DIY: Toddler entertainment.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

18 months old is a challenging age, at least for us. It's also a charming age, as Liam has begun giving voluntary kisses, stretching his vocabulary, and is just overflowing with life. Keeping him entertained, though - without letting him tear our house to pieces - has been more difficult than ever. So here are just a couple ideas that have worked to keep Liam busy for more than 3 minutes.

First, these prints from Printstagram. I had them made for his 1st birthday photo wall but didn't realize they'd be such a treat even 6 months later. He loves to flip through them and name all the members of his family - especially Keebler the dog. The cards are sturdy enough to (mostly) withstand toddler hands. And we keep them in a pretty dish in our living room so he has access to them, but they're also easy to pick up and put away.
The second little DIY is a set of colorful bean bags to help him learn his colors. Currently, everything is "yeh-woh," so I figured having a set of bean bags that we could play and learn with might be helpful. I found some scrap fabric in my stash, cut 6" x 6" squares (solid colors on one side and prints on the other), sewed them right sides together (leaving a couple inches open to turn the bag and fill with beans), then turned the bag. I then filled the bags 1/2 to 3/4 full of dried cannellini beans, then stitched it closed with a 1/8" seam allowance all the way around. The whole project took me less than an hour - which is a stipulation for any DIY project I allow myself these days. And Liam loves them! He mostly loves putting them on his head and tossing them around, but I love that they're somewhat educational, too.

I often feel that when I post happy, smiling photos, I need to balance them with a disclaimer that, "No, life doesn't always look like this." I don't know anyone whose life does. It's just that the more trying moments a) require me to be elbow-deep in managing Liam, whether it be in discipline or cleaning up messes, and b) aren't really moments I want to savor or to share with the world. So lest you be tempted to think, "She makes her own toys!" and elevate me to have-it-all-together mom status, please please don't. These little bitty projects just fit into my love for creative toys and our nonexistent toy budget. Cheap, creative, and actually kind of cute? Sign me up.


  1. I LOVE these! What a great idea! Do the pictures have a glossy finish or are they more matte? Also when am I gonna learn how to sew! WHEN!

    1. They're totally matte - but not just like a normal papery surface. Not shiny at all, but really smooth. Haha! That's the worst description, but hopefully you get the idea. :)

      AND YES! YOU MUST learn to sew! I sewwww wish I could teach you!

  2. Great idea! You could always laminate the pictures too so that they last longer. I'm a teacher and lamination protects everything SO much longer! Adorable colors and patterns for the bean bags.

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