I feel like this idea is cheating a little bit, since I bought the plush animals, but it's partly homemade so we're going with it. Last year Thing One was crazy about the Angry Birds Game on Daddy's iphone so I wanted to get him his own Angry Birds game, but there wasn't as big a selection of Angry Birds stuff as there is this year, and I couldn't find what I wanted. Then I saw these birds and realized it would be awesome to make our own life size version of the game.
These stuffed birds and pigs make noise when you press their heads and were listed at something like $20 each, but being the sale and coupon hound that I am I got them (at three different stores) for each around $5 or less. We already had some of these cardboard blocks, but we wanted to create some that looked like the wood beams in the game, so we used cardboard boxes, cut, taped and with a little wood grain drawn on by my artistic husband. If you don't want to cheat like me and buy the animals, you can make your own. Obsessively Stitching has an amazing tutorial on how to make your own set of birds and pigs. So you can truly make this a totally handmade gift if you are patient enough to sew them all.
Life-size games are so much more fun than a board game, especially for our little guys. There are no small pieces to lose or have little brother choke on. There are endless "set ups" or "levels" the kids can design and practicing tossing the birds at a target is good hand eye coordination. Running back and forth between the set up and the toss line is at least some movement, which is pretty exciting during cabin fever season.
Thing One's reaction when he opened his big gift from us was just what we were hoping for. He loved it. And played with it for months. I just recently brought it back up from the basement, and the fun has not diminished at all. Now Thing Two is big enough to get in on the action, and we will probably be playing lots of rounds of real Angry Birds again.
I'm hoping to share one more kids idea tomorrow. Hope you had a good week!