Sunday, September 8, 2013

Homemade Baby & Toddler Toys!!

We've been downsizing our things - namely toys and games and puzzles. SO MANY messes - I've been taking them away due to not picking up after themselves or even just for my sanity. (See my post on Busy Boxes for tips on containing messes.) I'm surprised how creative the 4 year old is at making trash into toys! Bruce is also really into anything that's NOT a toy for some reason...

Besides pipe cleaners and colanders they've been sticking straws in an empty diaper-wipes bin, sorting the colored pasta in an egg carton, and playing with popsicle sticks. Oversize checkers are perfect for sticking in the slot of a clean, empty wet wipes bin.

 Here's Bruce, ignoring all the real baby toys and instead wearing the colander/strainer as a hat.  I didn't teach him this, he's just a curious kid!

Here's Dean threading pipe cleaners through the holes in the colander.  He was having so much fun we had to get a second strainer out for Bruce, since they began  fighting over this!

Bruce is at that age where everything goes in his mouth.  So he loved the colored craft (popsicle) sticks for that purpose.  (So be sure to check for choking hazards.) He was pretty good at dropping colored craft sticks into this empty puffs container (we used a Happy Baby Puffs bottle but I'm sure anything with a nice wide mouth opening works), but eating them was more fun.  He did like shaking the closed bottle once he filled it though!

I tend to keep the noodles away from Bruce for the most part, as I don't want them in his mouth, so obviously the egg carton was not filled by my 7 month old!  Dean (who's 4) is really into sorting colors, especially in rainbow order.  He was putting pipe cleaners he rolled into balls in here first, then moved on to the pasta.

Straws: plastic colored, 100-for-a-dollar straws were seriously the biggest hit this week with baby Bruce! I was using an empty wet wipes bin to store them and he was stuffing them in the dispenser hole.  Working on his fine motor skills, I guess.  Then, of course, he ate those as well.  :)

Bruce really LOVES to put items in a bin and dump them out and repeat. I gave him an empty cookie container shaped like a bear with several toys (he loves this sensory ball set which is rubber balls of different sizes and textures) in. Entertains for the longest time!

If only I had known 4 children ago that fun could be so cheap (or free)!

These are little plastic bottles a friend gave me and Bruce LOVES them! Perfect size for his little hands. They each make different sounds when you shake them and are a fun sensory experience. The 1st one is little foam shapes in various colors, next is popcorn kernals and some glitter, colored pasta noodles, colored rice (I dyed these myself, very easy), and last is a big pom-pom.  So some are loud and some have softer noises and I say "loud shake" or "quiet shake" to him while we play!

Check out my post on our homemade ziploc bag baby book.  I'm making his 3rd one right now and Bruce loves, loves, loves looking at all the photos of people and animals, especially babies! And he's a big fan of these homemade glitter bottles,