I’ve recently started sharing with you here my experiences as a new mother, from a frugal perspective. In this post I will show you how to make beautiful DIY toys for your little ones that will (hopefully!) keep them occupied and busy. They all have an educational sensory benefit to them that will stimulate your baby’s minds. Watching your baby get excited about a toy YOU made especially for her creates a great bonding experience for you both. Plus, they are all cheap and easy to make! I’ve tried them all with my 8 month old and they have been a huge success.
My son loves to roll things around. After observing me drinking one day from a plastic bottle, his hands instantly reached out to grab it and he started playing with it on the floor. Flipping it, rolling it, squeezing it…I watched on with amazement. When he was done I went to my crafts cabinet, found some paint, glitter and colored cotton balls, and added them into the bottle. I also put in some quinoa that I found (shamefully) in my kitchen cabinet long after it’s expiration date. I taped the cork to the bottle with lots of masking tape. It literally took me 5 minutes to complete and baby was happy.
As your baby grows and learns different things you can also create sensory bottles with different themes. For example, ABC themed sensory bottles with the letters of the alphabet in the water. Or an ocean themed sensory bottle for those of us who live near the beach, equipped with seashells and sand from the seashore.
This is another cool toy that my son loves to explore. As instructed by this blog post, I took a regular cardboard box, pierced holes in it and tied ribbons and different kinds of threads from all shapes and sizes between the holes. The outcome? A stimulating toy that exposes your baby to different types of textures and colors, and helps develop her fine motor skills.
Much of raising and playing with kids is about recreating the magic of our own childhood. Those of us who were born in the eighties surely remember creating shoebox dioramas for our science class projects. Pick out a theme your child is into and create a magical world for him with just a shoebox, paper, scissors, glue, and your artistic ability. If you really want to go all out (and have the time for it between changing nappies feedings), why not create a shoebox diorama doll house by taping a few shobox dioramas together, each one representing a different room in the house? You can buy the furniture for the doll house in any dollar shop and you will have a place to store it too!
What better use for old baby wipe containers than this? This talented blogger picked out different floor samples (you can add synthetic grass as well), cut out the exact measurements and added them to the board so that the baby wipe containers’ lids concealed them. It looks like her daughter had a lot of fun exploring the different textures and surprising herself with whichever one peeped out at her from underneath the different lids. This has definitely been a favorite with my son, and her amazing blog is filled with great ideas
Paper Towel Rolls, Cardboard boxes and Egg Carton Crafts
Waldorf and monessori institutes greatly encourage the use of recyclable and natural materials for toddlers. With some imagination, you can easily craft a toy yourself with paper towel rolls and egg carton crafts. Here are some ideas to inspire you!
What DIY crafts have been a success with your children? We’d love to know!