I’m a big fan of repurposing things and finding ways to reduce our environmental footprint. So, when one of our carseats was issued a new buckle under a recall, I was lamenting the fact that we would have to just throw out the old one. Obviously it’s essential that the buckle not be used due to safety reasons (just like with those expired car seats) — but I still cringe when it comes time to toss “treasures” like these in the trash.
Perhaps by coincidence, I realized we could use this seat belt buckle from the car seat to make a DIY buckle toy. Toby has been trying to learn to buckle himself into his carseat, and while he’s mastered the chest clip, the buckle itself has had him stymied.
I used two lengths of string to attach the clips to the buckle’s metal clip… and then we were in business. This toy took me less time to make than it took to swap out buckles in the carseat by a long shot. I spent maybe one minute making this DIY buckle toy… easiest toy ever!
And, you are probably wondering how it went over.
Well, when I told Toby my plan to make him a car seat buckle toy for him to practice with, he exclaimed: “that would be wonderful!” and squealed in delight.
The next ten minutes were spent devoted to mastering the car seat buckle — Toby is still working on the release button (which, since recalled, is a little sticky to depress), but he quickly figured out how to get the clips clicked in.
When Daddy got home, Toby was thrilled to show off his car seat buckle toy. He proceeded to demonstrate, saying “this is how you…”
Overall, I’m thrilled with this quick and easy DIY buckle toy. It serves a practical purpose, helps keep junk out of the landfill, and was really simple to put together.
So, next time you have to get rid of an expired car seat, consider removing the buckle components from the carseat to make your own DIY buckle toy! I won’t suggest hoping for a recall on your buckle, because really, who wants to stress out about having used an unsafe carseat?
Alternatively, you could buy an automotive seatbelt extender #afflink for practice with an adult seatbelt, like the one to the right.
I’m probably going to use this as a busy bag activity for Toby, as it travels well. I haven’t decided whether to allow it in the car or not… as I could see myself getting thrown off by the seatbelt clicking sound while enroute. We’d have to have a talk about not trying to click this buckle toy into the actual car seats.
Take a peek at the images below to see the DIY buckle toy in more detail, both clipped and unclipped, as well as my toddler practicing putting the buckle together.
Click on any image below to enter gallery mode.