When I was a kid, some of my favorite 'toys' were empty refrigerator boxes we neighborhood kids would salvage from the back of an appliance store -- these were taken in the days before recycling was even a far-off dream -- and then use to slide down the dry grassy hill across the street from my house. After a few sluggish slides, the grass would be beaten down enough that it became slick as ice and we'd spend hours tumbling down the hill like a passel of puppies.
My grandsons have decided that two old Lays' Stax chip containers are their favorite toys of choice lately. Dylan discovered a bag of brightly colored straws I had crammed in the back of a kitchen drawer and he and Cooper fill the containers with these straws, then dump them out, over and over thruout the day. Dylan loves to 'rain' the straws over his head. Grandma ends up gathering 42 straws at the end of each day but that's ok. Watching their enjoyment with this cheap entertainment does my heart good.
Dylan just had his 3rd birthday. I shudder to think how much was spent on 'real' toys. A lot. And they don't get near the attention as these dollar packages of Stax and straws do. There's a lesson to learn here, isn't there?