Anyone else drowning in baby toys? I don’t know how a little person can already own so much! I bet you’ve also noticed that it seems like they could care less about their toys and all they want is “grown-up” stuff. Too often we shy away from it because it’s not “politically correct” when really, what does it matter, as long as it’s safe let their creativity and imagination go to town!
Cardboard box — and the bigger the better! We ordered a car seat online and saved the box. She’s been playing with it for months! I cut the tape on the bottom so it can fold-up in between play times. It’s become her absolute favorite “toy.”
A cardboard box might not be the prettiest “toy” but it inspires a lot of creativity that the noise toys don’t, and that to me is worth it! I had to let go of what things looked like from the outside.
Newspaper/Old magazines –Let your baby practice their fine motor tearing and crinkling skills!
Tupperware — has always been a favorite. Keep them in the bottom cabinet or drawer in the kitchen (without a baby lock) so your baby can grab them without your help.
Ice — makes for awesome sensory play! Fill a large tupperwear or 9×13 pan with some ice and let them feel, taste, and explore. I’ve also filled her high chair tray with ice and she’ll happily play while I wash dishes. Just make sure it’s warm enough before you let them play with ice.
An old ketchup bottle lid — before you start laughing and thing I’m stretching it too far, let me tell you I found out about this one on accident but since it entertained my daughter for a good hour, I’m thoroughly convinced. She was mad when we left her friends house and had to give it back. She loved snapping it open and closed, open and closed, open and closed.
Water — in the bathtub or my personal favorite: kitchen sink! If you have a double sink you might even be able to wash a few dishes while they play. Just make sure to closely monitor them.
Wooden spoons and bowls — Have a kid that tugs at your feet the ENTIRE time you make dinner? Let them “cook” with you! Set them up their own little cooking station where they can mix, bang, and play. My daughter loves when I bring over a chair and set her up her own little counter!
Coconut oil — I love this frozen sensory idea from my friend over at ALLternative Learning.
Outside — technically, this isn’t something you have in your house but it is free and easily accessible! Plus outside air has an added benefit of fixing cranky and whinny babies! If you’re little one has been a little grouchy definitely try heading outside! There are so many things you can do outside even if your outside is a small space! I should know, the patch of lawn outside our apartment door can’t be more than 4foot by 10 foot.
- Grab the stroller and go for a walk around the block.
- Lay down a blanket with a few of the “toys” mentioned above. Read more ideas in this post here: Outdoor Sensory Play for Baby.
Make the toys they do have special by rotating them. What’s not there is forgotten about and when it’s brought back out it get’s it freshness back! Whether you choose to use an official toy rotation system or the lazier method (which is what I do) and just “hide” toys for a time and then bring it back out whenever you need a moment of peace.
This post is part of a Natural Parenting Series! For more similar minded posts check out the complete list here: EVERY PARENT’S GUIDE TO NATURAL PARENTING. And here’s a fun Giveaway from the series:this easy step-by-step tutorial on how start a blog (no tech knowledge required).