175+ Ideas for Repurposing Items for Play from The PLAY Group

I am so excited to introduce you to The PLAY Group! The PLAY Group is a group of moms and teachers who blog about kids play and learning activities. These are some of the most creative kid bloggers around and they share creative ideas for having fun and teaching your kids. I am honored to be part of this group. To kick things off, we will be sharing a zillion (more or less) activities in areas we are especially passionate about. At the end of this post are links to all The PLAY Group lists. Literally, thousands of activities. What more do you need?

Be sure to follow The PLAY Group on Pinterest for your one stop shop for all kids activities:

Join The PLAY Group on Google+ for even MORE ideas and inspiration!

Now on with the show!

If you have been a regular reader at Mess For Less then you know I am somewhat frugal. I hate to spend  lots of money on things to entertain and teach the kids. I try to find items I already have around the house to use in new and unexpected ways to create memories and fun. I am hoping after browsing through the list and visiting some of the great ideas you will be inspired and look around your house and for items you can use for play.

1. Counting Game with Buttons and Muffin Cups  From Mess For Less
2. Creative Magnets and a Marble Run  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
3. DIY Microfiber Cleaning Slippers  From Housing a Forest
4. Sidewalk Chalk Paint  From Train Up A Child
5. Sponge Bowling with Word Families  From Toddler Approved 
6. Shower Sponge Painting  From Learn With Play at Home
7. Early Learning Magnetic Alpha Bath  From Bath Activities for Kids
8. Snowflake Valentine's Craft using Coffee Filters  From B-Inspired Mama
9. Make Homemade Bouncing Balls  From Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
10. Thrifty Arts and Crafts Supplies  From In Lieu of Preschool

11. 20+ Ways to Use Contact Paper with Kids  From Mess For Less
12. DIY Magnetic Chalkboard  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
13. Rainbow Bubble Snakes  From Housing a Forest
14. Tips and Tricks for Messy Play  From Train Up A Child
15. Swimming Pool Scrabble  From Toddler Approved
16. Soft Toy Toss  From Learn With Play at Home
17. Kool Aid Scented Sensory Baths  From Bath Activities for Kids
18. Marble Painted Heart Garland  From B-Inspired Mama
19. Faux Tie Dye Spring Window Flower Display  From Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
20. Exploring Michelangelo with Preschoolers From Rainy Day Mum

21. Birthday Party Playdough  From Mess For Less
22. DIY Light Table and Shapes  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
23. Painting With Jelly Beans  From Housing a Forest
24. Frog Pond Small World Play  From One Perfect Day
25. Building with Spices  From Toddler Approved
26. Playdough Imprints Texture and Pattern  From Learn With Play at Home
27. Glowing Water for Kids  From Bath Activities for Kids
28. Snowflake Drop Baby Activity  From B-Inspired Mama
29. Penny Experiment  From Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
30. Thrifty Scissor Practice  From In Lieu of Preschool

31. 3 Ideas for Straw Games and Crafts  From Mess For Less
32. Black Light Sticky Table  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
33. Stamping Dice  From Housing a Forest
34. Two Ingredient Baby and Toddler Safe Paint  From Train Up A Child
35. Sponge Tower Time  From Toddler Approved
36. Gooey Flour Fun  From Learn With Play at Home
37. Ice Cream Parlor for Kids  From Bath Activities for Kids
38. Dissolving Peeps Experiment  From Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
39. Twig Nest Centerpiece From B-Inspired Mama
40. 3 Simple Numbers and Counting Activities  From In Lieu of Preschool

41. Paint a Tree with Q-Tips  From Mess For Less
42. Giant Sponge Sensory Play  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
43. Shamrock Sprouts  From Housing a Forest
44. Glow in the Dark Water Beads  From Train Up A Child
45. Silly Magnet Monsters  From Toddler Approved
46. Comb Painting  From Learn With Play at Home
47. Bath Paint Recipe Collection  From Bath Activities for Kids
48. Egg Experiments  From Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
49. 5 Tips for Setting Up Play Kitchen  From In Lieu of Preschool
50. Easy DIY Fine Motor Skills Activity  From One Perfect Day

51. Paper Bag Donkeys  From Mess For Less
52. 30 Ways to Play with Kool Aid  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
53. Ivory Soap Experiment  From Housing a Forest
54. Counting and Sequencing with Peas  From Train Up A Child
55. Clothespin Fireworks  From Toddler Approved
56. Building with Books   From Learn With Play at Home
57. Erupting Kool Aid Bath Paint  From Bath Activities for Kids
58. Exploring Gas with Balloons  From Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
59. Shamrock Cookie Cutter Paint Stamping  From In Lieu of Preschool
60. ABC Rock Fun  From Parent Teach Play

61. Homemade Finger Paint  From Mess For Less
62. How to Make Play Dough  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
63. Cup Stacking  From Housing a Forest
64. Painting Rainbows with Marshmallows  From Train Up A Child
65. Make a Cereal Bracelet  From Learn With Play at Home
66. Scented Bubble Painting Bath  From Bath Activities for Kids
67. A Garden Treasure Hunt with Painted Rocks From One Perfect Day
68. DIY Cooking Sensory Bin  From In Lieu of Preschool
69. Mosaic Rainbow Art  From Parent Teach Play
70. Homemade Puffy Paint with 3 Ingredients  From Train Up A Child

71. Tracing with Yarn  From Mess For Less
72. Alligator Stick Pals  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
73. Tinfoil and Sharpies  From Housing a Forest
74. Paper Plate Dino Craft  From Train Up A Child
75. Experimental Cooking  From Learn With Play at Home
76. St. Patrick's Day Art - Rainbows  From In Lieu of Preschool
77.Glowing Ice  From Train Up A Child
78. Playdough Candy Pops  From Parent Teach Play
79. Rainbow Discovery Bottles  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
80. Messy Car Wash  From Train Up A Child

81. Giant Fly Swatter Painting  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
82. Credit Card Art  From Housing a Forest
83. Peppermint Oatmeal Sensory Play  From Train Up A Child
84. Painting with Seasoning and Spices  From Learn With Play at Home
85. Storm Fort  From Parent Teach Play
86. 11 Ways to Make Bathtime Glow  From Bath Activities for Kids
87. Erupting Snow Recipe  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
88. Hot Glue Crayon Rubbings  From Mess For Less
89. The Smell Eraser  From Housing a Forest
90. Shaving Cream Play Pool  From Train Up A Child

91. Paint the Sky Activity  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
92. Pretend Cooking with Food Scraps  From Train Up A Child
93. Exploring Sense of Touch    From Train Up A Child
94. Glowing Oobleck  From Train Up A Child
95. Making Flowers with Scrubbing Sponges  From Mess For Less
96. Erupting Pumpkins Experiment for Kids  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
97. Yogurt Spice Sensory Play  From Train Up A Child
98. Dripping Salt Painting  From Mess For Less
99. A New Way to Make Paint  From Bath Activities for Kids
100. Apple Scented Cloud Dough  From Growing a Jeweled Rose

101. 5 Simple Sensory Bins for Babies and Toddlers  From Train Up A Child
102. Homemade Glowing Paint  From Train Up A Child
103. Exploring the Sense of Sight  From Train Up A Child
104. Sensory Painting with Kool Aid  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
105. 5 DIY Manipulatives  From Train Up A Child
106. Water Beads and Babies  From Train Up A Child
107. Egg Crack Painting  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
108. Pretend Play Perfume Concoctions  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
109. Coconut Volcano Science Experiment  From Parent Teach Play
110. Outdoor Obstacle Course  From Train Up A Child

111. Spooky Spaghetti Spider Webs  From Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
112. Using Empty Paint Bottles for Sensory Play  From Train Up A Child
113. Bath Time Water Wall  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
114. Dry Erase Tiles  From Housing a Forest
115. Potato Pumpkin Prints  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
116. Bubble Wrap Sensory Sliding Fun  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
117. Melted Crayon Easter Eggs  From Housing a Forest
118. Edible Face Healthy Lunch  From Train Up A Child
119. Mess Free Finger Painting  Housing a Forest
120. Tornado in a Bottle  From In Lieu of Preschool

121. Early Math with the 3 Bears  From Learn With Play at Home
122. 20 Art and Craft Recipes for the Busy Mama  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
123. Dancing Oobleck  From Housing a Forest
124. Wash and Learn Turkey Basting Bath Time  From In Lieu of Preschool
125. Paper Plate Pumpkin Crafts  From Train Up A Child
126. Toddler Sewing Activity  From Housing a Forest
127. Exploding Art   From Housing a Forest
128. Glowing Pasta Necklaces  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
129. Crock Pot Playdough  From Train Up A Child
130. Sensory Pudding Paint  From Train Up A Child

131. Simple Valentine's Stamp  From Housing a Forest
132. Painting with Pool Noodles  From Train Up A Child
133. Slide Painting with Balls  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
134. Tot Preschool - D is for Dinosaur  From Train Up A Child
135. Dino Dig Fossil Art  From Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
136. Pretend Cooking Using Real Ingredients  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
137. Mixology 101 From Train Up A Child
138. Ice Skating in the Living Room  From One Perfect Day
139. Rainbow Jello Sensory Bin  From Train Up A Child
140. Glowing Clean Mud Ivory Soap Explosion  From Train Up A Child

141. Pumpkin Oobleck  From Train Up A Child
142. Easy Homemade Faux Lava Lamps for Kids  From Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
143. 40 Ways to Play with Items in Your Pantry  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
144. Lorax Themed Sensory Box  From In Lieu of Preschool
145. Glowing Jello  From Train Up A Child
146. Tie-riffic Fun with Twist Ties  From Learn With Play at Home
147. Learning the Alphabet Sensory Style  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
148. Autumn Jello Sensory Bin  From Train Up A Child
149. Pretend Play Sensory Tea Party   From Growing a Jeweled Rose
150. Exploring the Sense of Taste  From Train Up A Child

151. Baby Discovery Bin  From Train Up A Child
152. Rubber Cement Resist  From Housing a Forest
153. Even More Fun Activities for Kids Using a Turkey Baster From In Lieu of Preschool
154. Making Snowmen with Hair Curlers  From Mess For Less
155. Nail Polish Art  From Housing a Forest
156. Homemade Silly Putty  From Train Up A Child
157. DIY Prayer Pail  From In Lieu of Preschool
158. Sponge Painting From Train Up A Child
159. Coffee Filter Pumpkins  From Mess For Less

160. Toilet Paper Knockdown  From Mess For Less
161. Fine Motor Work with Golf Tees  From Mess For Less
162. Elastic Band Launchers  From Housing a Forest
163. Monster Truck Sight Word Mash  From Train Up A Child
164. I Did It All for the Cookie Tray  From Mess For Less
165. Penguin Sensory Bin  From Train Up a Child
166. Q-Tip Painting and Number Learning  From Learn With Play at Home
167. Kool Aid Pumpkins  From Housing a Forest
168. 25 Ways to Play with Goop  From Growing a Jeweled Rose
169. Bell Pepper Shamrocks  From Train Up A Child

170. Perfect Hush Bottles  From In Lieu of Preschool
171. Exploring Playdough with Kitchen Tools  From One Perfect Day
172. Colored Rice Sensory Play  From Train Up A Child
173. Two Ingredient Multi Sensory Cloud Dough  From Train Up A Child
174. Sight Word Discovery Bottles  From Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
175. DIY Microwave Puffy Paint  From One Perfect Day
176. Rock Collection Fun  From In Lieu of Preschool
177. Dinosaur Small World From One Perfect Day

Check out these fantastic lists from The PLAY Group:


      200+ Art Activities from The PLAY Group at B-InspiredMama.com

And please be sure to visit Nature and Play for some wonderful ideas about how you can playfully explore the outdoors with kids.

I link to these great parties.

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  1. Oooh love all the cool ideas. Exactly how does one become a member :) I would love to join

    1. Thanks! Just follow the links above to follow The PLAY Group on Pinterest and join the group on Google +.

  2. Great roundup! Love giving things another life! :)

    1. Thanks Deborah! I am too cheap to just use things once.

  3. Wow what a fantastic lis, thanks for compiling and sharing all these wonderful ideas! x

    1. Thanks Wag Doll! Hope they keep the kids busy.

  4. Such a great reminder that some of the best play items are not actually toys! I love using household items in a new way. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Tammy, Whenever I am at the dollar store I stroll through the kitchen aisle and think about how I can use the items for play. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. There are so many ways for kids to experiment and learn without it costing heaps of money. I love your ideas here.

    1. Thanks Carolyn. This is a big part of the "less" part of Mess For Less.

  6. Wow, this is fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing all these wonderful ideas. I found you at Whatever Goes Wednesday and I am a new follower on Pinterest. Darlene, http://darlenebnemeth.blogspot.ca

  7. This is quiet the collection! Thanks for sharing :-)

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. Great collection!! Thanks for sharing it here