In the last six months, I’ve found a new hobby: upcycling toys. I never imagined that I’d actually enjoy making toys for my toddler until I tried it. It’s so much fun, and has so many perks! First of all, you’re recycling old stuff you’re not using instead of buying brand new toys. This is most definitely a more environmentally friendly option. Not only that, it will save you some money.s One perk that I least expected is that it’s fun for parents too. I look forward to making toys for my daughter, and I love to see her reaction to them as well. Another plus is that you can create toys specific to where your child is developmentally. It’s basically a win-win for everyone! Check out some of these upcycled toys you can make right now:
DIY Up-cycled Musical Instrument
This first toy is a musical instrument that kids will love! To make this requires only a few things and a couple of minutes of your time. You can see a picture of this project above on the far right.
- An old tin can of some sort. I used the can that my cocoa powder came in. The can needs to be short.
- 4-6 rubber bands
- duct tape
- Start by peeling off the label.
- Wrap the rubber bands around the can so that they are flat on both sides. It’s best to use different-sized rubber bands so that each makes a different sound.
- Wrap duct tape around the can to secure the rubber bands.
It’s really that easy. Your toddler is going to love this.
Fine-Motor Spice Jar
The next up-cycled toy is wonderful for fine motor development! I love this one in particular for when we’re in a group setting and I need to keep my little one busy. This is an easy and fast project, too. You can see this project in the feature photo at the top of the page.
- Old spice shaker
- Cut up pipe cleaners
- Take the label off the spice shaker and clean the container.
- Cut a few pipe cleaners in about 1″ – 2″-long pieces. (If you don’t have pipe cleaners, you could use twigs from the yard, or a cut-up straw!
- Put the pipe cleaners through the holes into the spice shaker.
Feed the Alphabet Monster
This next one is an idea I took from I Can Teach My Child called Feed The Alphabet Monster! For full instructions on how to make it, follow the link. All you need for this one is an old wipes container and some old unused lids. You could also use scarves you no longer wear. Your little one will love pulling the scarves out of the box!
DIY Rain Sticks
Although these baby rain sticks may take a little more time to assemble, your toddler will still love them. You could also make a smaller version for an infant. All you need is an old paper towel tube, old nails, a dry food (beans, rice, lentils, etc), clear tape, and construction paper. Shout out to The Imagination Tree for this wonderful DIY project! Here‘s the link to the full instructions.
Honestly, the list of upcycled toys that you can make for your kids using household materials is endless! Go to Pinterest for some amazing inspiration. What kind of upcycled toys have you made? Leave pics in the comments! I would love to see your creativity!