Use old flannel shirts or denim jeans to make your own bean bags. Cut the fabric into squares, sew up three sides, and add beans or rice before sewing up the final side. These make for a fun game of catch, and are a good sensory tool.
A large cardboard box is an imagination booster! Draw or cut-out windows and a door to make a house. Cover the bottom with a blanket, tie a jump rope to one end, and you’ve got the perfect “car” to pull your tot through the house or the lawn. Or simply set the unaltered box in the middle of the floor and see how creative your child can get.
Playing dress-up is a favorite for most toddlers. Save old hats, scarves, socks, clothing, Halloween and dance costumes, plus collect hand-me-downs of child-sized clothing that your toddler can easily put on/take off. Hours of fun!
Plastic dishes are great for pretend play. Use the ones in your cupboard, or find some economical ones (various shapes and sizes) at the dollar store.
Plastic bottles with twist-up tops make for great “splash” time. Simply fill with water: old dishwashing liquid containers, restaurant style condiments squeeze jars, and more. Take to the park or the backyard for a game of water tag!
Mix water and baby shampoo to create your own “tear free” bubble solution.
Don’t throw away old socks, when you can use them as “soft” balls! Roll them up (the more socks you roll together the bigger your ball). Your tot will greatly enjoy them! Play a game where you hide 10 balls of socks in the room and challenge your toddler to find all ten balls.
An old handbag can be filled with keys, calculators, plastic cards (expired membership cards), to make a fun carrying case that mimics mommy’s purse.
Balled up newspapers can be used as a gentle ball – to hit, throw, or catch. Use wastebaskets to make “basketball” games.
An old push-button telephone is just as fun as a toy phone, and holding/manipulating one is good practice for little toddler hands.
Make edible playdough with one of these online recipes, compliments of ChildFun.com: CLICK HERE. WoodlandsMommy gives the “Kool-Aid Play Dough”
two thumbs up!
Jigsaw puzzles can be created from a photo, your child’s artwork or a favorite picture from a storybook. Use a photocopier to print the picture on a large sheet of white cardstock. Use glue to adhere picture to cardboard, then cut the photo up into pieces using an Exacto type of knife.
Rag dogs can be made with bits of fabric, string, markers, and a bit of paper or cotton for stuffing. Use a glue gun or needle and thread to construct your masterpiece.
Coffee or oatmeal containers make great drums. Cover with construction paper and decorate with paint and stickers.
Various types and colors of noodles can be sorted, counted, or placed in tin ans and shaken for an interesting musical experience.