Thursday, 13 February 2014

Toys From Leftover Construction Scraps

In the last days of our small renovation project, we had a lot of construction stuff hanging around.  So I asked Rex the super handyman to whip this up:

A balance beam!  I'm looking forward to DIYing a cute pattern on it.

He did it in an hour, flat.  So easy!  I got the idea after seeing a balance beam in Gymboree and this on Taste Central:

Seriously is there anyone going to buy this?

Ladybug Girl loved it!  She's progressed from needing to hold on to the wall to cross the beam, to this:   

We've been doing "shows" on it.

Update: here's the balance beam, eight months later (!) all washi-taped up :

We've also been playing with a hammer and some leftover tile grout.  Just smash a ceramic plate  (in our  case, a broken bowl that became a casualty of the kitchen reorganizing), and you've got a mosaic!

I put the bowl in a ratty old pillowcase and let her smash.   Goggles optional - it was my first time so I didn't know how it would go.  The pillowcase kept everything inside, no worries!
I wanted her to go on all-out-smashfest, but my little Dove was hesitant.  I think breaking things is so counter-intuitive for kids who are always told to be careful.  So I yelled her on.  Confused her more.  Haha!  Next time I should probably explain better.

Kept the pieces big for our first-ever mosaic.  They aren't sharp but we were careful just the same.
 Now mix up the grout, following instructions on the bag:

We just did it on the floor.  Any spills were easy to wipe up.

I got a spare packaging box lid and lined it with a plastic sleeve (from those ring binder things).

But I think if your cardboard lid is sturdy enough, you don't need the plastic.

Poured in the grout and spread it out:

Put in the ceramic pieces:

A second colour would be nice if you can spare another plate or extra bathroom tile.

All done and time for a bath!

 Our finished mosaic.  It became a nice link to her "Roman Period" book where she learned that the Romans invented mosaics.

Of course this could be all sorts of pretty, if your child is older and you can get colourful tiles at the hardware store.

I love all the gross motor practice that balancing and hammering does.  One thing this kind of play also builds in my little hesitant Dove is courage.  At the Fun Farm in Sta. Elena this weekend, she actually did the zip-line with me.  She also wanted to jump in the mud dash.

Oh how she wanted to.  I think next time I may allow this craziness.

 What are the creative uses you've found for play around the house?  It's great when we squeeze new uses for old things isn't it?  DIY play for the win!

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