Spaghetti Box Kids

Strategies, Tips and Activities for Learning

learning through play

10 Toys You Can Make on Your Own

July 15th, 2013 · 6 Comments

Electronic gadgets you buy in stores generally appeal to your child’s craving for instant gratification. On the other hand, making your own toys engages your child in a step by step procedure that requires patience, commitment and focus. That’s an important skill set that contributes to the ability to undertake mathematical operations, scientific research and everyday problem solving.

Here are some cool toys you can make with your child that generally require nothing more than everyday items from around the house.

1. Crane
This toy puts you in charge of picking up a variety of small objects, including nuts and bolts, and transporting them to a receiving area for sorting.

“…your child is motivated to excel in the activities generated by these toys because there’s stuff to figure out, learning is required, and doing well is an expression of that learning.”

2. Strategy Ramp
This toy sets the stage for a host of games where points are earned by accurately putting simple physics into play.

3. Coffee Cup Catapult
This is a wonderfully mechanical, yet simple toy that taps into the timeless fascination of launching stuff.

4. Wind Maker
This simple device invites you alter and customize components and to add your own decorations in order to show what the wind in action looks like.

5. Fling-Thing
This toy offers an assortment of games using a nickel attached to a string that is sent flying through the air.

6. Penny Launcher
This nifty toy puts you in charge of sending a rolling penny clear across the room, over bumps and lumps, or into targets.

7. Gravity Checker
This simple mechanism offers a variety of games that challenge you to find the perfect balance between gravity and levity.

8. Rocket Ship
Here’s your chance to do some exotic traveling—this rocket comes with a full instrument panel, including the ever popular thruster lever for maximum acceleration.

9. Spaghetti Box Theater
This small theater offers rich opportunities for character creation, story telling and imaginative role playing.

10. Precision Robot
Here your child is challenged to execute simple commands in order to navigate a robot through the house without causing a malfunction.

Keep in mind–your child is motivated to excel in the activities generated by these toys because there’s stuff to figure out, learning is required, and doing well is an expression of that learning. No, you say, my child is motivated because there are games involved, and kids love games. Well, most kids of grade school age probably aren’t motivated to play touch your nose, ears and eyes, etc. Why not? Because there’s nothing to learn. So, from your child’s perspective, learning is the fun part. That means, for instance, when your child is motivated to improve the design of a toy she made, you’d do well to encourage her because when it boils down what you’re seeing is your child’s self-motivation to figure things out. And, really, what could be better than that?

Go to subscription details for subscriber information.

Read About the author.

Tags: Kids’ Activities · Kids' Science

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dave // Jul 24, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Cool ideas. I love hanging back on the weekends and building things with my son. I’m going to try some of these out. Thanks!

  • 2 Spaghetti Box Kids // Jul 24, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Dave, glad to hear it. There’s nothing like making stuff from scratch with your kids. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon. Thanks for poppin’ in.

    -AV

  • 3 Beth // Jul 26, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Great alternatives to the hand held devices that are draining youth culture of creativity and indepenent thinking. I’m so glad for your website. Thnaks, keep the articles coming!

  • 4 Spaghetti Box Kids // Jul 30, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Beth, thanks for weighing in. I appreciate your insight. I agree, it’s hard to imagine a lower goal for kids than stimulating emotional excitement with electronic devices.

    -AV

  • 5 tanya // Sep 17, 2013 at 11:08 am

    great site.
    do you have a newsletter?

  • 6 Spaghetti Box Kids // Sep 17, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Thanks. Glad you like it.
    No newsletter, but you’ll find a full list of articles in sitemap

    All the Best-
    -AV

Leave a Comment