Make Your Own Recycled Pull Toy!

pull toy

I love making fun toys out of material in our recycle bin. You know why? It’s free!

I pulled out a big liquid dish soap container because I thought it held promise. We could turn it into a drum, or maybe fill it with dried beans to make a shaker. Or how about cutting it so that we could use it as a huge scoop in the sandbox?

We’ve been trying to work on Ivan’s hand strength lately so I decided to make a pull toy. I’ve seen Ivan’s Occupational Therapist working with similar toys and I thought we could turn this dish soap container into something you could pull back and forth.

This Dawn bottle has a nice shape and the handle is very ergonomically placed, so we could also encourage Ivan to hold on to the handle with one hand while pulling with the other, another skill he’s been trying to master.

So I grabbed some cottage cheese lids and a couple of old headbands and got to work!


What You’ll Need:

how to make a pull toy

  • a large dish soap container
  • 4 large plastic lids
  • 2 headbands (old socks, tights or nylons would work too)
  • scissors
  • ice pick or knife sharpener


Making Your Pull Toy

  1. Start by cleaning out your dish soap container and letting it completely dry.
  2. Poke 4 small holes in the container with your scissors and make sure that they line up on both sides as a pair, one on top and one below. Don’t make the holes too big because you want it to be somewhat difficult to get those headbands through.
  3. Cut each of your headbands in half.
  4. Using a strong stick, ice pick or knife sharpener (I used the long knife sharpener that came with our block of knives), push each handband through the holes in the container. This may take some wiggling and finagling because you want there to be resistance when pulling the headbands.
  5. Poke holes in the center of the plastic lids and push the ends of the headbands through. Tie a knot at the end of each headband.
  6. There you go! You’ve got a pull toy. Try pulling the headband knots until the lid on the other end hits the container. It should be a tight fit so you have to put a little effort into getting the headband to pull through. The point of the game is to give your child a challenge and see if they can get stronger while pulling the lids and playing with the resistance.

playing with pull toy

As we’ve been playing with our pull toy we’ve found some fun things you can add: You can add beads or dried beans to the inside of the soap container to add a little sound when it shakes. You can also add bells to the ends of the headbands so you can hear the bands as they move.

Have fun coming up with other ways to play with your pull toy and share your ideas in the comments!

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