I think one of the most fun parts of being a parent is watching your child play. Whether it’s building a city with blocks, or using their imagination to pretend they are captains of a ship sailing on the sea and trying to get away from sea monsters, it is just so amazing to watch their little minds work.
Of course, open-ended toys that allow for all different kinds of fun and imaginative play are a better option than toys that do most of the playing for the child.
One great way to provide fun open-ended toys for your kids is to make them yourself, from items you may already have sitting around your house.
As a part of our No TV Month Challenge, I want to try to make a few new toys for my kids to play with and enjoy, so I’ve been gathering some ideas and inspiration.
Here are 17 great ideas for homemade toys for toddlers:
Chalkboard Paint Blocks 1 of 17Painting basic wood blocks with chalkboard paint will provide endless fun and activities for your little one!
Inspiration for Chalkboard Paint Blocks
Fine Motor Skill Activity Board 2 of 17This activity board would require a little more time and skill to create, but can you imagine the hours of activity that it would provide for a curious toddler? So awesome!
Inspiration for Fine Motor Skill Activity Board
Q-tip Bow and Arrows 3 of 17All you need to make this fun little toy is a popsicle stick, fishing line or floss, and q-tips. Your little archer will love this.
Instructions for Q-tip Bow and Arrows
Plastic Bottle Bowling Set 4 of 17Save money and save the planet by recycling plastic bottles into a colorful homemade bowling set for your kids.
Instructions for making Plastic Bottle Bowling Set
Easy Car Track 5 of 17I found this easy and fun idea on Pinterest, just use masking tape to make a car track around the room. Tons of fun!
Inspiration for Easy Car Track
Wine Cork Boats 6 of 17Even if the weather is not nice enough to actually sail these cute wine cork boats in a river or stream, I think the bathtub would work just as well!
Instructions for Wine Cork Boats
DIY Play Kitchen 7 of 17I have seen lots of amazing pictures of DIY play kitchens from cast-off pieces of furniture and I think my kids would like this so much more than their little plastic kitchen. Now I just need to find an old TV cabinet and get hubs on board with the project!
Inspiration for DIY Play Kitchen
DIY Rocket Jet Pack 8 of 17This is such a perfect action pack for a little guy (or girl) who wants to pretend they can zoom themselves to the moon. Make them this jet pack and let their imagination soar!
Instructions for DIY Rocket Jet Pack
Jumping Cups 9 of 17So simple, but oh so fun, these jumping cups are easy to make with items you probably have already sitting around your house.
Instructions for Jumping Cups
DIY Reading Tent 10 of 17What little kid wouldn't love their very own hide-away tent? With easy to follow instructions, you can have this tent ready for your child in an hour or less.
Instructions for DIY Reading Tent
Clothespin Fairy Dolls 11 of 17These fairy dolls are so, so cute! I know my daughter would love them, and I could probably come up with an idea for some for my son. Pirate, maybe?
Instructions for Clothespin Fairy Doll
Mud Pie Kitchen 12 of 17I cannot wait until the weather is nice enough outside to set up a Mud Pie Kitchen for my kids. I remember playing in kitchens like these as a child, and I know that it will provide hours of entertainment for my kiddos!
Inspiration for Mud Pie Kitchen
No-Sew Tutu 13 of 17Dress-Up is a favorite pastime at our house, and this cute and easy no-sew tutu is sure to become one of your little girl's favorite things to wear. And maybe not just for dress-up!
Instructions for No-Sew Tutu
Drip Pan Magnetic Board 14 of 17My son was sitting on my lap as I was gathering ideas and pictures for this post, and he pointed to this and said, "Mama, I want one of those." This is a cheap and easy magnetic board that is especially great for those with a fridge that isn't magnetic.
Instructions for Drip Pan Magnetic Board
Felt Play Sandwich 15 of 17Your little one will need play food to go in their play kitchen, so why not make them some super cute felt food? This sandwich could be even easier if you just cut out shapes from the felt, and skip the sewing embellishments.
Find inspiration and instructions for making a Felt Play Sandwich
Toddler Sewing Basket 16 of 17Such a fun idea to put together a sewing basket for your toddler! This post includes lots of great ideas for activities to include in the basket.
Inspiration for Toddler Sewing Basket
Simple Straw Airplane 17 of 17Sure paper airplanes are fun, but your kids will love how well this simple straw plane will soar across the room!
Instructions for Simple Straw Airplane
Does your toddler have a favorite toy that you’ve made for them?
More on Toddler Times:
- 15 Fun Craft Activity for Little Boys (or Girls!)
- Toddler Activity: Emotional Snowmen
- 20 Inspirational Ideas for Conquering Toy Clutter