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!
Mum’s wallet. Sigh…
lol….good one 🙂
Agree 100% with above comment – Mom’s wallet! Also my little ones loved the turkey baster, car keys and the cell phone.
Oh, turkey baster is a good idea and yes, those car keys are always entertaining! I guess I’m going to have to bust out my wallet 🙂 Hadn’t thought about that until I saw the comment from Pauline.
Robyn... Pen Pals and Picture Books says
I swear that the drawer in our kitchen which houses miscellaneous plastic containers (cottage cheese tubs etc) is emptied out and the contents played with more than MANY of our toy bins 🙂
Always fun! Thanks for sharing Robyn 🙂
Natassia Butler says
Our son likes to play with our coasters. So much so that his grandma got him a set for Christmas 🙂
oh my gosh…lol..thanks for the chuckle! And thanks for sharing 🙂
My daughter’s favorite outing toy for months was a set of pink measuring spoons. My son likes them, too. I bet he would love a whisk. Right now we can’t keep him away from my daughter’s hairbrush.
Measuring spoons always seem to be better than any rattle. Thanks for sharing. My son has taken an interest in his hairbrush too. I love all these ideas!!
Growing a Jeweled Rose says
This is a great list! I think the non toys get played with more in our home than the actual toys. In hindsight, I wish I had bought far lass actual toys.
Thank you! I was thinking that same thing today as I was cleaning up our living room. Although… I did better this time around. Bought much more with the first.
Growing a Jeweled Rose says
ME TOO! lol
My 4 1/2 yo daughter could get by with just her stuffed animals and the non toys. We have several storage containers just dedicated to “junk” aka loose parts.
There’s should be a “like”button for comments lol 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. I think one of my next projects needs to be to find a way to get all the non-toys organized!
Well, babies use every thing as toys they just play with them ,but we should avoid these things from babies as there skin is soft and sensitive,parents should buy soft toys for them.
They “play” with everything true, but they are also learning at the same time. Without exposure to different items, colors, textures, smells etc. I would think life would get pretty boring for them. I tend to believe the more they explore the more they learn. That said… my son does love his soft toys, but at 8 months he definitely shows preferences for what he wants to play with so in that respect I guess he doesn’t, or should I say isn’t, interested in “playing” with everything.
One of mine always loved the remote to the t.v. We gave him one that didn’t have any batteries in it to play with. We didn’t avoid non-soft toys because babies learn from exploring different textures. My kids all had super sensitive skin but that was to things like soaps and detergents. Never any problem with their toys. Great post! Looking forward to reading the other ideas. ~Julie
Thanks for the great ideas! When my little ones were babies, I tried my best to avoid store bought baby toys for them. Babies brains are growing so fast and making all sorts of connections. It is important to give them a wide variety of objects that taste and smell and feel and sound different. As long as these objects are clean and there is an adult near by, there is no reason why a child shouldn’t be able to explore. My baby loved oatmeal cartons, wire whisks, wooden bowls and wooden spoons, wrapping paper tubes, egg cartons, pine cones and large smooth rocks. 🙂
My twins actually hated every soft toy that well meaning relatives brought for them…they sat in the corner discarded….they did however love the discovery basket i put together for them full of items from the kitchen and scraps from my sewing. What can be better than discovering the wonder of the world around them as long as fully supervised…they now enjoy and use many household items at 22 months and both have very sensitive skin but no reactions to the toys they use! An absolutely brilliant post, thanks for sharing your ideas with us!
As I type and nurse one of my twins, the other is playing with a mini colander, a turkey baster and a spatula. Kitchen necessities are the best for small hands! (And mouths.) They both love plastic baggies. Of course I don’t leave them unattended with one, but the sound and texture entertains little ones for quite some time!
Growing a Jeweled Rose says
Only soft toys? That’s no fun. Babies learn through their senses, and through exploring varying textures. I loved this list of non-toys!
Growing a Jeweled Rose says
You already know I loved this post lol. I am featuring it tomorrow on Tuesday Tots. Drop by, check it out, and link up to Tuesday Tots for the week! Thanks for sharing your fab ideas with us 🙂 Oh, and I pinned this to the Tuesday Tot board!
Aw, thanks so much!! I will pop on over and take a peak. And thanks for pinning too 🙂
Kari Rundus says
My little guy loves to play with ramen noodle packages. He also loves to play with straws and a cardboard box with balls in it.
Jennifer Haas says
Oh straws! Yes Kari those are all great fun. My youngest loves straws lol 🙂
Remote control, wooden spoons, Phone, shoes, toilet paper
My daughter loves empty crisp packets, plastic lids and her shoes! I recently bought some squeaky dog balls, they are bobbley and spikey and colourful and cost me £1.99 for 6 as opposed £4 for one commercial sensory ball