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Turn Your Kids Birthday Into a Toy Hacking Workshop

Updated on April 13, 2015

Who could forget the classic toy-hacking Sid from Toy Story? Those unforgettable images of an R/C spider doll, monster hand jack n' the box, and a sports car with legs help put toy hacking back on the map. It tapped into our childhood curiosity about how toys work, and that curiosity is still going strong today at children's science centers, craft classes, and family events like Maker Faire. The wild art of toy hacking is not only a fun, educational experience for children, but has become a truly clever birthday party idea that barely costs a dime.

These quick and easy toy hacking activities are ideal for children's birthdays and allows kids to make their own party favors too. So grab that trusted glue gun and craft box. It's time to bust out those old party favors, miniature plastic toys, kids jewelry, and more oldies but goodies!

Create an Easy Toy Hacked Snow Globe

Kids are enchanted by whimsical snow globes and would love a chance to finally make one of their own, thus making way for a truly unique and creative birthday party activity. There's a whole host of ideas for toy hacked snow globes, like 'Frozen' themed snow globes of course, featuring old Frozen party favors and figurines, or safari themed snow globes with miniature erasers, animal figurines, and necklaces. Just follow these quick and easy steps to make a fantasy-themed snow globe for that next toy hacking party.

  • Simply scrounge up any used animal figurines plus any winged creatures, like plastic fairies, birds, or dragonfly figurines.
  • Carefully snip the wings off and glue them onto those classic animal figurines to make brand new fantasy critters. Make your own flying cows, winged horses, and floating elephants. Glue guns work best for this type of activity, so adult supervision is required for this part of the activity.
  • Once your new winged critters have dried, you can add them to your new mini snow globe.
  • Take any empty baby food jar and cover the bottom with a mound of modeling clay. Then stick 1 or 2 of your new toy hacked critters into the mound until it's secure. Fill your jar with water a few drop of mineral oil before add 1 or 2 teaspoons of glitter.
  • Tightly secure the lid and decorate the top with even more winged critters!

Toy Hacks for a Swashbuckling Kids Party

You can stick other simple toy hacked creations onto your snow globe 'sea floor' too, like mini plastic rings with glued-on micro machine cars or old broken kids' necklace bits. But why not make even more epic creations by channeling that inner blue beard for a pirate-themed party?

'Make-our-own' treasure chest toy hacks are creative yet not super complicated, so kids of many different ages can really get in on this activity. This is also a handy way to get rid of all those leftover gem rings, princess jewelry, Mardi Gras beads, and other glittery party favors and toys.

  • To start, take any toy pirate chest and make sure it's empty.
  • After collecting a variety of small toys, start gluing them to the inside of your pirate's chest.
  • You can even make your own toy hacked pirate medallions by fixing old arcade tokens, toy compasses, and plastic kids watch faces to shiny Mardi Gras beads
  • Once dried, instantly transform that mound of toys into shimmering gold nuggets by painting the inside with non-toxic acrylic gold paint; then cover with fine, iridescent glitter to add a touch of sparkle.

These toy hacking party ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. Birthday party season is here, so now's the time to take a trip through the garage, put on that creative thinking cap, and finally use those old toys once and for all!


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