We started making handmade toys for our son before he was even born. We wanted to fill his toy box with special friends that Mommy and Daddy sewed and carved. Nine months were long enough to do the job! Soon strange little creatures with button eyes and wooden rattles moved onto the shelves of the nursery. Some of our projects turned out better than others, but all of them seemed special to us, bringing memories of hours and days with a needle or a saw.
Not to say that we never buy toys – oh no! But we certainly like making our own. When we make toys, we have an opportunity to personalize them to our son’s interests and needs, which are currently cars, insects, and puzzles. Admittedly, we sometimes factor in the décor of our living room, because that is where the toy is going to spend most of its time.
Fall is my favourite time for crafting! Many natural materials are at hand right in my yard, the dark evenings are pleasant spent at home working on a craft, and there are several holidays to celebrate. And if you feel like giving your child a hand-made gift on special occasion or any day, here is a good selection of tutorials on how to make autumn toys from other kid bloggers. Some of them are very simple, and will require at most an hour of your time, but there are also challenging ones for crafting enthusiasts!
The lists starts with general autumn toys, but further down you will find toys for specific occasions – for Halloween and Thanksgiving!
1. Waldorf-Inspired Nature Blocks by Adventure in a Box: turn the fallen branches from your yard into a set of Waldorf-inspired blocks.
2. Toy Fairy Tree House by Adventure in a Box: once you have the blocks, get some extra wood to build a fairy house for a playroom – fairies do not like cold and would like to be invited inside!
3. Gnome Couple by Twig and Toadstool: if fairies are too noisy, have a couple of charming gnomes stay over instead.
4. Pine Cone Pets by Zing Zing Tree: include these adorable pine cone pets in some nature play.
5. Autumn Mobile by Red Ted Art: autumn nature treasures can make a whimsical mobile.
6. Tinkering by MollyMoo: and what child would not like an adorable jingly toy for a door hanger?
7. Leaf Mason Jar Candle Holder by Spark and Chemistry: lanterns are another of my son’s favourites, and he would love to have such a leaf lantern.
8. Nature Sensory Board by Fun at Home with Kids: sensory boards are excellent toys for babies, and older children can make them for their siblings.
9. Homemade Herb and Spice Play Dough by Craftulate: make a batch of deliciously spiced playdough.
10. 6 Tips to Make Coloured Rice Perfect for Your Fall Sensory Bin by Kids Activities Blog: coloured rice is one of the simplest toys you can make for children, yet it will give them hours of fun.
11. Back to School Shoebox by MollyMoo: this is a perfect toy for those who start school and for those who wait at home for older brothers and sisters.
12. DIY Preschool Weather Board by Teaching Mama: with the weather changing constantly in the fall, this weather board (with free printables) will get a lot of use!
13. Owl Finger Puppet Tutorial by Playing with Words 365: if you like working with felt, consider making these cute little owls!
14. Felt Pumpkin Pie by Mama Smiles: a felt pumpkin pie is a great autumn addition to children’s kitchen.
15. Autumn Tree and Leaves Felt Board by Munchkin and Bean: grow a felt tree inside for children to decorate.
16. Mix and Match Owls Felt Board Play by And Next Comes L: a very fun game of making different owls!
17. DIY Waldorf Hand Kite by Study at Home Mama: autumn is good for flying kites, and this little hand kite will be adored by babies and toddlers.
18. Leaf Memory Game by Teaching Mama: create a memory game with leaves and learn their names.
19. Fall Family Bingo by KCEdventures: have an ongoing game of Fall Family Bingo over the season!
1. Monster Wooden Blocks by Adventure in a Box: add a spooky twist into games with building blocks.
2. Rock Monsters by Coastal Inspired Creations: rocks will make great monsters too.
3. Mix and Match Monsters by And Next Comes L: have fun, making new monsters every time on this felt board!
4. Soft and Spooky Toy Ghosts by Adventure in a Box: decorate your nursery with terrycloth ghosts that double at teethers.
5. Sock Pumpkin Craft by Meaningful Mama: these spunky sock pumpkins can also act as little balls!
6. Halloween Bubble Wands by Fireflies and Mudpies: unique bubble wands – and very fall-like with cinnamon sticks as handles.
7. Itsy Bitsy Spider Hand Puppet by Lalymom: what Halloween party would not welcome such an adorable spider?
8. Life-Sized Skeleton by Fun at Home with Kids: decorate your house with a life-sized skeleton, while studying bones with children.
9. Mr. Pumpkin Head by Tutus & Tea Parties: when Mr. Potato Head gets old, Mr. Pumpkin Head can take his place.
1. Button Turkey by Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes: a simple toy that teaches the important skill of fastening buttons.
2. Fine Motor Turkey for Tots by Twodaloo: this turkey stacker is a perfect Thanksgiving toy for babies and toddlers.
3. Sculpey Turkey Finger Puppet by Twodaloo: the most adorable little turkey I have seen – will be a good companion for reading books about turkeys over the holiday.
What toys have you made for your children? They do not have to be autumn toys – we would love to see them!