Hands On: DIY Homeschool Toys and Products

Rainy day shenanigans

by Parents and Kids | Wed, November 29, 2017

By Connor Bell

Some of us have school-aged children who are already off to class during the daytime, while others still have our little guys and gals at home. No matter if you’re homeschooling or have your kids enrolled at school, these amazing DIY homeschool toys and products are good for any household. Pull them out on a rainy day, have your kids get stuck in before nap time or simply make use of some of these items for a wind-down at the end of the day.

DIY Felt Button Chain

This is the perfect quiet-time activity for toddlers and great for helping children with colors, button fastening and fine motor skills.

What you’ll need:

  • 6 different colored buttons
  • 6 matching colored felt sheets
  • Scissors
  • Needle & thread

What next?

1. Cut 2-inch wide strips of felt from each sheet.

2. On one end of the strip, place the button about 1⁄2 inch from the edge and cut a slit the width of the button.

3. Sew the button to the other side of the felt strip.

4. Have fun playing with the strips, fastening buttons and linking all colors together!

Montessori-style Familiar Face Basket

Learning names and titles can be confusing for our little ones, so why not provide them with a fun game to ease the learning process? This amazing little basket can be brought out during any activity, quiet time or sensory play lesson and will help your little one with recognizing and identifying your friends and family members! Perfect for those of us who live abroad and want the kids to remember their families back home.

What you’ll need: 

  • A high quality photo (headshot) of each of your family members or important people
  • A printer
  • Scissors
  • Laminator

What next?

1. Take photos! Go around and snap some headshots of each family member, pets, close friends or other important people.

2. Upload the photos to your computer and label each with their name or title (i.e. your mother would be labeled as ‘Grandma’ and not ‘Brenda’).

3. Print, cut and laminate each photo with its title.

4. Add these to a fun basket which is easily accessible for your toddler. Allow him/her to explore the photos. This is all about sensory activation. As your little one gets older, start introducing the names, or titles of each person in the photo. Further learning can be extended to older ones to begin reading, spelling and eventually writing their names!

DIY Ball Drop Game

When the little ones are learning about shapes and colors, this easy to make ball drop game will definitely come in handy.The kids will have a blast recognizing, identifying and categorizing colors with this fun game.

What you’ll need:

  • PVC pipe (can be purchased at any hardware hole in the wall shop)
  • Plywood board
  • Screws and an electric drill
  • Colored tape
  • Colored balls

What next?

1. Wrap the top of each PVC pipe with different colored tape before screwing the pipe to a piece of plywood. If the pipe is light enough, you could also try double-sided tape to affix to a piece of cardboard.

2. Attach the plywood or cardboard to the wall at toddler height.

3. Have your child experiment with dropping balls down the tops of each pipe. Make sure the colored balls are going in the corresponding colored pipe!