Last week I wrote a post dismissing the notion that kids were overly expensive and today I’m going to elaborate on this by showing a few DIY toy ideas.
My daughter has many toys, from fancy jumpers to basic blocks. The toys she consistently plays with the most though? Ones that were made for her out of basic household items like pop bottles and baby wipe containers. My sister is an early childhood educator so I have to credit her with these ideas since they’re all ones she makes in the classroom. I don’t know what it is about these particular items but she continues to play with them over her store-bought toys so I thought I would share a few ‘recipes’ for DIY infant toys.
Easy DIY Infant Toys
- Pop Bottle Shakers: Using a small pop (soda) or water bottle (500-750ml size), fill it will whatever you want as long as it makes noise and won’t break! I have one filled with colored pasta noodles, sparkles and sequins and another filled with small wooden alphabet letters (found at the dollar store), sparkles and more sequins of different shapes. If you can fit it in the opening of the bottle, the possibilities are endless!
- Sensory Containers: Made from baby wipe containers, wash and dry the containers and fill them with things the baby can pull out of the opening and vary in textures. Ours is full of fabric swatches. All different textures, from denim to crinoline to super soft baby fleece. This tutorial took it a step further and stitched numbers and letters on the fabrics. You can again fill with small toys they need to dig to get. Baby wipe containers often, but not always, have a wide opening which is safe for little fingers but make sure there are no sharp edges before making this craft.
- Taggies: This is the picture featured at the beginning of the post. I don’t know if there is a correct term for these but it’s a basic fabric square with ribbon loops stitched into it. I don’t know what it is about ribbons/tags but kids LOVE them. I’ve seen taggie books, fancy taggie stuffed animals but the basic square with a few ribbon loops seems to do the trick and if you can stitch a straight line you can easily make one at home.
Other things my daughter loves to do is splash water either in the tub or sometimes I’ll just pour a little water on her high-chair tray and allow her to splash and make a little mess, after all it’s only water and she doesn’t need a lot to entertain her, maybe 1/2 cup. Good ‘ol fashion bubbles are often overlooked. Bubbles have entertained her for what seems like hours.
There are many options out there for making your own toys for kids of all ages, more proof that kids don’t have to be as expensive as some will have you believe. You don’t necessarily need fancy store-bought toys, anything that encourages playing and exploration means you’ve succeeded in the making of your own ‘toys’. Happy crafting!
What other DIY infany toys have you made?