Ever since I discovered Pinterest, I've been saving (and insisting that Dan save) every single bottle, box, toilet paper roll, container and jar that comes into our home, because I'm sure that I will need them all for a project at some point. If you come to my house and a few of the rooms are filled with garbage, don't judge. All of the toys in both this post and my first toy post are made from things that you probably already have lying around your house, assuming that you're a garbage hoarder like I am. Keep reading for some easy DIY toys for your baby or toddler.
Straws in a puffs container
Lucas loves puffs, and when I asked Dan not to throw out the puffs containers, he laughed and asked if it was because of Pinterest. I actually didn't have a project in mind yet, but once again, Pinterest did not disappoint. The original idea I saw used a Pringles can, but I already had the puffs container on hand (and we never buy Pringles.) This toy can be completed in about two minutes. For me, it took at least half an hour, but that's because I couldn't find our hole punch and spent 28 minutes hunting for it.
Here's what you'll need:
|Hole punch, straws, puff container. (Also, I used scissors. But you probably know what those look like.)|
|This is what my hand looks like.|
I just gave Lucas this toy for the first time at 15 months, and he became good at it very quickly. The point is just for him to put the straws through the holes and into the container. The container is really light, and I was having to hold it to keep it from falling over while he put the straws in, so before he figured out how to hold it so it didn't fall over, I wedged the bottom of it into a silverware holder to keep it from falling over while he played with it. He also loves just playing with the straws. Obviously.
Ok, so this isn't really a toy, per se, but Lucas loves them. I don't remember exactly how old he was when I made them, but he was less than a year old, and I was amazed (in a way that might only be possible for first-time moms who don't know how quickly babies learn things) at how quickly he was able to point to the right card when I asked him to identify something. I have a bunch of videos of him pointing to various cards while I freak out in the background. I was going to post one here, but I couldn't get it to work, and I already used up my patience quota for the day. So just imagine me squealing way too enthusiastically while Lucas points at a picture of a cat.
I used our own photographs and pictures cut from magazines or printed from the computer for the cards, and I glued them onto card stock and then had them laminated. The card stock that is in the scrapbooking section of a craft store and is cut to be the right size to mount 4x6 photos is perfect. You can see some of the flashcards on the floor in the picture at the top of this blog.
A container and pom poms
This is another embarrassingly simple "toy." it's just the container that his oatmeal comes in and some large pom poms (from the craft store.) That's it. You don't even have to make anything, which is nice if you're not good at making things. Lucas loves to put the pom poms in the top and then dump them back out. Let's all make a pact that when our children grow up, we won't tell them that they primarily played with garbage when they were babies, ok??
|I swear my child wears real clothes sometimes. But he looks pretty dang cute in pajamas.|
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And as we all know, it's the thought that counts.