Have Fun Making Homemade Toys
Connie Goldin ©2011, Mom to Madre
Just two generations ago, children grew up without all of the toys, gadgets, electronics and organized play that children are accustomed to today. Girls had dolls and skates and boys had Lincoln Logs and Erector Sets. Of course there were puzzles, books, electric trains, and such, but most kids didn’t have the treasure troves of stuff that many families have today. We were expected to go outside to play and we also spent time reading, riding bikes and having time together as a family.
Recently I had the challenge to think about helping families who lacked the resources to have toys in their homes. My job was to think how the families could use objects already in their homes to teach their preschoolers the skills they needed to enter kindergarten-shapes, numbers, letters, counting, colors, vocabulary, sensory awareness, and developed motor skills, to name a few.
I was excited to see what I could find and recycle as educational toys from my own home. I gave myself one rule-no purchases. I started looking through kitchen drawers and tried to imagine how toddlers and preschoolers could play with the items I normally have on hand. I confess that I bought Contact paper to spruce up my toy tub, but everything else was just stuff from my kitchen, garage, garden and recycling bin.
Here is what I compiled:
One of the most important things that parents can do is spend time with their children. Kids relish having their parents’ attention. A loving home that focuses on the needs of the children is far more important than having possessions. Reading, telling stories, singing, dancing and laughing with children is a much greater treasure that any object could ever be. Making toys with kids is an activity that the entire family can participate in and enjoy.
Here are some wonderful resources on the Internet for families with young children:
What can your preschooler do while you make potato soup? By Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Teach Preschool
Thanks to Deborah for the great ideas of using painter’s tape to make shapes and getting wooden blocks from construction sites.
10 Activities to Do With Infants By Play2Grow Blogspot
Flowers and Fairies Sensory Tub By The Imagination Tree
Brown Grocery Bag Crafts By Enchanted Learning
Make A Recycle Toy Play House By PLANETPALS
The Benefits of Nursery Rhymes By Early Childhood News Network
Bookmaking By Pre-KPages