Forget the uninspired garbage that they're trying to sell your kids and let imagination rule! The Collecto-O-Rama toy below was created out of discarded plastic packaging and tiny biolab bottles (both recycled and snagged for pennies at the Depot for Creative Reuse in Oakland). Add collage and a few creative ideas and you've got a toy that will keep children of all ages absorbed for a long, long time.
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Some text excerpts from the package:
The craze that is sweeping Asia...
Remember Kids: Most is Best!!
Water: Conduct a What the Bleep Do We Know experiment. Label little bottles of water with words like “peace,” “fear,” “hate,” “love,” etc., and look at and think about the label and water inside several times a day.
Germs: Every time you or someone else is sick, collect spit in a bottle. Label it and list symptoms and legend, e.g., “Flu of 2006.”
Tears: Keep a bottle with you, collect your own tears when you cry; label the moment.
Dust: From famous places like Versailles, the White House, etc.
Ashes: Collect the cremated remains of different people and pets, or discombobulate the ashes of a single person into multiple bottles.
DNA: Collect hair, fingernails, eyelashes, etc., of loved ones to keep the possibility of future cloning open.