Creating a pop-up puppet theatre for the kids is easy! Just cut a square hole in the centre of a fabric curtain, add any decorations that you love, then hang the curtain from a spring-loaded extendable rod (typically used to hold window coverings or a shower curtain) in a doorway of your home. It's showtime!
A little shop front is bound to provide hours of fun for the kids. To make a shop similar to this example, you can repurpose a low chest of solid timber drawers for the base. Just remove the drawers and install timber shelves. Cut a window out of a sheet of plywood and secure to the top of the drawers with brackets. Attach shelves to the back of the window. Apply primer to all surfaces then paint in glossy white water-based paint. You can add a shop name using MDF craft letters painted in any colour you love, affixed to the front of the shop with PVA. Make miniature groceries by wrapping small recycled containers and boxes and then use them to stock the shelves. Don’t forget to provide baskets for shoppers, too!
Loved by kids for generations, a hobby horse is a terrific gift for your littlies. To make: Start with a timber broom handle, then add a horse head to one end. For this, you might like to stuff a wooden sock with polyfil (decorated with a woollen mane, fabric ears and googly eyes) or attach a timber horse head silhouette, cut out with a jigsaw. To prevent the other end of the stick dragging on the ground, you might like to attach two small wheels, too! Giddy up.
Racing car track
For the car-obsessed kids in your life, consider creating a miniature toy-car racetrack in a patch of your backyard lawn. Just like the bike paths at your local park — but smaller scale! Use a shovel to dig out the design of shallow, narrow roads, then fill the road trenches with quick-set concrete. Let dry. Paint roads black with paving paint, let dry, and then add road lines with white exterior paint and a fine paintbrush.
An outdoor cubby is one of those places kids just love to play and unleash their imagination! If you're handy on the tools, you can make a custom playhouse from scratch. But an easy option is to buy a flat-pack cubby kit that you can assemble. Typically made from western red cedar, you might like to paint the cubby in playful colours or to match the main house. Add pot plants by the front door, a window planter under each window and perhaps an edible fruit and vegie garden nearby.
Is your little one crazy for DIY? Knock them together a timber-framed workbench to store all their toy tools. Add pegboard at the back to hang supplies and plastic caddies underneath to hold materials and other tools.