Children are fascinated by boxes of odds and ends. They always find something to covet and use in their play. It’s why we say children don’t really need any toys.
Some useful things to keep in an old shoebox include (but are never, ever limited to): Paper clips, magnets, bulldog clips, straws, pipe cleaners, buttons, thread, tiddliwinks, hair grips and clips, corks, sponges, door hinges, old keys, empty matchboxes.
A box full of natural materials, like sticks, leaves, feathers, pebbles, conkers, shells and acorns is also very handy. Children will find a way to include these in almost any game they play.
Give them enough time and space – and access to some interesting materials – and children will make their own fun.