As a parent, you are your baby's first teacher. Swiss philosopher, Dr. Jean Piaget, upon whose theories many of the foundations of Early Childhood education have been built, once said, "Young children are explorers and it is the job of the adults around them to provide the experiences and materials to stimulate their development."
Parents promote education from the beginning, using everyday life experiences to expand their children's minds and bodies. And toys are stimuli in the world of learning. When a young child plays—he learns. Unfortunately in a world of inflation, it is difficult for us parents to provide every toy available on today's market. Homemade toys are a fun and playful solution.
Here are some of the favorite homemade toys. You can make these toys by simply using household discards along with a few items that can be found in dollar stores. Bright colors, soft textures, and tinkling sounds make these play things especially appealing to the little ones. (But, please make sure you use only materials that are safe for baby/toddler play and no matter what toys you give your child to play with—supervision is always a priority.)
- Stitch together (by hand or machine) several zipper-top sandwich bags along the bottom edge.
- Cut cardboard to fit inside each bag.
- Glue magazine pictures or personal photos to the cardboard, then slip each page into the plastic sleeve.
- Collect several plastic milk-jug lids.
- Cut an "X" into the plastic lid of an empty coffee can.
- Decorate as desired. (I spray painted the cans with bright colors and attached whimsical stickers. Another variation would be to use colorful adhesive contact paper.)