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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!
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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.
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.