Play time is an essential part of learning for children, and there is no shortage of toys that are created to stimulate their development. However, many are made of materials like plastic that end up as landfill when a child outgrows it, and can also be expensive. To save money and reduce your environmental impact, try making your own toys out of recycled and other household materials. Here are some of our favorite DIY toy ideas:
1. Sensory Boards
Sensory boards are a great way for kids to learn about colors and textures in their environment. Use leftover cardboard for the base and attach pieces of fabric, beads, rocks, or any material that you have around the house to create a diverse sensory experience for your little. Just make sure you supervise play, and ensure that no objects fall off and end up in mouths (for this reason, the larger the materials, the better).
2. Egg carton train
Egg carton trains are very versatile, and can be just as fun to create with your child as it is for them to play with after. Using toilet paper rolls, an egg carton, string, and some paint, you can create a custom mode of transportation for their toys. Use this tutorial here for inspiration!
3. Painted rock pets
There are endless ways to turn ordinary rocks into beautiful, loved toys. Create a town of painted rock pets with rock props, a rock puzzle, and many more! Check out these 25+ DIY rock toy ideas.
4. Cardboard Box Playhouse
If you’re feeling ambitious and have a lot of cardboard boxes laying around, this is a project for you! Create a clubhouse with a few simple materials, and your littles will be entertained with hours of imaginative play. Watch this tutorial for a step by step guide.
Happy play time! Let us know in the comments how these projects turn out for you, and be sure to keep an eye out for more ideas in the future.