It’s a required ingredient for Stickball, works really well as a poker, digger and reach-extender. Stick comes in an almost bewildering variety of sizes and shapes.
- Pro: Finally, something that does grow on trees.
- Con: You could put someone’s eye out.
Box also comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. A large Box can be used as a fort or house and the smaller Box can be used to hide away a special treasure. Got a Stick? Use it as an oar and Box becomes a boat.
- Pro: Best celebrity endorsement: Calvin & Hobbes.
- Con: Paradox: what do you put Box in when you’re done playing with it?
The most obvious use of String is tying things together. You can use it to hang things from doorknobs or tie siblings to chairs or make leashes. Use String with two Cans for a telephone, or with Stick to make a fishing pole.
- Pro: It really ties everything together.
- Con: There’s a reason “no strings attached” is a benefit.
- Cardboard Tube
They come free with a roll of paper towels and other products but you have to wait until you get to the end of the roll before you can finally claim the toy.
- Pro: Comes free with purchase of toilet paper, paper towels, and wrapping paper.
- Con: Doesn’t hold up to enthusiastic play.
When I was a kid one of my favorite things to play with was Dirt. It’s even sort of edible (in the way that Play-doh and crayons are edible). But some studies have shown that kids who play with Dirt have stronger immune systems than those who don’t.
- Pro: Cheap as dirt.
- Con: Dirty.
Water is another classic. Heck, it’s older than Dirt and combining the two gives you Mud, another great toy.
- Pro: Need some fun? Just add — you guessed it — Water.
- Con: Ironically, you use it to clean, but it needs to be cleaned up.
Bubble Wrap once it’s popped, it loses most of its charm
Rock can also do quite a bit more damage
Ball you can make a Ball out of String, but you can’t really make a String out of Ball
Tape kids get attached to it