Monday, March 4, 2013

Sand and mudpie kitchen for outside play

I buy all our outside toys--for our sandbox, waterplay, and mudpie kitchen secondhand.  My favorite spots are Goodwills and Salvation Army, where you can get the greatest stuff at a killer price.

Here are some of the items I never pass up:
-metal bread pans
-metal sifter (this is actually my old broken one, but I see them there for a buck all the time!)
-metal teapots (I can NEVER pass one up....We have two inside, one outside and I give remainers as gifts to other outside-loving birthday kids...)
-tin dishes
-cheese grater (.49!)
-bamboo or wooden utensils (.29!)
-wooden dishes
-random utensils (.49!)
-cast iron pans
-cake pans
-muffin tins

All of these items are so much more appealing than the standard plastic items you buy at the dollar store  or big box stores--I know this for a fact, because we have some of the plastic stuff, and visiting kiddos ALWAYS choose the real, thrift-store purchased stuff over the plastic.  Plus buying used items means you don't create a market for MORE plastic consumption on this planet and your money spent at the thrift store goes to a good cause.  You can get the same amount of items (if not more!) for the same amount of money.  Try it!!  I dare ya! 
I do try to look for items that won't rust--so tin or stainless.  It's humid here in Houston and wet and so stuff rusts easily.  I do try and stay away from plastic, and I choose to incorporate a few pieces of breakable dishes...I believe it's important to teach children to handle items carefully...and for them to know how to respond if something DOES get broken.  So we do have some glass bottles, a glass coffee pot, etc.  

I also have a bunch of silverware in our mudpie kitchen--mine came from hand-me-downs, but you can get GREAT deals at the thrift store.  
 Also the "real stuff" typically has many more uses than plastic items and stands up to wear better.  Look at my girl lovin' her cheese grater to break up pieces of tree bark for some concoction she's cooking....
So this spring as you replenish your outside toys, I challenge you to decide on the amount you'd spend at the dollar store and head to a thrift store instead, and see what you can get for your $$$!