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10 Common Household Objects Kids Can Safely Play With for Hours

No matter how many toys they have stowed in their rooms and strewn about the house, most kids have a tendency to play with ordinary household objects instead. Some of the most appealing are likely to be off-limits due to danger or their value, but there are lots of others that they can safely entertain themselves with for hours. The next time your little one turns away from their toys in disgust, here are a few things you might have lying around that will do the trick.

  1. Cardboard Boxes – Adults that don’t have fond childhood memories of cardboard boxes are few and far between; kids are so imaginative that a large enough box can become anything their heart desires. From a playhouse to a race car and back again, there isn’t much a big box can’t become.
  2. Blankets – Blankets make tents, forts, capes and a million other things in the kid mind, especially if there’s more than one child in the mix. Simply throwing a large enough blanket over the kitchen table creates a place all their own!
  3. Pots and Pans – Little ones will inevitably make drums out of any pots and pans they get their hands on, and older ones love to play “pretend kitchen” with the grown-up pots. These items may also become hats, and any other thing their hearts desire.
  4. Paper Towel Tubes – Cardboard makes yet another appearance, this time in the form of the tubes inside paper towels and toilet paper. On their own, they can be pirate spyglasses, a princess’s scepter or a magicians wand. With a bit of duct tape and a hand full of beads, they’re maracas!
  5. Old Clothes – There are very few things that kids love as much as playing dress up in their parent’s old clothes. Grab a handful of things destined for the charity pile, and encourage your little ones to put on a show!
  6. Plastic Cookie Cutters – Plastic cookie cutters aren’t just for playing with clay or modeling dough; they can also be stencils to make interesting shapes on paper if they’re the open-faced type.
  7. Empty Bottles – Securely gluing the lid on a previously-used bottle filled with rice, glitter and water or even water and colored oil can be fascinating for kids. For added security, wrap the already-glued lid with a strong tape and supervise little ones to be sure that they don’t manage to make a mess by opening the bottles.
  8. Funnels and Colanders – Plastic funnels and colanders make great bath toys; in addition to keeping kids entertained, they also help to create a foundation for a later understanding of gravity and other basic physics-related concepts.
  9. Paper and Washable Markers – The”washable” part of this equation is key to keep parents from becoming distraught after stepping out of the room to take a quick phone call. Better yet, invest in the “magic” markers that only show up on the specially-designed paper, rather than floors, walls and faces.
  10. Bubbles – Kids that are too young to be trusted not to drink the bubble solution still get hours of joy from watching a grown-up blow the bubbles while they dance around and try to pop them in their little hands, or simply observe them floating and disintegrating.

Parents are often surprised at the things that their kids turn into toys; with their limitless imaginations and boundless energy, there are few things that a child can’t turn into something fun.

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