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The Five Essential Toys That Every Child Must Have

Posted Jan 02 2012 7:28am

We have just survived another Christmas, and as usual, our little ones loved their presents, and loved their sisters presents even more. It can be quite costly at this time of the year, particularly with six girls who are all different, yet all the same. It occurred to me that sometimes we spend too much money on them at this time of the year.

I remember my childhood with some fond memories. Christmas was not a time of abundance, yet waking up on Christmas morning to find the bottom of the bed packed with new things to play with was always a thrill. I also remember that, while toys were great to play with, we also made our own fun.

These days we seem to have forgotten the simpler things in life. Here are five simple toys that every child should have, and they wont cost the earth. In fact, they'll hardly cost a cent.


Yes, good old fashioned dirt. Some medicos even recommend a good play in the dirt. Research is showing that dirt helps a child build an immune system, and that children who do play in the dirt have fewer allergies in life. Besides, dirt is fun. You can build with it. Add a little water and you have mud. There is just so much that a child can do with dirt. I know mine love it, they even try to bring it inside - I do draw the line there, it's definitely an outside toy.


Yes, I know a stick can be a weapon, however, it also has many other uses. In the good old days, you could tie some line and a hook and go fishing. These days, you can draw in the dirt, play sword fights, and knock the heads of long grass. A stick is the most useful toy a child can have - and they come in all shapes and sizes. I suggest another outside only toy.


String goes with stick, and many other things. Tie said string to stick, attach paper at other end of string, and you have a flying object. String can be used to tie things up (but not each other), it can be used to join to cans to make a telephone, it can even be used to raise and lower items if they have a cubby house.


Be they cardboard or timber, boxes are always great to play with, or in if they are big enough. I know I get frustrated when my little ones open their toys, admire them for a moment, then spend the rest of the day playing with the packaging. There's a message their I think. Boxes can be used to hide treasures, carry things, make into boats, or homes to place in the dirt - possibly with the aid of string and sticks. I am sure you have a box or two at home somewhere.


We go through toilet paper as quick as I can buy it. That's okay, the cardboard inner tube makes a great toy - the girls even fight over who gets the next one. It's not just toilet paper these days - cling wrap, alfoil, and many other kitchen and laundry products have cardboard inner tubes, and kids just love to play with them.

Not happy with those five free toys? Add some that nature provides. Pine cones, nuts, seeds, flowers, long grass stems - kids can always find uses for them. Add old clothing, old hats and shoes, even old sheets and blankets (they make a great cubby house apparantly) and they'll be in heaven. It helps to develop their imagination, it teaches them to be creative, and drives us parent crazy - but then, that's kids for you.

If your kids get bored over the Christmas holiday period, arm them with a few of those free toys, then watch them spend hours having fun.

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