Teach your kid some mad skills, have fun and make cool toys from used materials. These awesome upcycled toys and recycled toys are an easy and fun way to introduce basic electronics, photography, woodwork and science techniques.
LED throwies by Instructables
Add a splash of color to your home or neighborhood with these easy to make LED throwies for about a dollar each.
What you need:
- Diffused LED (any color)
- CR2032 3V Lithium Batteries (watch battery)
- Electrical tape
- 1/2″ Diameter x 1/8″ Thick NdFeB Disc Magnet (these are super strong magnets so keep them away from your credit cards!)
Slip the battery between the LED wire leads so that the longer LED lead (the anode) is over the positive terminal (+) of the battery and the shorter LED lead (the cathode) should be on the negative terminal (-) of the battery. The LED should light up, if it doesn’t just flip the battery over and try again.
Wrap the tape around the battery and LED once, then place the magnet on the positive terminal and wrap the tape around again. Take aim and throw!
Throwies will stick to any ferromagnetic metal surface and they will glow for days or weeks.
For a video on a basic throwie and some extreme LED throwies and swimmes (they’re waterproof!), watch here:
DIY Lava lamp from Liluna.com
This is super simple and it’s really effective.
What you need:
- Vegetable oil
- Food coloring
- Alka seltzer
Fill a plastic soda bottle ¾ full of vegetable oil. Mix food coloring with water and fill up the bottle with colored water (make it as dark as you can). Break the alka seltzer tablet into 8 pieces. Drop in one at a time and close the lid of the bottle.
Dolls House from Turkey Feathers
Got an old chest of drawers you don’t need any more? Take the front of the drawers off and it instantly becomes a lovely dolls house. You can leave the last drawer or two for storage while you and your child decorate the interior of the house.
Unicorn Hobby Horse from Spoonful
You don’t have to be good at sewing to make this unicorn hobby horse. All you need is a stuffed slipper sock, some felt for the ears and eyes and wool for the mane.
What you need:
- Ribbon or wool
- Broom stick
- Glue gun
Fill the sock with stuffing. Cut eyes, a horn, nostrils and ears from felt and glue onto the unicorn’s head. Push the broom stick up into the sock and add additional stuffing if necessary. Pleat the bottom of the sock and glue firmly to the broomstick all the way around. Glue wool or ribbon on for the mane.
Upcycled Deodorant Solar Bike Light by Instructables
This is a great DIY green home project! Use the solar panel and light from a dollar store garden lamp and reassemble them in an old recycled deodorant stick tube. Use silicone to secure the solar panel in place and seal the deal. You can make use of Instructable’s amazing step-by-step-with-photos guide here.
DIY PVC Pipe Periscope from Eduction.com
What you need:
- 2 Round mirrors
- PVC pipe cut into 2 12-inch sections. One section should be slightly wider so that he other section can slide up into it.
- 2 PVC elbow joints that are the same diameters as the two pipes
Use the putty to stick the two mirrors cut to size into the bends of the elbow joints at a 45 degree angle. Twist the elbows into the pipes and slide the narrow pipe into the wider pipe and you are done!
Pin Hole Camera from a Jello Box by Lil blue boo
Pinhole cameras can be made out of household items and take great pictures which need to be developed on film. If you have some film and want to make your own pinhole camera, all you need is a clothing pin, a jello box, some black paint and two film reels.
Get the full step by step instructions with pictures here.
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All of these look like they would be a lot of fun to make!
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Great periscope idea! Most online are huge and unwieldy for kids. Plus I like the option to extend it’s reach. Well done 🙂
Doll House will be a great project for my 2 years old daughter. Thanks for this advice.
Hi Nikki, My husband made a dolls house similar to this for my daughter 15 years ago, she is now 22, we still aren’t allowed to let it go!
Many great ideas here! My personal favorite is the PVC periscope and I’m planning on building it with my nephews!
Great ideas share! My favorite is the DIY solar-powered bike light. This is great for the green home project!