Five Frugal Toys Using Food

by Kelly · 8 comments

in A Frugal Family

Here are some frugal and fun things for babies and young children to do with food. Go ahead, play with your food!

Ice-cube Watercolor Paint

Make ice cubes with food coloring in a variety of colors. Let your child ‘paint’ with them on a piece of paper or an old, light colored dishtowel. Just don’t let your husband serve iced drinks to the neighbors!

If you don’t have food coloring, you can always use powdered artificially colored drink mix, although that might not be quite the sort of thing you want your baby ingesting (there’s plenty of time for her to sneak it behind your back.)

Mr Potato/Banana/Apple Head

You need toothpicks, small pieces of fruit in a variety of colors and shapes such as yellow pineapple triangles, orange half slices, red plum squares as well as some smaller dried fruits like raisins or dried mango. Stick the smaller pieces onto the big piece of fruit, like a Mr Potato head, but if you want your creation to be edible, don’t use a potato!

Gingerbread or Graham Cracker Decoration

Kids can decorate graham crackers or gingerbread cookies with a variety of frostings and candy. The most fun, is, of course, in the eating of the materials!

Mashed Potato Play Dough

Babies love to squish their food between their fingers, so why not indulge them? Cook and then mash some potatoes, but don’t add any butter, milk etc. You can make it thicker using rice cereal, and color it with food coloring. As a side note, for babies that no longer like to eat food with a spoon, thickening it with rice cereal and rolling it into little balls allows them the independence they crave and the nutrition they need.

Rice and Beans Rainsticks

Use a Pringles’ can (I know that you’re going to have to go out and buy one, but it’s just for this project. I understand) or a coffee container. Place a handful of dried beans or rice in it. Then seal the lid using glue or a really strong tape like duct tape. You can experiment with different sized containers and beans: film canisters will make a different noise than a coffee can for example.

What are your kids’ favorite toys using food?


1 Michelle August 14, 2008

Very cute ideas 🙂

Michelle's last blog post..Things I Didn't Know About Newborns

2 Dana August 14, 2008

Okay… I LOVE these ideas! Thanks so much!!!

Dana's last blog post..Six Sites to Use as a Research Tool

3 Lucie August 14, 2008


Lucie's last blog post..Love and Marriage – Do You Need One to Have the Other?

4 Writer Dad August 15, 2008

Great ideas, and great theme. (I use Thesis too).

Writer Dad's last blog post..The Eighth Wonder of the World

5 Gidget August 16, 2008

oo, my little would love the homemade rainsticks! I'll have to try that! 🙂

6 Gidget August 16, 2008

that should read "little one" not just little. 🙂

Gidget's last blog post..It’s the Absolute Ulitmate!! #3

7 J. Money July 23, 2009

Hah! that is awesome…now I gotta work on having kids….
.-= J. Money´s last blog ..3 Lessons Starbucks Reminded Me of Today. =-.

8 Jason @ Redeeming Ri November 8, 2009

Great stuff! I love the pringles rain sticks idea. I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter who would love these!!
.-= Jason @ Redeeming Riches´s last blog ..7 Tips to Achieve Retirement Success =-.

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