without being at risk of swallowing them, and they definitely won't end up going up the hoover!
Again, for a toddler, sticking a velcro dot onto the bottom of plastic tat figures etc and giving them a large piece of the 'opposite' velcro to move them about on is a useful activity. If the pieces are small they'll need close supervision of course. I find this one handy when they're getting tired and hungry, so I pop them in a highchair with it while I make tea.
For older children have them write their own magazine, complete with puzzles, jokes page, short story, etc (another useful time-consuming summer holiday activity!) and sell them to friends or family with the plastic tat toy as the 'free gift'.
Ask at your local woman's refuge if they have any use for them. I'm not sure they would, but children who've had to leave everything behind will probably make good use of plastic tat, and their compact size is handy if they're likely to be on the move soon.
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