Sunday, August 2, 2009

Boredom Busting Homemade Toys

Summer is in full swing and, while it seems that my kids have oodles of toys and activities to keep them busy, there are always those "I'm bored" moments lurking around the corner. Here are a few of our family's ideas for homemade toys. The best part is that half the fun is in making the toy. They take time, cost virtually nothing and use up some of the useless extras you have from around the house.

Rubberband Ball - This one I remember from when I was a child. Basically, it's a bouncy superball made out of paper and rubberbands. Crumple up a few pieces of paper and then start twisting rubber bands around the ball. Instant super bouncy ball - and a good way to recycle those rubber bands that come with my newspaper every day.

Mini-Land - This was inspired by the book and movie, The Tales of Despereaux. The boys built their own little mouse-lands in miniature. I gave them shoeboxes, let them raid the junk drawer, and off they went on creating their own little worlds. It may not look like it to you, but this house has a couch, a TV, artwork, toys, and an odd-looking purple inhabitant.

String - Last year on a long trip, I took along a few pieces of string and taught my boys the Cat's Cradle game. We were staying with some friends who knew all kinds of other tricks. This can literally occupy my 9-year-old for hours! Don't remember how to do Cat's Cradle or need some new figures? Check out this website. Here's a picture of a "mosquito" - perhaps appropriate for summer! This last one is a noisemaker toy that my son built at school. Every year their school brings in a toymaker named Rick Hartman who helps them saw, hammer, and glue their very own toys. It's fun to watch the kids marvel over their own creations. He can get kids to create amazing toys with very simple tools - spools, rulers, rubber bands, etc.

Hope one of these ideas helps pass a few hours of the late summer for your kids. What are your favorite summer boredom busters?

1 comment:

  1. Great ideas. The Cats Cradle instructions are impressive. I didn't know there were such variety (or now we would call it diversity) associated with the string. BRH