Keeping up with your child’s varied and fickle interests can be exhausting and very expensive. One day they desperately want this, and will express their love very loudly in the store when they don’t get it. The next day inevitably they will turn their nose up at it or toss it on top of the pile of toys they already have that they ignore.

What’s a budget-conscious and eco-minded family to do?

If you have a Pinterest account, you might have seen what some crafty parents have been up to.

Upcycling old or used household items into new objects of desire for your child is all the rage! Beyond boxes transformed into rocket ships, everyday things around your home have the potential to become your child’s new favourite toy.

Here are some fun ideas that will hopefully inspire you to poke around our home for something old that can be turned into something wow!

Magic in the Making

A windstorm has dumped a pile of twigs on the lawn. Or are they wizard wands? Get your child to help you gather the most wicked of the sticks and then get glitter-ing!

Every princess (or prince) needs a crown. Scraps of leftover fabric and a sewing machine will turn your kids into funky royalty.

Sweet DIY’s

Turn a boring afternoon in the garden into a Tic Tac Toe tournament with paint and stones. Even the collecting of just the right size and shape stones can be great learning experience in both geometry and patience. Bonus: Painting the symbols on the clean rocks is a great fine motor skill activity.

Turn old wooden spoons and craft supplies into a puppet show theatre troupe. This crafty upcycle will really test their imaginations. Give each doll a funny name, peculiar voice and some unique personality quirks for maximum giggling.

My First Kitchen

You could spend a fortune on a chunk of plastic at the store OR convert an old cabinet into the tiny perfect kitchen for your budding chefs. Here are some great varied options for this genius upcycle.

One Track Table

Old tables from Ikea occupy approximately 67% of all homes. Why not transform one into a race track for your junior Nascar driver? The extra storage for all the unruly Lego makes this a practically perfect upcycle.

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As you upcycle these items, you not only save money and save space in landfills, but you and your children have the chance to use your imaginations to envision what fun project is next. Creativity in play is a wonderful part of early child development and you are fostering it organically with simple toy upcycles.  Have you already made some magic with items around your home? Show us a picture on our Facebook Page. We’d love to see how crafty you are!