DIYs and play ideas

List of DIYs and Play ideas to keep children engaged inside the house (PART 1)

DIYS and games with Cardboard boxes

    • Color the box – As the name suggests all you need to do is color the box everywhere – inside, outside, edges. It will take up at least twenty to thirty minutes and finally decorate it with stickers if you like it. It’s a major hit. Keep changing the color and boxes, kids can be amazing with their imagination. What you will need:
      • Any size, shape cardboard box like mega diaper box, perfume box, parcel box, shoe box or just a cereal box
      • Any colors paint, sketch, crayons based on your child’s liking. For a two year old crayons are big hit. Kids above three can even use sketch or pencil colors and paints
    • Giant Sorting Box – Sorting is by far the most popular game among kids. So get creative and make them organize their toys as if it’s a game. The idea is to make it look like a competition and store all the similar toys in one box. What you will need:
      • Three or four big boxes preferably same sizes
      • Toys of three or four types – blocks, cars, toys figure, soft toys, books etc.
    • Money box – Kids love to have their own money so let them save some money in their own piggy banks. But don’t you think it is more fun to make a piggy bank first. Make a hole on one of the sides of the box. Secure all the edges tightly with the tape. Voila. Now let the kids collect cash and save in this box. Fun part is to break it after a few days. What you will need:
      • One small or medium sized box to make piggy bank
      • Tape to secure the box
      • Scissors to cut a hole for dropping the cash, coins, etc.
      • Poker chips, children’s money, real money (if you have more send some to me), real coins(coins only for older kids who understand it is not for swallowing)
    • Mi casa Su casa Doll home– Kids love to have their own house. One of the best pretend play is my home your home. Use a few boxes and help your kid to make a house for themselves or their dolls. It takes ages and you will never know how many hours you have already spent on it. It is particularly great for kids above two years of age. What you will need:
      • Seven to eight boxes in different sizes – Few of them big to make a big house
      • Crayons or Color sheets – to cover the house and give a new look to the cardboard boxes
      • Dolls, Toys etc. to fill the house and pretend play
      • Some colors and stickers to accessorize the luxurious look
    • Matching and Sorting Shapes– Cut out pairs of shapes from a cardboard box and color them. Now you can use these shapes for matching and sorting with little kids. Cardboard boxes are super easy to cut using scissors so you can make any shapes. Use colored shape sorting and pattern shape sorting with elder kids. Let your kids paint those shapes and done. What you will need:
      • One small box to hold all the shapes, one medium size box to cut out shapes
      • Paint/ sketches/ crayons to color the shapes
      • A pair of scissors
    • Puzzle mania – Take a cardboard box cut one side of it. Use this side to stick a picture or draw a shape and color it. Cut it in two halves. Your two piece puzzle is ready. To make complex puzzles make more pieces and use art scissors with different style grooves to cut. Let your child color it and then you can help to make puzzle. What you will need:
      • cardboard box
      • pencils, sketches, color
      • sticker
      • scissors
    • DIY photo frame – Cut out a frame from one side of a card board box. Now give your little child a plate full of accessories like buttons, stickers, pasta, pom poms, flowers, straw etc. and some glue. Show them how to use glue to stick and done. They will be busy for at least 25 minutes. What you will need:
      • cardboard box
      • pen and scissors
      • glue
      • buttons, stickers, pasta, pom poms, flowers, straw
      • glitter to add magical touch

DIYS and games with Pom-Poms –

Another major hit in babies, toddlers and kids are Pom-Poms. You can never go wrong with pom-poms. Always buy them in all colors, glittery ones, big ones, tiny ones; every pom-pom is made for your little baby. No kidding it actually makes kids so happy. It gives them advantage of size and they feel so powerful with pom-poms. Super easy to grab in those tiny hands that they want to keep doing something with it.

    • Sorting the Pom-Poms – Throw in some pompoms and let your kids sort these pom-poms in different bowls. Then stack these pom-poms bowls to make a tower. Finally let your kids break the pom-pom tower-kaboosh! Start over again. It’s a never ending cycle. Make sure to go to loo before you start because this game never ends. What you will need:
      • Pom-Poms in different colors and small sizes
      • Four or five bowls to do the sorting
      • A soft hammer or empty bottle or empty kitchen roll to break the tower
      • Some soft music or rhymes in back ground
    • Matching the big Pom-poms –Always spend a little extra and buy big pom-poms. Children love to see big round soft fluffy pom-pom balls. They are super fun to grab and look like a soft toy. Once you have sorted small pom-poms throw in big pom-poms. Let the kids match these big ones to small ones or vice versa. Use your imagination or just let them play. What you will need:
      • Small Pom-Poms in different colors
      • Big Pom-poms for matching
      • Four or five bowls to do the sorting and matching activity
    • One little: Two little: Three little Pom- Poms – Well don’t we all know the one little, two little three little ducky/buses songs on YouTube. All you have to do is give a tin or box with a hole to drop pom poms one by one and sing the song. Kids can go on and on for 30 minutes or more. What you will need:
      • Pom-Poms in different colors and small sizes
      • One medium sized tin or box with a soft plastic or rubber lid(Cerelac tins are good option)
      • A knife or screwdriver to make pom–pom size holes on the lid
      • If you don’t have a lid use a thick chart paper such as ivory sheet as lid and few rubber band to secure it around the box mouth
    • Pom Pom Water fall- This is the best game I found on Pinterest. You create a waterfall model using bottles, toilet paper roll, or anything with two open ends wide enough to let pom pom fall easily. Finally you let pom pom fall from the top. Collect the pompoms in the end and start over again with pom pom water fall. Add some pasta to make it fun and noisy for kids. What you will need:
      • board or low height wall area to make the water fall model
      • toilet paper roll, bottles, funnels -cut both end open for bottles smooth the edges before putting the waterfall
      • pompom of small size preferable, pasta
      • Cello tapes, glue to stick the rolls, bottles etc.
      • pom pom collector bowl
    • Make an Animal Pom-Pom painting – Stationery makes kids go crazy. You can try a hundred options to keep them engaged inside your office stationery kit. Get some pom poms and glue for this activity. Get a simple sketch of an animal or draw it yourself on paper. Now start sticking pompoms inside the sketch as if you are coloring the animal. Sheep or a rabbit is a very good way to start teaching little kids how to glue. What you will need:
      • white drawing sheet
      • black / red marker – using high contrast colors on white sheet is easier for kids to perceive the images
      • Pom-poms of small size, googly eyes to give a finishing touch
      • glue
    • Sticky Pom Poms on a tape – stickers are very intriguing to kids because they stick obviously. Same is the reason why tapes often interest kids. Sticking and removing pompoms from the tape is so much work. Plus it’s magic for kids. It keeps happening till the glue lasts on the tape. Using a masking tape or transparent tape will capture kid’s interest. Wrap the tape reverse sided (sticky side up) on two legs of a chair or around a cardboard /plate whatever you have at hand. What you will need:
      • Tape preferably thin and with light glue like masking tape, scotch or cello tape
      • Different size and color Pom Poms
    • Make an Ornament for your Christmas tree – Choose a Christmas Symbol like star, snowflake, bauble, acorn, etc. Draw it and cut a cardboard in this shape. Punch a hole and tie a ribbon throw this hole. Get some shiny glitter pom poms and glue for next step. Stick pompoms everywhere on this shape excluding the hole punch. Finish with glitter for some Christmas cheer. Once it is dry all you have to do is decorate your tree. What you will need:
      • cardboard box, thick sheet
      • marker , scissor
      • hole punch
      • ribbon
      • glitter pom poms
    • Stuff the monster – Take a tin or a cardboard box. On the lid or opening flap of the box make a monster face with two or three big eyes, nose and a big wide mouth. Cut out this mouth. Make use of dark marker to border the mouth hole. Give a bowl full of pom-poms to your little baby and ask them to feed this monster. This is a fun activity. You can add challenges for elder children by giving them challenges to feed a specific color pom pom to monster. What you will need:
      • Cerelac tin, cardboard box, wide mouth bottle with lid
      • Markers, sketch, scissors
      • Pom poms
      • Bowl
    • Pom-Poms Collector – Spread a whole lot of Pom poms on a tray and gives your child a pair of blunt or plays tweezers to pick and collect. This is a wonderful activity to improve hand eye coordination and finger strength of toddlers. What you will need:
      • tray and bowl
      • Pom poms
      • blunt tweezers or plastic tweezers, plastic spoon
    • Pom-Pom Fight – Disclaimer this is not my idea of fun but my little one forced me to put it here because he thinks this is the best game of pom-poms. Once again try to get big pom-poms for this game. Divide it in half with your kid and start the fight. Let’s see how many hits you manage to get. Additional bonus for bum shot. What you will need:
      • different size Pom poms larger ones preferably
      • two bowls

DIYS and games with Animal Figures and toys

    • Animal Twister- We all have played twister as young kids now it’s time we teach it to our little ones. Open a big cardboard box and use it as the twister mat. Make 15-20 circles of 10 cm diameter on it at equal distance or an approximate is also fine. Place the animal figures and toys inside each of this circle. Make your child start from on one corner and let him bring the animals one by one and put them back in storage container or bowl. Keep changing the conditions of the twister to keep kids involved based on their ability and growth. Add a condition that you will name animals and then child should pick them up. Later add more condition that when a circle empties child should occupy that place and wait for next name. Use your imagination. What you will need:
      • animal figures or small toys
      • cardboard box, long thick sheet
      • marker
      • bowl
    • Who is hiding- Kids love finding out things from under the sofa, table or inside a box. Take a bag and stuff with all the animals in different pockets or wrapped in a kerchief. Ask you kids who are hiding in the bag. Let them find all the animals. It takes about 15 minutes. Once they have found all the animals ask them to hide the animals again. This whole thing will give enough time for a mom to sip her coffee and enjoy the drama kids go through. What will you need:
      • a bag with lot of pockets
      • some hand kerchief
      • small animal figures and toys
    • Animal zoo – (Sensory play) this again is a great find from Pinterest. Take a baking tray and fill it with grains and dals of different colors, size, and shapes. Place a few farm animals and toys. Let your kids enjoy the farm. Add elements like a bowl with water for representing well. Let them feel the texture and enjoy the play. It takes them about 40 minutes to explore all of it. What you will need:
      • baking tray, plate with deep edges, play tub
      • grains like- rice, moong dal, wheat daliya, etc
      • small animal figures and toys
      • additional – bowl, trees, leaf, etc
    • Feed the animals – this is a great game to teach herbivore and carnivore to kids. It needs a bit of preparation from us. We need to prepare green grass bundles and meat steak using wool, paper, and card boards. Use your imagination to create plants, grass, meat, etc. get some animal toys and let your child feed the animals accordingly. Learn and play is a fun way to remember these details. What you will need:
      • Animal toys
      • colored, wool, cotton, cardboard pieces etc to make food
    • Animal bath time – This is not my idea. My son is very persuasive to add this game to the list and he does it every day. He takes the basket full of bath toys to his bath. Sitting in the tub he then puts all animals one by one inside the tub and then again to the basket. He can pay this for hours. To make it interesting add bubble bath or food color to the water tub. What you will need:
      • small animal figures and toys
      • basket and a tub
      • warm water
      • bubble bath, food color
    • Animal house – (Pretend play) Just like we have played doll house it’s time to play animal house with the cardboard Boxes. Stick different size and shape cardboard boxes to make a house. (Arrange big ones in bottom for firm structure). Mark. Cut out windows, doors, etc. Don’t remove the windows or doors instead let them be interactive for open and close action. Give the food for animals from feed the animals DIY above, get some old cloth pieces to be used as rugs and blankets for animals. This can go on for days. So don’t be surprised if you see real food missing from your dining tables to animal’s house. What you will need:
      • four to five cardboard boxes different sizes
      • glue, tapeleg
      • markers
      • animal figures and small toys
      • imagination
    • Animal Rescue – Place animals on ground or plate or even a surface like fridge gate. Then let your little monsters be the rescue team who has to save all animals. What you will need:
      • washy tapes, cello tapes
      • animal figures and small toys
    • Sticky Animals – Firstly reverse stick the big brown tape or transparent tape to chair legs or a plate. Now let kids stick animals to it, or remove the animals from the sticky tape. Disclaimer: It makes funny and loud noise when they do this activity so you might find them giggling or laughing while doing this. What you will need:
      • washy tapes, cello tapes
      • animal figures and small toys
    • Scoop the animals – It is always fun to find a treasure. Especially if it lets you touch and feel different types of textures. It makes us curious about our world. Take a bowl of rice/pulses/beans/pasta and then put in some animal toys. Let your kids search the animal bare hands or give a scooper. Let them be explorers and enjoy. What you will need:
      • bowl
      • animal figures and small toys
      • rice, pulses, pasta, beans
      • scooper
    • Ring the animals – Create a play mat using old rugs or cloth
    • Or just cardboard boxes. Place all the animals on the mat. Now, place a few animals on this mat randomly. Use big bangles, pressure cooker gasket, or embroidery rings to ring the animals. Kids love to win so keeping levels of difficulty low initially would be great. What you will need:
      • cardboard box
      • big bangles, pressure cooker gasket , or embroidery rings
      • animal figures and small toys
    • Find the animals – Hide animals in layers of a long piece of cloth, shawl, inside a pillow cover or a bag with pockets or just plain simple cardboard box along with other things. Let children find the animals. What you will need:
      • cardboard box
      • cloth like shawls, pillow cover etc
      • animal figures and small toys
    • Who is biting the baby? (pretend play) Sing lion is going to bite the baby, bite bite bite, who is going to bite the baby? Ask the animal’s name. What you will need:
      • animal figures and small toys
    • Animal beach- (Sensory play) in a bucket full of sand put all animals and let kids play. You can give challenges to find a specific number of animals, find a particular animal, etc. Use your creative imagination. Interact with your kid. Use this opportunity to make your bond stronger. What you will need:
      • sand tray
      • sand
      • animal figures and small toys
    • Animal bank– Create a piggy bank out of a cardboard box keep an opening in the back side of piggy bank to allow all animals to be removed from the box. Now keep dropping animals one by one and then collect all of them. Repeat it again and again. What you will need:
      • animal figures and small toys
      • cardboard box
      • scissors
      • animal figures and small toys
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By Urvashi

A workaholic turned mummaholic. In search of a sacred space and power to spread happiness and positivity. Write to me at

14 replies on “DIYs and play ideas”

Yupee ! I will look forward to your feedback how did you like the activities.

Thanks dear. Looking forward to more feedback when you can try some of the activities

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