One of the most versatile and simple (and toddler favorite!) toys in our home is a DIY “ring stacker” style toy. This toddler stacking toy is great beading practice for little hands that aren’t quite ready for beading with a string yet, and it is easy to make it a whole new toy by switching out the object you are stacking!
To make your own, find a container with a lid (I used an instant coffee container, but whipped topping, yogurt with a lid, or sour cream would be other easy choices.) I covered mine in paper, but that is totally optional.
Then, use a craft knife to make a small hole in the lid, just the size of your dowel rod. I put hot glue on the bottom of the dowel, and then inserted it into the container. You could also put some clay or sticky tack in the bottom to help with stability.
Finally, you just add something that your toddler can thread onto the dowel! Here are some ideas we have used in the past, as well as a few I plan on trying:
Pipe Cleaner Shapes
(can be wooden or bright and colorful thread from your sewing stash!)
- beads from large wooden lacing bead kit (We love Melissa and Doug’s!)
- plastic bracelets or rings
- cut-off pieces of pool noodles
- large washers from the hardware store
- pasta noodles
- shower curtain rings (dollar store)
- old CDs
This is one of those great “crabby day” toys in our house – when we need a new distraction I just pull out the stacker with whatever items I have on hand and she has a “brand new” toy!
Written by Alicia
Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families
Monday 17th of February 2014
Great list of ideas, thank you for sharing.