Meet the DIY diva mom who makes her 3-year-old son's toys from scratch
Super creative mom Meg Wutrich Sarmenta talks about the benefits of creating your kid's toys and she lets us in on some of her DIY secrets!
Meg Wutrich-Sarmenta always enjoyed Do-it-Yourself projects even before she got married. When she was pregnant with her first child, Lucas, her passion for DIY was ignited even more.
"I was pregnant with Lucas then, I hand sewn his name and added designs on his birds eye diaper (lampin). I made Lucas Edible Fingerpaints, and his Toy animal stand out of cardboard boxes and toilet paper rolls."
But, she believes her journey as a DIY mom began when Lucas was 7 months old. "He loves going inside cardboard boxes, laundry baskets and Plastic bins. It gave me the idea to make him a simple toy boxcar out of cardboard boxes," recalls the resourceful mom. "I didn’t put much decors on it since he puts anything he grabs inside his mouth."
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I usually get inspiration from whenever we go out. I’d see something I like or what Lucas would like. From there I’d imagine if it’s possible to make it out whatever we have at home.
Has Lucas shown an interest in creating DIY projects as well?
-yes to both. Whenever I make a DIY project, Lucas would suggest something or tell me what to add. I ask his opinion. And sometimes I’d get surprised that he would imagine a certain toy and tell me what it is he is imagining. Sometimes he would surprise Paolo (my husband) and I he made an mini ‘igloo’ out of pillows. Or he would fold a paper and tell us it’s a plane.
What are your bonding activities?
We usually do activities together like doing sports, house chores, painting and making cookies. He sees house chores as a form of play. So he usually enjoys it. We also made edible finger paints out of cornstarch and food color.
Paolo, My husband, helps me whenever I need help and I ask ideas from him too. He is very supportive with my projects for Lucas.
Lucas and Paolo helped me make the busy board Lucas calls it his ‘ipad’ since we don’t own one.
What are the benefits of creating your kid's toys as opposed to purchasing from a toy store?
We get to save. Instead of buying, making our kid’s toys make it more meaningful. We get to bond and have fun with our child while making a project.
He gets to appreciate simple things and use his imagination. He also learns on how things are made and how they work.
Next page: Check out more of this creative mom's creations!
For parents who want to create toys for their kids, what advice would you give?
To be creative and use their imagination. They can get inspiration from toy stores and apply it.
Do you think getting them interested in crafts has a positive influence on them? In what way?
For us, yes. He gets to be resourceful or creative and be open minded. He gets to think outside the box. When we do crafts I ask his opinion on our projects. That way his self-esteem would develop. When we made the gift tags and the decors last Christmas, he was so proud to show his work. He's so happy when he sees his paintings on the wall too. He learns through play.
What are some of your other DIY creations?
I also made Lucas Finger puppets out of pipe cleaners. He loves to sing the finger family.
I also made a "Quiet Book" for when we travel. The pages were mostly based on Lucas’ interests.
We baked sugar cookies with personalized names on it: his name and his cousins name.
He loves surprise eggs. So I made one for him. Just spray or put it in the water it'll fizz and reveal the surprise toy inside. Spraying helps strengthen their hands kasi para sa fine motor skills nila.
For our Christmas gifts, I used brown paper, for the antlers I colored the cardboard black. Made pompoms for Rudolph’s nose, googly eyes and recycled like newspaper .
Aside from toys too, Lucas and I made personalized gift tags last Christmas out of the dough I made and Christmas Decors from popsicle sticks and dough, too.
Next page: Meg gives us a step-by-step tutorial on how to make some of her DIY creations!
Lucas' Car Wash
You will need:
- Disposable Container or shoe box
- Felt cloth or paper
- Chopsticks or Barbecue Sticks (cut the pointy end)
How to make it:
- First I cut out a rectangle to serve as an ‘entrance‘ and an ‘exit’ on both ends on a disposable container.
- Cut out the felt cloth that would fit onto the exit and glue.
- Put a hole on both sides of the entrance. Put the chopstick and wrap the felt cloth.
- To make the car wash ‘sponges’, wrap the felt strips around the chopsticks (cut into half) and glue.
- Put 2 holes on top of the carwash and attach the chopsticks
"The all time favorite of the kids who visit our house," says Meg. "I used toothpaste boxes, Kitchen towel rolls and even soap boxes. They shoot the ball using disposable cups and Cardboard and pingpong balls. Paolo and I enjoyed playing this one with Lucas."
Going to the Moon Rocket Ship
I was inspired to make this for Lucas. After we finished reading the his very own personalized book: Lucas Sebastian and the Great Space Race.
You will need:
- Toilet Paper Roll
How to make it:
- Draw a Circle on a cardboard as the moon.
- Cut the straw in half and tape it at the back of your space ship.
- Fold your long piece of string in half.
- Tape the middle of the string to the back of your moon. Then, string your two strands through the two straws.
- Tape the ends of the string with a small cardboard so that the spaceship doesn't fall off.
- Attach the moon on a doorknob or stick the moon onto the wall.
- Your Rocket ship is ready to blast off!
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