Children have too many toys, and especially the kind of plastic toys that break within 10 minutes of receiving it. The kind of toys that are made with cheap labour in poorer countries and that are designed to be thrown away quickly so that you can buy another one. Take a look at storyofstuff.org to see how crazy the production of stuff really is and why we need to move away from our addiction to consumerism.
This is a big reason why our family makes toys for birthday gifts. I know this is not everybody’s cup of tea but have a look how simple gift-making can be. And these gifts are often the ones that are most enjoyed and kept for the longest time. Below are some of the gifts we have made.
Make your own cookies
Pre-pack the ingredients for cookies, or pre-make the dough. Add sprinkles and decorations and add a cookie cutter.
Make a weaving loom
Simply drill holes into a piece of wood and tie a piece of doweling stick to the side. Your 2-5 year old will spend hours learning to weave.
Make a hobbie horse
I made this simple hobbie horse for my daughters second birthday. I used a pattern from a blog called lightbluegrey. She fell in love with it immediately and I often hear her trotting around the house.
Using felt and material, a hand puppet it a great and simple gift for 1-6 year olds. In this photo, I personalised it for the birthday girl.
Make a trolley
This needs a little more time and energy to construct but is well worth the fun!
Make a quiet book
This activity book is a ‘no sew’ version and made from felt and material scraps. It took a little longer then I thought to make it, but my daughter still spends lots of time doing all the activities. I left a few pages at the back to add more activities as she grows older.