Feel free to steal the ideas or, if you aren't crafty, don't have the time or just don't feel like it, I can be hired to recreate these. Haha.
1. This first one was really the only expensive and time consuming project but I knew he would love it. I made this busy board at the beginning of the year so he was about 18 months old at the time. I would have loved to have had it done in the fall or early winter last year when he was just a little younger but we had 2 hospital admissions so yeah.... But once we got through that, we picked up nearly all of the supplies at our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore retail store. We bought the wood square (already cut) at Home Depot along with the spray paint. The painting took the most time since I had to do 2 coats of yellow, then mask it off and paint the black.
At the time, Megatron loved light switches and of all things, thermostats. So those items were a must. The numbers are actually house numbers and are bumpy so I knew he would like to scratch his fingers on them like babies do. The door stopper is also a hit because we don't have the springy door stoppers in our house. This one is very springy and makes that wonderful "boing!" sound (the plastic tip doesn't come off so it isn't a choking hazard).
These pictures were taken when I first showed it to him back in January....oh my gosh he was so tiny! He's not a baby anymore!
|Errmagawd, my own thermostat?!|
2. I made this felt board recently after getting the idea off a local moms group on Facebook. I took a square cork board (on clearance at Target!), then stapled a felt background to the board. I then cut out a bunch of random items out of felt. Trees with individual leaves, flowers with separate stems, a butterfly, clouds, sun, etc. All things he can use to "build" his own scene. I bought 8.5 x 11 sheets of felt at a local teacher supply store but Joann Fabric also carries it. Once I had everything cut out, I put the shapes in a zippered binder pouch (I found mine at both the dollar store and Walmart for under $1 each). I use these binder pouches for a lot of these activities because they hold up better than a Ziploc bag, and they stand up when I stick them in one of my 31 Gifts tote bags (perfect for filling with toys and taking to the car for a road trip!). It also keeps the activities separate and Megatron now knows how to open them without help.
|I knocked this out during Megatron's afternoon nap recently. It was a win win because I got to use the crafty part of my brain and Megatron now has a rainy day activity.|
|Love those new-to-him Fall jammies!|
4. This Popsicle matching game idea came from Pinterest. I used felt and cut out the Popsicle shapes, then sewed them together, leaving the bottom open. I then took Popsicle sticks and glued a piece of the matching color felt on the stick. And even though he doesn't read, I went ahead and wrote the colors on the opposite side of the stick. For now, he just likes to take the sticks in and out of the zippered pouch and he knows the color blue so he will point to it when asked (if he wants to) but the goal would be to practice matching the right stick with the right Popsicle and putting the stick in the bottom. This took me about 15 minutes even with cutting and sewing.
So those are some of the things I've made so far. With the exception of the busy board, everything was less than $5 to make and required minimal time to put together. And none of it involves listening to obnoxious electronic toys or really makes me want to cringe at all. :) Happy mom = happy baby and happy baby = happy mom.