As parents, we know toy costs can build up! But thankfully, you can make educational DIY toys from home materials! These can be just as effective as keeping kids busy with store-bought toys. And in some cases, they can be made with your child as an activity, for even more creative fun. You may have thought of doing this before, but never got around to it. Well, today we’re going to show you some inspirational ideas to get your homemade toy collection going!
Here are some ideas we found:
One: Make DIY portable play tins
When you’re on the go, keeping the kids busy with something fun and educational can be a relief. This is especially during ‘boring’ adult events, like running errands or sit-down restaurant dinners. So, these DIY playsets, made with old mint tins, can be your go-to distraction. All the while you can ensure the kids are still doing something productive, like learning about magnets, strategizing for tic-tac-toe or configuring lego designs. That is, before they start climbing under tables and pull each other’s hair!
Two: Make DIY slime toys for science education and oozy fun
This can be just as much of a home science experiment as a DIY educational toy. Many kids will enjoy the sensation of slime, and its unique characteristics that can be described best by what’s it’s called: slimey! Keep this one in the kitchen, and set some boundaries for the kids who may want to take slime to their beds or in the living room!
See this video by Buzzfeed on multiple slime projects you can make at home.
Three: Make homemade bean bags with numbers and letters
If you’ve got some leftover fabric from a sewing project, you can make little bean bags for kids. They are fun to throw around, and of course you can make up games with them (which are beneficial for development in themselves). To get a little more educational value out of the homemade bean bags, sew or paint letters and numbers on them. Or hey, how about animal silhouettes, or geometric shapes? Kids can have fun organizing and naming them. Here are instructions using number-decorated bean bags.
Four: Paint rocks for playing games with lines
Remember that with kids, simplicity is key. With these line-art rocks, you and your child can make configurations that ‘draw’ your ‘lines’ in any direction you want. They look therapeutic for adults too, actually. Aside from being just down right creative, the author who blogged the idea describes how these painted rocks, with their straight lines and curvy lines, can go a step further to help teach kids handwriting. Kids can learn sorting, and then learn to recognize which letters or numbers have straight lines, versus curved lines.
Five: Make sidewalk foamy paint in a bottle
Got some extra squeeze bottles laying around? Keep the kids busy outdoors with foamy, colourful wash-away paint. The ‘educational’ inclusion here isn’t that sophisticated, though. Kids can do a mini science experiment, and then practice their drawing and writing outside, or maybe in the bath. Here are the instructions.
Six: Create tin can or plastic container bowling pins
Spray paint some plastic containers or canned food tins and stack them up however you want. Then knock ‘em down with a ball. Kids can learn the game of bowling, counting and keeping score. Here is one way to do it.
Seven: Make kids their own lava lamp out of old bottles
With this project, all you need is an old transparent plastic bottle, plus a few other household ingredients. Kids can watch the science of alka seltzer tablets create a lava lamp in some water and oil. The more tablets they add, the more bubblies they get! Add a little water proof lamp (optional) and they can make it glow in the dark too! Here are the instructions.
Eight: Make an “alphabet monster” from bottle caps and a diaper wipes box
This is a great one from wecarechildren.org: an “alphabet monster.” Use old bottle cap lids (the twisty kinds, not the sharp pointy ones), to decorate with letters. The opening of the diaper wipes box becomes the ‘mouth’ of the monster. Kiddos can practice ‘feeding’ in the letters, in sequence, to learn their alphabet!
Homemade, educational DIY toys can be just as fun as store-bought ones!
As you can see from the above ideas, making toys out of homemade materials can be just as effective as buying them from the store. Not only that, with many of these, kids can be part of the process of creating their own DIY toys. They can pick their colours, choose their games, and learn how the pieces or ingredients come together to make something new. And, there are plenty more on the web if you dig deep enough!
Enjoy the fun! And the savings, of course!
See related posts:
- Educational toys for early childhood development
- Why sensory development skills are important at daycare
- 4 Easy science experiments for toddlers and preschoolers, and more