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Make Toys from Trash

The plan is to share some of the toys and games we've made from trash. I'll try to add more on a regular basis, so check back often. If you know of similar sites or have any ideas you'd like to see shared here PLEASE email me. Another site you might like to visit is The Great Ideas Patch, Penny Pinching offers ideas similar to these.

The Dressing Snake

A new Toy Snake for helping your children learn dressing skills can be made by using up fabric scraps and left over notions or notions taken from old clothes in the rag pile.

You're visitorto share these ideas.

Materials Needed:

Divide the cardboard that you have on hand into equal size squares or rectangles. Go through your old magazines,used gift wrap and cards to find matching images. Cut them out and glue to your "cards". Make the game as big or small as you want.

When I made this for my two year old. I used the computer printer to print out squares, rectangles, and circles in different color, matched sets, to reinforce color and shape recognition.

Home Made Puzzles

Materials Needed:

Divide your card board into two equal pieces. Cut out a square, a circle, triangle and rectangle from one piece. Place the cut out template over the other piece of cardboard and pencil trace the openings. To help litttle ones match the shapes and colors you can color the base spots to match the cut out pieces. Tape or glue the two pieces of cardboard together. Put in the pieces when dry.

Another type of puzzle can also be made for older kids by gluing a favorite picture to a piece of cardboard and cutting it apart into different shapes. Its easiest if you pencil in the cutting lines on the back of the cardboard first. I'll be adding graphics in the near future.

Home Made Bean Bag Toss

Materials Needed:

Make bean bags by making pouches out of fabric scraps and loosly filling them with dried beans or rice. After you have filled the pouches, topstitch around the edges to reinforce them.Try to make two or three of each kind of scraps you have. It cuts down on the arguing if each child has their own bean bags. Make sure you make enough for when friens come to visit or the bean bag is hiding under the couch. I prefere using beans as they aren't quite as messy if the kid do manage to rip them. If your using a cardboard box, cut circles, squares and triangle out of one side of the box. Let the kids have fun painting or coloring the box to decorate it.

If you have some plywood around have the kids paint a clown face on it.Cut out the mouth, eyes and nose.Make some type of prop on the back of the board using another scrap piece of wood.
Homemade Play Dough

Materials Needed

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mush it all together.
If you want to learn more about Salt Dough, Kerstin has more information.


Materials Needed:

This one isn't a toy but the kids love to make them and what better example could you be setting for them... Teaching them how to help the smaller species on our world.

Cover the paper roll or pine cone with peanut butter. Roll in birdseed. Draw a sting through the center of the paper tube or tie it around the pine cone. Tie it to a tree and watch the birds have a picnic.

Materials Needed:

The next time you open a box of macaroni and cheese or instant oatmeal do it very carefully so that you can reseal the package. If your toddler just got a shopping cart or a kitchen set save all the packaging you can. Empty yogurt containers, margarine tubs, etc. Don't reuse plastic bags and cans that could be dangerous!

Home Made Tamborine

Materials Needed:

Place the pans top sides together and make holes every 1 1/2 to 2' through both pans. Lace the string or ribbon through the hole to sew the pans together, before you finish, drop in some pebbles or dried beans. Be sure to knot the ends securely! Let the kids have fun tying or gluing the streamers around the edges. If you've used the cardboard type (made for the microwave) they can even color or paint their own designs on it.
Oatmeal Drum

I'm not going to go in to detail here but I didn't want you to throw away any of those Oatmeal cylinders. With all the cold winter mornings ahead in the northeast USA I know there will be plenty out there. If you have no idea what to do with them email me. Picture Frames

Materials Needed:

Cut the cardboard 1" wider then the all picture all the way around. Draw a line for where the picture will be located. Hand the kids the glue and macaroni. When the glue has dried you can paint the macaroni gold. When everything is dry carefully paste the picture into place.

A Free Playhouse

Materials Needed:

Go to a near by appliance store and ask for a refrigerator or washer box. Cut out doors and windows. Tape the cutains up. If you have leftover paint let the kids get creative.

A long time ago, neighboring newlyweds got a whole apartment full of new furniture, all in boxes. We joined all the boxes together and had many rooms and hours of fun. Even the box from their headboard didn't go to waste. It became a hallway from one room to another.

Materials Needed:

This one isn't really a toy but the kids have a blast making them for Christmas presents.

Cut the photo to fit inside the lid. Set it aside. Around the outside and inside lip of the lid apply glue and sprinkle on glitter. If you have scraps of trim apply it to the outside edge. When dry, glue the photo inside and a magnet to the back.


Be sure to check out Penny Pichings use for those cardboard Milk cartons. She put this tip in the garden. You will find her in The Great Idea Patch. Comin Soon- Gingerbread house without the gingerbread!

I'm going to start a recipe page to go with this one.... check back soon!

I apologize for my guest book problems and hope to resolve the problem soon.

More Information and Links

The Self Sufficency and Self Reliance Home Page

T's Place - Plastic Canvas Projects
Kerstin's Salt Dough
Aunt Annies Craft Page
Jana's Craft Connection
Angelfire - Easiest Free Home Pages
Back to my first page
It' Sew'K