Hands On DIY Project for Toddlers

Brooks has been learning “animal” lately!  Not only does he repeat just about everything we say (YIKES … watching our curse words) but he’s a little sponge eager to learn about everything and anything.  My boy is definitely a boy of action and we love to play together, so I put my thinking cap on to brainstorm games and toys we could play with that would be good for helping to grow his ever curious mind.


He’s still a little young to play the memory card game, so I came up with this toddler friendly version that combines recognition, matching and memory skills.  Being a frugal DIY girl at heart, this game is even better because you can easily make it at home.

Start with some toy animals.  I suggest starting with 8-10 animals, as you don’t want to make the game too overwhelming and complicated.  Then it is literally just a poster board with some pictures from the web that I printed and glued to the board. What was really cool and a completely unexpected bonus is that Brooks actually helped me make our game board.  He was really into it!!  I would do an image search of a particular animal and then let Brooks pick the picture he wanted.  He was incredibly engaged about the entire process.  After I did the scissor work (much to Brooks’ chagrin), Brooks helped me glue down all the animal images to the board.  Game board complete, I set the toys to the side of the board and one by one ask Brooks to place the toy animal on the corresponding printed animal picture.  I can’t even tell you how excited and accomplished Brooks feels when he completes the board.


Want proof of our DIY game success?!  Take a look at the photos below of a certain incredibly cute toddler getting his happy dance ON!!  These are the moments I cherish as a Momma.


I have to admit, I’m a bit obsessed with learning toys, games and crafts lately.  Fine motor skills are huge part of what kids are developing at this stage of Brooks’ life.  I absolutely love watching him learn.  I, like most parents, would do anything to facilitate my boy learning.  At this stage in toddler town, we know it is important to try and make it as fun as possible.  That’s why I fell in love with this wooden lacing bead set from Melissa and Doug.


I was a little ahead of the game on purchasing this as it says for 3 and up, but Brooksie absolutely loved playing with it.  Although still a tiny bit out of his depth, it was a great introduction to beading.  Because the set is wooden, we are being good greenies, and this set will last for a long time allowing Brooks to grow into them and hopefully baby Stubers of the future will join the bead party too.


Seeing the sheer excitement in his face as he makes connections and understands more and more every day makes my heart explode.  I feel so lucky to have such a sweet boy.  I am a super proud Momma.

Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.