As promised, this second edition of the SAVE SERIES revolves around play time! Whether it be outdoors, indoors, water play or art our kids love to play. Humblet is very tactile and has to feel things for herself. She loves collecting textures of different sorts in her paper cutting box. On the other hand, Singlet is more auditory and prefers to make instruments out of his toys, dancing the moment he hears music.
With every child unique and having individual preferences how do we SAVE at play time?
On The Outdoors
When days are unbearably hot or rainy we have the library to hide in. But on most early mornings and late evenings, you would find us outdoors. Cycling. Swimming. Walking. And all. Like us, our kids love being outdoors. Plus we live next to a park connector, so we really have no reason not to.
Humblet recently mastered two wheels, so we have even more reason to be out nowadays. Chasing otters, hunting squirrels, laughing at the water hens scuttling about. Lots of Chiku flowers and red Jambu in the trees these days, do you know what these fruits are? Well, our kids do. And they love collecting leaves, rolling on grass (that’s really just me) and spotting the sun-tanning monitor lizards.
To love the earth, we believe you start by being in it. We never gave Humblet any lectures on the damage of plastics or global warming mind you. We simply gave her a raincoat to run outside on rainy days and put a sun hat of her head when she when to explore.
Recycling = Toys
In our home, the children usually attack the recycling pile whenever they get the chance. A paper towel roll becomes a kaleidoscope, a tissue box becomes a magic box and so on.
Cans become shakers with some duct tape and beans. Peanut butter and Nutella containers are Singlet’s favourite at the moment, he can open and close the lids hundreds of times without getting bored.
Humblet gets the more sophisticated task of sorting, which she thinks is great fun. Papers. Metals. Plastics. Etc. Her favourite keepsakes are the little bread plastic holders and tiny metal wrappers, except that we have no idea what she is saving those for.
See On Art for more ideas with recycling.
While we cannot stop friends and love ones from showering our children with gifts, we can urge them to SAVE alongside. “Please give us preloved, second-hand or hand-me-downs for birthday presents. Be assured our kids would love and treasure them just as if they were first-hand.”
Such disclaimers are not uncommon and after a few years, they get it. Some even emphasize that their gifts are used, which is great! Duplo, magnatiles, drawing mats, walkers and the list just goes on and on. We love our hand-me-downs. And when our kids outgrow them, they quickly go to another home while they are still in good condition. Less new purchases, less unnecessary waste.
Humblet and Singlet are obsessed with books, give them a pile and I can cook a whole 3-course meal undisturbed. Their dad says its my fault, I read every where and on all my devices. What can I say, a bookworm has to read! Also, we have no television, where else are we meant to get entertainment.
Rather than storing up on bought books, we do weekly trips to the library. Yes WEEKLY. Remember its our main source of entertainment in this home. So the kids each have a library card, myself included, and we usually max out our loans. Roughly 20 to 24 books per trip. Do not worry, there are still plenty of books for every one else.
About the library, we have these rules -
One. Return the books in good or better condition than when we borrowed it
Two. Half of the books must be Mandarin books (we choose for Singlet at the moment)
Three. All the books must be read before we make another trip
So the books go round and round on an endless circuit. The best part is libraries are everywhere in this country and borrowing books are FREE.
We have three main criteria for art works. Are they washable? Reusable? Edible?
Try as we might, we give the kids recycling for canvases. Large sheets of used mah-jong paper, wrapping paper or old album sheets taken apart (that’s the black square sheets posted above). If they use new paper, these art works would usually be gifts or used as wrapping paper for other gifts.
Otherwise, we try to make sure the crayons / paints are washable. Better still if the surface they draw on is reusable. Our mirror is the biggest canvas in the home and boy do they love drawing all over it. Thankfully its write and wipe, plus point is that they think the cleaning up is just as fun! *we use Kitpas crayons in our home*
Edible art is another favourite in our home, especially when dad works nights and I have to do dinner duty alone. We make faces out of vegetables and then eat them. Or random pizza monsters on wraps or bread. Humblet helps out in the kitchen whenever possible, cutting and peeling etc. Sometimes she comes up with her own art, like laying out eggshells and calling it a dinosaur lair.
These are the highlights of play time for our #savemoneywhilesavingtheearth series. As we learn from others, we apply more and more new ways. We are all on different points of this journey together. Why not begin your journey today?
Share with us what you do to save for play time!