Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fun And Inexpensive Toys You Can Make At Home

"Mom, buy me that!"

I can't imagine that any parent with children old enough to talk hasn't heard these words when they go into a store.  I know I used them when I was growing up! There are several reasons parents don't buy every toy their children ask for-they don't want their children to become spoiled, the toy can easily be broken or used to annoy people, they are too expensive, lack of creativity, etc. While I can't help you with the first two, I can give you ideas of how to make some of your children's favorite toys at home. If you take a look at many of them, they are actually pretty simple and can be made from things you probably already have around your house. Also, you won't have to worry about any of them being recalled for safety reasons! Here are a few ideas.

For instance, take finger paints. These aren't usually expensive, but they can be very messy! Instead of going out to buy finger paints, make your own at home with shaving cream or aerosol whipped cream. Just take a patch of aluminum foil and put a dollop in the middle.  Then, add food coloring. If you want, you can let your kids mix the colors to make their own shades.  Now they can create whatever sort of pictures they want! It dries into sort of a 'gummy' substance, making it much easier to clean up after than traditional finger paints! Plus, if you use whipped cream, it's pretty tasty!

If you have empty cans of baby formula, frosting or other thick cardboard containers, you can make a pair a stilts. Make two holes of even height on each side. Now, string rope or yarn through the holes to make 'handles'. If you want, color or glue things onto the cans to make them look like 'dinosaur feet'. These provide a full-body 'workout', as well as helping them learn coordination skills! This is best for kids under 40 pounds because the cans might not be able to withstand higher weights.

For an 'outside toy', there isn't a child anywhere who doesn't love bubbles. They usually aren't expensive, but it's pretty easy for a kid to lose (or eat!) the wands. However, you can easily make your own 'bubble wands' that yield much bigger bubbles and are much less likely to be chewed on! Just take a stick up off of the ground with a 'knot' or branch and tie on both ends of a long string to make a 'loop'. Yarn or twine will do. Then, make 'suds' with your dishwashing liquid in a large bowl or Tupperware container, dip the loop completely into the solution, and swing your arm in the air very slowly. This will make a huge bubble that will amaze little children and be fun for pets to chase! This toy also fun for older kids or adults.

As you can see, there are several ways you can make toys at home that save money and encourage your children's creativity. Making crafts like this is also a good way of 'bonding' with your kids and can be fun for the whole family. Enjoy!

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