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Homemade Toys

Making homemade toys saves money, reuses resources, teaches kids about how good it feels to make something yourself, and leaves you with a totally cool product! Your responses were awesome, and we hope you all can use some of these ideas to get inspired to make your own toys!

Wilhelmina Indigo Dooley

My mommy made mussels one night and she washed the shells and broke them apart and i painted them white and made them into little ghosts. I took them to show and tell at school and gave one to every one in my class!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was born on hallows eve so I was born a day after halloween. :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) 

Amy Otto

We made an "I spy" bottle that has been used often for 2 years! Just put some little toys or silly shaped beads into an empty plastic water bottle. (I found a set of colorful animal shaped beads for under $1 at my craft store) fill it the rest of the way with rice or bird seed, seal the lid with glue, and attach a list of all the items to find. I took a picture of all the items, printed it, then cut it apart and glued onto an index card for non-readers.

Faith Gates

I like to take empty plastic pretzel containers and cut a coin slot in the lid. I take baby food jar lids, or the metal ends of frozen juice or biscuit tins and use them as "coins." I print round circles on the computer that are the size of the lids and pop them right in. That way I can create my own custom matching game. For the metal ends, I ... Read More draw on them with permanent marker. It's fun to match a lid with the number "2" to a lid that has 2 dots! And the kids learn to put the lids back in the jar through the coin slot as they make each match!

Grace R. Stoddard Herman

Water bottle, fill with white corn syrup and different types of glittery confetti and food coloring, replace the cap and tape it. Instant lava lamp minus the lamp.

Rachel Brown

Who doesn't like moon sand!?

Ingredients:

  • (1 batch)6 cups of play sand (I got a 50lb bag from Lowes, it was $4.99 plus tax)
  • 3 cups of cornstarch (most dollar stores carry it for $1 per box...you'll need around 24 boxes for the whole 50lbs!) 
  • 1 1/2 cups of cold water

Directions

  1. Mix the water and cornstarch together thoroughly, this will take a few minutes to get it nice and smooth.
  2. Gradually mix in the sand, one cup at a time. You'll need to really work it in with your fingers. 
  3. Play with it!
  4. When you're all done, pop it in an airtight container. 
  5. When you next play with it, you'll need to revive it with 2-3 tablespoons of water. Just sprinkle it over and work it in.That's all there is to it. Very cheap, very easy and the kids will get to play with heaps of the stuff. Play sand also comes in different colors, so buy different colored bags to mix things up a little. Have fun!

Christiana 'Skidonenko' Finch

I made my daughter a magnet set. I bought a small metal lunchbox and printed out all the letters, numbers, and shapes put them on foam, then wrapped them in packing tape (for durability) and put a magnet on the back. They are all stored in her lunchbox and she can stick them on the outside to spell things and practice letters, numbers and shapes. I made this for her when she was 1 1/2 and she is now 4 and still loves it! I love it because she learns through play - she loves it because it's one of a kind! 

Kammi Sommerschield Freed

I bought a plain white metal lunchbox tin from a craft store. Off the internet I downloaded free templates for paper dolls and paper doll clothes and hair-do's. I used permanent marker to draw the doll onto both sides of the lid of the lunchbox. I laminated the papers with the clothes/accessories/hairdo's using clear packing tape and then cut out all the pieces. I put put a little magnet on the back of each piece. Everything fits in the tin and it's a portable magnetic paper doll set. Perfect for the car or restaurants.

Do you have great homemade toy ideas?  We'd love to hear them!