Thursday, March 11, 2010
Off Topic Thursday - The best DIY toddler/preschooler toy!
Everyone's got cabin fever around here, so i'll let you in on something that has entertained my son for hours on end. I went to a play farm years ago with my son and out of the pony rides, carousel, train, hay rides, and animals, he liked the corn table best, time after time. The lightbulb went off and I made him his own. He was under 2 when I made it, and he's played with it just about daily since, and he is now 4 1/2. Every child (and some adults!) that comes to my house is drawn to the corn table.
To make it, I chose an under the bed storage container, but you can use just about anything that's long and shallow... a sand/water table, or even an old drawer. Mine has a lid, which my friends with corn eating babies like ;) I also added dried beans at some point for a different texture, and Jack likes to separate them out, then mix them back in. Whenever he seems to stop playing with it, we just switch out the toys in it, and it's new again! Sand toys work best, and buckets & scoops are a must. Some people like to make sensory tables with rice, but rice is harder to pick up, and I would be unable to clean it. When the corn gets dusty (or hairy, like it did when we had our dog), I just held a sand sifter over the corn & held the vacuum attachment up to it. The question I got the most, especially when he was younger, was "how do you keep him from throwing the corn all over?". I told him if he threw the corn he couldn't play with the corn table. He threw the corn twice, and both times he got removed from room with the corn table for 5 minute (pure torture, lol!). He never threw the corn again because he wanted to keep playing.
Jack at the play farm, circa 2007