Another simple and cheap toy to make, that my daughter enjoys, are blocks. Blocks are one of the 4 basic B’s every child should have – balls, books, boxes, and blocks. These four classics help babies develop in different ways and can be enjoyed a long time and are generally easy to find. Blocks are great for creativity and some hand eye coordination and I’m sure plenty of other things too. There are some great blocks of different sizes and variety being sold, but they were all a little too expensive for me. Since then, we have been gifted with some store bought ones, which are great, but there are a few advantages still to the ones I made.
I made my blocks out of Gerber baby food containers. After feeding my baby I would thoroughly wash them to remove any remaining food and then they are ready to go. You could probably forgo the lid altogether if you just want plain blocks, but for the more creative ones it’s better to have a lid. I left a few of the lids unglued for my daughter, she likes to pull them off and put things in them sometimes, making them double as boxes. The rest I used a hot glue gun to secure the lids on top. I originally tried some craft glue, but if they were tugged on enough they would come off and my daughter is nothing if not persistent.
I experimented a lot with how to make them more exciting, and I made a couple different sets. This first one was to get different colors, so I used food dye on the two on the left and on the right one I just ripped up a piece of colored paper and put it inside.
The next set also involved a bit of food dye but I used it on some dry noodles for these ones. I made sure they were dry before gluing on the lids.
Then another set was just putting in different shaped loose materials, making them double as little maracas. From right to left the blocks contain big pearl beads, rice, unpopped popcorn and more of the noodles.
And the last set I used glitter/fabric glue on the inside, and I actually didn’t use the hot glue gun with these, but just used the fabric glue and they have held together just fine.
Although these don’t link together like most blocks you can buy, that actually makes it easier for younger infants to handle. Before children grasp how things like megabloks are put together they can’t really build or even stack with them. The only limitations with these blocks are how many you make and your imagination. They also are more fun to knock over because of the variety of sounds they make. The biggest disadvantage to these is that they aren’t super sturdy. Don’t step on them! It’s uncomfortable and you often squish or dent them.
I hope you’ll have as much fun making and playing with these blocks as my baby and I did. Share any other fun ways you find for spicing up the blocks!