17 July 2008

Family camping hack: Old toys = camping toys

Another great camping tip from Tim:

On a recent church retreat, we were amazed when a couple of families pulled out bins of old toys that managed to entertain our kids for hours. The parents explained that these were mostly toys that were missing parts and might have otherwise been thrown away. Since the kids only saw them a couple of times a year, they seemed like new, but the parents didn't have to worry too much about breaking, losing or dirtying anything nicer. Before a recent trip, we made our own bin consisting of Happy Meal toys, old Matchbox cars picked up at a yard sale, vinyl blocks, party bead necklaces and some crayons, books and Play-Doh in case of rain.

Related:
Family camping tips? Send 'em in! (Good tips in the comments of this post)
More family camping tips at Parent Hacks

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We're flying to the midwest tonight and that's our plan with toys, too. If something gets left on a plane there will be few tears. We got books from the $1 section at Target for the trip with the same idea. If they don't last, we're not out much.

When my first son was a train-crazed toddler, we ended up with several non-compatible train sets. I quickly took one that had no tracks with it and began calling them our "travel trains". I take them out for vacations only, making their novelty their fun.

We accidentally discovered this hack when my husband grabbed a bag of neglected baby toys out of our garage and threw them in our camper, thinking I had packed them for our trip. I had bagged them to give to Goodwill, but my boys at 2 and 5 still had a blast with them, so they earned a second chance...

We accidentally discovered this hack when my husband grabbed a bag of neglected baby toys out of our garage and threw them in our camper, thinking I had packed them for our trip. I had bagged them to give to Goodwill, but my boys at 2 and 5 still had a blast with them, so they earned a second chance...

"Camping-only" toys are a real hit with our kids (7, 7 & 3). We try to camp once a month, which seems to keep the toys special in their eyes and they don't outgrow them too fast.

Roy

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