The Worst Kid’s Toy DIY {and several smart alternatives}

It is wonderful when parents want to make toys for their children, and even more wonderful when these toys are made from recyclables, scraps, leftover cardboard, and found objects. And while the internet can provide thousands of ideas, resources, and tutorials, at the same time it can be overwhelming, confusing, and frustrating.

In July we rounded up a few easy, durable, and realistic kids toys DIYs. We wanted to share with you toys that could be made for under about $10 and 20 minutes. We have a few more to share with you, along with the worst kid’s toy DIY we’ve found so far.


Are you ready?


Here it is:


What?! An adorable play kitchen? How can that possibly be the worst DIY project??

We’ll tell you. But first, a few more super awesome kids’ toys that you can make in a short amount of time using mostly resources that you already have!

First up: These easy stitch cards are made from cereal boxes. Simply draw on (or have your kids draw) a design, shape, or pattern, then poke the holes. Voila! This type of activity is great for helping kids develop fine motor skills… and patience. Obviously you don’t have to use yarn. Shoelaces (and larger holes) are helpful for younger children. Have you ever made t-shirt yarn? It’s also a good alternative to shoelaces or store-bought yarn.

Kids' Toys DIY, a blogpost by EcoGoodz



Simple vs elaborate: This cardboard box town is simple and probably didn’t take more than 10 or 20 minutes to create. Yours doesn’t have to be this big or have edges on it. From a parent’s perspective, one of the greatest things about this toy is that it’s OK if it gets stepped on, slobbered on, climbed on, spilled on–because a) not much energy was put into creating it, and b) when it gets too beat up to play in, it can be cut up and stuck in the recycling bin.

Kids' Toys DIY, a blogpost by EcoGoodz



Even us grown ups might like to have one of these  A-frame pup tents, right?? These are fantastic! And they’re also super simple to make. These are made with a length of PVC, some wood, and fabric (we recommend using sheets or other used linens rather than buying new fabric). When not in use, they can be folded flat and stored under your kiddo’s bed.

Kids' Toys DIY, a blogpost by EcoGoodz

For outside fun, create a water wall from recyclables. In addition to the hours of fun your kids are bound to have, when they tire of it or when the seasons change, simply unscrew the wing nuts and recycle all the plastic (but save the screws and wing nuts for next year!).  If  you don’t want to drill a bunch of holes in your fence, you could scout out craigslist for free plywood.

As you can see there are many ways to create opportunities for learning and play that don’t involve spending exorbitant amounts of time or money. If you do choose to make toys/games for your child, keep in mind that playing and discovering can be messy, that accidents will happen and that whatever you’ve created may be spilled on, stepped on, sat on, possibly climbed on, and (worst case scenario) completely destroyed. And that is why the elaborate cardboard kitchen is the worst kid’s toy DIY: Because your child probably won’t play as serenely as the girl in the picture. When you create something out of non-durable materials like paper and cardboard, you should always keep in mind that it won’t last as long as you hope. So after spending hours laboring on it, when your kid inevitably pulls off the glued-on circles or rips off the oven door, how will you react? Will you be angry and/or upset; and how will your reaction affect your child? In general we think it’s a much better idea to create durable, realistic toys for kids, or to not spend too much time creating things out of non-durable materials. We’re pretty sure both you and your child will be happier that way!

Now go create and play!




EcoGoodz is a used clothing supplier in the USA. We supply both credential clothing and mixed rags. We also supply used paired shoes, bulk linens, soft toys, hard toys, and belts and purses. In partnership with top thrift stores and charitable institutions, we’ve kept millions of pounds of secondhand clothing, shoes, and household goods out of landfills. To inquire about our products, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.