Christmas morning is a flurry of flying wrapping paper and excitement over toys that your children couldn’t wait to receive. But, by the end of December, half of these “must-have” items are left by the wayside to collect dust until they will inevitably be taken to the garage or tossed into the yard sale pile.
Many parents have begun to simplify their approach to the holidays by limiting the number of gifts their children receive or by having the children really think about what they need and desire. With simplicity in mind, some parents have even begun to create toys of their own.
If you never studied under Gepetto, or you don’t have a crafty bone in your body, never fear. Here are some easy-to-create toys that will inspire your child’s creativity without emptying your wallet.
1. Easy Sew Baby Toys
Babies are probably the easiest to please when it comes to gift-giving. But if you’ve ever walked down the infant aisle at your local department or big box store, you realize that toys for these tiny consumers aren’t cheap.
Those cute little fabric taggie blankets are all the rage, but can cost up to $20 to $30. So, why not try your hand at making one. It will cost you next to nothing and will become a keepsake you can save for years to come.
2. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head Felt Dolls
Who didn’t love putting Mr. Potato Head’s nose on his head and his mustache where his eyes were supposed to go when they were a kid? Now, you can create your own mix-and-match fun with this cute felt pair. While this tutorial calls for a little sewing expertise, you can probably get away with just cutting out the shapes and letting your kids go to town. Just think, hours of quiet fun for your kids. You might even get to have a complete thought.
3. Take and Go Stove
What little girl or boy wouldn’t love to have their very own play stove complete with kitchen utensils? This mommy blogger created a pretend stove that cost less than $10 to make. Not only is this an inexpensive alternative to the high-dollar play kitchens on the market, but now your little ones won’t steal your pots and pans.
4. Chalkboard Table
If your kids have been using their crayons and markers to “decorate” your furniture, then why not create a place for them where it’s okay to color on the furniture? This tutorial shows you how to create your very own chalkboard table with just a cheap end table and some chalkboard paint.
5. Car Garage
If your little boy is like mine, he has an abundance of little metal-framed cars that usually end up under the refrigerator or the stove. And these little parent-trippers end up racing across the couch, the coffee table or the dog. Why not give your little boy a place to keep and play with his little cars that will give him hours of enjoyment? Try your hand at creating this adorable car garage out of a cardboard box and some duct tape.