A trip to the toy store can be a real budget crusher! It seems that most items are over-priced, poorly made, or contain small parts that are hazardous for children.
Still, play is very important to children. It is how they learn about the world and develop their physical and mental skills. Play creates opportunities to socialize and interact with others.
Do you wish you could find fun and unique ways to let your toddler play, learn and explore on a shoestring? Well, read on!
Following are six easy and inexpensive things you can make and do with your child using items you generally have on hand in your household. These activities are tactile (using bright colors, touch, taste, and smell) to make the experience pleasant and engaging for you both.
Are you ready for some projects that are low in cost and big on fun? Then roll up your sleeves and begin!
Make a Potato Picture:
Cut a potato in half, and carve a simple shape or design into it. Let your child dip the potato into finger paint and press it on a clean piece of paper, aluminum foil, or on a paper bag. Use the finished masterpiece for a homemade card, wrapping paper, or trick or treat bag.
Paint with Ice Cubes:
First, cover the table with plastic, for easy clean up. (Painting can be messy!) Put dry tempera paint of various colors into salt shakers for sprinkling. Let your child shake some paint on a piece of paper or on a paper plate. Put an old pair of mittens on your child’s hands to keep them from getting too cold. Have them pick up an ice cube and swirl it around through the paint to make a pleasing design.
Let the paintings dry and hang them on the refrigerator or other place of honor, reserved for great works of art!
Create Critters and Things from Edible Clay:
To make the clay, you’ll need:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey1 cup dry non-fat milk solids
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.
For eyes, ears, tails, hair, and other finishing touches, try using grated coconut, chocolate chips, banana or apple slices, carrot curls, celery slices, etc. For easy clean up, eat the results!