Homemade Toys

A collage of homemade toys, activities, and recipes for parents and young children to create together.

The most precious time of a child's young life is the time spent with a parent. Through playing, a child learns so much and a parent also learns so much. The following is a collage of activities and materials to make that special time as much fun as possible.

Recipes for Play Materials:

Play dough - 1 cup of water, 2 tbsp of cooking oil, flour as needed, 1/2 cup of salt, 2 tsp cream of tartar, a variety of food colouring.

Mix all of the ingrediants in a saucepan and heat over medium temperature. Be sure to stir all of the time until the mixture is thick. Cool. (for faster cooling cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge) Knead the dough. For longer life, keep this dough in a plastic container with a lid.

Modelling clay - 1 cup of cornstarch, 2 cups of salt, 1 1/3 cups of cold water. Put all of the salt and 2/3 cup of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Mix the cornstarch with the remaining water and then add it to the boiling mixture. Stir the combination untill thick. Cool. Knead. Create shape, model etc. then bake in the oven at 225*F for approx. 2 hours turning every 1/2 hour. Decorate or paint once cool.

Bubbles - 2 to 6 tbsp of dishwashing soap to 1 cup of water. For stronger bubbles add 1 tbs of gelatin or 1 tbsp of glycerine to the mixture.

Finger paint - 3 tsp of sugar, 1/2 cup of cornstarch, 2 cups of cold water. Mix all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boils stirring contantly. Cool. Pour into jars (baby food jars are great sizes) and add food colouring.

Homemade Toys :

Simple puzzles - glue pictures from magazines or photos to a sturdy cardboard. Cut to desired shapes.

Books - cut and save pictures from magazines or family photos. Glue 1 picture on each page of coloured cardboard or photo album. This is great for learning letters, numbers, or simple words.

Rattles/Noisemakers - fill small film canisters, margerine containers with macaroni, dried beans or rice. Seal well.

Musical braclets - sew bells to wide swatches of ribbon. Attach with velcro. Place on baby's wrist or ankle.

Busy Boards - attach simple mechanisms to a sturdy board such as, a small paint roller to spin, spring doorstops to bat, light switch to click, a dimmerswitch to turn, etc.

Shape Sorters - use cookie cuters to trace out a different shape on a number of coffee canister lids. Cut out the shape a little larger that the actual traceline. Use the cookie cutters to trace out more shapes onto cardboeard and cut to exact shape. Replace lids onto canisters. Have child sort shapes into canisters.

Other Activities :

On windy days - watch things blow (tie ribbons to the stroller, shiny windmills, leaves).

To stimulate touch - splash water, blow bubbles, tickle with a feather, use a straw to blow, have a child splash hands or feet in jello or pudding, use pudding to finger paint.

To stimulate smell - use flowers, spices, perfumes tied into small packets, put dipped or wet cotton balls into camera film containers.

To stimulate hearing - play different kinds of music, bang on pots and pans, play instuments, imitate animal noises, sing songs.

To stimulate taste - give baby cloths of different temperatures to gum, dip spoon in different tastes and textures.

Just For Fun :

- crinkle paper or tin foil

- make an opposite book

- put water in a pie plate, add food colouring and swirl with a finger

- scribble

- play dress up - play games like hide'n'seek

- put on a puppet play

- go for a walk, collect seasonal items such as acorns and leaves, make a collage when you get home

- make up actions to nursery rhymes

- bake something simple that your little one can get his/her hands into as well(of course their own little bowl)

© High Speed Ventures 2011