As promised earlier in the week, I want to write all about home-made toys which can be just as entertaining. I run a tight ship when it comes to money in our house (ask Wifey she’ll have plenty to say on the matter), but one thing I’ll never do is deny Phoebe G of anything she needs (or indeed wants, of course without her ending up a spoilt brat). With Wifey being such a crafty bugger, she quite often comes up with little ideas of things she can quickly whip together for the mini beast to play with. I want to introduce you to three of these items, all of which Phoebe loves and all of which cost well under a fiver to make and have their own various benefits.
Organza Crinkle Bags
First up is the Organza Crinkle Bag. A noisy but fun sensory toy which both feels good and sounds amazing (and probably tastes of something too, seeing as most things end up in a child’s mouth!)
What you need:
- Small organza bag(s). Not the teeny tiny ones you get wedding favours in, something a bit large, something like these from Amazon. £2.29 for 10, so if you’ve some other mummy/daddy friends these can work out really cheap.
- An emergency blanket. This offers a bit more fun than tin foil, and won’t rip after the first use. We got this one from Amazon, at £1.53. This blanket is huge, and you really don’t need it all.
Even without splitting the material cost with your mummy and daddy friends, it still comes in at £3.82. If you find just one other person to share costs and materials with, it makes this £1.91.
Making it is pretty self explanatory – cut a 2ft square (or appropriately sized piece for your bags) of the emergency blanket. It needs to be big enough to fill the bag but not too big that it won’t scrunch in the bag. Pull the ribbon to tie the bag and you’re done! Pass it over to baby and watch them have hours (literally) of fun. This is one of Phoebe’s favourite things to play with at the moment!
Ribbons, Ribbons, Ribbons
The next fun toy is even easier. A load of ribbons tied together! It doesn’t matter what colours you use (we used the rainbow colours, so seven different ribbons).
Grab a metre long piece of each colour from your local craft shop (double satin ribbon is essential here so it’s silky on both sides. It’s the feel that babies love). Using a lighter, gently burn each end of each ribbon. This will make sure they don’t fray. Tie the ribbons in a knot, making sure the knot is in the centre and voila! You’re done! At about 60p a metre of ribbon, this comes up at a crippling total of £3.50, and you can probably get the ribbon cheaper if you shop around (or flutter your eyelashes if you’re a
Sadly Wifey can’t take any credit for this one. Our friends over at Life as Mrs N came up with this simple idea, after making tutu’s for their daughter’s second birthday party. This couldn’t be easier to make (providing you can plait!).
What you need:
- Three bits of tulle. The lengths only need to be about a metre long. You can get long rolls online at around £4.80 for 100 yards (seriously why are people still using yards, it’s like being with my Gran). This works out at about 5.2p per metre. You’re best going to a local craft/material shop to have a scout round.
All you need to do is tie the three pieces in a knot (have the knot right at the top). If you’re a plaiting novice, sticky tape the knotted tulle to a surface so you can pull it tight as you plait. Now plait the three pieces together and knot the tulle at the other end, then you’re done! Even at 50p a metre this will only cost £1.50 which is a small price to pay for the amount of use it’ll get.
Your child will love running this through their fingers, twiddling it with their hands (hence the name!). Phoebe finds The Twiddle in particular very comforting and uses it most days.
As with all these I’m sure the novelty will wear off eventually, but this is all for under a tenner so worth the investment.
Let me know what you think! I’m sure there’ll be plenty more things we make over the next few months which I’ll share with you! If you’ve made your child toys that they’ve loved, share them here!