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Play Materials

Play materials can come from recycled items or purchased items.

Here's a tip that someone gave me years ago to help me unlock my own creativity:

    What do I have the most of? How can I use it?

To adapt this to coming up with things for kids, ask:

    "How can I use this as a toy, activity, or craft?"

Save Your Recycled Items:

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Catalogs
  • Paper Sacks

Think the old adage:

    "Use it up, make it do, or do without."

Collect Environmental Items:

  • Sticks
  • Stones
  • Flowers
  • Leaves

You can press the flowers and leaves by putting them between scrap paper or wax paper and putting them in a large book until they are flat and dry. Then they can be glued to projects as needed.

Ask businesses you work at or are near you what they usually throw out:

  • Fabric Stores may have old pattern books
  • Wallpaper Stores may have wallpaper samples
  • Carpet or Rug Stores may have sample carpets or scrap carpet
  • Newspapers may have End of Rolls of Newsprint that can't be printed on
  • Lumber Yards or Construction Sites may have small Wood Scraps that they would normally throw away.
  • Appliance Stores or Grocery Stores may have large boxes that they would throw out
  • Scrap paper - many businesses have excess paper that is not sensitive that is only printed on one side and would make good craft paper. Be sure that is nothing that should be shredded under Privacy standards.

Ask the businesses when it would be good for them to have you pick up the items so you don't inconvenience them. They may be thrilled just to get rid of the items and have them recycled for another use.

Ask friends to save things for your play materials also. Most often they will be happy to do this if they know what kinds of things you would be interested in. It is recycling in a useful sense.

Stickers and Glue (either homemade or purchased) can be other fun materials.

Some things you might want to purchase. If you can get things cheap enough, they become a good source of materials.

Please check out Mining Your Junk Mail and Mining Your Trash for more ideas.

You probably have your own ideas. You may have thought of play materials I never would have come up with. Please take time to share with us, and I will share it with everyone.

Additional Play Materials Links

Mining Your Junk Mail
How to look at your junk mail as a gold mine for materials for kids toys, activities, and crafts.

Mining Your Trash
Use your trash as a source of supplies for kid's toys, activities, and crafts.

How to find and create stickers that children will love to play with.

Purchased Items
Recommended purchased items that can be used to create kid's toys, activities, or crafts.


"You're Never Too Old to Play"

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Check back often as we will be
adding ideas and activities
on a regular basis.

You probably have some great ideas too!
Feel free to share your kids play ideas with us.

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