For Parents

For Parents

Orphan Socks

We all have lonely socks lying around who have lost their partners due to the turmoil of the dryer.  With a little creativity, these cast-aside socks can become a go-to toy!  Remember to pay attention to and go along with your child’s play ideas, but feel free to introduce some new ones (like those suggested below) along the way!  For general toy and play guidelines, see here.


Combination Play:

  • Help your toddler fill a long tube sock with rice or dry beans using spoons or Dixie cups. (We recommend spreading an oil cloth/tablecloth on the floor to do this activity on; it makes cleanup a cinch.)  You can use action words like, We’re scooping (or pouring or dumping) the beans. Once you think the socks are full enough, tie them off, and try the next idea.
  • Fill socks full of dry beans or rice, and then tie them off so that you have something resembling a beanbag. Then have fun tossing them into a laundry bin or box.  You can say things such as, It went in. It came out. You tossed it.

Early Symbolic Play:

  • Put the sock over your hand and you have an instant puppet! Decorating the sock is an added bonus, but you animating the sock will be what creates the magic for your toddler.  You can add this puppet to any food play routine you are doing, such as feeding him cuttable food or birthday cake.

Advanced Play:

  • Pretend that your sock puppet is “Dr. Sock.” You can use tape as pretend band aids, talk about where your child or his/her stuffed animals have owies, and then Dr. Sock can put on a band aid and give it a big kiss.  For older toddlers, you can swap the roles and they can pretend to be the doctor.