Keep kids busy with this simple to make toddler toy!

Creative toddler toys don’t have to break the bank. I love this simple toy. It’s made from recycled materials, and it teaches fine motor skills.

Kids have fun and stay busy while developing fine motor skills with this simple to make toddler toy (}

Sometimes I think that modern technology deprives our children of opportunities to play. Before the advent of iPhones and iPads, I traveled to doctor appointments and church with a “bag of tricks” to keep my kids busy. I carried crayons and coloring books, puzzles, and creative toys that I reserved only to use at these special times.

Nine times out of ten, the bag of tricks were a success. Generally speaking, my kids were well-behaved as we waited our turn at the doctor or sat through church. (Except, of course, when the doctor made us wait for an hour, or the speaker at church went ten minutes over time. But who’s kid doesn’t get restless in those situations? Heck–I get restless!)

Don’t get me wrong, though. My kids were far from perfect, and we still had our share of frustrating moments. (They were normal kids, after all!)

When I found these pictures from a year or two ago, I knew I had to share this idea. For those of you who still like to keep a bag of tricks to keep your kids entertained, I’ve got a simple and quick toddler toy for you. (Thanks to my friend’s little boy for being my model, and to another friend who came up with the brilliant idea!)

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Kids have fun and stay busy while developing fine motor skills with this simple to make toddler toy (}Simple DIY Toddler Toy


  • 1 shallow plastic food container with a lid (The more shallow the container, the more stability it will have. Tall containers tip over more easily.)
  • Medium or large puff balls of various colors
  • Scissors or xacto knife


  1. Using an xacto knife or sharp scissors, cut five small circles out of the lid to your container. (They should be just slightly bigger than a squished puff ball. If you set a puff ball on top of the hole, it should not fall in. You should have to give it a little push to get it to squish into the hole.) Be careful to smooth any rough edges in the plastic.
  2. Replace the lid on the container.
  3. Add a handful of puff balls, and you’re done! (Store the puff balls inside when you are not using the toy.)

I have seen this toy entertain active kids for a very long time. I hope it’s helpful to you. (I wish I had it when my girls were little.)

Want more ideas for kids? Check these out. (Images are linked to posts. Click on the image to visit the post.)

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  1. This is a good idea! Teaching good fine motor skills as you wait :).

  2. I found your link on Tater Tots and Jello and I’m so happy I did! I agree that modern toys sometimes keep our kids from finding ways to be creative on their own. I’m going to try this one this weekend! Thanks!

  3. I love this toy idea! Toddlers always seem to go through a stage where love love putting things inside other things, and this is perfect for that!
    Thanks so much for sharing this simple, brilliant toy with Waste Not Want Not wednesday!

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