It’s no surprise that children’s toys can be unreasonably expensive. Instead of spending money, why not encourage their already-impressive imaginations, while creating safe and fun toys out of everyday items? There are endless possibilities when it comes to kids and play, so take this opportunity to save a few dollars while you’re at it!
Toddler, 2-5 years: Stick with edible options like O-shaped cereal or fun-shaped pasta. Teach your child by way of example how to stack each item. See the surprised smile on their face as the short stack can gently come tumbling down.
Preschool/Elementary, 5-8 years: Move up to stringing beads onto pony lacing—a rubberlike string that’s easy to secure.
Grade school, 8-12 years: Offer your child more sophisticated glass/pastic beads; they can use a safe embellishing glue to adhere the beads to poster paper for some lovely bedroom or living room art.
Toddler, 2-5 years: Blow bubbles yourself and have your little ones race to pop them. Worried about tripping? Make it a “crawl on all fours” game. Older siblings can keep score on a poster. Make team names and have fun with it!
Preschool/Elementary, 5-8 years: Add a few drops of food coloring to one cup of the bubble solution in a short pan. Using a straw with the end held about an inch above the surface of the solution, have your child blow gently until you have a bowlful of bubbles. Place a piece of paper gently over the bubbles. As they pop, they’ll leave their print on the paper. Be sure to make this an outside game, as that food coloring can stain easily.
Grade school, 8-12 years: While the younger ones go bubble crazy, older sibs can get the fun on camera as the bubbles float around and pop. Then they can use the images in a collage to represent the fun day of bubbles you’ve all enjoyed.
Toddler, 2-5 years: Dampen a sponge with child-safe paint and place it on a paper plate. Give your child textured objects, such as blocks or pinecones, to press into the sponge and then stamp on paper. Want to go even further? Designate a single wall in a playroom or bedroom and get giant foam stamps that your children can use to decorate it!
Preschool/Elementary, 5-8 years: Have your child use a rubber stamp to imprint each letter of the alphabet on a set of flat, even stones or blank building blocks. Now they can practice spelling with the fun, new items that they’ve created themselves.
Grade school, 8-12 years: Older siblings can use alphabet stamps to make personalized note cards, book covers, school binders or stationary!
Toddler, 2-5 years: Use an eyedropper to drip color onto coffee filters. Watch the colors blossom into cool shapes as the paint travels across the filter. Next, try a box or damp paper plate!
Preschool/Elementary, 5-8 years: Have your child dip flowers or leaves into child-safe paint. Flip paper over and press it into the clean sheet, making an imprint. You may want to tape stencils down and let your child take it from there.
Grade school, 8-12 years: Have your child make a layered work of art. Begin with a sketch, then tell him/her to fill in the spaces with colored pencils or crayons. Finish it off with diluted paint/watercolors. Showcase your child’s masterpiece by hanging it up in the playroom or bedroom.
It is completely possible to repurpose everyday items as toys, not only for young children, but children of any age. Just like your child uses their imagination, use yours to think of creative ways to transform daily objects into unique and fun activities for all the kids involved. Here at Celebree, we use all sorts of fun activities as an outlet for your child to remain safe, creative and forever-learning. Happy playing!