So, there's this thing called a "recession" going on right now. Yeahhhh, not the most pleasant topic. So instead let's talk about toys!
Well, really we're gonna talk about both. Here's the thing: People don't have a whole lot of money to be throwin' around on say, expensive toys, like hi-tech video game consoles and their equally expensive video games. But they do have enough money to buy something small, yet endlessly entertaining, like a Yo-Yo. And man, are they buying 'em. Yup, just a wheel and a string, and with the free aid of YouTube you can teach yourself how to do "The Tidal Wave" or "Pop the Clutch." (Dudes, you might also want to invest in a, ehem, protective device.)
But Yo-Yo's aren't the only simple (read: cheap) form of entertainment to help you pass the hours. There are plenty of other piggy-bank-friendly ways to have fun. We've picked our faves below, along with some inventive ways to use them:
Sidewalk chalk: In addition to writing summer-themed haikus, you can also create other games like hopscotch or that timeless recess favorite, Four Square. But if you're more inclined to use your chalk for artistic purposes, you can develop the skills to create awesome optical illusions or classic museum masterpieces. About the only thing you can't do with chalk is eat it. Not even the pink one. It doesn't taste good. We've tried.
Slinky: "What walks down stairs alone or in pairs...everyone know's it's Slinky. It's Slinky! It's Slinky! For fun it's a wonderful toy, it's fun for a girl and a boy." (Ha! Now you're gonna have that song stuck in your head for the next 3 days!) So, that's the obvious way to use this coil of metal. But you could also use it as a restraint when you're little sibs are driving you nuts (wrists only!). Or you could study the properties of spirals for your sidewalk chalk M.C. Escher. Or the Slinky could stand in for a phone cord in a production of your original "old-tyme" play. And of course, you could glue one to the bottom of each of your shoes for a little spring in your step (*groan*).
Water balloons: Do we really need to convince you that these are awesome?! Obviously, dropping a water balloon (or ten) from a window on your unsuspecting friend makes for some serious laughs. But water balloons are also a great way to practice juggling before you move up to fire clubs. For the environmentally conscious among you, there are even biodegradable balloons. And of course, don't forget that water balloons make convincing bra stuffers...as long as no one tries to feel you up.
Chess Set: Anyone who plays chess knows that it can be a great time-killer. But if you don't know how to play and you want a game that's a little less mentally rigorous, you could always use the chess board to play checkers, with spare change from the couch cushions standing in for the playing pieces. If you're feeling really creative, you could create a stop-motion video of your chess pieces dancing. And the board is a wonderful shield against rogue unicorns.
What do you think, Sparklers? Any other suggestions for cheap entertainment in these hard times?