These days, we are trying to live more simply, so I am cutting back on my craft projects and trying to use what I have. I have a couple great DIY projects that won't send your craft store owner to Hawaii via your wallet. None of them are my own - they have all been shared with me by wiser mamas - both the Nugget and I give them 2 thumbs up! Do you have another easy, cheap project for toddlers? Please leave it in the comments section!
Shaker Bottles - by friend K
1. Wash out a disposable plastic water or pop bottle, and let air dry completely.
2. Fill the bottle about 1/3 full with odds and ends - buttons, sand, rice, glitter, confetti, pebbles, beads, colored water, whatever. You can make a theme - like all one color, ducks in blue water, or just a crazy collection.
3. Hot glue the cap back on.
The Nugget has been using his shakers for a year, and older kids love them too. Challenge big kids by filling a 2L bottle with sand and tiny items, then giving them a list of the items hidden in the sand. Bring a timer and have sibs see who can find the most objects in 60 seconds for a great road trip game or restaurant distraction!
Sensory Tub - by friend C
1. Find a plastic storage bin with tight-fitting lid.
2. Fill the tub with a blend of any of the following: dried peas, beans, lentils, sand, rice, oatmeal, pastas. Save money by buying these out of bulk bins in the grocery store.
3. Provide old bowls, cups, scoops, shovels, measuring spoons.
4. Put down an old blanket or towel and let your kid sift and dig to heart's delight, like an indoor sandbox. Keep the lid on when not in use, and change out the materials every few months to keep it interesting.
The Nugget only needs occasional reminders that it's "not for your mouth" and "keep it in the box", but it's a very calming activity for a stuck-inside-day. I sit next to him and hold the tub steady, and I can never keep my fingers out of it either - it's very relaxing to run my fingers through it.