Monday, June 28, 2010

A Non-Toy Toy Story

Parents can bond over the experience of giving their young child a gift, only to see them more excited about playing with the box that it came in, instead of the actual toy.

Mistakenly, I once assumed that such a phenomenon was restricted to (really) smaller children.

But just over a year ago, Big Brother was very much attached to his "car bag", which was nothing more than an empty individual-sized bag of Baked Lays (from Subway) that he toted his cars around in.

(Thank you, Gramm-E, for making the boys real car bags.)

I guess it's Big Brother's creative/artistic side, but he definitely likes to let his imagination run wild when it comes to using empty food containers as "non-toy" toys.

(Either that, or he just likes to play with stuff from Subway).

The other day, Big Brother finished his apple juice box (from Subway), and became quite defensive when we asked him to throw it away.

"No, it's a ship. I'm playing with it."

"Well, okay for now. But the ship better not leak fuel in the minivan or the floors of the house."

I mean, I'm all for encouraging his creativity (and recycling efforts). But we pretty much have to throw the juice boxes away at night after he goes to bed, lest old, souring Minute Maid boxes start accumulating.

Which, of course, meets with mild screaming fits the next morning when his juice box rocket ship turns up "missing."

"Uh, it must've blasted off into outer space while you were sleeping, buddy."

This makes me wonder what his response would be to opening presents on Christmas morning, to find that Santa has brought him a box filled with nothing but EMPTY JUICE BOXES. Methinks probably either that he hit the jackpot with an entire star fleet, or that he got the shaft.

But either way his response would be funny.

(Except that Mom-E would still want to throw away all of the juice boxes, and then give me the evil laser beam eye stare.)

What kind of "trash" do your kids like to play with? Please don't let us be the only ones. Please don't let us be the only ones.

Have a good week,


  1. Creativity at it's best! My kids love paper towel rolls and lots of other garbage that wind up disappearing like magic then they leave the room. We must have gremlins.

  2. That's great that Big Brother has such an imagination! Little cousin also loves to play with paper towel rolls, wrapping paper rolls, empty diaper boxes...and right now he's using his sippy cup as a passenger on his rocket ship. Thanks for this cute post! love, aunt-e

  3. My daughter and my cat both love empty boxes.

  4. I remember dragging a piece of dried tree root into the house one time, as I thought it looked like a caveman club (a la The Flintstones). I just knew I'd found an ancient piece of history to take to show-and-tell, and I was pretty distraught when my dad scolded me for getting dirt on the floor and threw it away. Of course I'm over that now...some 25 years later...after much counselling.