Top toys for tots, that don't have to cost a cent

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A mud kitchen doesn't have to cost a cent
A mud kitchen doesn't have to cost a cent

Are you wondering how you'll keep the kids busy during the long warms days of the Christmas holiday?

After a year like 2020, spending money to keep them happy might be tough for many families.  

So here are a few handy, easy and even completely free ideas that work as Christmas gifts and holiday activities all in one! 

Mud kitchen

Kids love mud, sand, water, sticks and stones, and they love making potions and mixtures... give them the best holiday ever with a home made mud kitchen!

All you need are some logs, bricks or tyres, a plank and a large bowl or an old kitchen sink and you can have a mud kitchen set up in minutes. 

A visit to your local dump can prove profitable, as these items can often be found there for free. 

A stack of tyres with a plastic bowl in the top makes an excellent sink, or branch out and stack two towers with a plank between them for a full kitchen. 

Set out several different bowls and containers filled with clean sand and water, along with a few old spoons and cups - whatever you have on hand - and let the kids unleash their creativity. 

Here are a few ideas: 

Some logs and bowls and flowers to make magic:

A couple of old tyres and some kitchenware make the perfect play space for kids: 

A clever use of old crates here makes for a neat kitchen setup: 

If you're handy with a hammer then a few pallet planks can be transformed into a miniature replica of your home kitchen:

Building blocks

A pile of bricks and wooden blocks or pebbles can become almost anything, in a child's mind.

From a zoo for garden bugs to a palace for their dolls to a lair for a dragon, the possibilities are endless.

Whether you source bricks from the local dump, cut some logs into stacking shapes, find some pebbles and a few cardboard boxes or buy a box of blocks at a second-hand store, your children will use their imagination to make the most fun with what is at hand.

Here are some ideas:

Set the scene and let the kids take the story forward:

Add some simple tools for extra educational fun:

Make your own natural wooden building blocks from a fallen branch: 

Nature painting 

Making natural paints from easily available garden plants is a fun activity that also teaches valuable lessons on topics such as recycling, sustainability, the environment and plant safety to name just a few.

Learn more in the video here:

What did we miss?

Send us your most inexpensive kids toys and activity ideas! 


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