Home Improvement Leftover Toys

Supplies:
Leftover home improvement supplies

Doing a home improvement job? Expect to have leftovers of all sorts. Whether you end up with leftover wallpaper, wood, tile, PVC pipe, or other stuff, you can turn it into new toys for your kids. So, put down the hammer for now, gather some of those leftovers, and make your kids some new toys. You won’t waste a thing!

A vinyl tile square makes a great dry erase board for a child. You won’t need any special markers; regular markers work great. To erase, simply provide the child with a damp cloth. Most vinyl tiles have a peel-n-stick backing. Stick the tile to something else, like a piece of wood, or leave the backing in place, and let the child carry the lightweight tile around.

Leftover wallpaper makes good drawing paper. Stretch it out down the length of the table, or put it on the floor, and let your child write, draw, and color. Tape the wallpaper down to keep it from curling as your child plays.

A piece of scrap plywood, counter top material, or even paneling, can be turned into a nice chalkboard. You can apply chalkboard paint, put on peel-n-stick chalkboard contact paper, or glue on chalkboard cloth. Provide the chalk and eraser, which you can purchase locally or online.

If you have leftover two-by-fours, molding, or even PVC pipe pieces, they can be combined to create a cool learning toy. Use a large coffee tin and draw the shapes on top of the lid. Cut out the shapes, put the lid back on, and the child can play by figuring out what pieces go into which holes.

A small diameter piece of PVC pipe can be made into any number of learning games and toys. One thing that you can do is to cut a foot or so of the pipe, and slide other things onto it, such as wide rings cut from a larger diameter piece of PVC pipe, sections cut from a toilet paper roll, curtain rings, or other things. Glue something on each end of the pipe – like a flat, wooden shape – and the items will stay on. You can do anything from writing numbers on the pieces, to letting the child slide blank pieces across the rod while counting, to hanging assorted toys from the rod. Attach ribbons and you can glue tiny toys on the ends of them.

Put screws and such into a 20 ounce soda bottle, glue on the lid, and you’ve made a rattle for a baby. Put tape around a leftover piece of sheet metal to cover the edges and your child has a nice place to use magnetic letters and numbers. Draw on blocks of two-by-fours to make fun dolls. Turn a plywood piece into a board game. Look through your home improvement leftovers; you’ll be surprised at how many games and toys you’ll find.

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