Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Make-Your-Own Connector Set Toy

When I was little my mom used to save everything if you she thought it could potentially be useful in a craft or as a substitute for a toy.  For example, those little tins on the ends of biscuit containers served as my Barbie's dinnerware for years.  She also saved the styrofoam packaging from groceries for us to make a variety of glittery Christmas ornaments.  That styrofoam  is pretty durable, since 30+ years after I made those ornaments they still make their yearly appearance on her Christmas Tree.  My local grocery store packages all of their fruits and vegetables styrofoam trays and I started to feel really guilty just throwing them away.  So, here's my idea for reusing stryofoam .... Make-Your-Own Connector Toys, something similar to K'nex.

It's a bird, a plane?  Who knows... but it was fun!
Age: 3-10 years
Time:  15-30 minutes + play time
Mess/Cleanup:  Really easy clean-up.  Just brush the leftovers and broken pieces in the trash.
What You Need: Scissors, Marker/Pen, Styrofoam Packaging, Something to trace circles (I used lids from my spice containers)
Why I Like This Craft: My son loves to build stuff; however most of our building toys have a million pieces and it's inevitable that 1/2 the pieces are missing.  When I find these missing pieces in my shoe or in the bottom of my purse I'm always tempted to throw it away.  With this craft, it's an activity and a toy.  And if one of the pieces end up where it's not supposed to be I can thow it away without the guilt.  It was destined for trash anyway!

The Stuff: Scissors, Pen, Spice Lid, Styrofoam
How To Make This:
  1. Trace/Draw shapes onto styrofoam
  2. Cut out shapes.  My 4-year loves his safety scissors and they work perfectly on stryfoam.  He was able to easily cut of circles, squares, and various "freeform" shapes.
  3. Cut out little notches around the shape.  These notches will allow you to connect the pieces together.  Depending on the age of your child, you may want to do this part.  My son got a little scissor-happy and a number of the circles transformed into half-moons, so I took over this step and used my super-sharp mom scissors to cut the notches.
  4. That's it!  You're ready to create!


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