Like most parents, I am always on the lookout for fun (and frugal) ways to keep the kids happily entertained. We put together an Invention Kit a couple of years ago, and it has been our go-to source for free craft and learning supplies ever since! To make your own, you will need to gather up some items — many of which you may already have on-hand. Below is a list of items to consider including in your kit, and the kids can help find these from around the house: Suggested Items for Your Invention Kit
Milk Cartons Cereal Boxes Egg Cartons Oatmeal Canisters Mint Tins Cardboard Tubes (Toilet Paper and/or Paper Towels) Shoe Boxes Cans and Jars Yogurt Containers Plastic Salad Containers Newspapers and Magazines Foam Trays Plastic Netting from Produce Bags Paper Bags
Place some or all of these items in a large cardboard box, and let the kids have fun decorating their Invention Kit. Whenever they are itching for something to do, bring out the kit and get creative!
An Invention Kit can be a great tool to promote the development of early creative problem solving skills, and it helps to instill the early habits of recycling! Pick an item from the kit and ask the kids how many different uses they can think of for that item. A cardboard tube could be used to build a marble run, made into a pretend telescope, or crafted into a tower for Rapunzel, for instance. An empty mint tin could store items for a small first-aid kit, or turned into a house for a set of small magnetic dolls. There are so many possibilities — and it’s FUN!
What do you do with your recycled items?