Why make toys for your kids?

There are so many reasons to buy handmade toys. From quality craftsmanship, to supporting small business, to not supporting mega-toymakers and buying lead-ridden toys (see Save Handmade). But when you make a toy for your child you are doing something even greater than anything that I mentioned above.

When you make a toy for your child, or better yet, when you make a toy with you child you are teaching them the fine art of making wealth out of what you already have. You are opening up your children’s eyes to the possibilities of all they can make and do by themselves. When your child tells you that she wants to dress up as a fairy or a bow hunter, and you dig into your fabric stash and find the fabric to sew up a simple costume you are teaching your child ingenuity. As opposed the consumerism you’d be teaching them if you just went to the store and bought a fairy costume or bow and arrow.

Do I make all of my children’s toys? Of course not. And when there are so many other things that need to be done in a day it’s not feasible to try. With all of my children’s variety of interests it’s not possible to keep up. We own handmade, homemade, and store bought dress-up clothes. We own handmade, homemade, and store bought puzzles.

But if Elise says she wants to do a puzzle of a lion and we don’t have a lion puzzle there are 3 options:

  1. Say, “We don’t have a lion puzzle, Honey. Sorry.”
  2. Go buy a lion puzzle the next time we’re at the store.
  3. Print out a picture of a lion, color it together, glue it to cardboard and cut it into a puzzle. If you really want to get cool about it you can cover it with Mod Modge and it will last forever.

All of those options are the right option at times, but if you do take the time to choose option 3, you will soon find your children asking you if you can make them a robot or dragon. You might even find them cutting a robot, or a dragon, or a doll, or a car out of a magazine or scraps of paper and making their own toys. You will have a family that does more with less, saves money but spends time, and learns to use what they have to get what they need and want.

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1 Response to “Why make toys for your kids?”


  1. 1 artbetweenthelines February 1, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Well said! I too want my kids to learn creativity and how to utilize odds & ends for fun and for practical things.


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Creating unique fashion from fortunate thrift store discoveries. And otherwise making our house a home, on the cheap.

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