Making Your Own Toys

Using recycled materials for playSometimes it’s easy to forget that play can be cheap or even free!

So many of us get caught up the marketing hype and think ‘shop’ toys will make our kids happier. And nurture their development.

But there are lots of cheap activities using recycled materials and some imagination.

You can even have some fun making your own toys and then using the creations with your child.

Here are some simple ideas to try:

  • Cartons and boxes become building blocks, cubbies, cars, boats. Maybe a doll’s bassinet or containers for packing and emptying. Tunnels for crawling through or a surface for painting
  • Plastic drink containers can be used for filling and emptying with water or sand, shakers for music or cut down to make funnels and scoops
  • Ice-cream container lids can be used for stencils
  • Coloured lids can be sorted or threaded into a baby’s rattle
  • Tyres (not steel belted) can be stacked, rolled, cut in half for water or sand play, used as a swing or in an obstacle course
  • Paper off-cuts, old posters can be used for tearing, drawing, painting, cutting and pasting
  • Dresses, skirts, shirts, ties, waistcoats, cameras, bags, belts, scarves for dress ups for pretend and role play
  • Cardboard cylinders for telescopes or flutes

Inspiration can be found everywhere – leave your ideas below so others can share!

Want more ideas for home or playgroup – search our online resources now or call the Hotline on 1800 171 882 and ask to speak with a Development Officer.

Kath is a 40-year-old mum of three who works part time and enjoys reading, writing and catching up with other stressed out mums in her spare time. Usually, she’s racing against the clock to make her boys (+ husband) arrive anywhere on time and feels quite the talented mother when two out of the three make it out of the house with shoes on!