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Packing crates, carpet scraps, and colored tiles make creative toys

April 14, 1980



Junk can be fun for kids to play with. In fact, lots of things that stores and shops throw out can give hours of delight to children. And the bonus is that these toys are free.

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Some tips on where to find usable discards are available from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in a publication called "Beautiful Junk."

Some ideas for creating children's beautiful junk:

Lumber companies give away wood scraps that are suitable for carpentry and art kids can dream up.

Grocery stores are wonderful sources of boxes of every size. Try a large box for a puppet theater, a post office, or store. Cardboard soft-drink cartons are excellent for holding paint containers, and they help prevent spilling at the table.

The telephone company has empty cable spools that are good additions to outside play areas. Small ones make child-sized tables. The publication recommends calling the telephone company to put your name on the waiting list.

Old automobile tires can make playground swings, and old tractor tires become sandboxes. They are found at gas stations or garages.

Print shops have assorted sizes of scrap paper. Colored cardboard tickets, letter sheets, and all sorts of paper for artistic venture are available.

Overseas moving companies will sometimes part with a large, very well-built packing crate, just for the cost of transportation.They make excellent playhouses.

Tile stores frequently have broken patterns of mosaic tile available for a small charge. Children enjoy matching, counting, and creating with these colorful squares.

Carpet scraps and samples make room- size rugs for doll houses. Paint and wallpaper stores offer possibilities also. Use paint color cards for collages and sheets from old wallpaper books for easel painting.

To order a copy of "Beautiful Junk," send $1 to the Consumer Information Center, Dept. 106H, Pueblo, Colo. 81009.