Homemade Toys and Games


Tic-Tac-Toss Game

Take the game of Xs and Os in the yard with a huge, large version.

On a flat surface, tape strips of duct tape to a shower curtain liner. Use additional tape to create Xs on four heavyweight plastic plates. You’ll want four more plates for the Os.

To play, make a throw line, then follow the rules of tic-tac-toe. If your disk goes off the board, in an already-claimed square, or centered on a line, throw it again.

Spinning Disk Toy

Thread two buttons into a 2-foot length of string, then tie it into a loop. Grabbing each end of the loop, whirl the buttons around to put them around the string. Tug your hands apart to spin the buttons, then let the string go limp so that they rewind and spin. Repeat the movements to get the buttons moving faster.

Stand-up Dinosaur Toys

Display who’s boss with this cleverly designed bipedal model of four-legged dinosaurs. Download an online template, draw the shapes on cereal box cardboard, and then cut them out. Paint all sides and let them dry, then slot them together.

Make-Your-Own Checkers Game

Tape turns a plastic bag into a game board that contains handmade playing pieces.

Cover a gallon-size plastic freezer bag with overlying strips of a single color of duct tape. Fold a strip of tape lengthwise over each edge. Make sure not to take over the opening. Stick strips of a second color of tape to parchment paper. Gage and cut 32 11-inch squares. Begin under the zipper, put the squares on the bag in an 8X8 grid. For checkers, wrap 1-inch wood disks with two colors of duct tape, 12 of each color. Trim the tape.

With homemade games, having fun with your children doesn’t have to cost a fortune, or anything at all for that matter.