Practical Playtime

It's not easy providing your children with all the latest toys and games on the market, especially when working to a tight budget. However, it's often the cheap and cheerful games that children enjoy doing the most.

Spending quality time with your children counts far more than lavishing them with expensive toys. It need not cost a fortune entertaining them; going back to basics is a great way to have real family fun.

Below are some ideas that will not cost a fortune and you will find some of the materials already in and around your home.

* Paper mache piggy bank: All that's needed for this is a balloon, newspaper, paste, egg box, plastic milk bottle top, paint. Blow the balloon up, apply approx 4 - 6 layers of paper mache, and use individual egg carton sections for the feet, ears and snout. Paint all over, when dry paint on the eyes. Paint a long strip of newspaper and curl it, use this for the tail. When dry, cut out a slot in which to drop the money. Cut a hole out underneath to remove the money and use a plastic milk bottle top to plug the hole.

* Balloon people: For this you will need a packet of balloons, felt tips or paint, paste, a couple of balls of wool and some string. Blow the balloons up and let your imagination do the rest by seeing how many different types of faces you can draw or paint. Cut the wool into strands and paste it on for the hair. Apply the string to the balloons to hold on to or tie up.

* Mix and match characters. Dig out one of your children's plain writing exercise books (they are cheap to buy if you don't already have one), pencils, crayons (an old catalogue or magazines - optional) and a pair of scissors. Draw a character on each page of the exercise book. Either colour in or cut items of clothing out of the catalogue or magazines and stick on the characters. Cut two lines in the same place on each page right across the whole width of the page creating three even sections. It's great fun to mix and match the characters, by turning certain sections over to create a different part of the character from another page.

* Never-ending picture: Hold on to your spare rolls of wallpaper, provide some pencils, felts, paint (felts, wool, glitter - optional) and cello tape. Roll out the wallpaper, draw or paint whatever pictures come to mind, add on anything you want to make the picture colourful and fun. When the wallpaper ends, just cello tape the beginning of another roll on to it and the picture can go on for as long as you like. Roll it up and bring it back out when your children want to add to it, or you might want to pin it to their bedroom wall.

Always supervise young children and remember, if you can't beat them join them (you will have just as much fun as your children do too)!

Author Penname: L.T. Wright

Article word count: 513



Back to FAQS.ORG