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Imagine yes they can!

(26 Posts)
Kiora Fri 20-Sep-13 18:09:37

I have 2 of my grandchildren boy3 and girl 20 mths every Friday. My house is full of toys plus my iPad. Four weeks ago I had a package delivered. It was one of those boxes with small boxes inside and bits of corrugated cardboard. While I was busy with his younger sister my little lad built the most complex garage imaginable with this box. He was totally engrossed in this play. When he left I hated to dismantle it. So stored it in our garage. I took it out today and just left it in the living room. Without promoting he began to build again. I have witnessed this sort of play with my children and my other grandchildren and its a joy to behold and proves to me that no matter how high tech we get, no matter what the toy manufacturers produce a box is never just a box to a child and children's imaginations are working as well as they ever did despite our indulging them with the latest toys and gadgets.

Greatnan Fri 20-Sep-13 18:52:17

Thanks for your post - I really enjoyed it and could visualise your little grandson concentrating hard on his project! All mine loved an empty box - I sometimes wondered why I didn't just buy the box and forget the toys.
I think lego remains very popular with all ages and it gives so much scope for imagination.

annodomini Fri 20-Sep-13 19:08:53

My senior GD still enjoyed inventing structures with cardboard boxes when she was 10.

hespian Fri 20-Sep-13 20:02:44

I totally agree. My garage is full of empty boxes and the children are very disappointed if Pops has a clear out. This play is invaluable and long may it last. I seldom (if ever!) buy toys for my grandchildren but I do buy masking tape, sellotape and parcel tape - what fun!!

betsysgran Fri 20-Sep-13 20:15:20

My GD loves climbing into a box and being pushed and pulled along the floor. It's exhausting but great fun.

glassortwo Fri 20-Sep-13 20:50:43

You can spend a fortune on toys but the DGC love nothing better than a cardboard box, or let into the pan cupboard with a wooden spoon, the peg bag, or the Tupperware and their imagination runs riot, by far the best play.

Deedaa Fri 20-Sep-13 22:09:42

You really can't beat a cardboard box! My 8 month old grandson spent a quiet half hour with me this morning taking apart a cardboard box (It belongs to one of his brother's toys - but we won't mention it!) and working out how all the flaps worked.

My mother told me that she used to sit me in the kitchen with a saucepan, a wooden spoon and a jar of lentils.

Lona Fri 20-Sep-13 22:28:48

'Frig magnets and magnetic photo frames keep my little dgd happy for ages, as she moves them from the 'frig to the washing machine and back again.

Hunt Fri 20-Sep-13 23:11:17

mine used to love my button box and would sort them into diferent categories for ages.

Eloethan Fri 20-Sep-13 23:19:00

I sometimes wonder whether the sophistication of toys these days might actually stunt a child's imagination, creativity and ability to amuse her/himself.

Agus Fri 20-Sep-13 23:26:58

Hello everyone, just joined and wanted to share the fun my GD's had with bamboo garden canes.

These were used in the garden to build high jumps and long jumps. As the girls were staying overnight with us the canes were used along with two blankets to make wigwams in the house where both girls slept all night, despite the elder one's collapsing during the night..

A memory maker they still talk about

hummingbird Fri 20-Sep-13 23:41:23

Hello, Agus, and welcome! You're right about making memories. These are the sorts of things I used to do at my grandparents' house, and I remember it with love affection. Exactly the sort of things I want to be remembered by my little'ns for!

Anne58 Fri 20-Sep-13 23:48:59

Old fashioned wooden clothes horses....................

Agus Sat 21-Sep-13 00:12:55

Thank you for the welcome hummingbird.

Eloethan, I find that although my GD's have many toys and gadgets, they get fed up with them very quickly whereas when we get involved with doing something creative, they can spend hours on it and let their imagination run wild and actually prefer this along with the usual colouring in, draughts, snakes and ladders, jigsaws etc.

I used to play for hours with my Granny's National Dried Milk tin full of buttons

kittylester Sat 21-Sep-13 07:16:20

Welcome Agusflowers

DGD1 loves my button jar, while DGS2 will spend ages taking out the Tupperware and the pastry cutters. When that pales he loves putting stuff from the dirty basket into the washer and then out again!

Ariadne Sat 21-Sep-13 08:50:47

I have a "making" box, full of stuff for creative play, and I put all the small cardboard bits onto it (tubes from loo rolls etc) the two middle DGC (girls) love it when they come to stay, and always ask if I have any empty wine boxes. Well, probably.

The youngest two (small boys) like big boxes. And the 15 and 17 year old are happy to supervise. Great.

janeainsworth Sat 21-Sep-13 09:01:59

A sheet over the kitchen table reaching down to the floor makes a fantastic den.

One of the things I remember about my Grandma is the games we played together.
She had a big old house in Old Trafford and in the summer we would go to Blackpool on the bus with a flask of beef tea.
In the winter we would play at 'Going to Pretend Blackpool'.
This involved sitting on the draughty stairs for ages (the bus),observing many things through the pretend window, eventually we would get off, go into the sitting room, and sit on the carpet and have our (real) beef tea.
Then I would go paddling in the pretend sea on the lino.

Apparently my 3-year-old DGD who is American, makes her American Grammy play for hours at going in the pretend aeroplane to see Grandma and Grandad in England!

whenim64 Sat 21-Sep-13 09:20:32

My grandsons make a den on the stairs. My old cottage has a door at the bottom of the stairs, so they like to hide out there, where I can hear them giggling. I give them a throw to hang from the bannister and they raid the sofa for cushions, then entice the dog to join them. Keeps them amused for ages.

shysal Sat 21-Sep-13 09:54:11

Mine loved making dens too. I used to keep remnants of colourful or shiny fabric and accessories for them to wrap into costumes for the imaginary adventures. Hours of fun were had by all. Sadly now that they are older the electronic devices have taken over, although they occasionally revert to earlier childhood when sliding down my steep garden on a 10 metre length of slippery reject parachute fabric. As long as their friends can't see them being un-cool. It has even been known for me to join them, although not good for the knees when slamming into the memory foam at the bottom.

AlieOxon Sat 21-Sep-13 10:37:42

Mine slid down the stairs on one of those blow-up armchairs! - and never managed to kill themselves on the storage heater at the bottom.......

Deedaa Sun 22-Sep-13 21:19:46

I can remember endless fun with bamboo canes. Wigwams, masts for a raft and bows and arrows. And no one ever said "You'll have someone's eye out" although I easily could have done smile

At night I had a den under the dining table where I used to listen to Journey into Space.

Penstemmon Sun 22-Sep-13 21:46:54

8 yr old DGD arrived today with a homemade board-game and homemade die to link to her game. It was a clever game ..she may have a future as an inventor grin

annodomini Sun 22-Sep-13 22:05:10

We made a high-jump stand with garden canes and clothes pegs, Deedaa, as well as all the things you mentioned. And my mum DID say that we'd have someone's eye out. We all still have all our eyes.

gratefulgran54 Tue 29-Oct-13 10:21:23

Imagination sure is alive and well. I have GS4 3 mornings a week at his house from 6.30am to 8.15am (DS has to leave for work before DiL finishes her night-shift).
This morning we have been 'nee-nawing' up and down the hall in our firemans helmets, putting out fires, rescuing Norman, Trevor and a cat from trees (thanks Fireman Sam for the ideas)...doing gymnastics like the chap in Lazy Town...had a 'nic-nic' (picnic) on the lounge floor of tea and hotdogs (playfood)...and curiously, turning the cats play tunnel on it's side, in order to stand in it and be a rocket taking off from a 'dark nunnel'...not sure where that came from and I failed miserably. His 3yr legs fitted nicely, but sadly my size 7 boot got stuck. I was called 'silly Granny' for that one, but he did help me extricate myself once I'd wriggled my foot out of my boot.
We finished off up in his bedroom with cups of water (hot chocolate apparently) having a 'cuppa and chat like Mummy and you Granny', and when Mummy arrived she was handed one too....after we had teased her by hiding under his quilt and pretending we'd run away!
This is quite normal for him, and I love how his mind works, but I'm beginning to realise why I'm so knackered on the days I go straight on to work afterwards smile
Oh, and he also has a pet dragon called Rex (imaginary) who today was very silly and tried to jump over a chair, hurting his leg, so we briefly donned the doctor and nurse outfits to deal with Rex's boo-boo!

Stansgran Tue 29-Oct-13 13:04:13

You are soo lucky