DIY Outdoor (or Indoor) Toys

With summer in full swing we are all looking for inexpensive ways to keep the kids "entertained" and to encourage outdoor play. I am not extremely crafty but I do like to work with my hands and I love reusing old junk. So I pulled together a few DIY toys that are super simple to make and that used things I could find around the house.

  • Stilts - Good old fashioned fun using 15 oz. cans and rope. I used a screwdriver and hammer to punch holes in the side. Just make sure the ropes are the same length when attached to the cans.
  • Cardboard Box Boat - I used a wrapping paper tube and pillowcase for the sail and cardboard cut into a circle and wire for the wheel. Tons of variations and fun to be had here. 
  • Mild Jug Watering Can - I took an old milk jug and drilled holes in the lid. The smaller the holes the longer the water will last. The kids water the plants and each other. Perfect for cooling off during these hot summer months. 
  • Twig Tic Tac Toe - Reusable tic tac toe made from sticks and rocks from Fireflies and Mudpies. 
  • Soda Bottle Bowling - Fill up old soda bottles with water, line them up and use what ever ball you have available to knock them over. The more water in the bottles the harder it will be to knock them over. Any size soda bottle will work. 
  • DIY Wooden Blocks - Another creative way to use sticks and branches fallen in your yard from How Wee Learn.
  • DIY Obstacle Course Play - Doesn't use anything other that what you already have in your yard or at the park. Fun times from And Next Comes L. 
Bonus: Portable Mud Kitchen - I filled a shallow plastic bin with old kitchen stuff. We can take it anywhere, even camping. If you don't have any old kitchen stuff, try a local thrift store.

I am always surprised how much the kids love these types toys. Just goes to show that kids can have fun with even the simplest toys. We don't need to spend a lot of money. Just use a little creativity.

Your turn. What are your favorite DIY toys?


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