7 homemade baby toys you can make out of ordinary household stuff


Why spend money on fancy flashing toys when all babies really want is… Tupperware and your car keys.

As my son first birthday approached, well-meaning relatives kept asking me what was on his wish list. Honestly? His favorite thing to do was play with Tupperware that he took out of the kitchen cupboards. (Lid on, lid off. Maybe put a single goldfish cracker in the Tupperware. Or a smaller Tupperware container in a larger one. Madness. Runaway.) His second favorite activity was staggering in circles around the house and off the kitchen walking to the kitchen living room and back again, grinning and clutching a random tube of hand lotion like it was his prized possession.

babies man So ridiculous and weird and yet so cute.

If you have kids, you already know that babies and toddlers find wallets, car keys, sunglasses, smartphones, and even a plain old plastic water bottle endlessly more fun and fascinating than the fanciest flashing toys money can buy. (The classic example is that babies spend more time playing with the box and wrapping paper than they do with the actual gift inside.) So, save money and reduce waste by recycling things you already have in your recycling bins or your Have trash drawer, reuse beloved baby toys.

1. Break out the tissues

How many times have you prevented your baby from pulling every single tissue out of the Kleenex box? Save an empty box from recycling and fill it with old, lightweight scarves or tissues. You could also try using some of those insanely mismatched orphaned baby and toddler socks. (This could also work with an empty wipes box.) Let your baby go to town without wasting tissues.

2. Being canned

Take an old oatmeal container or formula can and clean it out. If you’re feeling crafty, wrap the cylinder in colorful paper (glue or tape it to the can). Let your baby or toddler practice putting on and taking off the plastic lids (fine motor skills!) or roll the cans over the floor. Once you have three or four cans, your child can practice stacking them into a tower or pyramid. You can also cut a square hole or slit in the jar’s plastic lid and then show your older baby or toddler how to drop individual cards from a deck of cards into the slit. Endless entertainment! (Call Busy toddler for the inspiration.)

3. Grasping at straws

I was once able to prep and cook an entire dinner while my baby sat on the kitchen floor trying to insert a single plastic straw back into the tiny round hole in my empty iced coffee mug (which she had happily ripped out of). drink holder in the stroller). This “activity” would work with any unbreakable water cup or drinking cup with a hole for a straw. Or just save that iced coffee mug and straw from your last Starbucks run.

4. Push your buttons

It’s a well-known fact that babies and toddlers love remote controls. So quickly clean your old, discarded remote controls with a disinfectant wipe, remove the batteries and the battery compartment and let your child play. Keep a basket of old, useless remote controls to swap out for the real one when baby gets hungry. (Side note: never let your baby play with the Apple TV remote — they’re far too easy to lose!)

5. Bottled

Many babies are perfectly content with an empty plastic water bottle that they can squeeze, crush and crumple. Just make sure the cap is securely taped in place, or remove it completely and throw it away (the cap is a choking hazard). You can also make it a little better by filling the empty water bottle with small noisy objects to make a shaker toy (uncooked pasta, rice or dried beans). If your baby is more into shiny things, stuff gift ribbons or bows into the empty water bottle. (If you have older kids, you can try these Shaker maracas. But be wary of those smaller items around babies.)

6. House of Cards

Have you ever caught your baby or toddler trying to steal your wallet and pull it apart? It’s a great time-buyer, in a pinch. But if your little one is mobile, you can end up with a misplaced credit card. (Pro tip: check all shoes and oven racks, haha!) Dedicate an old wallet to playtime instead. Remove all coins (they are choking hazard) and fill it with expired loyalty cards and used gift cards – the shinier the better.

7. Ice, ice baby

Granted, this activity is better suited for warmer days than the winter months, but it’s super easy and affordable: Put some ice cubes in a mixing bowl, give your baby a wooden spoon, and let them twirl the cubes around as they melt. (You might want to put a towel or bathmat on the kitchen floor.) You can also do this on a high chair tray, which – big bonus – keeps your baby busy and contain.

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