Our girls have been finding imaginative ways to play without purpose-built toys. When we were visiting a park with leafy maple trees, Brioni set up a shop.

Calista and Brioni playing
Brioni was the shopkeeper, and Calista was her willing customer.

Aisha and Brioni playing
When the girls decided they wanted more stock in their shop, they used sticks to knock down the spiky fruit of the liquidamber maple tree.

Aisha playing
The hard fruits were perfect shop items — they looked like lollies!

Calista playing
Meanwhile, Calista wandered to a patch of weeds to pick her own money.

Playing
Some random items of rubbish strewn around the park were added to the collection of maple leaves and fruit.

Playing
"I'll taste this lolly that I've just bought," thinks Calista.

Delaney, 1yo, January 2011
While her sisters are playing shop, Delaney is confined to the top of a picnic table so she doesn't crawl in and mess up the arrangement.