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Niche Topics (Pregnancy and Kids) is all about practical parenting advice and parenting skills to help you deal with common parenting challenges from toddlerhood to teen years. You’ll find tons of healthy food ideas and easy-to-make kids meals, fun activity ideas and creative crafts projects that kids love to do and play!

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3 Homemade Toys that Will Wow Your Kids



By Holly Campbell


Do you secretly wished you had extra cash to buy those insanely overpriced children toys? Toys for kids need not have to come from the mall. In fact, you can make homemade kids toys for pennies, or even free. It’s big fun on a very small cost!!


How to Make Toys for Kids Using Recycled Materials



Which kid didn't grow up with play-dough? This simple pliable material helps young children create objects and also helps develop muscles and coordination in their tiny fingers.


Homemade play-dough has a better texture and is much softer than store-bought ones. It's easier for kids to press, shape and mold.


Ingredients for play-dough recipe

2 cups of flour, 2 cups of warm water,1 cup of salt, 2 tablespoons of oil and some food colorings.


Mix all ingredients in a medium pot, and stir over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes. Be careful not to let the mixture burn on the bottom. If it starts to stick to the bottom of the pot too much, lower the heat. Stir until you get a consistency of mashed potatoes.


When the mixture forms a ball in the center of the pot, remove the pot from heat and let the play-dough mixture cool.


When it has cooled enough to touch it comfortably, knead it several times on a floured surface. The more you knead the dough, the more elastic and usable the homemade play-dough will become.


With this basic off-white play dough, you can take little portions of it and knead in some food colorings. Add a tiny drop of vanilla extract (or peppermint) to your homemade play dough. Vanilla extract helps preserve the play-dough and makes it smell nice. You might want to add some glitter for a sparkly play-dough.


Unlike store bought play-dough, your homemade version will turn moldy if left out too long. So, keep homemade play-dough in a Ziploc bag or airtight container in the fridge.





Cardboard Playcastles

Large cardboard boxes are the best free toys you can get your hands on.

Cardboard boxes of varying sizes are good for this toy craft. You'll also need crayons or marker pens.

For basics, simply push in the ends of large cardboard boxes to make tunnels and caves that little kids would love to crawl through.

Kids can draw windows and doors with marker pens on playhouses. Add a flag or draw portholes to transform an ordinary cardboard box into a ship. Stick on a paper plate as a steering wheel for a cardboard car.

You can also create a grocery store, beauty salon, or a kitchen for your kids with drawings of stoves, fridges and kitchen cupboards.


To make a cardboard kitches, cover a sturdy cardboard box with construction paper. Cut a large flap in one side for a door and then use hot glue gun to stick on plastic bottle caps as knobs or draw hot plates on stoves with marker pens.





Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzle is a great learning tool for children. Doing a puzzle helps kids manipulate small objects and encourages several aspects of the mental development as your child matches designs, colors and shapes. Jigsaw puzzles are also good for developing fine-motor skills.


Gather these materials – a large piece of thin cardboard, pictures, waxed paper, glue and scissors.


Look for beautiful cartoon pictures of dogs, tigers, horses, cats, cows and other animals in magazines or download from the web and print.


Spread a thin layer of glue on the back of the picture and apply it to the cardboard (the back of a writing pad is great). To protect the picture, cover it with waxed paper and place a few heavy books on top to prevent from curling. Allow it to dry overnight.


Trim excess cardboard from the edges. On the back of the cardboard, draw odd-shaped, connected lines. Custom make to the kid's age and ability. If you're making the toy for a young child, less than 10 piece-puzzle is a good start.


Follow the lines and cut the picture into pieces.


You can also make puzzles from your kid's own artwork to encourage an interest in puzzles. Here's another tip for a really fast jigsaw puzzle – find cereal boxes with bright colors and graphics, cut the front side off and then cut into 4 or 5 pieces for a fun easy puzzle.





make toys for kids using recycled materials

Make Your Own Kids Paint

You can make safe, non-toxic homemade kids paint for pennies. Easy to follow instructions for face paint, finger paint recipes and paint for craft projects.


Make New Crayons from Old Broken Stubs

Learn how to make new crayons out of old crayons easily and save money on kids' art supplies.


Homemade Kids Toys Ideas

Make kids toys with common household materials that are both fun to create and play with!


4 Exceedingly Easy Homemade Musical Instruments for Kids

Watch your children wiggle and giggle with homemade toy musical instruments! Simple yet super fun!


5 Fun and Easy Summer Crafts for Kids

Keep kids busy this summer with easy-to-make, fun and inexpenisve craft ideas.


Paper Craft Ideas

A fun and easy craft idea for kids to capture a keepsake from a special place that your children love.


Japanese Koi Fish Craft Project

Easy-to-make yet super fun paper craft ideas for children. A great way to reuse unwanted old magazines or cereal boxes. Stunning effects!


Easy Soap Making Recipes for Children

Featuring cute homemade soap crayons that are simple enough for kids to make themselves, or with only a little help from adults. Also, get step-by-step instructions on how to embed toys into homemade soaps.


Cute Plastic Spoon Flowers

A n easy kids crafts made from recycled plastic spoon. Great fun and good for the environment too!


Kids Craft Using Reycled Materials

Let kids learn how to recycle common household items into creative crafts with these easy ideas.