Since having Jack, I have learned one very important lesson: He goes through toys like the wind. I can buy him any gift in the world and with a few exceptions he will play with it for a day and then it’s old news. So now I have boxes and boxes of toys that he couldn’t care less about. It sucks. And to add salt to the wounds, people buy him new toys all the time. I mean, it’s so sweet, but all I think of is, “Well there is another piece of junk to add to the heaps of other junk.” It’s really is sad. Also, anyone who has kids will agree, kids always LOVE playing with things that aren’t toys, and they NEVER get tired of it. Things like kitchen bowls and spoons, measuring cups, straws, REMOTE CONTROLS, cell phones, you name it. So without droning on and on, I have recently retired all of Jack’s old toys to the garage/man cave (to my husbands dismay) and have started creating toys that keep Jack interested and can also help him learn and develop. Here are a few and I will add more when I can:
1. Thingy Whatsit – I have no idea what to name this one, but basically I took an old dish washing detergent pale, cut holes in the top, and went to Micheal’s and bought little foam shapes that Jack can pick up and examine and place inside the holes. Then when they are all inside, he shakes in upside down and they all come back out. As they get older you can use this toy for counting and colors. This one cost me $2. Two thumbs up.
2. Color Bar – This one is so easy to make. Get a small piece of wood from Micheal’s, some colored construction paper, some buttons of the same color, some string, and a few tiny plastic storage tubs. Cheap. Cut circles out of the paper and hot glue gun them to the board. Then tie the string though the buttons and glue them down under the circles. Next glue the storage bins next to the string. DONE. You child will learn colors, but will also mix and match. They love figuring this one out, as well as looking at the buttons and placing them in the small tubs. Total cost $9. Win and win.
3. Animal Friends – This one is kind of too easy, and it is great for learning. Basically, go buy or make some little felt animal friends and fruit. Get a little pail to put them in. That’s it. You lay them out and name each one, your baby will like the texture and the face, then they can put them in the pale. Soon, they will learn the names of each one, and can pick out each one as you name it. Then, they can learn to say it out loud as well. Jack LOVES this one. And each animal was .89 cents.
4. Rainbow Pipe Cleaners – That’s it. Just some pipe cleaners, and a bottle or plastic tub for them. They are great for sorting, bending, putting back and taking out again. (Or hitting the cat with, Jack’s favorite activity) I think they were .99 cents for a pack.
5. Barnyard Fun – Micheal’s again folks. They sell unfinished wood barn’s. Then you can buy a pack of the animals to go with it. This one was a little more expensive, roughly around $12. Worth it though. The barn opens on top, in the middle, and down below. Jack takes the In the future I will paint it, but that’s much further down the line.
Lastly, we have the Buckle Board – I basically just bought 5 buckle clasps, super glued ribbon to them, cut a piece of cardboard from a box I had, and super glued the ribbon to the box. Total cost: $4. Babies are suckers for buckles!