My husband has decided that J should own every Disney car that is made. I think he’s addicted (though I can think of worse addictions!). I started saving the packing that each car comes in, figuring I could find something to do with the cardboard printouts of Lighting McQueen, Sheriff, Mater,…. I cut out the pictures and began yet another stack on my “to be completed” desk. Each package had 2 pictures of the same car, one small and one much larger.
Before our last plane trip, I grabbed them to bring with us. I had literally done nothing other than cut the pictures out. But that was enough for J. He was thrilled when I brought out the pics. First he named each car and then we described each car together. I’ve always described things out loud with J, even when he was a little baby and he’s really getting good at doing the same by himself. I remember this being a skill taught in elementary school when I was little (of course they taught it more advanced that what J is doing!), so I guess this is a helpful skill in life! We also matched the small cars to the large ones and then made a pile of small cars and a separate pile of large cars.
He then pretended to drive them around the seatback tray.
So it doesn’t take much to entertain and teach a little at the same time! Because J had never seen them before, they kept him busy for quite a while on the plane. I will say that this would not have been an appropriate plane activity until maybe 20 months or so. Before that, the many pieces would’ve presented a problem. He would’ve dropped them everywhere and I’m sure I would’ve ended up quite frustrated. TIP: The size and number of pieces a toy/activity has is definitely something to consider!
I’m sure the cardboard cars will be worked into another “official” activit later, but for now this is working just fine!
Age attempted: 25 months
Other options: If it’s not cars, maybe it’s trains or dolls, animals or food, just start saving the packaging that your little ones favorite toys come in. There’s bound to be lots of creative ways to put them to good use.