Toys are a part of every child’s experience during their youngest years. For children, toys help them stay active, develop necessary special skills and just have fun – something that’s important to any child’s overall happiness.
However, for parents, toys can be incredibly expensive, and finding good ones that will last, especially in the hands of a small child, can be really difficult. If you’re tired of spending a fortune on toys or just looking for some unique ones for your child, making your own might be the answer.
Whether you’re looking for fun toys or toys to help your children learn, there are a variety of different cost-effective toys you can make at home. You can even make some of them with your child.
Working with felt is incredibly easy, and a ream of felt costs next to nothing– a yard of it usually costs less than $5 and smaller squares of felt are available for mere cents. One of the simplest ways to use felt to make toys – one you can even do with your kids – is to simply use colored felt and cotton or standard foam stuffing to make balls and other shaped toys.
Putting them together is very simple and all you need is the felt, the stuffing and some glue to seal the toy. Best of all, you can make an entire activity out of making different toys with your child, and it won’t cost you more than a few dollars.
The stuff you get at the store is fun for kids, but it’s pretty expensive and it needs to be tossed into the trash after a while so it doesn’t build up bacteria; however, you can make your own playdough with ingredients you likely already have in your own pantry.
To mix your own playdough, combine a cup of water with a tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1/2 cup salt and just a little more than a tablespoon of cream of tartar.
1) Combine the mixture in a frying pan and heat it until warm.
2) Add 1 cup of all-purpose flour and knead until smooth. Add a small amount of food coloring tempera powder to make the desired color.
When the playdough isn’t being used, make sure you store each color in an airtight container, such as acrylic bins or candy jars, and make sure you whip up a new batch every few months.
Paper Bag Kites
Making a kite from a decorative paper bag might sound difficult, but it’s actually relatively easy, and you can even turn this into as an activity for older children. If you are making a paper kite with younger children, be sure to have this activity supervised by an adult as the instructions can be slightly more complicated.
Children require toys to learn and develop all sorts of skills. Being involved in the making of their own toys can help develop spatial organization skills and creativity, and the process can save parents a lot of money over buying packaged toys.
About the author:
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer and mother of three in Southern California. She loves making all kinds of crafts with her children, regardless of how messy it gets!
Let us know what kids toys you like to make, and what online information is useful to you for doing this?