Mama Be Present: Trash to Treasure

“JeeWooooooo! It’s dinner tiiiime!” I announced with a paper towel roll one night. 


For the first time in history, something broke his attention from Cocomelon on the first try, then he came RUNNING with the biggest smile. 

As the night went on, it was fun to watch him take a piece of trash and transform it into 1,432 treasures. 👑

From a telescope and a monster tail to a microphone and a gas station pump accessory, the boy found countless new ways to play with none other than a rolled up piece of cardboard. 🤷‍♀️

When it came time to transition to bedtime, brushing teeth + all the things that often feel like *pulling* teeth, this prized paper tube came in handy for me. 💡 

“JeeWoooooo it’s time to use your flossssserrrrrr!”

“JeeWooooo put on your shirt, pleeeeease!” 

He was laughing. He was obeying. This wiggly, giggly, extra slippery, stronger-than-strong-willed child was actually listening to me. 🤯

It’s crazy. Every time I hand this boy a piece of almost-garbage or another empty box, he acts like I’ve given him GOLD. ✨

You should have seen him when daddy was cleaning out the junk drawer. He sat on the floor like he was in the first row of the most riveting show. As David attempted to toss dimes, rubber bands, old pens, and pizza coupons into the trash, our little pirate blocked his shots, sniped the junk, and added to his pile of riches. 

Oh, toddlers. They are master upcyclers! 🪄 

What kinds of rubbish has your kid flipped into something marvelous?

Did that empty Pringles can prompt clever self-play that saved the day? Did that egg carton allow for a learning activity and some special connection to boot? 

Post your gems in the comments! 👇


The next time you’re about to let go of that no-longer-needed thing, remember:

One mom’s trash is another toddler’s treasure!

This post is part of the Mama Be Present series:

A joy-sparking journey + free community for moms who desire simple yet impactful ways to connect more with their little ones.


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