Water bottles can be used to make a fun toddler toy.
Parents and caregivers may feel that they aren't creative enough to make their own toys for toddlers. But you don't have to be extremely crafty to make fun toddler toys at home, and you can do it with nothing but items you likely have laying around the house already. A homemade bowling game for your toddler is a good way to recycle, provide fun for kids, and show children ways of thinking outside the box when it comes to having a good time on a budget. This game is also good for developing hand-eye coordination and large-motor skills.
1Wash all bottles thoroughly, leaving a small amount of water in the bottom of each.
2Squirt a bit of craft paint into one of the bottles and replace the cap. Let your child shake the bottle until the inside is completely coated in whatever color you've chosen. Remove the cap and pour out excess water and paint. Repeat with the remaining nine bottles. Allow the bottles to dry overnight with the caps off.
3Replace the caps and take the bottles outside onto a deck, patio or any smooth surface. You can also play this game inside if you have an area with enough space and either wood, tile, linoleum or a smooth rug. It will not be as easy for toddlers on a rug with deep pile carpeting.
4Set the bottles up as follows: In the first row, place one bottle; behind that, two bottles; in the next row, three bottles; and in the last, four bottles. This will make a triangle when viewed from above. Now use a piece of masking tape or chalk to mark where the pins are set up so it's easy for your toddler to remember where to line them up for the next round.
5With the masking tape or chalk, mark a spot three to five feet in front of the bottles. This will be where the toddler stands or sits to roll the ball and "bowl."
6Explain to your child that the purpose of the game is to knock down as many bottles with the ball in one shot as possible. Demonstrate rolling the ball toward the bottles yourself a time or two to give her the idea, and then let her try it.
7If desired, keep track of the game for your child. For example, each time he rolls, mark how many bottles he knocks down. Whether you write the score down or not, be sure to give a big cheer when those pins fall!
- It's important to use the paint on the inside of the bottles rather than the outside to keep children from licking or chewing on paint. It also will keep the bottles looking nice, as the paint won't wear off or get damaged the way it might on the outside of the bottle.
- Toddlers should use this toy under adult supervision, as the bottle caps are small and can pose a choking hazard if the child manages to unscrew one. If you're concerned, you can also tape the caps on securely or hot-glue them.
Things You'll Need
- 10 empty water or soda bottles;
- 20-ounce or 1-liter sizes will all work fine
- Squeezable craft paint for decorating the bottles, in different colors or just one
- Chalk or tape
- Medium-size plastic ball
- Pad and pencil, if desired