1. Chalk Building Blocks
Why we love it: Make these chalkboard blocks into a farmhouse one moment and a skyscraper the next with a wipe of a paper towel.
What you’ll need: Unfinished wooden blocks, black chalkboard paint, paint brush
How to make it: Cover in chalkboard paint, let dry overnight, then decorate with chalk!
2. Braided Headband
Why we love it: Instant Anna. Need we say more?
What you’ll need: Yarn, plastic headband
How to make it: Cut about 20 pieces of yarn into 5-foot strands. Drape the yarn over a plastic headband so the yarn drapes equally on each side. Secure yarn to the middle of the headband by tying a knot with a 4-inch piece of extra yarn. Use four more pieces of extra yarn to tie the “hair” to the headband in even increments. Braid each side of yarn and knot at the end.
3. Hopscotch Mat
Why we love it: Perfect for an impromptu hopscotch session when it’s too cold for the driveway.
What you’ll need: White drop cloth, sharp scissors, assorted sheets of colored felt, number stencil (optional), hot glue.
How to make it: Round the top edges of the canvas using scissors. Lay out the felt squares in a hopscotch pattern. Mark the edges of the felt with pencil to indicate where you’ll glue later on, then remove to cut out numbers on each square (use a stencil to get them perfectly even). Attach the squares with hot glue, making sure to glue along the corners and edges of the numbers so it all stays secure. Use any leftover felt to decorate the border of the mat.
4. Fishing Game
Why we love it: Make a basic version of this game to help with hand-eye coordination, or add some letters to the fish for a great preschool learning tool.
What you’ll need: Colorful cardstock, yarn, scrap paper, paper clip, wood dowel, glue
How to make it: Using cardstock, cut out a front and back fish shape for as many fish as you want to create (you’ll need two fish shapes for each fish). Punch holes around the outside of each fish and then sew two of them together with a piece of yarn, leaving a small opening on one side. Stuff some scrap paper in the fish to plump them up, then sew them closed. Using more yarn, tie a big loop at the mouth of each fish. Bend a paperclip into the shape of a fishing hook, then attach it to the dowel with glue and string.
5. Jump Rope
Why we love it: Skip the flimsy plastic stuff and make a rope that’ll last more than a season.
What you’ll need: 1-inch-thick wooden dowel (at least 8-inches long), rope (at least 8-feet-long), power drill and appropriate drill bits: (1/8-inch, 3/8-inch and 5/8-inch) sand paper, paint
How to make it: Cut the wooden dowel into two 4-inch pieces to make the handles. Using the 1/8-inch bit drill a pilot hole in the center of both ends of each handle. Using the 5/8-inch bit, drill a hole deep enough for the knot of the rope to fit snugly in, about 3/4- to 1-inch-deep on one side of each handle. Drill the rest of the way through with the 3/8-inch bit on each handle. Before painting, sand both ends until smooth. Once the paint is fully dry, string the rope through and tie a knot at the end.
6. LEGO Table
Why we love it: Everything (about this table) is awesome!
What you’ll need: IKEA LACK side table, silicone glue, LEGO panel
How to make it: Measure where you want to place the LEGO panel, and mark with a pencil. Apply silicone glue to the backside of the panel, keeping the glue away from the edge by one inch. Place the glued backside of the panel onto your table where marked. Press firmly and hold for 15 seconds. If any glue oozes out from the edges, wipe with a dry cloth. Let dry overnight.