Tuesday 9 July 2013

Are homemade toys best?

Yes.  I think so. 

I talk about making our own toys all the time and I do think it's really important. In my opinion it's so much more important that toys are homemade where possible and so important that the children are involved with making their own toys. 


It's cheaper most of the time.

If a child has made something they take pride in it and often find it much more exciting.

If a child has made their own toy and it breaks they know how to fix it or make another one.

There is so much to be learnt from making so many things; they will learn how and why things work the way they do.

So what sort of toys can you make?
There are so, so many things to try...

There is Play dough and salt dough - there is loads of maths and science in this followed by a lot of art.  If you fancy having a go yourself you can click on the links.

Learn about moving pictures and make your own Thaumatrope - All you need is some string, cardboard and pens and pencils and there is some much science involved as well as maths.  Or you can make your own movie wheel which is a little more difficult but worth it.

Make your own toy spool car...

Making slime or silly putty as it's sometimes known ~ always a favourite with little people.

There are plenty of toys you can make to learn about aerodynamics: Make your own paper shooter - great for little and big hands or make your own Hovercraft - possibly the most fun toy EVER!  Of course there is making paper aeroplanes there are so many designs out there, I did find this website which is awesome: www.paperaeroplanes.com.

You can also try and make ice marbles - great in the hot weather but also very cool to do when it's snowing!

Making your own den is also a brilliant activity to do with the kids.  So much fun.  My girls made one only the other day off their own backs but I did find this on YouTube...

You could also make your own bubble wand - this makes for hours of great fun but gives you the opportunity to talk about the colours in the bubbles and why they are always round.

You could easily make and play with a film canister rocket - another toy that brings a lot of pleasure to everyone around!  We have been known to take ours to the park as well as another fun toy which is a homemade pinhole camera

Hand held toys like the TK submarine (my girls loved playing with this for hours) and make your own book light, Simple Robot or make circuits using play dough.

There are so many I can't fit them all into one post but here are a couple more of our favourites...

You can make your own bean bags, so many things can be done with a bean bag including a very popular post on An Orindary Life: Bean Bag Maths.

Shadow puppets are also a lot of fun to make and play with.  There is of course the old spinning tops, those origami fortune teller things.  They are great to use with teaching children subjects as well; instead of telling your fortune you end up with a question to answer. 

I'm sure you can think of more and if you can I would love to hear about them.
I believe children are not wasting their time playing.  Playing is how a child learns.  Playing is how we all learn, isn't it?


  1. We make our own teddies, knitted and crocheted. The amount of hand made teddies my youngest have on their bed made by their older siblings! Also home made cards and presents, painted trinket boxes made from stiff card, hema beads make lovely coasters or even photo frames. Table decorations for parties or Christmas and alao just made up games with a stick as a sword or a gun ( obviously a boy thing!) They also make birds nests and decorate.them with rose petals. Who says home-edders are wierd?!

    1. Oh wow! There are some brilliant ideas there. Thank you Bridget! My eldest loves knitting and needle work and we have a lot of hand made toys too. I forgot about that.

      I love the sword and gun idea, something my Honi will love!

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