Let me preface this by saying that I am not a crafty mom. Far from it. In fact, if it involves for than 5 steps, I’m not doing it. That goes for cooking, too, but that’s another story.
That being said, I have managed to make a few toys for Ms B. And if I can do it, anyone can do it. Here are some of the ones that passed her approval (i.e. she used them):
1. Ball pit- let’s start with her favorite. I threw this together when she was 11 months old and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t do it sooner. I bought a $10 hard plastic pool at toys r us, and a bag of balls. Throw the balls in the pit and you’re done!
2. Glitter bottles- Ms B was amazed by these when she was a baby, and as a toddler she likes to roll them around herself. Take a water bottle, add glitter. Done. Now I’m told you can add glue to slow it down, but I haven’t tried that yet…
3. Sensory bag- I found this one on Pinterest and thankfully it wasn’t the all too common Pinterest fail. Mine involved a ziploc bag, hair gel, glitter and other sparkly stuff, and colorful duct tape. Put the ingredients in the bag, seal the bag, then cover all edges with duct tape for reinforcement. It’s important to note that you need to monitor the bag closely as if it leaks it’s immediately trash!
4. Bubbles- kids of all ages love bubbles, my husband and I included. Did you know you can make your own bubble solution? I bought a couple bubble wand/sets from Walmart, and refill them with homemade solution. The glycerin is the key ingredient.
5. Play doh- Ms B is stil in the “everything goes in my mouth for just a little taste” phase (dear God when will it end?) and just based on the smell and shelf life of store Play Doh, I knew that wasn’t going anywhere near my kids mouth. You can make your own, though, pretty easily. I know there are recipes out there with conditioner to make it soft, but again, this is going in my kids mouth… So no.
6. Felt board- last Christmas I cut a tree out of green felt, stuck it to the wall with some pins (out of her reach of course), and cut out shapes or various sizes from random searches of felt. You can get rolls of felt at Walmart or any craft store, and Walmart also sells felt swatches (12×12) for under a dollar. This article has a few more steps than I took, but it’s the same theme.