39 Coolest Kids Toys You Can Make Yourself

Be the most awesome parent ever, and keep them occupied so you can relax (at least a little bit). Or let them help you build it, if you’re feeling brave.

2. 1. This cool tool bench used to be a thrift store nightstand.

You can customize the paint color too. From The Frugal Granny.

ID: 1086999

3. 2. A refrigerator box becomes a slide.

Only if the kids decide not to make a fort out of it. From The Contemplative Creative.

ID: 1087021

4. 3. Old sheets and some wood make a campground.

These tents fold up for easy-ish storage too. From Lindsay and Drew.

ID: 1087354

5. 4. Hang a shower curtain on a Hula-Hoop for another type of tent.

You could make these indoors on a rainy day, if you find a way to hang them up. From The Craft Nest.

ID: 1087392

6. 5. Use old paper towel rolls to make a marble slide.

As a kid, I loved the crafty potential of paper towel rolls! Find this on LooLeDo.

ID: 1087454

7. 6. Three words: DIY Mario Levels.

There isn’t a tutorial for this one, but you could let it be the jumping off point for your inspiration. Via Dos Family.

ID: 1087614

8. 7. Collect recyclables into a water wall.

It may look like trash on a wall to YOU, but to the kids, it’s a magical thing that makes the water go in different directions. This tutorial’s from Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning.

ID: 1087637

9. 8. Or make it for balls, not water.

It’s so fancy, but prettier than the plastic bottles. From Learning Through the Clutter.

ID: 1087819

10. 9. Feeling carpenterish? Make a dollhouse.

Sutton Grace has printable plans.

ID: 1087651

11. 10. This simpler dollhouse is made from a CD shelf.

Although the house-looking part came from Michaels, I’m sure you could make it work with another CD shelf. Originally on Sew She Sews.

ID: 1087703

12. 11. Option 3: update a chest of drawers.

Really, you can make a dollhouse out of many things. This one’s from Turkey Feathers.

ID: 1087847

13. 12. Puppet theaters are also really awesome.

This one, from The Creativity Exchange, uses a cardboard box.

ID: 1087668

14. 13. Bake fake food in an upcycled fake kitchen.

Directions at Giggle Berry Creations.

ID: 1087689

15. 14. Here’s another cool play kitchen.

From Oh Write.

ID: 1087742

16. 15. Race marbles down pool noodles!

Pool noodles are the best dollar-store find, ever. On Spoonful.

ID: 1087719

17. 16. Tap into your artistic side with a giant chalkboard.

Great for a backyard, so the chalk dust doesn’t go everywhere! From Apartment Therapy.

ID: 1087735

18. 17. More art: in the bathtub!

This homemade puffy paint doesn’t even stain the tile. By Chalk in My Pocket.

ID: 1087744

19. 18. Because cardboard boxes are basically the best.

Tape it together like they did over at All For the Boys, and it’s collapsible.

ID: 1087771

20. 19. After you paint your house, make a drumset.

You just might want to buy ear plugs too. From Green Street Workshop.

ID: 1087838

21. 20. This road rug has a zoo!

Directions on How Does She?

ID: 1087858

22. 21. Or try this other version, made with washi tape.

This one’s from Playful Learning.

ID: 1087960

23. 22. Use PVC pipe to make a bow and arrow.

From an awesome Brave-themed party on Nothing But Country.

ID: 1087873

24. 23. Send water or sand down these cool tubes.

It just takes some zip ties and funnels, according to Little Preschool on the Prairie.

ID: 1087922

25. 24. Let your kids spy on the neighbors with a PVC periscope.

You might have a Harriet the Spy: Next Generation on your hands. Directions on Instructables.

ID: 1087930

26. 25. Experiment with Sharpies and rubbing alcohol to make dancing ribbons.

A great way to get them off that PS3, maybe. Maybe. From Twig and Toadstool.

ID: 1087942

27. 26. This magnetic fishing pole is a super clever idea.

You’ll have to find some old wooden spools. I’m not sure if they’d be worth the effort, but you can decide that for yourself. Directions on Made by Joel.

ID: 1087953

28. 27. This seesaw purportedly costs less than $20.

For advanced or daring DIYers only — the plans are on Ana White: Homemaker.

ID: 1088001

29. 28. This DIY sandbox is prettier than a store-bought version.

While they’re in the sandbox, you can relax on the back patio! You can find tips and plans on Made. Also of note: add cinnamon to your sandbox to keep the bugs out! Via Parent Hacks.

ID: 1088054

30. 29. When it gets too hot outside, let the fairies come inside.

Mommy Blessings put a lot of effort into her fairy house and got lucky enough to find a pretty tree trunk. But it’s a beautiful inspiration!

ID: 1088072

31. 30. These scooters will give you an excuse to refinish your wood floor.

Just make sure to confiscate them after the refinishing job’s done. From Crumbbums.

ID: 1088083

32. 31. Turn a plastic bin into a pirate ship!

Ahoy! You can also use a cardboard box, a laundry basket, or whatever else you have on hand — Inspired by Familia also uses it as toy storage.

ID: 1088086

33. 32. Another upcycled piece of furniture: a dress-up headquarters.

Maybe this will inspire her to hang up her dress up clothes when she’s done? From A Turtle’s Life For Me.

ID: 1088249

34. 33. Like Lincoln Logs, but life-sized.

Make the ultimate pull-apart playhouse. There are plans via Play Scapes for $13.

ID: 1088100

35. 34. Use an old keyboard for a kid-friendly laptop.

This way, they can “help” you write those emails without having to use your keyboard. From Monzanitas.

ID: 1088135

36. 35. Fabric scraps make great blocks.

Even better: they can throw them at their sibling, and no one gets hurt (physically). This would work with Stitch Witchery and an iron too. Directions on Zaaberry.

ID: 1088153

37. 36. Get them jumping with some hopscotch.

This one only requires hot glue, and it’s reversible. Via A Girl and a Glue Gun.

ID: 1088195

38. 38. Bring this in the car with you next time you take a road trip.

There aren’t direct instructions for this project from The Boo and the Boy, but I bet you can figure it out. Switches, knobs, and buttons are the best.

ID: 1087808

39. 37. Inspire them to become a doctor with a felt playset.

It either requires a needle and thread or some Stitch Witchery, but it’s so cool. Especially the X-ray thing. From Sew Can Do.

ID: 1088223

40. 39. Give them a cardboard box…

…and just see what they do with it.

ID: 1091285

41. Want more great DIY ideas for parents? Sign up for the weekly BuzzFeed Parents newsletter!

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