One of the greatest things that I see my son doing is using his imagination. And one of the ways that he is in pure imagination mode is when he plays with recyclables. An empty box becomes a camera, a paper tube becomes a telescope or 4 empty spools become the wheels of a car. He just immerses himself in pure creativity. I remember when I was a kid, I would build forts or castles out of blankets and empty cardboard boxes. I would have hours of fun playing in my living room and completely using my imagination.
My son loves technology, and one of his favorite pastimes is creating monitors, transistors and cameras with recyclables. The great thing is that recyclables are free, I was just going to throw it in the recycle bin anyway and it allows him to use pure imagination. We even throw on some paint or glue and reconfigure a box to make a car or dump truck, and we will even paint some butcher paper to make a road. He loves it! We spend hours in his room playing with empty packages, boxes, bottles, cans and paper tubes. And I spend no money!
Many people have probably come across the story of Hattie Garlick and her vow to not spend money on her child in 2013. It is great and very interesting that a mother would vow that, and it is quite plausible, especially in the entertainment sense. There are so many free activities in the community; libraries, parks, beaches, picnics, hikes etc. And toys can be constructed, or built out of anything imaginable. It’s great for the parent and child alike. It gives you time to play together, it gives you all a sense of creativity and it gives your child a sense of imagination and independence. So next time you finish a box of cereal or a can of tuna, don’t throw it in the recycle bin, keep it and give it to your child, you might be surprised at what it can become with a bit of imagination!