Thankfully, our city makes recycling simple. All we have to do is rinse our recyclables and toss them into a giant bin that we place curbside for weekly pick up. Consequently, our household waste is drastically reduced and we recycle the majority of what would otherwise be trash. Now that the quaddlers are fascinated with containers, I let them play with our clean recycleables before dropping them into the bin. As I cook dinner, I dole out the newest materials and the quads are easily occupied for 20-30 minutes. But, it doesn’t just occupy them and allow me to cook, they are working on fine motor skills as well. They open and close flip top and screw top containers, flip and tear magazine pages, stuff containers with smaller ones, and drum with kitchen spoons. Sydney’s occupational therapist would be proud of the page turning we get with magazines. (She told me that at 18 months they should be turning paper pages one at a time. We all know what they do to board books so I wasn’t letting them at paper paged books, but magazines meet the same end.) Once they are done playing, I scoop up everything and toss it into the recycle bin. Super easy! I am aware of the many toys circulating around Pinterest using these types of things as toys. However, the quads seem to enjoy the novelty that each day brings rather than using the same containers or materials again and again. Plus, four babies tend to wear out flimsy plastic and cardboard containers relatively quickly.
While I’m on the topic of recycling. I love re-purposing linen packaging, specifically the clear zip bags used for new sheets and comforters. They are ideal for storing toys with many parts. For example, the bag from our pillow shams now houses a few Lego sets, and our old Boppy Pillow bags are fantastic for storing our ball pit balls. All the small parts are contained, and the contents are visible so labels are unnecessary. Each time we have a new bag like this, I make a point to let George know it’s a keeper.
What is your favorite item to re-purpose?
4 thoughts on “Toddler Tips: #1,120 Don’t Recycle That! (Yet)”
Great tips! We need to recycle more because, like you said, it would help minimize the amount of trash we’re squeezing into our trash can for weekly pickups. And I’ve got TONS of magazines to recycle, will let the quads at them first before dinner tonight! Love swapping ideas with each other and getting inspired 🙂
With the amount of diapers we have stuffing the bin, recycling really helps! They will love tearing through magazines! I agree, I love shared tips because it’s so easy to get into a rut.
I love to repurpose the big plastic coffee containers. We’ve made drums, cut a slit in the lid and made an activity out of inserting linking toys or puff balls, used them as shovels in the sandbox and made them into boats in the bathtub. You’re right–don’t toss anything just yet! It might be a toddler’s dream come true for 15 minutes. 🙂
Those are great containers! We primarily use k cups for coffee, but we could use large yogurt or sour cream containers in the same way. So true about making a toddler’s dream come true for 15 mins, LOL! That is about the extent of their attention span.