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Making Your Own Toys

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 21 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Toys Child Make Your Own Toys Making

If the number of toy safety recalls is starting to worry you, and the pennies are also getting scarce, it can seem as if the options for children’s toys are few and far between. With a bit of creativity though, you can make toys with and for your kids that they’ll probably appreciate just as much as an expensive must-have. After all, haven’t we all seen the appeal of the toy’s packaging to a small child – and marvelled at the way they can make a fairyland castle out of a large box?

Advantages of Making Your Own Toys

Making toys isn’t a new thing – decades ago, children didn’t expect brand new shiny shop-bought toys every Christmas and birthday, although they might have hankered after them. They expected to have to make do, but enjoyed the fun of making things for themselves. In today’s throwaway world, most children (and adults) have forgotten how to mend and repair their toys, opting instead to replace and buy new. Go back a few decades though, and homemade toys like dolls and puzzles were just as much fun to play with. And they don’t need batteries, or complicated instruction manuals!

Where to Find Ideas to Make Your Own Toys

Jump forward to the 21st century and you simply need to type ‘make your own toys’ into a search engine to find hundreds of ideas. There’s bound to be something to suit a child of any age group, with just a little careful searching.

A lot of the instructions on how to make your own toys are deliberately simple, so that kids can be involved in creating their very own toy box masterpieces.

A few ideas to get you started:

  • Skipping ropes- just get hold of a length of clothes line and tie knots in the ends as handles. Most craft shops sell big wooden beads which you can paint and thread onto the rope at both ends.
  • Puzzles – these are a bit harder and definitely require adult supervision! Get some plywood and cut a square shape – or any shape that takes your fancy. Get the kids to paint their own picture on it, or use it as a collage if they prefer, cutting out pictures and sticking them to the wood. Once it’s dry, cut picture into shapes using a jig saw. Coat each piece with a child safe varnish.
  • Marbles – you can make a set of marbles using craft clay. Decorate them, use different colours and have fun making them all unique.
  • Card Games - get hold of some card, cut it into equal sized pieces and stick pictures on each card. You could use cartoon characters or celebrities, or make it educational and get the children to match up mother and baby animals, or items that go together like knife and fork, stamp and envelope. Laminate them afterwards and they’ll last for a while.
  • Fishing Game –draw some fish onto a piece of card and laminate them. Cut them out and attach paper clips to their mouth area. Then make fishing rods out of pieces of thin wood, and attach a piece of string and a magnet. Hours of fun! Be careful if you’re making these for very young children, and make sure the magnet isn’t too small – avoid the risk of swallowing a magnet and/or choking on it..
  • A swing – if you have a garden and an available tree, just tie a rope from a sturdy branch, or use two with a sanded plank of wood, and make a makeshift swing.
These are all very basic ideas and with a little imagination and a fee trips to a craft shop, you and the children will be able to come up with many creative ideas .

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