Junk: The Secret Ingredient of our little Inventors!

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk – Thomas A Edison

When I recently heard this quote, I thought Mr. Edison would have been like my son, collecting junk in childhood 😆 Well, ask me who collects more junk in my house – the boy or the mom? I promise myself not to be silly again to keep aside the wheels of a broken toy car another time, foreseeing its potential use for one day which never came, only to promise it every other time. And now when my little boy wants to keep aside, the straws of milkshake cartons, the bottle caps, the ice creams cups, I cannot but laugh to myself thinking of from where he got those junk genes!

From 1st to 30th April, I will be writing one post a day on The Things that really matter to Children. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the complete list of posts in the series.

J for Junk: The Secret Ingredient of our little Inventors!

I’ve covered a similar post in the series about collectibles. I am making an exclusive post on junk today for a reason. You see, collectibles are different from junk, my son says 🙂 Collectibles are things you like to have a collection of. You may or may not use them for something. You simply like to see its number increasing. But junk is different. Junk could be only one number per item and you save it because it is alluring in such a way that you are going to use it for some DIY in the future. Junk need not look pleasant or meaningful at the moment like a collectible but it is valuable indeed.

Well, that’s my boy’s explanation of collectibles and junk – to convince his mom to put something in his junk drawer instead of the trash bin! Yeah, we have a HUGE junk drawer at home – which occupies more space than all of his toy cars and trucks!

So, when I heard this quote, Mr.Edison convinced me to respect my son’s pile of junk things, and to refrain another time from planning to clear his junk drawer, because I witness every other day how junk can lead to invention. Here’s a worn-out battery-operated tea light he loved to put in his junk drawer. One day, when he built a cardboard house, he thought the on/off switch in it will be a fantastic addition to his house.

cardboard house

I was about to throw this plastic handle that was along with a cover. When his eyes fell on it, yes, it went to the junk drawer. And one day, when he wanted to make a shield for the pretend play warrior game, he used it as a holder of the shield.

use of junk in kids playtime

Can you guess what the next junk item in the discussion is? A fruit juice carton. He has an affinity for the silver foil that is coated on the insides of the juice cartons. I have no clue when it got into the junk drawer. Yes, for sure it was not washed 🙄 So one day, when he took it out to give a glossy finish to another of his cardboard house, I caught him red-handed and had to do the washing before his construction work.

kids diy cardboard house

This list is long. I don’t have pictures of other different inventions he had come up using his junk pile. I remember he tried to make a catapult with some worn-out stuff, train bogie connectors with strings and so on.

Junk matters! If we believe in the inventions it can shower and in the imagination it can explode in our little one’s brains!

Do you have a junk drawer in your place too? What cute inventions do you remember your kids made with their favourite junk stuff? Share in the comments. There’s a mom waiting across miles to listen to the stories of your little inventors.

List of posts in the Series

The Art of Emphasizing Art to Children

Boredom in Children: How we handle a bored Child matters!

Children’s Collectibles: How Collectibles matter to Children!

DIY: How Do-It-Yourself matters to Children?

Experience Vs. Education: What do you think matters to Children?

Family Time: What it means to Children, matters!

Gender Identity and Roles: How Children perceive being a Boy or a Girl

Humour: Seeing Humour in Children – where it belongs to!

Independent Play: Allowing Children to do their Work

Junk: The Secret Ingredient of our Little Inventors!

#AtoZchallenge #BlogchatterAtoZ

Header Image Courtesy – Wonder and Company

11 Replies to “Junk: The Secret Ingredient of our little Inventors!”

  1. Hi Nandini, Am so happy to stop by today at ur blog… N i so agree with what you mentioned… My child 5 is so enthusiastic about every box (courier or otherwise) which comes home… He wants to be the first one to pick it and say can i take this box… n then uses it for his creative outflow… I have a post on unstructured Play in kids that relates to this so beautifully…
    Enjoyed reading… ! Do drop in at my blog @ https://www.cafewhiz.com . i am sure you would like reading through it as well….i am particpating in A2Z challenge too…

    1. Hi Kushal, yes, what’s inside the courier box is attractive only until it is opened or for a few minutes after opening. Then, it comes to the cardboard box. We need to thank Amazon for indirectly helping our children’s playtime 🙂 I remember visiting your sense of humour post as I had chosen the same topic for the alphabet 🙂 Thanks for dropping by my blog, Kushal!

  2. You kid is exploring. He has the potential to be Edison. By the way, that plastic handle is no junk. It is an useful tool to make something good for future of mankind. Enjoy childhood as long as you can.

  3. Than white plastic handle is destined to be used for some earth shattering invention. This is no junk. Do you know how difficult to get it custom made. Enjoy childhood, as long as it lasts. Things that are important to them are so different when looked with adult eyes.

    1. The white plastic handle, yes, yes, it is! Sometimes I learn recycling from my son more than he learns from me. Thank you ji, I’ve really never thought about the difficulty behind the plastic handle’s making. Now, I think I see it.

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