17 Genius DIY Toy Hacks to Keep Toddlers Busy for Hours

17 Genius DIY Toy Hacks to Keep Toddlers Busy for Hours

DIY Balloon-powered car

Any parent will tell ya that your kid needs entertainment. Failure to do so will result in a curious child who may or may not climb up your furniture, clog the toilet with toys because it's funny, smear an unidentifiable substance over the walls, and get into something you thought was safely stored away. Yeah, it's time to break out the toys ... but not just any toys -- something you, Mom, made yourself.

In the world of Pinterest junkies and DIY wizards, there's plenty of room for people who might not own a hot glue gun -- or have tried the art of upcycling -- but want to. In fact, you might be one idea away from crafting up something awesome and, more importantly, affordable (for you) that your kids will enjoy.

Allow yourself to think outside the usual list of toy suspects, and consider one of these DIY projects to help keep your toddler busy ... and possibly give you a wee bit of downtime.

More from The Stir: 15 Ordinary Things That Will Keep Your Toddler Occupied for Hours

You can thank us later.

Image via hello,Wonderful

  • Busy board


    Image via teachezofpeachez/Imgur

    We don't know where this father lives, but we feel like we need to send a handwritten thank-you note. This DIY busy board will surely keep little ones entertained! After all, who wouldn't enjoy messing around with locks, keys, and an empty toilet paper roll? They do it anyway!

    More from The Stir: 10 Fun Toys to Teach STEM Skills to Toddlers

  • Toy stove


    Here's an idea that encourages safe cooking without fear LO will burn his or her tiny fingers. Printable Cuttable Creatables has a super cute DIY toy stove that redefines food on the go. In fact, your child can store all those yummy edibles inside the container (or is that the oven?).

  • Balloon hockey


    Don't you tempt us with a good time! Creative Connections for Kids has one of the best DIY toys that will earn you some serious street cred with mommies on the playground. Did someone say balloon hockey?!

  • Tin can drums


    Image via Make and Takes

    Are you guilty of yelling "Stop banging on that!" to your kid? Yeah, you aren't the only one. Make and Takes has a melodic alternative that still makes noise, but will at least spare the good furniture. Have you ever tried to make tin can drums? You might feel inspired to take your show on the road.

  • Ball drop wall game


    Image via Teach Me Mommy

    Consider yourself the most awesome parent to walk this earth if you take the time to repurpose cardboard. Teach Me Mommy's ball drop wall game will keep your toddler entertained, and possibly give you enough time to enjoy a few minutes to yourself. Plus, it encourages motor skills -- double score!

    More from The Stir: 14 Best Cardboard Box Crafts to Make With Kids (PHOTOS)

  • Shape Sorter


    Image via The Realistic Mama

    It's never too early to start teaching your children about colors and shapes. The Realistic Mama created a super easy 3D shape sorter that can transform an old shoe box (practically any cardboard box will do) into a magical device that allows for endless play.

  • Mess-free painting


    Finger painting has never been effortless! Parents can rejoice over this mess-free painting activity the folks at Feeling Lovesome dreamed up. Tots will be able to get their artistic fix, swirl a few colors around, and create a masterpiece for the refrigerator door.

  • Toy kitchen


    Image via cottoncandycastle/Flickr

    It's pretty amazing what you can create out of old furniture! Have an outdated entertainment cabinet? That's okay, you can turn it into a toy kitchen your toddler will love. Paint, a few hardware materials, and some fabric can really go a long way. The more fun you have with this project, the more realistic it will look!

    More from The Stir: 10 Fun Imagination Games for Toddlers -- No Toys Required

  • DIY car wash


    Image via Non Toy Gifts

    Hey, those construction trucks and race cars can get pretty dirty in the hands of a toddler. Well now, your LO can treat his or her favorite wheels to a much-needed "cleaning" inside this (cardboard) car wash. Non Toy Gifts really created something cool that looks exactly like a real-life car wash. Plus, this is a project you can craft with your child that will keep the good times rollin'.

  • Robot helmet


    Image via The Realistic Mama

    Toddlers have been known to find the simplest and most random things entertaining. Should you happen to have a few pipe cleaners and a strainer handy, you too can create this robot helmet. The Realistic Mama found an easy way to work on LO's motor development and keep the good times rolling.

    More from The Stir: 5 Fun Ways to Develop Your Toddler's Language Skills

  • Pizza box airport


    Image via Paging Fun Mums

    Um, talk about creative. Who knew that an old cardboard box -- that likely got to your house in 30 minutes or less -- could turn into the ultimate toy? Paging Fun Mums created craft gold with this pizza box airport. Isn't this cool?!

  • Toy car box


    Image via The Way He Plays

    Stepping on those beloved toy cars might make your child laugh, but for you, oh, it's quite painful. All vehicles need a place to drive and park -- which makes this car box toy from The Way He Plays a diy must for parents.

  • Rubber band racer


    Image via Your Modern Dad

    MacGyver has nothing on Your Modern Dad, and this rubber band racer that's all sorts of amazeballs. Seriously, who would think of turning bottle caps, straws, and rubber bands into something a child can enjoy? Talk about money saver!

  • Constellation flashlight


    Image via Handmade Charlotte

    All parents want their little ones to reach for the stars -- and now they can, with this DIY constellation flashlight that's out of this world. Handmade Charlotte created a really unique nighttime accessory that will make going to bed even more exciting.

    More from The Stir: 11 Best Toys for Helping Imaginations Run Wild (PHOTOS)

  • Car conveyor belt


    Image via hello, Wonderful

    Give your kid the opportunity to be fast and a little furious with this car conveyor belt. Hello, Wonderful has done it again, providing us with yet another fun project that takes imaginative play to another level. Fasten your seat belts -- you're in for a crazy ride!

  • Edible & chemical-free slime


    Let's get real: What child doesn't love boogers, snot, and all those gross things? Fun at Home With Kids is now taking gooey play up a notch with this chemical-free and edible slime. There aren't enough words to express just how happy your sons or daughters will likely be to sink their hands into this ooze.

    More from The Stir: 10 Most Hilarious Baby and Toddler We've Ever Seen

  • "Balloon-powered" toy car


    Image via hello,Wonderful

    You and your older tots can geek out with this balloon-powered toy car. Now, you've probably seen some pretty awesome play vehicles in your lifetime, but how many of you can say you played with one that had a balloon to make it move? Yeah, it's pretty amazing. Thanks, Hello, Wonderful!

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