Apparently, I stay on weekly trends – something I can totally get on board with; one theme a week. This week is all things toddler-related… You know, since Thursday’s Three was all about toddler activities and now this week’s D.I.Y is for the toddlers! Sun-D.I.Y = D.I.Y Ring Toss for Toddlers.
When it comes to selecting Sloane’s toys, I tend to gravitate towards wooden toys (or toys made of ‘natural’ items). Not only because they are prettier but also because they are said to help promote imagination. I won’t pretend that part of the reason doesn’t include the fact that I don’t love the noisy toys (not saying she doesn’t have any because she has her fair share!), but there’s a balance to be had.
When I saw this D.I.Y ring toss for toddlers on my Instagram friend Evie’s Page I instantly LOVED the concept. It’s definitely an open-ended toy that promotes Sloane continuing to learn her colors – if she wants to strategically place them together on the mug tree, and as she gets older, she can try to toss the rings onto the arms. She actually tried the toss already and it didn’t work overly well for her! But, since kids grow and change so quickly, that versatility is also something that I look for in toys – predominately so they aren’t being donated in a month or so.
So that being said, 100% of the credit for this ring toss D.I.Y is attributed to Evie. She is also an Usborne book consultant, so if you’re looking for any fabulous kiddo books, you can find them on her website here.
If you just want the instructions for how to make this D.I.Y ring toss for toddlers, skip down towards the bottom. Otherwise, I’m going to quickly run through how I approach Sloane’s toys and how I try to encourage play in our house!
Learning Through Imagination
With Sloane, I’ve loosely followed a Montessori approach with her toys. It’s not like I’ve banned plastic, noise-making toys fully, but I limit how many she has out at any given point.
From what I read (and I read this in my completely exhausted state when Sloane was young, so don’t fully quote me on it), the Montessori approach to toys is a minimalist approach – which I will get into below – but is also focused on toys made of real materials and that produce real results.
For example, her motorized fox (which I actually did buy for her, LOL) repeats the same six things over and over again. When Sloane is playing with the fox, she really does not need to use her imagination to think about what he is saying or what he might be doing at any given point (because he also moves independently).
Contrary to that, when she plays in her kitchen, she has to use her imagination fully. Is she making a pizza? Boiling some tomatoes (her method of choice usually)? What does she need to get things done?
I will say that from playing in her kitchen with her “every day” looking objects, she has gotten really good at going through the normal steps someone would take in the kitchen. For example, she will make pizza in the oven by turning the oven on, putting the pizza in, finding a plate and cutlery, and then serving it up.
Side note, I did read kids kitchens are NOT considered a Montessori approach by some because she should be in my kitchen. We all know that I couldn’t handle the mess, plus everything in my kitchen is breakable.
Limited Toy Options as to Not Overwhelm The Kiddos
I’m honestly not sure if this is a Montessori approach or not. Still, I have read in a few places that limiting the number of toys out at any given point will help your child feel less overwhelmed and actually sit down to play instead of destroying everything in sight and then be bored.
I knew there was something to this but was SO hesitant to try for some reason. Like, what if she didn’t like so few toys. How few were too few? How many would she need to be entertained?!
Well, one day, I bit the bullet and shifted all of her toys around. I took away close to three quarters of them. The results were, no joke, so magical!
She honestly sat and played so peacefully – something I hadn’t seen in a long time. Every week or so, I rotate her toys around so they stay fresh and new to her each time. I definitely plan to have this D.I.Y ring toss for toddlers in the mix. Now let’s get into how to make it!
How to Make D.I.Y Ring Toss for Toddlers
*Evie found most of these items at Dollarama if you want to check! I found the rings at our Dollarama but not the mug holder so bit the bullet and got it from Amazon – which is where you could get everything if you’re going for convenience.
+ 20+ rings (2x of these)
+ Food coloring of your choice (I used the neon colors)
1. Assuming you’re choosing to make five colors, take out five bowls. Fill each bowl with 1 cup of water and all the drops of food coloring. Honestly, I went nuts; I cannot tell you how many drops I put in. 10? 20? Something like that. Do what feels right.
2. Evenly divvy up your wooden rings and pop them into their respective food coloring and water mixture colors. I let mine sit for over an hour, rotating occasionally. If you find the color is not changing at all, add more food coloring!
3. Remove the rings from the food colored water and place on a paper towel to dry.
4. Set up your mug tree, and once the rings are dry, let those kiddos go to town!
Easy peasy! Thanks for the awesome game, Evie!!!