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5 Homemade Toddler Toys

Like most kiddos, my almost 2 year old would much rather play with a cardboard box than the fancy toy that came in it. Logan has a toy box full of toys that light up and make sounds, but he rarely reaches for them. So, I’ve stopped buying as many toys for him and started getting a little more creative. Sometimes simple is a good thing.

Look around your house for household items that can be turned into imaginative toys. Pots and pans make fun instruments. Cereal boxes can be turned into building blocks. A blanket draped over a couple chairs will make a great fort. A paper bag and some crayons can become a puppet. Here are a few more DIY toy ideas that will inspire imagination. I’d love to hear some of your DIY toy ideas!

1. Oatmeal Container & Pom Poms: Decorate an empty oatmeal container with scrapbook or wrapping paper. Cut a few holes in the lid and have your tot practice his fine motor skills by pushing pom poms through the holes.

2. Colander & Pipe Cleaners: Stick colorful pipe cleaners through the holes of a colander and give to your child for hours of fun!

Collander and Pipecleaners Homemade Toddler Toy

3. Felt Board: Cover a cork board or even a large cardboard box with a piece of felt. Cut out shapes out of contrasting felt colors. Your toddler will have fun sticking the felt shapes to the felt board, and this is a great way to introduce letters, numbers and colors.

Homemade Toddler Toy

4. Fabric Scraps & Wipe Container: Tie several pieces of fabric scraps together and stuff them in an old wipes container. If you child is anything like mine, and obsessed with the wipes container, he’ll have a blast pulling the fabric out.

Homemade Toddler Toy

5. Egg Carton & Pom Poms: Fill an empty egg carton with colorful pom poms. Allow your child to remove the pom poms and place them back in their individual spot. To make it more challenging, you can add dots of colors with marker or paint on the bottom of each egg cart section and have your child sort the pom poms according to color.

Hi! I’m Vanessa and live in the middle of the Arizona desert with my husband Rich, our son Logan and our 2 cats. When I'm not busy making sure our toddler doesn't ingest crayons or cat food (his 2 favorite food groups), you can find me in my organized mess of a craft room. I blog about my love for glitter and hot glue at
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  2. Avatar of donna

    donna says:
    March 09th at 10:39 am

    These are great. I love no or low cost ideas to keep my little girl occupied. Thank you!

  3. Thanks mamas! Logan could play with his felt board for hours and when he starts getting board, I just cut out new shapes and it’s like a new toy :)

  4. These are great Vanessa! I am always looking for ideas to do with the kids when I am in a pinch and need a time filler for 20-30 minutes. That is when we are avoiding the tv! Thanks!

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    eandannie says:
    March 09th at 7:58 pm

    Love these ideas! We (my 13 month old daughter and I) are having a lot of fun with pom poms right now. She loves putting them in and out of those little snack cups with the silicone lid (with slits – they’re intended for cheerios, I believe) and ice cube trays. Now, if only I could stop our schnauzer from eating the pom poms every time I turn around, we’d be all set :)

  6. Thanks Tricia – these will work for a 20 minute time filler…I usually pull them out when I need to hop in the shower ;-)

    Thanks @eandannie – snack cups and pom poms are a great idea! BTW we have 2 cats who like to eat Pom poms lol!

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