Monday, March 5, 2012

Tractor Playground

Everyone knows it's true. 
No matter how much you spend on a toy, half the time the child is more interested in the cardboard box packaging.  Don't get me wrong, Barrett does love flashing lights on fire engines and sound effects on tractors, but sometime it is the little things that keep them capitvated for hours. 

For us, that little thing is our new "tractor playground."

Yep.  That's dried lentil beans you see as the dirt.  I just opened the bag of beans, dumped it in the bottom of a big flat tupperware, and added a few small trucks that Santa brought in Barrett's stocking.  Voila.

He will sit quietly and play with it for hours

He scoops up the little beans with the excavator, loads them in the dump truck, and then flattens it all back out with the steam roller.  Hours of fun, no exaggeration.

Although, I will admit that it is a double-edged sword.  The first night we unveiled tractor playground, he got so upset when it was time to go to bed and part with beloved tractor playground until morning.  Before either of us could stop him, he ran into his room and poured tractor playground into his crib, presumably so he could continue playing. 
Yeah, that wasn't a mess at all. 
Dried lentil beans everywhere.


  1. I'm sorry...did you say HOURS? The only thing I can get Beau to do for hours is run around, arms flaying and screaming like a banshee. But really, who wants to do that for hours?
    Hmmm...maybe I should find my own magic beans...

    1. I should clarify -- not hours in a single setting. Hours, cumulatively. Maybe 30m at a time? But hey, I'll take it!

  2. We totally copied this idea today! Nathan LOVED it and played for at least half an hour. Andrew also enjoyed it immensely. Only difference, after a few minutes of playing Andrew decided that it was much more fun to throw the lentil beans on the floor than play with them in the box. Silly kid!

  3. Yay!! I'm so glad the magic beans worked for you too! We have the same problem with Charlotte preferring to throw the beans on the floor (in the air...anywhere but in the tupperware). So....I usually let Barrett play with it when he's sitting in the highchair. That way, Charlotte can't get to it. So far, she hasn't seemed mind being let out of the tractor fun and Barrett is loving it~ I'm wondering if it is too risky to bring tractor playground to a restaurant to entertain him while we tried to eat. It would be great until he spilled a thousand beans all over the floor...