Baby toys, especially at this age (6-18months), don’t have to be expensive. In fact household items would provide as much interest and enrichment needed as expensive toys. The name given to this type of play is Huresric play. At this age everything is about exploration and discovery. Babies need to be given a wide variety of materials and textures. Many of the baby toys sold today are made up solely of plastic, babies need to explore different smells, textures, sounds, sights and movement to learn.
With a little imagination and research it’s quite easy to put together some really fun toys. All of the toys below can be made from things laying around the house.
I have used various size bottles and Kilner jars for variety and another sensory activity. In my bottles I have:
- Lentils (for sound and movement)
- Foil (for light reflection and sound)
- Pom poms (colour)
- Water, food colouring and vegetable oil (for water movement, bubbles and colour)
- Water and glitter (for movement and light reflection.
B loves looking at these. She’ll spend a good few minutes shaking them and rolling them around. This also encourages her to move around after them. I like that the use of plastic and glass provides her with a concept of weight and different materials.
This is probably the easiest toy to make, it can be put together in less than a minute and keep your baby occupied for a while. A treasure basket is simply a basket made up of random household (baby safe) objects.
- pipe cleaner
- Pom Pom
- Picture frame
- Pine cone
This will keep B occupied for a good 10 minutes, perfect for preparing lunch, putting some washing on or a quick Facebook check 😉 It is also a lovely activity to do together as you can talk about each item as your baby explores it.
Save and wash out your takeaway coffee cups and you have the perfect stacking cups. B enjoys banging these together and babbling into the cup.
This toy is made from an old mug tree and some curtain rings. I’ve taken the screws off the curtain rings.
B enjoys taking all the rings off, chewing them and flinging them around the room. This is great for a child’s motor skills as it requires concentration to get the rings on and off the branches.
These are only a few ideas of the different activities that can be put together for no money. They are also great ideas for working towards a zero waste lifestyle and giving packaging a new purpose. I would love to hear your ideas of no cost toys 😊.
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