Tuesday, July 24, 2012

DIY How To: Making toys from everyday household objects

by Jessica Burko

You might not be surprised to learn that my house is full of art and music. In our family we have a very creative and active 3-year-old toddler and his easily entertained 8-month-old baby sister. Our toddler loves having "concerts" for us with drums, maracas, bells, and various other percussion instruments, and one of our favorite things to do is find music in the everyday like wind rustling trees, birds singing, wooden spoons banged on the sofa, and from instruments that we make ourselves. 
When our toddler was very little I made a few toys for him by myself but now that he requests "an art project" almost every day, we can make things together. We frequently talk about recycling and not wasting what we have, so I always jump at the chance to upcycle household items into something fun. I call these random creations: Garbage Toys. Our latest upcycled creation was from an oatmeal container that had an easily removable label revealing a beautiful white canvas. We used the empty container to make a bean-filled percussion instrument. It was easy, fun, and a great rainy day activity for kids of all ages.
• Any kind of empty cardboard container (We used an oatmeal container from our local Stop & Shop grocery store.)
• Your preferred art material like crayons, markers, paint, and/or stickers.
• A handful of dried beans (Any kind will do, we used kidney beans.)
• Strong glue

• Decorate the outside of your container any way that you like - the more colorful the better!
• Add beans.
• Glue the top on tight and let dry overnight (Or less time if you use quick-dry glue).
• Shake it baby shake it, and enjoy your own concert!

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