You’ve probably experienced it before: you spend a good chunk of change on a toy for your kiddo, only to discover she likes the box that contained the toy better than the toy itself. Is there a rhyme or reason to why children like certain toys? A higher price tag certainly doesn’t mean toys will be met with more love. Sometimes, common household objects and inexpensive craft store finds engage children in more imaginative, sustained play than pricey merchandise.
At Big Toy Review, we’ve searched far and wide for some easy and awesome homemade toys. Fun for our kiddos doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. DIY toys may be just what are needed to help save money, entertain our youngsters, and cultivate creativity in our kiddos.
Not only are these cardboard box toys functional and sturdy, the illustrated guides make the projects easy and fun to complete.
A toy the kiddos can make themselves! Watch as kids customize their own tic-tac-toe stones and then play with the DIY board.
Button spinners are the perfect way to bring a little color and fun into any holiday--or, into any regular old day around the house. Whether you want some more red and green for your Christmas, black and orange for your Halloween, or red and blue for your Fourth of July, you can customize these spinners to enhance the atmosphere.
It’s rainy. It’s snowy. It’s too cold. It’s too hot. Lots of reasons keep our kiddos indoors. How can they burn off all that stored up energy? Indoor hopscotch, of course. Not only can the kids help craft the board, they can then hop—hop on one foot, hop on two feet, hop backwards, hop forwards, hop however they want—until they’ve hopped out all their energy.
This DIY Geo board is so cool! All it takes to make is a piece of wood, hammer, and nails. Get some colorful rubber bands and GO! Make letters, make shapes, make funky designs.
This great tutorial will show you how to whip up a batch of homemade bouncy balls in about 5 minutes. With a super simple ingredient list, this activity is definitely a no-fuss recipe for fun!
Why bury your pool noodles away after summer when they can be used for fun all winter long? Cut the noodles in half, get some marbles, cars, or whatever else can roll easily, and create a unique race track.
Watching blocks cascade down ribbons intrigues both old and young. Jacob's ladder toys have been around for centuries yet still inspire new generations. Make this timeless treasure with common household items and let the fun begin.
Again, it's cardboard. Kids love cardboard. Cut slits into various shapes of cardboard and let the stacking fun begin.
What do paper clips, pennies, and pasta all have in common? They can all be used to create fun, musical egg shakers. Egg shakers are super simple to make, so plan on involving the kiddies.
Not only can the kids help make sock puppets, they’ll then spend lots of time creating puppet shows to entertain the whole family. For some extra fun, help your kids create tickets for a puppet show.
Make a felt board and the scenes and themes that can follow are endless. Make a big board; make a lap board. Make a beach board; make a mountain board. Make shapes; make letters. Make animals; make people. The sky is the limit!
Locking and unlocking, latching and unlatching, fiddling and fooling has never been so much fun. The Lock, Hinge, and Latch Board is super intriguing for kids. An added bonus: little fingers and hands get a fine motor skill workout!
Watch 'em bubble. Watch 'em swirl. Watch colors and glitter mingle and mix. Discovery bottles are both fun to make and fun to see.
Who doesn't love paper airplanes? Use these step-by-step instructions, and accompanying video guides, to transform a regular piece of paper into a flying fun time! There are 30 different styles to make, so grab a few extra sheets while you're at it.
Get out your legos. Get some balloons. Now make the balloon power your legomobile. Fun times ensue.
Chances are, you've already got stuff lying around your house that will help create a fun DIY doctor kit. Check out some ideas for how to assemble the fun.
Whether you're an adult or kid, this miniature, magnetic, fishing pole game is sure to entertain. This cute little kit is even small enough to pack into an old Altoids box for travel or storage. Fishing has never been so much fun.
Before there were arcade or video games, there was the marble arch game. For hands-on, old-fashioned fun, this DIY game is a must have. And who doesn't love playing with marbles?
Pool noodles seem to have oodles of uses. Another use for the list: a lightsaber. Cut the noodle in half, follow a few simple directions, add a flashlight, and let the lightsaber battles begin.
Sing like a rock star. Sing like an opera singer. Sing like there's nobody listening. Sing into your DIY microphone for under $5!
It's a bird.... It's a plane.... It's your figurine parachuting from the sky! If you've got a few minutes and some basic supplies, making your little figurines fly should be a breeze.
Got cardboard? Got a couple toy cars? Then this cardboard racetrack is for you.
If you use toilet paper in your home, then you're well on your way to making this super cute train. Choo-choo!
Don't throw those wine corks away! They float. So make a boat. Float said boat in bathtub, the creek, swimming pool, lake, sink....
Pa rum pum pum pum. Pa rum pum pum pum on my drum. Check out these homemade drums that are perfect for gifts or to keep around your house for the kiddies in your life.
Turn boring, plastic bottles into colorful bowling pins. Then, let the good times roll!
Grab a rubber glove from under your kitchen sink. Cut off the fingers. Make faces on the fingers. Then, enjoy the puppet shows and creativity that follows.
This easy to make cardboard activity box is both educational and fun. Kids will definitely love dropping objects through all the holes. You can bet this clever box will keep your toddlers hands busy for a good while.
This tutorial offers four fantastic ways to entice toddlers and develop their fine motor skills. Cans, popsicle sticks, ribbons, and wrapping have never looked so fun.
Now you can feel good about encouraging baby to make a mess--because these finger paints are totally edible and safe. DIY finger paints allow your kiddo to experience a smooth texture and explore the wonderful world of color.
It's an aMAZEing ball maze! Whether you try to roll marbles, ping pong balls, hot wheels, wooden trains, or any other small item down these cardboard tubes, the little ones are sure to enjoy watching each object make its decent.
Get ready for some clothespin button racer competition! These little homemade cars will prove both fun to make and fun to race.
Surprise! Make this wind up butterfly, tuck it in a card or book, and then watch it amaze an unsuspecting reader as it flies away.
Indoor croquet is a great way to engage both toddlers OR older kids who may be a bit more competitive. Set up an indoor course using some card stock and other simple items. Ready, set, play!
Forget about s'mores. Making marshmallow catapults is where the action is! All it takes to make this fun toy idea are 5 simple items and some participants willing to send marshmallows flying through the air. What better way is there to snack and play?
Construction paper, rubber bands, tongue depressors, and scissors: that's all you need to make these playable harmonicas. Make one for some solo action, or make lots for an ensemble of harmonica sounds.
The mix of color and light through the lense of a kaleidoscope has captivated curious adults and kids for generations. Keep the imagination and wonder alive by now making your very own kaleidoscope. The colors and light will look even more brilliant because you will have created them yourself!
The homemade stress ball is here! And making this homemade stress ball is quite stress-free. Plus, both kids AND adults will love squeezing the final product.
Do your kids ever wish they were taller? Now, they can be. Making tin can stilts and then walking on them will add inches to anyone in just a short amount of time!
Three. Two. One. Blast off . . . thanks to the spring-loaded toilet paper roll holder. Check out this fun tutorial for creating your very own rocket ship . . . that flies!
These large alphabet blocks make stunning decorations but are also great tools for teaching baby about letters and words. Spend a fortune on these at high-end stores, or make your own!
These velcro dot popsicle sticks are so simple to make, yet have some many possibilities--for entertaining kids on a road trip, while waiting at the doctor's office, while playing at home. An added bonus is the inexpensive cost compared to the yield of fun.
Create a collection of adorable animal mix-up dolls by using a set of ready made templates from the folks at Handmade Charlotte. Each of the six, brightly colored, animal characters is made of three parts; perfect for mixing-up, stacking-up, and of course, knocking down.
Send your kids on an archeological adventure with these clever and simple to create frozen dinosaur eggs. You can crack the eggs open with a hammer or just watch the spheres melt on a hot summer’s day.
Kids will love coloring in the intricate designs of these Kaleidocycle templates. Once assembled your kids can fold, flip, and fidget with the paper toys until their hearts content.
Give your kids car collection a new place to cruise. This tutorial will show you how to turn a couple of cereal boxes and toilet paper rolls into a multi-level toy car parking garage. The guide shows you how to make a double-decker, but with a few extra cereal boxes, the sky’s the limit!
This neat how-to article will show you how to create a set of old-fashioned “peg” dolls and an assortment of cardboard animals and vehicles for the dolls to ride upon. Don’t have any old clothes pins lying around? The cardboard cut-outs look fun enough to make even without the dolls!
Get things poppin’ with this easy to create set of pom pom shooters. You could make these as favors for a kid’s birthday party or simply for the delight of launching a bunch of pom poms around the room on a rainy day.