My children used to spend hours playing together with their favorite toy. Though most would assume it was a major purchase or some extravagant electronic gadget, it was actually a most simplistic and regular household item … only in mass quantity!

When my daughter was about a year old, a friend from church told me to start saving lids.

I figured she knew what she was talking about so I got a very large plastic barrel and started throwing lids in there. Anytime anything with a lid was emptied I washed the lid thoroughly and threw it in the big plastic barrel. By the time my daughter was 2 I had quite a collection. Lids in every shape, size, and color imaginable. I recall that her favorites were the patchwork jelly lids that were red (strawberry jelly) and purple (grape jelly). I continued to save lids through the birth of my son and well into his toddler years.

The two of them absolutely adored playing with the lids, both inside our home and outside in the yard. They were used for counting, sorting, stacking, creating art work and musical instruments, creating roads for matchbox cars, playing “basketball” by tossing them back into the plastic barrel, and just about anything else they could dream up.

I’m guessing most of you moms have learned the beauty of a group of empty boxes and how much fun children have with those, but there’s the whole issue of storage with boxes. Lids–that is the answer–lots of them; and thankfully they take up little space, but they help foster imagination and creativity in your children.

So moms, don’t become frazzled and “flip your lid” … save them instead. (Okay, that was really bad, but somehow I couldn’t resist, it just had to be said.)