It’s always fun to have new toys, but what’s even more fun is something that will keep baby occupied and interested for a long time. I find over and over again that it’s rarely the store bought toys that live up to those standards but more often than not it’s the every day items we have lying around the house. C (who is turning 8 months this week) has really started to get more curious and purposeful in his playing. As with a lot of babies I’m sure, the things that seem to hold his attention really aren’t toys at all. So, mixing bowls and cardboard boxes aside, I decided to compile a list for you of our current favorite non-toy “toys”. These are things that he finds interesting over and over again seemingly no matter how many times I give them to him. And when I do, they hold his attention for quite awhile. Sometimes I give him one item at a time, or sometimes I put things into different groups and give them to him that way. I always keep a very close eye on the babes when I give him anything that’s not age appropriate. Remember you know your baby best, so if you are not comfortable with, or don’t think they are ready for something…don’t do it.
Here we go…in no particular order…
1. Baby Wipes Cases (the larger flip top kind) – The munchkin man loves opening and closing these and flinging them around. I often will put some of his smaller toys in them for him to discover and take out. They make great building blocks for toddlers too if you have a bunch of them hanging around.
2. Small Plastic Drinking Cups – My 7 & 9 year olds love playing with plastic cups too (more the solo variety than the smaller sturdier ones I give C though). They will stack them, or build a drink stand in the house and sell water to us etc. The big kids even made “Cup City” one day - which I sadly neglected to take a picture of.
3. Whisk - C loves to bang this around on various items as well as chew on the rubber handle. I think it’s his number one choice for teething relief at the moment.
4. Paper Plates – He gets so fascinated waving a paper plate around.
5. Crocheted Yarn Scraps – I’ve recently attempted crochet (long story for another post) and I have lots of practice pieces lying around. He loves to play with these!
6. Plastic Measuring Spoons
7. Empty Coffee Creamer Bottles (or other empty plastic bottles) - He enjoys knocking them over more than blocks. I think he loves the sound they make when they fall onto the hardwood floor. If you missed it, check out this post to see how we like to play with coffee creamer bottles in our house.
8. Travel Size Lotion and Shampoo Bottles - My oldest was completely entertained by a travel sized baby shampoo bottle for many months….he carried it everywhere. We have lots of pictures of him with the shampoo bottle lol! He just loved hanging on to it. They are great entertainment during diaper changes. The perfect size for little hands to manipulate.
9. Plastic Cookie Cutters
10. Collapsable Silicone Colander- The babes especially likes the long handled one because he can hold onto it that way and I don’t worry too much about him playing with this because the whole thing is fairly flexible.
If you have any favorite non-toy toys, please leave a comment! We’d love to hear about them!