We buy a lot of toys for our kids, but they eventually grow out of playing with toys as they mature, especially with all the technology that is available today. It’s not that those toys don’t get used; children just naturally move on to another stage in life where those toys will either be replaced or set aside (hopefully) for adulthood.
So, aside from becoming the stick-around items of the yard sale every year, is there anything we can do to reuse some of the these old toys?
It may take some creativity on your part, but there are many crafty and innovative ideas for giving new life to these old toys. As toys are usually colorful and interesting to look at, finding a ripe DIY project, like on Pinterest, will give you plenty of ways for those old toys to fill some kind of role somewhere else in the house.
If you’ve got a crafty side to you, try looking for some of the following types of old toys:
– Larger hollow toys, like Tonka trucks or other vehicles —
– Small wooden toys —
– Small colorful blocks, dolls or action figures —
– Stuffed animals —
Once you find a few, give one of these three old-toy craft ideas a try.
1. Small Toys as Christmas Ornaments
It doesn’t take much– just some sparkling string and a small latch to glue onto the toy. For example, take a mini tea cup and tie some embroidery floss or pretty curling ribbon around the handle for an easy-to-hang ornament. For a stuffed animal, poke a hole in one of the animal’s ears with craft wire and attach some string.
Puzzle pieces also work well as homemade ornaments. For a more festive appeal, decorate borders of the pieces with red, green, silver and gold embellishments, such as confetti, glitter or puff paint.
A lot of the ornaments available from Hallmark resemble old toys anyway, so why not improvise and save yourself the expense of new ornaments?
2. Stuffed Animals for Bookends
Stuffed animals by themselves aren’t quite heavy enough to support books, but if you fill them with sand or something else that adds a little bit of weight, they’ll work wonders for keeping your bookshelf organized. This can be a great way to keep treasured stuffed animals in the picture when your kids get older and grow out of them.
3. Trucks and Bigger Toys as Planters
It’ll take some work and the right kind of toy for this to look classy, but since you are probably used to having bigger toys sitting in the yard, they’ll have some “rustic” appeal already. Find something that’s deep enough you can fill with dirt, like a toy dump truck and use it to plant something colorful. Move it around to a few different places to see where the look works the best.
4. Magnets from Small Toys
Small toys make great refrigerator magnets and are incredibly easy to throw together. All you really need is a few magnets and some kind of adhesive to get them to stick to the toys. You can purchase magnets of various sizes for this express purpose from most craft stores, such as Michael’s or Jo-Ann Fabrics.
5. Being Creative
There’s a lot you can do with old toys, so let your imagine do some of the heavy lifting and get as creative as possible. The more you look, the more you’ll find that there are a lot of neat, crafty things you can do with items that are already in your home.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from Los Angeles who writing covers travel, tech and marketing. She currently works with Retail Packaging and as a work-at-home mother of three, she stays busy finding creative ways to reuse her childrens’ toys around her home.