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?