Homemade, Budget Friendly Baby Fun

Growing up, I was a pretty crafty kid.  Actually, so was my sister, fellow MinuteForMom creator, Lauren.  We entertained ourselves with homemade paper dolls, handwritten and illustrated books, and collages.  We were brought up by an artistic mother who helped us to see the fun and magic that could come from just a pen and paper. And now that I’m a mother, I have the opportunity to pass this on to my daughter.

When Ladybug started showing interest in characters from her favorite books and TV shows, I wasn’t about to run out and buy the expensive figurines only to have her lose them or lose interest after a week or so. She was already playing with a set of figurines often…in the bath, car rides, outside, etc. So, I sat down one day with pen and card stock paper and traced a couple of characters from one of her books. She watched in excitement as I colored it and cut it out for her to play with. It didn’t take long to realize how quickly a piece of paper would be ruined. So, next step was to laminate it.  I had a roll of clear packing tape laying around, so I used strips of that to seal it. Then, I simply cut the excess tape around the paper doll-type figure.  She loved it!

We (me doing all of the labor and Ladybug supervising, of course) made a few more and played with them a lot.  This particular project eventually evolved into her very own magnets which I’ve detailed below:


These super easy, super convenient magnets can be made from anything. A photo of kiddo or family members, stickers, favorite character print outs, old book pages, etc. And no need to buy magnet backings…go ahead and recycle those advertisement magnets from realtors or pizza companies.

Here are a few other ways to use things around the house to create something fun and new:

  • Make your own coloring books – print out coloring sheets from the web, staple together down the left side, cover staples with duct tape for safety. Print half size sheets to make a small, portable version to take to restaurants or appointments.
  • Go google-eye crazy – stick googly eyes on anything!
  • Favorite photos book – highlight the little ones favorite moments with photos of their own.  Maybe meeting Mickey Mouse or riding a pony were memorable moments.  Buy a super cheap, small photo album and place a few extra photo copies in there for your child to enjoy at any time.
  • Noise makers/shakers – use larger bottles such as vitamin or pill bottles.  Soak in warm, soapy water to remove label. Fill with dry beans, lentils, seeds, pasta, etc. leaving just a little extra space for items to move around. Use hot glue or super glue on lid just before screwing it on.  This should seal it tight. Decorate with ribbon, stickers, photos, magazine cut outs (toy catalogs are perfect!) and seal with some clear packing/mailing tape.



You don’t have to be an artist to make art. Your kids will be happy to make just about anything with you.  Have fun with things that are laying around the house and make memories with your little ones.

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