"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those
who are willing to work and give to those who would not."
--Thomas Jefferson

Monday, January 19, 2009

What do tree stumps, plastic bags and cardboard boxes have in common?

Well first off they're all free! And for some reason the toys of choice in our family. Thus proving that toys don't have to come from a store OR be expensive. Now I've known for years that a child will have more fun with the wrapper that a present came in then the present itself, but this brings it to a whole new level. I've realized I can officially clean out their closet of all the unnecessary toys and clutter, hand them 3 or 4 Publix grocery bags and let them go. Of course there are safety rules with any "toy".

Safety Rule # 1 : Don't place bag over your head and inhale
Rule #2: Don't place bag over your brother's head and tell HIM to inhale.
Rule # 3: Do not jump off any high objects and use bag as parachute.

Here is documented proof of this transpiring. They wo
uld get the bag full of air throw it up in the air, let go and then punch it on the way down. Yes this went on for a very long time. In the picture below I believe the bag had had enough and was inflicting some sort of pain on my son. When they get bored with the bags send them out back to play with the tree stump. This piece of tree was destined to be part of the yard trash and end up in a heap somewhere, but no. Oh no! It is no longer a tree stump, it has been magically transformed into a cow waiting to be roped and from what a heard the other day, milked by my 6 year old. Yes, milked! He actually rolled up paper and taped them to the underside of the "cow" and started milking. Alas, I do not have a picture of that. We need to get this boy out on a few 100 acres somewhere. As with any toy, once again there are rules.

Rule #1: Don't rope your brother instead of the cow and say you missed.
Rule # 2 Don't tie your brother to a tree and say the cow did it.

Rule # 3: When "cow tipping" don't use your head. Use your shoulder and lean into it.
Here is the cow in question.

Who's gonna win this tug of war?
Oh Yeah! Victory is sweet. Poor cow!
Now when they are tired of thus said toy, move them on to the cardboard box. Yes cardboard boxes are transformed into just about anything. A castle, a fort, a jail, a clubhouse, an inexpensive travel method for just your children (oh I'm so kidding, put the phone down!). Yes the only limit here is your imagination. Just give them some markers and crayons and watch the transformation begin. And again we as parents need to set the rules in place so as no one gets hurt.

Safety Rule #1: Don't try to ship your brothers to China.
Rule #2 When cutting windows in, let Dad use the really sharp knife.

Rule # 3: Remember to always have an escape plan in case of fire. So what strange and wonderful free things do your kids choose to play with rather than the expensive store bought junk? LOL.
Have a most excellent day! HUGS!


  1. Don't forget paper towel and wrapping paper tubes. Hours of fun! Oh, and a bucket of warm, soapy water and a sponge. My 3 will wash anything in the backyard, and my daughter will use a paintbrush to paint disappearing water pictures on the sidewalk, and watch them evaporate in the sun. Of course, it's snowing here, so that will have to wait until April (if we're lucky!)
    Leslie in Canada

  2. the box was always my favorite thing!

  3. We used to take patio furniture and turn them on their backs and ride them like we were on boats and the waves were rocking us back and forth. That was those old metal chairs, do you remember them? We used to play on 55 gal barrels and walk the barrels. Oh that was so much fun. tied rope to tree branches and would swing like Tarzan. Built forts in the dirt to be blown up on the 4th of July. Kids used to have great imaginations, glad to see yours are still using theirs. And boxes... they are the best!

  4. My girls loved boxes too. Now, they love to make tents out of sheets and blankets too. Fun memories! I was worried about you today. I'm so glad to see your post. Blessings to you!

  5. It is fun to see what they come up with to play with. Mine put up a big fort with ALL the blankets in my son's room. They had a ball crawling under there. :D

  6. This is such a great post - I love it with the pictures and all the rules! My son would have joined right in!

    My sister and I used to play with whatever we could find outside - snow forts in the winter, using sticks for guns (and we didn't even have brothers!), made up obstacle courses, etc. And we loved just being able to have notepads with pens - drew paper doll clothes, played games, took "menu orders" from mom and dad, took notes on the "crime scenes" like good private investigators, wrote stories, etc.

    Have a wonderful day, my friend! And yes, you can use my soup recipes anytime on your cooking blog - no need to ask.

    Hugs to you!

  7. Cute photos!! Cute kiddoes!! Glad they ar so easily amused!!

    I was a bit envious with this post. First of all, you mentioned Publix bags. I LOVE Publix!! Definitely my favorite grocery store.

    And that green grass!! And those trees!! You know how I feel about those things...and I haven't seen either of them since October!!


  8. Looks like they where having alot of fun. Thanks for all of the ideas, and the safety tips!!

    Have a Blessed day

    In HIS Keeping,
    ~Mrs. B

  9. What fun your children had! It is great to see that they have an imagination!

  10. Simple things in life!! I love it.

  11. Awww...Free, fun and entertains them for hours...can't get any better than that! I loved it...cute pictures, but my favorite is the cow!

    I love visiting you...you always make me smile and giggle.


  12. Haha..loved your rules!!

    Boys...they can play w/ anything!!!!

  13. Oh my goodness how fun!! Your descriptions were fabulous! Made me LOL!

    Let's see...my kids like old coffee cans (which are not plastic, lol) We buy from Costco so they're really big! Same with the mayonasse jar (plastic). Hmmm...what else...my toddler plays with all our plastics--storage containers and kids plates/cups. He likes to use them to set the table (when it's not time to eat!) lol
    Diaper boxes, laundry baskets. Just today my toddler (again) was sitting in a laundry basket thumbing through a book! (I'll have a picture of that on my "day in the life of a cm homeschooler next week!)
    Of course, paper towel and toilet paper tubes are a given. The list is endless! :)

  14. I have seriously thought about getting a big box and stuffing it full of papper and bags and stings and whatever else I can find - wraping it up and giving it to the babies for a birthday present. They seem to like this stuff so much - what a gift it would be to get a whole box full of it?!

  15. Hey sweet friend...how did I miss this post yesterday? I'm so glad I see it today! How much fun!

    Josh loved to make forts...probably still does...lol

    He is now training for Spring football so he is running...for free...outside! lol Gotta love Florida.

    Happy Tuesday, my friend. Hugs to those precious faces you have posted here.

  16. This made me smile! We had to cut down a tree last year that was partially uprooted by the hurricanes in 2004. Dh still has not completely cut up the tree and hauled it out for yard trash recycling so it and the stump are our very own pirate ship. :o)

  17. Boys will be boys!

    Could you send some warm air up North? Cabin fever is getting us on some days. However, my kiddos LOVED making a snow fort and having a snowball battle yesterday!

    You are a FUNny mom!

    God Bless!

  18. You have documented a good case for toy abolishment:-) Hee, hee, hee.

  19. Cute post Kim! Boxes and paper sacks. Even us big kids got into the free stuff once. My mother, one of my sisters and neice had more fun trying to make paper airplanes and fly them at our hubbys. We got to laughing so hard their was almost accidents. Perhaps us adults need to have some rules come with playing with those free toys! Hee hee. Oh and we tried to make Curious George boats too, but could not figure them out which brought many more giggles. Hey, we're kids too, at heart any how. :)
    Seriously, it is amazing how kids will come up with the neatest ideas out of something so simple, and how they prefer that over the expensive stuff. So my question is, why do we continue to buy them toys? Ha ha. One other thing, building forts with chairs, furniture, and blankets. Best fun the kids ever had!


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